Second Philly Casino remains in limbo as developer grows frustrated

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Developer Bart Blatstein proposed a casino at the former site of the Daily News and Inquirer building at Broad and Callowhill streets. (Kimberly Paynter/for NewsWorks)

Developer Bart Blatstein proposed a casino at the former site of the Daily News and Inquirer building at Broad and Callowhill streets. (Kimberly Paynter/for NewsWorks)

The main force behind a proposed casino project in Philadelphia says he’s not happy with how slowly things are going.

Developer Bart Blatstein has been pushing for a North Broad Street resort-casino package called the Provence. It would be put in the old Philadelphia Inquirer building.

Blatstein has made a deal to purchase the Pier Shops at Caesars in Atlantic City, but says that does not change his desire to open a Philly casino.

“No not at all they are distinct and separate from each other,” he said. “The Provence, we’re 100 percent for and into the Provence and we we’re hopeful that we will be the victors with that.”

Blatstein is one of four remaining bidders hoping to secure a casino license in the city.  Two proposals are in South Philly near the stadiums and another would be built at 8th and Market streets.

Blatstein is also undeterred that four New Jersey casinos have closed this year, and another is threatened. He says the fact that Pennsylvania gambling officials have yet to award a license for a second Philly casino is upsetting.

“The frustration comes from I think there are forces trying to keep the other casino license from going out and that is the frustration,” he said. “I do believe there is a lobbyist being paid to kill the license.”

A spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board would not say when the fate of that second city casino license would be decided.

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