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Foxwoods Asks Pa. Gaming Officials To Undo License Revocation

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(File photo: the undeveloped Foxwoods site, at Delaware Avenue and Reed Street in South Philadelphia.)

(File photo: the undeveloped Foxwoods site, at Delaware Avenue and Reed Street in South Philadelphia.)

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Nearly a month after Pennsylvania gambling officials revoked their license, the group behind the nascent Foxwoods casino has asked the board for yet one more chance.

The investors in the Foxwoods project have filed what is called a “Request for Reconsideration.”  It’s a formal request that the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board take one more look at Foxwoods’ ability to get a casino built.

Attorney Stephen Cozen, representing the investors, said that since the license was revoked on December 16th (see previous story), Foxwoods has strengthened its deal with Harrah’s, which would run the slots parlor (see related story).

“We are asking them to please reconsider, based on the more final and more unconditional deal that we have in place with Harrah’s, that they weren’t satisfied with originally,” Cozen told KYW Newsradio.

And Cozen was clear that if this request is denied, the Foxwoods partners would appeal the loss of their license in court, a process that could take “two or three years at a minimum.”

“We would be forced to appeal what we think is an improper decision, and nobody would be able to go forward until that was finally resolved,” he added.

A spokesman for the state gaming control board said the board has received the Foxwoods request and it will be, as he put it, “analyzed.”  He said if the request were to be accepted, another hearing would be held.

Foxwoods was originally granted one of Philadelphia’s two slots licenses in December 2006, and the original plan called for a nearly 400,000-square-foot casino on a vacant lot on the Delaware River in South Philadelphia.  But delays in city approvals and a bad economy dramatically slowed the project’s progress.

Two years ago, backers considered moving the casino to the Gallery shopping mall on Market Street in center city, but the state gaming board and neighborhood opposition stopped the move.

Early this year, Las Vegas billionaire Steve Wynn joined the project with financing but abruptly dropped out weeks later.

The current proposal, under Caesar’s “Horseshoe” brand, would also have been roughly half the size of Foxwoods’ original proposal (see related story).

Reported by Mike Dunn, KYW Newsradio 1060.

 


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