With six applications submitted for the second state-licensed casino in the city of Philadelphia, the chief counsel of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board estimates that it will take at least a year before the board makes a decision on the license.
R. Douglas Sherman said the board and its staff will carefully study all applications before doing background investigations, holding three sets of public hearings, and collecting written feedback on the proposals. “It’s not going to be a short process,” he said, “and it’s going to take as long as it takes. We’re going to deal with each project separately.”
The process will begin with informational hearings in Philadelphia in February, in which the board will give each applicant the opportunity to make an initial presentation with no public comment.
Sometime in the spring, board members will hold hearings in Philadelphia in which applicant presentations will be followed by public comment.
Sherman would not speculate on how long deliberations will take after the hearings conclude. Under Pennsylvania law, to win the license, a project must be approved by all four legislative appointees on the board, and at least one of the three gubernatorial appointees.
The applicants include:
• “The Provence,” an upscale $700 million gaming, dining, retail and entertainment complex proposed by prominent Philadelphia developer Bart Blatstein, incorporating the iconic building in Center City Philadelphia that was formerly the headquarters of the Philadelphia Inquirer;
• Stadium Casino LLC, a joint venture of Cordish Companies and Philadelphia Park owner Greenwood Gaming, which is proposing a casino at the Holiday Inn next to the Philadelphia sports complex, carrying the Cordish “Live!” brand;
• Penn National Gaming, which is proposing a 100,000-square-foot casino in the stadium district branded “Hollywood Casino Philadelphia,” which would be in partnership with the city of Philadelphia;
• Wynn Resorts, which is proposing “Wynn Philadelphia” on the Delaware River waterfront in the city’s Fishtown district, only half a mile from the current Philadelphia casino, SugarHouse;
• PHL Local Gaming LLC, which is proposing a property called “Casino Revolution” on the South Philadelphia waterfront; and
• The Goldenberg Group, which wants to put a casino on a parcel it owns at Eighth and Market Streets near the city’s historic district, currently a parking lot.