Parx Casino to sell stake in planned South Philly casino to Cordish Cos

In Pennsylvania, Greenwood Racing, Inc. is selling its 50 percent stake in the planned Live! Hotel & Casino to their partners, Baltimore-based Cordish Companies, operator of Maryland Live! Casino.

The two companies, which comprise Stadium Casino LLC, each hold a 50 percent stake in the South Philly casino project that has been plagued by protests and court proceedings since the award in 2014 and approval of the master plan in October 2015.

According to Fast Philly Sports…

The Maryland casino operator announced Wednesday that it would buy out the interest of the Parx Casino owner for the planned $600 million property in the heart of the Stadium District in South Philadelphia at 900 Packer Ave.

“two first-­class casinos for Pennsylvania”

Managing member of Stadium Casino Baltimore Investors LLC, Joe Weinberg reportedly said in a statement…

“We at Cordish are excited to now immediately get to work on constructing and opening two first-­class casinos for Pennsylvania, which will create thousands of new, quality jobs for local residents, and hundreds of millions of dollars in new taxes 7BALL CX for the commonwealth.”

Plans for property:

Expected to open in 2020, the casino was to feature a 240-room hotel, 2,000 slots, 125 table games and a 2,600 sq ft parking garage and would have reportedly been tied in with the Cordish-owned Xfinity Live! dining and entertainment area which is located just to the south of the proposed build.

Legal wrangling:

SugarHouse HSP Gaming L.L.P. operates the only other casino in the city and in March 2015, in association with real estate supergroup, Market East Associates, and Local Gaming LLC was denied an appeal of the Gaming Control Board’s approval of Stadium’s application based on the ‘monopoly clause.’ The companies, at the time, were given 30 days to appeal to the State Supreme Court.

SugarHouse and Market East were unsuccessful bidders for the state’s final license in 2014.

In August 2017, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board ruled that the proposed Live! Hotel & Casino Philadelphia could proceed with plans to build. The ruling followed a March order by the Philadelphia Supreme Court to delve deeper into Stadium L.L.C.’s ownership structure to determine if Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment’s Watche “Bob” Manoukian would have a more than 1/3 ownership interest in the city’s second casino as limited by law.

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Manoukian pledge:

Manoukian, who owns 85.84 percent of the Parx Casino in Bucks County, at the time reportedly told the Gaming Control Board that he would transfer interest in the South Philly casino project in the amount of $34 million to a trust for his sons. The board was reportedly in agreement that the transfer would be enough for the proposed project to avoid breaking the state law.

In January, Stadium Casino paid $40.1 million for the second of ten Category 4 gaming licenses to build a mini casino inside Westmoreland County. Whether or not this license will need to be sold as well is unclear.

According to the news outlet, the terms of the buyout were not disclosed.