Berks

Penn National withdraws bid for casino license in Philadelphia

Penn National withdraws bid for casino in Philadelphia

WYOMISSING, Pa. - Penn National Gaming has dropped plans to build a casino in Philadelphia.

The Wyomissing, Berks County-based company announced Friday that it has withdrawn its proposal for a $480 million Hollywood Casino at 700 Packer Ave. in the city's sports and entertainment district.

"A contributing factor in our decision to withdraw our proposal was the city of Philadelphia's vocal support for a center city casino location, despite the fact that two-thirds of the profits from our proposed casino were dedicated to the city's education and pension fund liabilities," said Timothy J. Wilmott, president and CEO of Penn National Gaming. "The market potential in Philadelphia is less today than when we first applied, as a result of the ongoing gaming saturation in the mid-Atlantic region, as well as continued softness in the economy."

Wilmott thanked the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board for its "careful consideration" of the company's proposal.

"While we're disappointed to be withdrawing from Philadelphia, we're fortunate to still have one of the deepest development pipelines in the gaming industry," Wilmott said.

Penn National is about a year away from opening its $225 million Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, Massachusetts.

The company is also building a $360 million gaming and entertainment resort for the Jamul Indian Tribe on its reservation near San Diego, California, which will be managed by Penn National.

The company will also open two new racing and gaming facilities in Dayton and Austintown, Ohio later this year.

It's also pursuing a $750 million gaming and entertainment project in New York's Hudson Valley-Catskills region with its joint venture partner, The Cordish Companies.

"Our withdrawal from Philadelphia today will allow us to focus our resources on these higher return projects for our shareholders," Wilmott said.

Penn National already operates more than two dozen gaming and racing facilities in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and across the country.


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