Six applicants tell city they want Philadelphia’s second casino license

Six would-be Philadelphia casino operators have notified the city they intend to compete for the second gaming license here.

The projects, applicants and their prospective locations:

  • The Provence, Tower Entertainment, 400 N. Broad Street.
  • Wynn Philadelphia, Wynn Resorts, 2001-2005 Richmond Street.
  • Casino Philadelphia, Market East Associaties, 8th and Market streets.
  • Convention Center Casino, North Broad Street Partners, 15th and Race streets.
  • Stadium Casino, Stadium Casino, 900 Packer Avenue.
  • Hollywood Casino Philadelphia, Penn National Gaming Inc., 700 Packer Avenue.

Penn National Gaming, Inc., according to their website, has more than 20 casinos and horse racing facilities in the United States and Canada. This includes Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Grantville, Dauphin County PA, and the Freehold Raceway in Freehold, NJ., and numerous off-track betting facilities.

The Provence is the French-inspired casino, hotel, spa and shopping complex proposed by local developer Bart Blatstein for the former Inquirer building and some surrounding area.

Las Vegas Casino mogul Steve Wynn is the Wynn in Wynn Philadelphia.  Wynn was once interested in taking over the controversial and now defunct Foxwoods Casino project that was to have been built at Columbus Boulevard and Reed Street in South Philadelphia. When he dropped out of that project, he indicated he might try for the Foxwoods license if Foxwoods lost it.  The property Wynn is interested in developing this time around is owned by James Anderson and located on the Central Delaware riverfront, north of SugarHouse Casino and Penn Treaty Park.

Stadium Casino is a partnership between the owners of Parx Casino in Bensalem and Maryland Live! Casino complex in Hanover, Md. Their site is currently a Holiday Inn near the Xfinity Live complex. Casino placement in that area takes a bit of measuring – much of the Xfinity complex is too close to Harrah’s in Chester.  State gaming law says no casino can be within 10 miles of a racino.  (The 10-mile rule doesn’t apply to SugarHouse, since there’s no racing there.)

There is a parking lot at 8th and Market that was once the proposed site of a Disney theme park project that fizzled.  Foxwoods at one point was going to move near this location at the former Strawbridge building. The city supported it. Residents did not. Foxwoods never filed for a change of venue with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, which eventually told them not to bother – their casino had to be built on the waterfront, if it was going to happen.

Deputy Mayor Alan Greenberger said the city is “not going to have an opinion for quite some time” on which of these potential sites is best for Philadelphia.  Greenberger is hopeful that the state will take the city’s opinions on this matter very seriously when deciding which applicant should get the license.

The applicants filed local impact statements with the city. They face another deadline next week: They must file full license applications with the PGCB by Thursday. Curious about what an application entails? Check out the Category 2 initial application requirements here.

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