It appears as though Stadium Casino LLP, the developers of Live! Hotel & Casino in Philadelphia can now put shovel to dirt after construction has been on hold due to a lawsuit brought by the owners of Philadelphia’s SugarHouse Casino.
The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) considers the matter over after SugarHouse Casino dropped their long-running lawsuit that’s held up construction of Live! Hotel & Casino for more than two years. The news agency further reports that the Board anticipates the recipients of the state’s 13th license will pay the slot machine license fee of $50 around November 15, with construction to follow shortly after.
Since the award in 2014 and approval of the master plan in October 2015, the project has been plagued by protests and court proceedings.
Competing interests including SugarHouse Casino have long held the Live! Hotel & Casino Philadelphia license would violate state law. SugarHouse HSP Gaming L.L.P. operates the only other casino in the city and in March 2015, in association with real estate supergroup, Market East Associates, and Local Gaming LLC were denied an appeal of the Gaming Control Board’s approval of Stadium’s application based on the ‘monopoly clause’.
SugarHouse and Market East were unsuccessful bidders for the state’s final license in 2014.
Earlier this year, the Philadelphia Supreme Court ordered gambling regulators to take a closer look at Stadium L.L.C.’s ownership structure to determine if Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment’s Watche “Bob” Manoukian would have a more than 1/3 ownership interest in the city’s second casino as limited by law. Stadium LLC is reportedly a partnership between Manoukian’s Greenwood Racing, Inc., which owns Parx Casino, and Baltimore-based Cordish Companies, owner and operator of Maryland Live! Casino.
The ruling on June 20 this year by the Philadelphia Supreme Court, marked the second time in a little over a year that the high court sent the issue back to casino regulators.
However, Governor Tom Wolf’s approval of a gambling expansion bill on Monday, October 30, 2017, repeals a 2004 provision that limits ownership limitations.
Earlier reports indicate the $600 million stadium casino will reportedly include an upscale 220-room boutique hotel, 2,600-space parking garage, shops and locally and nationally-recognized restaurants and live entertainment venues, 2,000 slot machines and 125 table games.