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Gaming Control Board hits the jackpot with Philly casino bids

8/5/2013 | Real Estate Blog

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is months away from making a decision, but the applicants for the Category 2 Slot Machine License and Table Games Certificate have been waging campaigns for the popular vote that we usually only see in presidential election years. Most of the activity is taking place in Philadelphia, where, according to the GCB’s website, the casino must be located.

The proposed developments are for different parts of town and different casino experiences. Developers from all over the country have entered the fray, but local business figures are hoping for a home-field advantage.

PHL Local Gaming LLC, for example, has adopted a name that literally spells out its local connections. The company is headed by Joseph Procacci, the city’s 84-year-old “Tomato King” and a Philadelphia native. He and his partner want to build Casino Revolution at Front Street and Packer Avenue, an industrial part of town that could use a little glamor, according to the team. The proposal would “transform” the area into a 25-acre entertainment district, Procacci said recently.

Another proposal would benefit the city by bringing in more than tax revenue. U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, D-Phila., is supporting a public-private partnership that would run a casino at 7th Street and Packer Avenue. The city would share in the profits.

A couple of blocks away, at 9th and Packer, Xfinity Live! operators and Greenwood Gaming, the operator of Parx, would build their project. Another group would build on a parking lot at 8th and Market streets.

Each of the local connections is hoping the state is not taken in by big names from Las Vegas, like Steve Wynn. The trick for the locals is to pitch something that locals will want to frequent, according to Procacci, and who knows that more than the people who grew up next door?

The GCB’s deadline for proposals was November 2012. No one expects a decision until sometime in 2014.

Source:, “Casino applicant emphasizes Philly connection,” Sean Collins Walsh (Daily News), July 31, 2013