Pennsylvania Gaming Board Issues 2nd Philadelphia Casino License
On Tuesday 18th of November, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board issued the second Philadelphia casino license. The license was awarded to partners, the Cordish Companies and Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment who have announced plans to build a $425 million development that includes a boutique hotel and a casino.
The $425 million project, the Philadelphia Live! Hotel and Casino, is expected to hold 2000 slot machines as well as a 240-room hotel and will be located in south Philly, near the city’s popular sports stadiums.
The Live! brand, which is owned by the Cordish Companies of Baltimore, beat three other applicants to the awarding of the casino license by the state’s gaming board. Pennsylvania currently has 12 other casinos operating within the states borders, including another Philadelphia Casino, the SugarHouse casino located on the waterfront in Philadelphia, and is also the latest stand-alone casino to open since the state legalized casinos in 2004.
Even though the casino license has been issued, it is no guarantee that the casino will open its doors as the three other applicants as well as the SugarHouse casino, a long time opponent to the state’s plans to issue a second Philly license, could appeal the issuing of the license.
Over-Saturated Casino Market
SugarHouse has opposed the issuing of a new Philly license and has argued that the market in the state is already saturated and another casino will do more harm than good.
However, Tony Ricci, Chief Executive of the Parx Casino in the Philadelphia suburbs of Bensalem, whose parent company Greenwood Gaming is a partner in Live! has said: “We are 100 percent confident that there is room to grow,” and the project has the potential to draw clients away from struggling Atlantic City casinos.
Atlantic City, which once enjoyed an extremely lucrative East Coast gambling monopoly, has seen a massive decline in gaming revenue to $2.8 billion in 2013 from $5.2 billion in 2006. A direct result of the growing completion from casinos in neighboring states and, according to the New Jersey division of Gaming Enforcement, is one of the contributing factors in the closure of four Atlantic City casinos this year alone.
Speaking after the issuing of the second license, David Cordish, Chairman of Cordish Companies said in a statement: “We’re very confident we’re grow the market, We’re right off the I-95 and I-76, so you can expand your reach and pull from two neighboring states and the region.”
I think the secret to casino is what you do besides the gaming, because everybody games the same way,” said Cordish to press gathered at the Pennsylvania Conference Center. “The best thing you can do with gaming is surround it with other amenities.”
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