April 20, 2013 |
Philadelphia's recent casino hearings brought back memories of those giddy days in 2006 when gambling was new to Pennsylvania and no amenity was too extravagant for our city's gaming halls. Once again, the applicants vied to seduce us with all kinds of extras. A 320-room resort hotel! Spas! Bike paths! Fishing piers! Skating rink! Luxury shops! A starchitect design! For most people, the promises made during the first licensing round have been lost in the mists of time. But because I am a magpie of the filing cabinet, I only had to dust off SugarHouse's 2006 proposal to see how it checked out against the 2013 reality.
April 19, 2013 |
The $2.4 billion Revel casino in Atlantic City - currently in Bankruptcy Court - began issuing pink slips Tuesday to 83 employees. Interim chief executive Jeffrey Hartmann, who took over for former CEO Kevin DeSanctis last month, said the decision to trim the workforce came after a careful review of business volume and staffing levels after Hurricane Sandy. The storm hit the Shore on Oct. 29 and forced Revel and the 11 other casinos in Atlantic City to close for nearly a week.
April 18, 2013 |
Nearly 6 1/2 years after it wagered on casinos to create jobs and tax revenue, Pennsylvania continues to be among the strongest gaming markets in the country. And the view from Wall Street is that there is room for a second casino in Philadelphia, and that it will not have much more impact on Atlantic City than the four existing casinos around Philadelphia already have. Financing for mega-gambling palaces will be tight in the coming years, though. Said John Maxwell, managing director of Jefferies & Co.: "You're going to see more casinos in New York . . . and possibly gambling in the Meadowlands.
April 17, 2013 |
The owners of the SugarHouse Casino have agreed to pay $650,000 to settle claims that their workers illegally dumped construction materials into the Delaware River near the Philadelphia casino, prosecutors said Monday. Under the settlement, announced by U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger, SugarHouse HSP Gaming will pay a $25,000 civil penalty and donate $625,000 to the Brandywine Conservancy, a nonprofit agency dedicated to protecting natural resources. "This case reinforces our commitment to protecting the environment by ensuring that corporations either follow environmental laws or face serious sanctions," Memeger said in a statement.
April 16, 2013 |
Gaming commissioners listened to 94 people testify over the course of two days. They heard from friends, employees, colleagues, and contractors of the six applicants for Philadelphia's second casino license. They learned such trivia as the fact that a young Bart Blatstein built the city's first Wawa, that millionaire produce wholesaler Joe Procacci works out of a cubicle at his South Philadelphia headquarters, that developer Ken Goldenberg helped to fix up a Philadelphia public school.
April 15, 2013 |
HANOVER, Md. - Maryland Live, the largest and most successful of the state's three operating casinos, introduced dealer-staffed table games late last week, doubling its workforce seemingly overnight - and, some say, amping up its threat to gambling halls in Atlantic City and Delaware, plus at least one casino along I-95 in Pennsylvania. Craps player Nick Giron, 28, of Prince George County, said he'd be cutting back on his trips to Atlantic City. It's a 30-minute drive to Maryland Live vs. three hours to the Shore, where he typically plays craps at the Borgata.
April 14, 2013 |
TO BUILD a casino in Philadelphia, a developer must marshal his forces in the battle for public opinion about the project. A free hat, T-shirt and some spending money can help. The investors behind Casino Revolution, Joseph Procacci and Walter Lomax, outfitted supporters with hats and T-shirts and paid many of them $25 per day to attend public hearings on casino applications held Thursday and Friday in Philadelphia by the state Gaming Control Board. It's not the first attempt to fill a room with cheering supporters.
April 13, 2013 |
SugarHouse Casino has submitted a revised expansion plan to the state Gaming Control Board calling for a shorter parking garage, more food and beverage outlets facing the riverfront, an expanded promenade, and a new bike trail. The city's only casino said in a filing last week that the expansion would cost more than $540 million. The investors behind the project are seeking $410 million in financing to fund construction and refinance part of their existing debt. The gaming board plans to hold a hearing on the revised plan in May, said Doug Harbach, a spokesman.
April 13, 2013 |
After the first of two days of public testimony Thursday, the state's Gaming Control Board had heard more support than opposition for a second casino in Philadelphia. But if there was a message for the seven commissioners, it was to pick a project that will do more for the city than just add slot machines and table games. Sen. Larry Farnese (D., Phila.), whose district includes the sites for all six casino applicants, urged the board to select a project that would bring the most positive change to the urban landscape.
April 12, 2013 |
After the first of two days of public testimony Thursday, the state's Gaming Control Board heard more comments of support than opposition for a second casino in Philadelphia. But if there was a message for the seven commissioners, it was to pick a project that did more for the city than just add more slot machines and table games. Sen. Larry Farnese (D., Phila.) whose district includes the sites for all six casino applicants, urged the board to select a project that would bring the most positive change to the urban landscape.