Pa. casino profits up

March 10, 2009 3:07:57 PM PDT
Pennsylvania casinos are seeing an increase in profits but work has yet to begin on two slots parlors designated for Philadelphia and that brought about a stern reaction from the governor Tuesday.

"There are going to be two casinos in Philadelphia."

The mayor on Tuesday claimed two proposed gambling casinos for Philadelphia will be built, this despite an already 2-year delay in construction startup. With the national economy in free fall and a lot of new casino projects on hold or scuttled nationwide there has been speculation that the Sugar House casino approved for the Delaware Riverfront in Fishtown and Foxwoods, still searching for a home, could be pulling the plug on Philadelphia because of tight credit markets.

Governor Rendell is describing himself as disappointed that the two casinos are not open already saying he would consider stripping Philadelphia of millions in wage tax relief if the city keeps dragging its feet on building the massive gambling halls.

"If anybody expects me just to uh veto such legislation because I'm a Philadelphian that alone is not going to cause me to veto I would have to weigh it very very heavily."

"The city is not an obstacle or a barrier we've been working with the Foxwoods' folks we're working with the Sugar House folks we'd like to see those entities get up as quickly as possible," said Mayor Nutter.

Sugarhouse and Foxwoods have been wrestling with various anti-casino groups trying to block or move the slot parlor developments. They sense Governor Rendell is getting desperate.

"If a former mayor can talk about doing that I think that's about employing the politics of fear and threats and I think it speaks more to the precarious situation of casinos and that industry than it does to any real reason to having them built," said Helen Gym of Asian Americans United

A Foxwoods spokesperson told Action News Tuesday there is "no contemplation whatsover of pulling out."

Those behind Sugar House agreed "we are absolutely committed to moving our project forward."

Philadelphia's fragile 5-year financial plan includes taxes expected from 2 casinos, so city hall clearly cannot afford to see the projects evaporate.

Foxwoods is still looking at Market East for a home at first the Gallery complex was targeted now sources say they are leaning towards the old Strawbridge building.

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