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Penn National Drops Bid For $480 Million Philly Casino

Withdraw Of Offer Partially Due To Public Support For Downtown Location

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Penn National Gaming Inc. has withdrawn its offer to build a $480 million Hollywood casino in South Philadelphia, the company said on Friday.

The Wyomissing, Pa., company’s president and chief officer, Timothy J. Wilmott, said one of the contributing factors to drop the proposal was “the City of Philadelphia’s vocal support for a Center City casino location, despite the fact that two-thirds of the profits from our proposed casino were dedicated to the city’s education and pension fund liabilities.”

However, the potential shared profits between Penn National and the city would have been determined after “substantial management and licensing fees were paid to Penn National,” according to Philly.com. The structure was designed mainly to get around casino ownership restrictions in the Keystone State by giving a nonprofit two-thirds ownership of the proposed casino’s holding company, and was met with cynicism by regulators at a January hearing.

Philadelphia economic-development officials expressed a preference for a downtown site at a hearing in September. There are four potential sites remaining.

Penn National is also building a $225 million slots parlor in Massachusetts and a $360 million casino near San Diego, in addition to seeking a license in New York’s Hudson Valley-Catskills region. The company said the market in Philadelphia “was less attractive now that when the application process started in 2012.”

 
 
Tags: Pennsylvania