Board to Monitor South Philly Casino’s Lofty Diversity Promises

The most recent artist's rendering of the Live! Casino at Packer Ave. and Darien Streets in South Philadelphia. (Photo courtesy of Stadium Casino LLC)

The most recent artist’s rendering of the Live! Casino at Packer Ave. and Darien Streets in South Philadelphia. (Photo courtesy of Stadium Casino LLC)

Last week, Stadium Casino announced ambitious diversity goals for its soon-to-be-built casino in the South Philadelphia. It promised that 50 percent of the post-construction workforce will be minorities and 40 percent will be women. It promised that 47 percent to 58 percent of construction contracts will be awarded to companies deemed Minority Business Enterprises or Women Business Enterprises. It promised no dress code in any part of the facility — following a lawsuit claiming that Cordish Co. (one of the casino owners) used restrictive dress codes and other methods to limit black visitors at a facility in Kentucky. Read more »

South Philly Casino: Dealers Expected to Make $70,000


A rendering of the Live! Hotel & Casino in South Philadelphia.

The leadership team behind the forthcoming $450 million casino in South Philadelphia’s stadium district has released a comprehensive plan outlining its hiring practices. Stadium Casino LLC — a partnership between the Cordish Companies and Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment Inc., owners of Parx Casino — is promising the following: Read more »

Why Pennsylvania Should Follow Nevada’s Lead and Regulate FanDuel and DraftKings

fanduel-draftkingsNevada is rarely a pillar of morality or model lawmaking.

However, the state’s decision last week to shut down daily fantasy sports operators such as DraftKings and FanDuel until they obtain gaming licenses is a path Pennsylvania should emulate.

By classifying daily fantasy sports as gambling — because that’s what it really is — rather than a game of skill, Nevada determined that a proper license from the Gaming Control Board is necessary to do business in the state. Nevada is now the sixth state to outlaw or limit daily fantasy sports — and there are plenty of others seeking to regulate or ban the increasingly popular contests. Currently, New York, Delaware, Illinois, and even the U.S. Congress are investigating the legality of daily fantasy sports. Read more »

Woman Accused of Bilking $85K from Non-Profit Allegedly Made Withdrawals at Parx, SugarHouse

ATM machineThe executive director of a North Philly nonprofit is accused of swindling the organization out of $85,000, and making ATM withdraws from the corporate bank account at local casinos.

Rodnell Griffin, 67, allegedly siphoned the money from Hunting Park Neighborhood Advisory Committee between January 2007 and October 2013. On 10 occasions, Griffin made ATM withdrawals at Parx, SugarHouse Casino and ATMs just outside of those locations, the indictment claims. Those amounts ranged from $203 to $404. In fact, the indictment says she amassed $5,300 in bank fees and charges during that six-and-a-half year period. (See the full indictment below.) Read more »

Senator: Lack of Diversity in Philly Casino License

Here’s a statement from Sen. Vincent Hughes that’s come across the transom in the wake of the announcement that the PA Gaming Control Board has awarded the second casino license to Stadium Casino LLC, aka Live! Hotel and Casino:

“I am extremely disappointed to learn that qualified minority-owned companies will not be given the opportunity to participate in Pennsylvania’s gaming industry. The Gaming Control Board had an opportunity to ensure that the second casino license in Philadelphia was awarded to an investor group that reflected the demographics of our city. That did not happen. This is another missed opportunity to promote minority-owned businesses in a statewide industry that has been very successful thus far with the exception of diversity.

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The Second Philly Casino License Goes to Live!

Rendering of Live! Hotel and Casino via PlanPhilly

Rendering of Live! Hotel and Casino via PlanPhilly

The PA Gaming Control Board has just publicly voted to award the second Philadelphia casino license to Stadium Casino LLC, operating as Live! This is just the initial phase of the licensing. The decision is subject to appeal, and therefore the Board will not comment on the decision. The meeting has just ended, but before it did, PA Gaming Control Board Chairman Bill Ryan said that the denials of the other three petitioners had nothing to do with lack of character or integrity in the other contenders. Rather, the decision was based on the following factors: the protection of the public; public interest and the social effects of gambling; the integrity and control of the slots business; tax revenues and tourism in Pennsylvania.

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Ugly Allegations Enter Philly Casino License Picture

fox 29 still

A still from the Fox29 report.

Someone affiliated with one of the four casino bidders (not Live!) sent me the below video this morning, shortly after I saw the same story on The allegation is this: The expected announcement that Live! will win the bid for Philly’s second casino license today may be, in part, due to a romantic relationship between a lead attorney for the Live! project and a lawyer who worked, until earlier this year, for the PA Gaming Board. PDQ’s Chris Sawyer calls it a “sexual conspiracy theory”; Fox29 takes it more seriously, and speaks with the interim head of the Committee of Seventy about it:

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Will South Philly Beat Out Center City for a Casino?

Rendering of Live! Hotel and Casino via PlanPhilly

Rendering of Live! Hotel and Casino via PlanPhilly

Tomorrow the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board holds a special meeting at the Pennsylvania Convention Center at which it publicly votes on who gets Philadelphia’s second casino license. There are four bidders — two in Center City (The Provence at 400 North Broad Street and Market8 at 8th and Market) and two in South Philly (Casino Revolution at 3333 South Front Street and Live! Hotel and Casino at 900 Packer Ave.) — waiting for word.

Because the whole thing has taken so damn long, we asked Doug Harbach, PGCB spokesperson, what would happen if the vote is deadlocked tomorrow. You know, just in case. Ain’t gonna happen.

Read more »

Morning Headlines: Experts Consider Atlantic City’s Fate

Photo courtesy  Wikimedia Commons.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

The Inquirer has a lengthy report this morning speculating on Atlantic City’s fate come September, when as many as four Boardwalk properties may be vacant. Suzette Parmley talks to a variety of authorities and rubberneckers, and even nabs a quote from Carl Dranoff while he’s at dinner.

With the Atlantic Club having closed in January, Trump Plaza closing in September and Revel and Showboat in dire straits, Mayor Don Guardian tells Parmley that the city is considering using the old casinos for other purposes. Changes will need the go-ahead from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.

What would the other purposes be? Parmley found a few people with suggestions. One possible tenant would be Richard Stockton College, which has expressed interest in opening a campus in Atlantic City:

The changing landscape in A.C. makes it more important than ever to diversify the economic base in Atlantic City, as well as provide four-year degree and higher educational opportunities for the many employees being displaced,” Stockton president Herman Saatkamp said in a statement Wednesday. “A college campus complete with housing and surrounding businesses would be a significant asset to these needs.

Read more »

High-End Shore Market Unlikely to Be Hurt By Casino Closures

margate home

Photo of 514 N. Thurlow Avenue in Margate, a home for sale for $8.5 million. Copyright SJSRMLS.

The legalization of gambling across the Northeast has hit Atlantic City hard: The latest victim, Trump Entertainment Resorts confirmed this weekend, is Trump Plaza, which is scheduled to close on September 16.

But it’s not all gloom and doom. Real estate experts we contacted said that while the rental market may be hit hard by the job losses — particularly in nearby inland towns like Pleasantville — the closures are much less likely to have a significant impact on the higher income ownership market in towns like Ventnor and Margate.

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