South Philly casino plan advances, but developers not ready to break ground yet

A second casino in Philadelphia is another step closer to construction.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has given the Live! Casino and Hotel Philadelphia project planned for Ninth and Packer a second green light.

The decision over who owns how much of the casino came as the result of a court challenge by businessman Bob Manoukian who lost his fight for a second gaming license. He already a majority stake in Parx Casino in Bensalem, Bucks County.

“State law under the Gaming Act prohibits second ownership in a casino above 33 percent,” said Doug Harbach of the Pennsylvania Gaming Conrol Board. “Mr. Manoukian had with his lawyer proven to the board that his ownership [of the second casion] wouldn’t exceed 28.3 percent, so the board rendered a decision that that was a legal ownership and the project should go ahead.”

Harbach says the decision doesn’t put an end to possible challenges concerning the second casino.

“There are opportunities by one of the losing casino applicants in Philadelphia to file an appeal with the state Supreme Court within 30 days after the board files its written legal findings,” he said. “And if that’s done, then that needs to be heard and rendered a decision again by the courts.”

The SugarHouse Casino is also trying to gain standing to file a challenge.

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