Decision On Philadelphia Casino Taking Too Long – Mayor
Philadelphia Mayor, Michael Nutter, has expressed his frustration on the slow pace of the Pennsylvania Gaming Board in making its decision on the location for the second Philadelphia Casino.
During remarks on Tuesday, whilst attending the International Association of Gaming Regulators in Philadelphia’s Center City, Mayor Michael Nutter urged the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to make hasten the voting process and award the city’s second casino license.
“The record’s been closed for some time,” said Mayor Nutter, referring in particular to the public suitability hearings at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where applicants applied for the license, which took place over 7 months ago
Nutter, speaking in general about deliberative bodies, “taking action is very important. It should be decisive action,” he said. “The worst,” is doing nothing.
Nutter said he was in a similar situation when the Philadelphia City Council was deliberating over his proposal to sell the Philadelphia Gas Works.
Greg Fajt, a member of the gaming board who first introduced Mayor Nutter to the meeting said in a statement that he appreciated the Mayor’s honesty.
“The Mayor is anxious for us to make a decision,” Fajt said. However “We’re still deliberating [on who should be awarded the license] and hopefully we’ll make a decision soon.”
However, Fajt would not give a clear indication as to when the decision could be expected before the end of 2014.
Among the contenders for the second Philadelphia casino license are: Market8 at Eighth and Market Street, The Provence at Broad and Callowhill Streets, Live Philadelphia at 90 Packer Avenue and Casino Revolution which would be located on the corner of Front Street and Pattison Avenue.
Bart Blatstein, Philadelphia-based mega-developer and President and CEO of Tower Investments, Inc. is also growing impatient with the slow process and as one of the top contenders for the new casino, is awaiting the go ahead to begin development of his casino.
In a recent interview with newsworks.org, Blatstein said: “The frustration comes from, I think, there are forces trying to keep the other casino license from going out and that is the frustration. I do believe there is a lobbyist being paid to kill the license.”
The new casino, when the decision is finally maid, will bring the total of the city’s casinos to two. The SugarHouse Casino on the Delaware River having been open since September 2010 while two other casinos, the Parx Casino and Harrah’s Chester Casino, sit just outside the city limits.
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