By Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The contest for Philadelphia’s one remaining casino license took a twist today as a prominent local businessman joined one of the six bidders as a partner.
Dr. Walter Lomax began with a small private practice in South Philadelphia and now controls a business empire that includes real estate, venture capital, media and, if he has his way, a 9-to-36 percent stake in the Revolution Casino, at Front Street and Pattison Avenue.
“We look at this as a tremendous opportunity for Philadelphia and for the Lomax family,” he said today.
Lomax (at lectern in photo) also bring an element of diversity that may give it an edge in the selection process. He would be the only African-American applicant in the fray, joining an unconventional partnership — one that hasn’t received as much attention as other bidders — led by produce wholesaler Joe Procacci, who applied because three other bidders had their eyes on his property.
“After hearing them, I decided that we’ll go for the license ourself,” Procacci (far left in photo) said today.
Procacci’s focus is keeping the project and all its benefits local, which Lomax’s son Bennett believes is important.
“Some of the other competitors may not have the same sensitivity to Philadelphia,” Bennett Lomax said.