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Reactions Mixed To Foxwoods’ License Revocation

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Artist's rendering of the Foxwoods casino project.

Artist’s rendering of the Foxwoods casino project.

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(CBS) – While Philadelphia City Hall adjusts the books, Casino opponents are claiming victory after yesterday’s vote by the Gaming Control Board to strip Foxwoods of Philadelphia’s second casino license.

It was almost exactly four years ago that the gaming board voted to award a license to Foxwoods. After yesterday’s vote to yank the license, Lily Cavanagh, director of Casino Free Philadelphia, was ecstatic, “All of that work over the last four years has delayed it enough, and will continue to delay it enough, that there’s never going to be a second casino in Philly.”

In fact, James Ginty – the lone board member to vote against revocation – said he fears that frustrated state lawmakers may decide to move the license somewhere else. “Granting the motion puts in jeopardy 1,800 family-sustaining jobs in Philadelphia. It also puts at risk much-needed revenue.”

The board members who voted for revocation did not comment on why, a spokesman says they must wait until they release their official written explanation for the vote.

A lawyer for Foxwoods’ investors said yesterday, a decision had not yet been made on whether to appeal the gaming board’s action.

As for the idea of a slots parlor on the SS United States ocean liner, Mayor Nutter says, don’t hold your breath.

Listen to Mayor Nutter discuss the Foxwoods decision:

Billionaire Gerry Lenfest has for several weeks been pitching the idea of putting a slots parlor on the SS United States. Mayor Nutter was asked whether that concept could become viable now that the gaming board has revoked the Foxwoods license.

Nutter points out that until an actual casino operator actually steps forward, it’s nothing more than an idea.

Nutter says, “You have to have a gaming entity to go up to Harrisburg, put down plans, show their money and the ability to run a casino operation.  I have great love and affection for Gerry Lenfest, but he never proposed that he was going to run the casino; he wants to save the ship.”

Nutter also said he’ll have to adjust his long-range five-year budget now that Foxwoods has been shown the door, taking out about $33-million in revenues expected in years 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Reported by Tony Romeo and Mike Dunn, KYW Newsradio

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