Cordish Assumes Full Ownership of Philadelphia Casino Project

Cordish becomes the sole owner of what would be Philadelphia’s second casino

The Cordish Companies of Baltimore announced on Wednesday that it is taking full ownership of the developer of a long-delayed project for the construction of Philadelphia’s second casino, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Cordish, operator of Maryland’s Live! Casino & Hotel, and a subsidiary of casino and racetrack operator Greenwood Gaming have previously partnered to jointly develop a casino resort in South Philadelphia. Back in 2014, their joint venture, Stadium Casino LLC, was issued a license by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to develop and operate a casino complex in Philadelphia’s stadium district.

The announcement about Cordish assuming full ownership of Stadium arrived shortly after reports had emerged that the two partners had a rift and were looking for a buyer for their Pennsylvania gaming licenses.

Aside from the South Philly casino license, Stadium was also issued a license to open a mini-casino in Westmoreland County as part of an ongoing gambling expansion across Pennsylvania. Cordish said yesterday that it would take ownership of that project, as well.

In a statement from yesterday, the company said that they 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 for the commonwealth.

Cordish did not disclose the terms under which it has acquired the Stadium joint venture.

Project Marred by Delays

As mentioned earlier, Stadium was selected as the winning bidder for South Philadelphia’s second casino in 2014. However, the company has not been able to move ahead with the project for several years as it has faced multiple hurdles, including legal action by its competitors in the bidding process.

Despite the challenges, Stadium has signaled big plans for the Pennsylvania gaming market. In 2017, the company paid a $50-million license fee to operate 1,500 slot machines at its South Philadelphia casino. It pad another $24.5-million fee this past summer to run table games at the property. Those steps made it eligible to apply for an Internet gambling license. And as mentioned above, the company has also become one of the handful of operators to have obtained a license for the construction of a mini-casino in the state. Stadium paid just over $40 million for a casino facility in Westmoreland County.

Back in January, the company closed a $37-million deal for the purchase of the site of a former Holiday Inn at 900 Packer Avenue in South Philadelphia, where it planned to build its casino resort. Stadium has since then demolished part of the former hotel complex to make room for its property. However, workers stopped demolition last month and it is yet unclear when they will resume work.

What would be Philadelphia’s second casino will also feature multiple dining facilities, a live music venue, a parking garage for 2,500 vehicles, a pool, and fitness and spa facilities, among others.

Stadium recently applied with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board for a three-year extension of its deadline to commence operation at the Packer Avenue property. If its application is successful, the casino property is expected to swing its doors open in December 2021. However, staff at the gaming regulator has recommended a two-year extension as a “more adequate” deadline for the opening of the complex. The gaming board is yet to announce its decision.

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