Pennsylvania's Supreme Court Orders Further Review Of License For New Philly Casino
Gaming Control Board Ordered To Review Ownership Structure
A new casino in the city of Philadelphia was dealt a poor hand from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court this week. The court said that the state Gaming Control Board must take a closer look at the license, according to a report from Philly.com.
The planned $450 million casino from Cordish Cos. of Baltimore and Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment, the owner of nearby Parx Casino, has long been in the works. Live! Hotel & Casino Philadelphia received approval from the city council in December, which was seen as one of the last remaining hurdles for the project.
SugarHouse Casino, the only other casino within city limits, challenged the license, and the state Supreme Court said that regulators must look at whether Watche “Bob” Manoukian, who owns roughly 85 percent of Parx, would be owning more than a third of Live! Hotel & Casino Philadelphia. State law wouldn’t allow him to own any more than that.
A group called Market East Associates joined SugarHouse in the fight against the new casino. Both groups had been vying for the sole license. Market East alleges that Manoukian did sham transactions in order to hide his real ownership stake, according to the Philly.com report.
It’s unclear how long the Gaming Control Board’s review will take.
Live! Hotel & Casino Philadelphia is planning a hotel with more than 200 rooms and a gaming floor with 2,000 slot machines and more than 100 table games. The casino would be the 13th for Pennsylvania, which has seen gaming revenue remain flat over the past several years.
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