The casino legend who started out back East – with the original property that has now become the much-sought-after Atlantic Club in New Jersey’s gaming mecca – seems to be putting a lot of energy into reclaiming his stakes in that part of the world. While gaming mogul Steve Wynn waits to see which way the wind will blow in Massachusetts for approval of his proposed Everett, Massachusetts project, he is also waiting to get word on another new resort casino destined for the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area.
No Decisions Till Next Spring
Wynn will have to wait until early Spring 2014, from the looks of it, however; that’s when chairman of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board William H. Ryan, Jr. says the chosen project for Philly’s coveted second casino license should be determined. With six applicants waiting eagerly in the wings, there will be a public hearing held in January to help decide which one would be the best fit, noted Bill Lerner, who runs Union Gaming Research, an industry analyst in Las Vegas.
“The hearings will give applicants a chance to present to the board and make their case for why they should be awarded the license,” Lerner stated in a released research note. “It is possible losing bidders could appeal the board’s decision to the state Supreme Court, which could take roughly six months.”
Wynn’s project is naturally planned out in-depth already, with Wynn Resorts teaming up with a bevy of partners to build this second Philadelphia resort casino ( the HSP Gaming’s SugarHouse has been up since 2010 in the City of Brotherly Love). Tower Entertainment LLC, Market East Associates, PHL Local Gaming LLC, PA Gaming Ventures LLC and Stadium Casino LLC will all join hands with Wynn, if given the high sign, to create a 150,000-square-foot casino that would house 900 slot machines and 100 table games, adjacent to a 300-room resort, all developed on a 60-acre waterfront property.
This will be Wynn Resorts second go at a Philly property; they were in the running back in 2010 with a $600 million project, but pulled out before a decision was made at that time.
The proposed Philly casino and the possible $1.5 billion Everett, Mass. project are not all Wynn Resorts has on the drawing board; they are also working on a $4 billion casino for Macau’s Cotai Strip.
Is Pennsylvania Market Leveling Out?
Since 2010, it may now be tougher for Wynn to crack into the Pennsylvania market; industry expert David Schwartz – who heads up the Gaming Research Center at Las Vegas’ University of Nevada (UNLV), says that region has somewhat leveled out in growth (a pattern that is being seen across the U.S. in the land gaming markets these days) in the past few years.
“After six years of really blockbuster growth, now it seems to have leveled off,” Schwartz said. “Remember, it went from zero to $3 billion. It could be because it’s a $3 billion industry.”
But Schwartz adds that the situation is far from hopeless, noting the same dire predictions were attached to the Las Vegas market several times, in 1989, 1993, and again in 1998. He says a new Wynn Resorts property in Philadelphia could very possibly reinvigorate the industry there.