Gaming Board sets hearing for second Philly casino license

A rendering of Live! Hotel and Casino, proposed for to the site of an existing Holiday Inn in the stadium district of South Philadelphia.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has scheduled a public hearing on Monday, July 31, to receive additional evidence about the ownership of Stadium Casino L.L.C., which won the board’s approval in 2014 to receive a second Philadelphia casino license.

The board said Thursday the hearing is in response to a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling June 20 that ordered the Gaming Control Board to take another look at whether Stadium’s application to build a hotel and casino complex in South Philadelphia violated the state law limiting investor ownership in multiple casinos.

The state’s highest court asked the board to scrutinize whether Stadium Casino principal Watche Manoukian’s financial interest in the Stadium Live! Project would exceed the 33.3 percent ownership cap in a second casino under the state Gaming Act.

Manoukian owns 85.84 of Parx Casino in Bensalem.

The hearing will begin at 2 p.m. in the Gaming Control Board’s hearing room on Strawberry Square in Harrisburg. It will be streamed live on the board’s website

The court ruling is the second time in 15 months the state Supreme Court sent the issue back to casino regulators.

The Gaming Control Board has twice concluded that Manoukian’s interest is within the legal limits.

Market East Associates, another casino-license applicant that lost the bid, and SugarHouse HSP Gaming L.P., operator of SugarHouse Casino on Delaware Avenue, had challenged Stadium’s application and argued Manoukian’s interest has not been adequately evaluated.

Stadium wants to build a $450 million complex near the city’s sports stadiums, at Ninth Street and Packer Avenue, with a 2,600-car garage, 200 hotel rooms, 2,000-plus slot machines, and more than 100 table games.

The project is a partnership of Cordish Cos. and Greenwood Racing, whose parent company, Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment, owns Parx Casino.

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