Two construction industry union leaders today got behind the effort of local investors who are asking the state Gaming Control Board to reconsider the Dec. 16 decision to revoke the casino license granted more than four years ago for a plot on Columbus Boulevard at Reed Street in South Philly.
Pat Gillespie, Business Manager of The Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council, and Ed Coryell, head of the Metropolitan Regional Council of Philadelphia & Vicinity of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, put out statements today asking the board to reverse the decision now that the local investors say they have closed a deal with Caesars Entertainment to take over the project.
The Gaming Control Board this week acknowledged receiving the petition to reconsider the license revocation from Philadelphia Entertainment Development Partners, which originally planned to open the casino under the Foxwoods brand. A board spokesman said the petition will be studied to determine whether a hearing should be held to consider it.
The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals today reversed a lower court's ruling that Keystone Redevelopment Partners LLC, the company Donald Trump formed in a failed bid to open a casino in Nicetown, could challenge the 2006 decision of the state Gaming Control Board to not grant him a license.
The three-judge panel, which heard arguments on the case in November, ruled that the Gaming Control Board has "quasi-judicial immunity" when acting on its duties to license and regulate casinos in Pennsylvania. Trump had claimed the board improperly considered his business interests in Atlantic City when deciding on five applications for two casino licenses in Philadelphia.
“This finding was premised on the institutional safeguards and processes which the Board has built and implemented to project the impartiality and integrity of the decision-making process,” said Doug Sherman, the board's chief counsel. “The Board has been resolute in its determination to avoid partisanship and inappropriate influence in its decisions, and believes that the Court’s decision today is an affirmation that its processes are accomplishing the goal.”