Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Timeline: Getting two casinos in Philadelphia

July 2004: The passage of the Racehorse Development and Gaming Act legalizes casino gambling in Pennsylvania. The act provided for two slots-parlor licenses to be awarded in Philadelphia.

December 2006: SugarHouse and Foxwoods win the two available casino licenses for Philadelphia. SugarHouse planned to build its casino on the Delaware River near Fishtown, and the Foxwoods group planned to develop its slots parlor on Columbus Boulevard on the South Philadelphia waterfront.

2008: The Street administration approves Foxwoods’ development plans, but after the Nutter administration takes over, the new mayor and City Council work to block Foxwoods’ proposal. Foxwoods investors propose moving the project from the waterfront to Center City, but activists in Chinatown widely oppose the move. SugarHouse refuses to change its plans to build on the riverfront.

February 2009: Foxwoods announces plans to move to the former Strawbridge department store.

August 2009: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board orders Foxwoods to return to the Delaware River site, after an owner of the Strawbridge’s building objected to the plan.

January 2010: Regulators begin fining Foxwoods for failing to submit design and financing plans, and begin threatening to revoke the license.

Spring-Summer 2010: Wynn Resorts says it will take over Foxwoods, but pulls out of the agreement a month later. Harrah’s Entertainment surfaces as a new potential partner to take over the Foxwoods project.

September 2010: SugarHouse opens, becoming the first casino in Philadelphia.

October 2010: Foxwoods presents a new proposal -- the Harrah’s deal -- to the gaming board.

December 2010: The gaming board revokes Foxwoods’ license. The board rejected Foxwoods’ plan for the new partnership, saying the documents for the deal were incomplete or had too many variables.

November 2011: The Commonwealth Court rejects an appeal by Foxwoods to keep its license. Foxwoods had argued that the board acted too quickly in revoking the license, and made the decision too hastily to determine whether the casino was still financially viable and whether the project had violated deadlines.

April 2012: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejects another appeal from Foxwood, which had continued to seek to maintain its license.

November 2012: Six groups submit proposals by the deadline for applications for the second Philadelphia casino license. They are called: Casino Revolution, Hollywood Casino, Live! Hotel & Casino, The Provence, Market8 and Wynn Philadelphia.

Winter and spring 2013: A series of hearings are held in February, April and May, in which the applicants presented their proposals to the public.

September 2013: Philadelphia officials outline their views on the six proposals at a public hearing. The city doesn’t endorse any of the applicants outright, but appears to strongly prefer the Center City and Fishtown locations over the South Philadelphia sites.

November 2013: Wynn Resorts drops its bid for the planned Wynn Philadelphia on the Delaware River in Fishtown. Five applicants remain in contention for the license.

January 2014: Suitability hearings for the final five contenders are scheduled to take place.

Later in 2014: The gaming board will award the license for Philadelphia’s second casino.

Emily Babay Philly.com
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