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US – Wynn pulls plug in Pennsylvania following New York casino vote

By - 12 November 2013

Wynn Resorts has pulled out of the race to land a casino licence in Pennsylvania due to the threat of new competition in nearby New York State.

Wynn Resorts departure from the bidding means five operators will compete for Philadelphia’s second casino license; Penn National, Goldenberg Group, Bart Blatstein, Cordish Companies. and PHL Local Gaming.

Philadelphia was the sixth-largest US casino market last year but with New York voters this week approving new resort-style casinos in New York, that market position could be under threat..

The Wynn board stated: “The Wynn Resorts Board of Directors recently met to carefully examine the feasibility and opportunities associated with the company’s domestic development in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At this time, the Board has decided that the best course for the company is to pursue business opportunities elsewhere. The board took a host of factors into consideration, including the Philadelphia market performance over the past year and the competition which will result from the recent approval of gaming in the State of New York. Consequently, the company will withdraw its licensing applications in Pennsylvania.”

Wynn had proposed a US$926m casino on industrial land along the Delaware River in Fishtown. The operator had lined up a deal to buy land from New Hope builder James Anderson.

Kevin Feeley, a spokesman for Anderson, said: “We have worked very hard with the Wynn team to put together what we believe was a really exciting resort idea for the city of Philadelphia and a really exciting idea for the revitalisation of the waterfront. We were very disappointed to learn today that that project will not go forward.”

Wynn has previously said that new licenses in Philadelphia and Boston meant “the era of the grand hotel could come back again, beautiful hotels that people actually go and stay for the weekend, eat in fine restaurants, have meetings, and sure, if they want to gamble, they go down the hall and gamble in a room that’s isolated. I like that idea, the grand hotel. I love the old, the heyday of the Waldorf Astoria and the Ritz and places like that.”

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