Thursday, December 25, 2014

Foxwoods Reacts To Gaming Control Board Orders

Brian Ford, CEO of the local investor group pushing to build the Foxwoods casino in Philadelphia, said they would follow an order from the state Gaming Control Board today to build something "substantially similar" to the project approved by the board in December 2006. Foxwoods, which toyed with the idea of moving to Center City, was also ordered to stay put on its original location at Christopher Columbus Boulevard at Reed Street in South Philly.

Foxwoods Reacts To Gaming Control Board Orders

Brian Ford, CEO of the local investor group pushing to build the Foxwoods casino in Philadelphia, said they would follow an order from the state Gaming Control Board today to build something "substantially similar" to the project approved by the board in December 2006.  Foxwoods, which toyed with the idea of moving to Center City, was also ordered to stay put on its original location at Christopher Columbus Boulevard at Reed Street in South Philly.

The board ordered Foxwoods to hit a series of benchmarks, including advance warning of any changes in the casino license ownership or bankruptcy by any of the owners.  That seemed to be motivated by the news this week from the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, partnered with the local investors in the casino project, was trying to restructure more than $1 billion in debt.  Ford said that should not impact the local project.

"Anytime anyone has difficulty in the family, it creates a distraction," Ford said. "We've been assured by our partners at Foxwoods that this won't be the case here."

Ford also said it was difficult to imagine the investors walking away from the casino license since they've sunk $160 million so far in the project.

"We can't imagine such an event," Ford said. "How do you walk away from an investment of that magnitude."

The investors considered moving to Center City due to interference from city officials, including Mayor Nutter's administration, which had concerns about the original site.  Ford said the investors are confident that the city will cooperate on casino plans for South Philly.

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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