It’s not easy to open a casino in the United States, or anywhere for that matter. There is a ton of red tape, regulations that need to be met, licensing requirements, and big investments have to be made up front. Now one Pennsylvania casino may go out of business before it even begins business.
Foxwoods Casino is a proposed $500 million casino that is supposed to be located in south Philadelphia, along the Delaware River. However, it still hasn’t been built and there is no indication that it would happen anytime soon. Now it is in danger of having its license revoked.
Foxwoods Casino received a gambling license to operate slots, blackjack and other table games back in December of 2006, but has run into nothing but problems since then. To highlight a few of the problems, they have been indecisive about where to build the casino, some citizens are opposing it, and there have been major problems with financing.
That’s the big one. It takes a lot of money to build a casino because not only do you have the normal costs that go along with starting a company, you also have tons of different fees that go to the government. Original investors in the casino have backed out and Foxwoods is now looking for more financing. Last month, Nevada casino developer Steve Wynn showed interest in rescuing the project, but then backed out.
The Gaming Control Board has lost patience with the Foxwoods Casino project. Cyrus Pitre, a lawyer for the Board, stated that he is filing a complaint to revoke their gambling license. Foxwoods officials would then have 30 days to fight the revocation and prove that they still have the means to open and run the casino. There could also be a lengthy appeals process in the courts.
Yesterday, the Gaming Control Board rejected a request by Foxwoods Casino for six more months to line up new investors. The Board thinks that Foxwoods has had enough time to get financing and is ready to move on. The Board also upheld a $2,000-per-day fine on Foxwoods – which is currently at $300,000 — for missing a deadline to submit data showing their progress.
If Foxwoods has their gambling license revoked, that would allow other casino developers to come in and compete for a license. Donald Trump showed interest in the past – even attempting to get a Philadelphia casino license in 2006 – and may be a player in the future if Foxwoods loses their license.
So if you live in the Philadelphia area and were excited about a new casino, you might want to look elsewhere, because it will be some time before one is running near you. The good news is that western Pennsylvania approved the licenses of two new casinos, the Meadows in Washington County and the Presque Isle Downs in Erie County. But should have slots, blackjack tables and more by July. Then again, we’ve seen how hard it is to get a casino up and running around there…