Philadelphia Sports Complex awarded second Casino license

Rendering of the planned Live! Hotel & Casino, which was awarded the city's se
Live! Hotel & Casino

Philadelphia’s second casino will be built in the South Philadelphia Sports Complex.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Tuesday unanimously awarded the city’s second casino license to the partnership of the Baltimore-basedCordish Companies and Greenwood Gaming, LLC.

Their $425 million proposal, Live! Hotel and Casino, is slated for the corner of Packer Avenue and Darien Street.

The new 200,000 square-foot casino will include 125 table games, 2,000 slot and electronic games and a new hotel with 240 rooms. The Holiday Inn hotel, which currenly sits on the site, will be demolished.

Robert Greene, chairman of LIVE! Hotel and Casino, said he hopes to break ground in the next eight months and open in the next 15 to 18 months.

“In a perfect world,” Greene said. ​

During the Gaming Board meeting, an officer approached Helen Gym, leader of Parent’s United for Public Education, and took away her sign, which read: “Don’t gamble with our communities.”

Regarding the South Philadelphia residents who have opposed the casino’s construction, David Cordish, chairman of the Cordish Companies, said”By and large we have tremendous community support.”

“So you have somebody who maybe doesn’t like it, but by and large we have enjoyed community support,” Cordish said.

With Atlantic City an hour’s drive from the city, and with Parks Casino in Bensalem and SugarHouse Casino in Fishtown, critics have questioned whether another casino would saturate the market.

“Casinos closing in Atlantic City probably works in Philadelphia’s favor because it’s less compeition,” Cordish said. “And the market we’ll be drawing from is very extensive. We will add to the market. we are 100 percent confident that there’s no saturation here and it won’t be a problem for us.”

The Live! proposal beat out two Center City submissions, which included one at the old Inquirer building at Broad and Callowhill Streets and the other at 8th and Market Streets, as well as another Sports Complex proposal at Front Street and Pattison Avenue.

The losing bidders have 30 days to appeal the decision, but the board has to this point never overturned a decision.

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