By Tony Romeo and Mike Dunn
HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced today that it will begin accepting applications for a second casino to be located in Philadelphia, and Mayor Nutter says he’s delighted at the prospect.
Current state law stipulates two casinos for Philadelphia. But the fate of the city’s second license has been in limbo since Foxwoods’ license was revoked a year and a half ago (see previous story).
The Gaming Control Board waited to see what would happen with a bill that would have created statewide competition for that license. The bill passed the House but was never taken up by the state Senate (see related story).
“Certainly, we watched the legislature and their actions,” says gaming board spokesman Doug Harbach. “They adjourned for the summer and it appeared for the foreseeable future this law was not going to change.”
So, the board has set a November 15th deadline to receive applications for a second Philadelphia casino. It may take another year after that to award a license.
Harbach says the board would have to reevaluate the situation if the law is changed before then.
This afternoon Mayor Michael Nutter said he’s “very excited” by the gaming board’s announcement, calling it “the right decision at the right time.”
Nutter told reporters he has had conversations with several developers who have voiced interest in applying for the second casino license. But he urged others who may have interest to come forward:
“Having this announcement — if anyone is in fact interested — this would be the moment to show up. Put your stuff out there and let’s see what happens.”
The city has no formal say in which developer will ultimately be awarded the license. Nutter originally opposed the Foxwoods site on South Delaware Avenue. He says now he has no preferred location, and that his administration will conduct its own “due diligence” on traffic and other issues of applications in this new round of bidding.