Tuesday, August 4, 2015
High Stakes: The eseential guide to Philly's next casino - Who has the winning hand?

Hollywood Casino

Hollywood Casino, proposed for South Philly's Stadium District, claims it would send millions to Philadelphia's pensions and schools.

South Philadelphia Hollywood Casino

A national chain with a casino already built in Pennsylvania is hoping to capitalize on that momentum - and help fund an associated nonprofit with casino revenue that would flow to Philadelphia schools. 

Name

Hollywood Casino - PA Gaming Ventures, LLC

Location

700 Packer Ave., South Philadelphia’s stadium district, and the site of an existing building that houses Packer Avenue Foods, Pennsylvania Lottery Commission offices, and the Turf Club, an off-track betting facility and restaurant.

Theme

Hollywood Casino, notwithstanding its name, is centered around identifying with “the heart of Sports Complex” by providing an “added entertainment option to the nearly eight million annual visitors to the stadium and its environs each year” with an attempt to “encourage out-of-town visitors to come early or stay later when visiting the city.”

Estimated cost

$480 million

Gaming

Phase I: 2,050 slots, 81 table games.

Phase II: 1,000 additional slots and 40 table games.

Project size

227,000 square foot of casino and other space, with a 500-room hotel.

The Details

Hollywood Casino would be built in two phases. The principals have only submitted plans for the first phase. A master plan still being developed would allow for future expansion to include the hotel with banquet and conference facilities. The project has a nonprofit arm that pledges to send revenue to local schools.

The first phase calls for:

  • 102,000 square foot of casino floor.  

  • 935 restaurant seats spread over the Final Cut Steakhouse, a noodle bar, a sports pub, a casual grill and a food court.  

  • A 180-seat nightclub.

  • 500 square feet of retail space, and 125,000 square feet of “multi-use space.”

  • A parking garage for 3,380 vehicles. An additional 76 vehicles would park on a surface lot.

  • Casino patrons would access the site from South Darien Street and Seventh Street.

The second phase would include:

  • 500-hotel rooms

  • 1,000 additional slots and 40 more table games

  • 24,000 square feet of meeting space.

The partners say Hollywood Casino would be in close proximity to public transportation, and major highways, including I-76 and I-95, to take advantage of traffic from Philadelphia, its suburbs and South Jersey (the Walt Whitman Bridge is nearby).

Hollywood Casino is also a short walk from Lincoln Financial Field and Citizens Bank Park. It is three-quarters of a mile from SEPTA’s AT&T Broad Street Line station. Neighborhood opponents of the project say it would negatively impact traffic, security and quality of life, especially if it operates 24 hours a day as planned.

Impact

Part of the Hollywood Casino ownership includes a nonprofit arm that would send “millions” annually to Philadelphia’s “pensions and schools.” The project owners estimate that translates to about $115 million over 15 years.  They say it would generate taxable revenue of $158 million annually to Pennsylvania and $27 million to Philadelphia.

Who’s Involved

PA Gaming Ventures, LLC is the umbrella group that owns Hollywood Casino.

It comprises Penn National Gaming Inc. and Philadelphia Casino Corp.

  • Penn National Gaming, of Wyomissing, Berks County, owner of 21 U.S. casinos, is publicly held and traded on NASDAQ (PENN), and is the largest regional gaming operator in the nation. It has been called a “Best Managed Gaming Company” by Forbes.

  • The Philadelphia Casino Benefit Corp. is a nonprofit that’s pledged to send its revenue to Philadelphia pensions and schools. It has a one-person board in Joseph Domenico, a former general manager of Bally's Atlantic City and the Showboat Casino Hotel.

  • Principals in PA Gaming Ventures investors are CEO Peter M. Carlino, John Finamore, Kyle Martin, Barbara Shattuck-Kohn, Jay Snowden, Mark Nicoletti, Timothy Wilmott, Jordan Savitch, Gregg Hart, John Jacquemin, Wesley Edens, Lori Peruto, William Clifford, Frank Donaghue, Desiree Burke, Harold Cramer, Saul Reibstein, Joseph Ferrier and Donna Ferrier, and others.

How they’ll pay for it

PA Gaming Venture says it will self-finance the project.

Sources: Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, Bloomberg

Click here for complete coverage of the bid for a gaming license in downtown Philadelphia.

Project Overview: