ronically, Atlantic City's largest casino operator, Caesars Entertainment, had stepped in to try to save the Foxwoods casino project, but the deal did not come together fast enough for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
In a 6-1 vote, the board denied the latest request by Foxwoods developers to push back the deadline for opening the casino from May 2012 to December 2012. Caesars joined the Foxwoods group in recent weeks in an effort to finance and develop the project after previous plans collapsed, including brief talks with Las Vegas gaming mogul Steve Wynn to take over the casino.
The developers failed to prove they had the financing to build the us$ 275 million project, which would have operated under Caesars Entertainment's Horseshoe brand. The gaming board insisted that the Foxwoods group submit a financing plan and construction designs in time for its meeting today in Harrisburg.
This was the first time the board revoked a gaming license in Pennsylvania's four-year history of casino gambling. Pennsylvania has been a formidable competitor for Atlantic City, costing the resort town billions of dollars in gaming revenue in a battle for customers. Altogether, there are currently 10 casinos operating in Pennsylvania, including the newly opened SugarHouse gaming hall in Philadelphia.
Foxwoods' demise means that Atlantic City will not have to deal with a second Philadelphia competitor anytime soon. "It's temporarily good news for Atlantic City," said Harvey Perkins, executive vice president of Spectrum Gaming Group, a New Jersey-based casino consulting firm. "It's one less near-term supply addition."
Don Marrandino, president of the four Atlantic City casinos owned by Caesars Entertainment, declined to comment on the gaming board's action. Caesars' corporate office in Las Vegas did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Caesars has the option of appealing the board's ruling.