Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Philly officials to present views on casino plans

A hearing on Philadelphia´s second casino license will be held Tuesday. (AP photo)
A hearing on Philadelphia's second casino license will be held Tuesday. (AP photo)

The state gaming board members who will award Philadelphia's next casino license are about to learn what city officials think of the six applicants.

Philadelphia officials are set to present their review of the proposals at a hearing before the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board on Tuesday.

The hearing at the Pennsylvania Convention Center will allow the board "to collect evidence on the record from the city of Philadelphia on their findings on the placement of the casino," said Doug Harbach, a gaming board spokesman.

Philadelphia officials have said key items for the city to evaluate include the economic impact of the proposals and the effects of the plans on nearby businesses, residents and the city's sole existing casino, SugarHouse.

More coverage
  • Complete coverage: Guide to Philly's next casino
  • Map: Applicant sites and existing casinos
  • Phila. to present casino findings soon
  • Next hearing scheduled on Philly casino license
  • Six groups are bidding for the license.

    Three contenders would build their casinos in South Philadelphia's stadium district: Casino Revolution, planned by "Tomato King" Joseph Procacci and his PHL Local Gaming; Hollywood Casino, planned by the Berks County-based Penn National Gaming; and Live! Hotel & Casino, planned by Parx Casino owner Greenwood Racing and Xfinity Live! operator Cordish Companies.

    Others vying for the license are: Las Vegas casino magnate Steve Wynn, whose proposed Wynn Philadelphia would be located in Fishtown; developer Bart Blatstein, whose planned Provence would be in the former home of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and on North Broad Street; and developer Ken Goldenberg and his Market East Associates, whose proposed Market8 casino would be at Eighth and Market streets.

    City officials are slated to be the only speakers at Tuesday's hearing; no one else is expected to testify. The hearing, which is open to the public and will be streamed live on the gaming board's website, is expected to last several hours.

    "I think this is very important information the board will utilize in making this decision," Harbach said. Board members will also consider information gathered from the applicants' proposals, previous hearings and the board's own investigations.

    During the last round of bidding for Philadelphia casino licenses, in 2006, city officials presented a report of their views on the proposals, but no hearings were specifically dedicated to the city's concerns.

    Another hearing on the applicants' suitability will take place at a later time, though no date has been set, Harbach said. At that hearing, board members will be able to ask the bidders questions about their projects and information received during the board's evaluation of the proposals.

    The applicants previously presented their proposals at a public forum in February at the convention center, and additional hearings were held in April and May at Lincoln Financial Field.

    Individuals who wish to submit comments on the proposals can do so until Sept. 30.

    Contact Emily Babay at 215-854-2153 or Follow @emilybabay on Twitter.

    Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443 or Follow @phillynews on Twitter.

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