OUR OPINION: Finally, Our Second Casino!

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It was tough. The obstacles thrown up can be attributed to one word: “trash”. Sometimes one wonders what there is about Philadelphians who follow leadership with a different agenda than what they preach.
But thanks to a City Council committee hearing, whose members wisely admonished and warned the applicants, then voted unanimously to approve the new casino, the obstacles are gone and the goose that can lay golden eggs has been given the go-ahead to do so.

Finally... Live! Casino Hotel coming soon.

Finally… Live! Casino Hotel coming soon.

City Council’s powerful Rules Committee, headed by veteran Councilman at Large Bill Greenlee, has given the green light to Stadium Casino, LLC, a partnership between the Cordish Cos. and Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment Inc. (“Parx”). The 8-0 vote indicates the new destination resort casino in Philadelphia’s Stadium District can begin plans to break ground as soon as the bill is signed by the Mayor.
The new casino has announced four trailblazing initiatives agreed to with the City. These agreements set a new standard for development in the City in areas of economic opportunity and inclusivity for local residents. Stadium Casino’s $450-million project, which will be entirely privately financed, will generate over $2 billion in economic stimulus to the City, along with $100 million in tax revenues for the City in just its first five years of operation, including $25 million to Philadelphia’s School District, and create 3,000 new construction jobs and 2,000 permanent jobs.
Stadium Casino has committed to a groundbreaking Economic Opportunity Plan with the City of Philadelphia that calls for goals of: 47% to 58% of construction contractors to be Minority Business Enterprises / Women Business Enterprises 50% to 60% post-construction professional services and suppliers to be MBE/WBE; 42% to 50% of the construction workforce to be minority; 50% of the permanent workforce to be minority and 40% to be women; 60% of the construction and permanent workforce to be local residents and 85% to be Commonwealth residents.
Stadium Casino will establish a partnership with local educational institutions to operate training programs for potential casino dealers and other hospitality workers at the casino. The development will be operated in an inclusive and welcoming manner to all guests and will not have a dress code in any part of the facility. The Plan contains significant additional commitments from Stadium Casino that will further ensure the project has a diverse and inclusive workforce.
The Casino will commit to a minimum wage of no less than $12.00 per hour for the 2,000 permanent jobs and all contractors during operations.
The 3,000 construction jobs will generate approximately $145 million in estimated new wages and salaries (direct and indirect) during construction, which will be all union. Of note, approximately 750 of the permanent jobs will be associated with table games, with expected average total compensation of approximately $70,000 per annum, including tips.
Stadium Casino has signed a Community Benefits Agreement with all five community groups located in the neighborhoods surrounding its project in South Philadelphia. The CBA Establishes a Community Charitable Fund amounting to a minimum of $15 million in grants from the project to local communities during construction and the twenty years of operations.
“We have been impressed by the community engagement efforts initiated by Stadium Casino, LLC since the very beginning of their outreach into the neighborhood,” said Mark Kapczynski, president of the Whitman Council. “We feel we have created an agreement that addresses and protects community interests and demonstrates Stadium Casino LLC’s commitment to being a good neighbor.”
Stadium Casino, LLC has agreed to report to a Diversity Advisory Board to facilitate compliance with the groundbreaking Equal Opportunity Plan outlined above. 2nd Dist. Councilman Kenyatta Johnson will shortly announce the committee members as well as additional details on the committee.
Steven Bradley, Chair of the African American Chamber, commented, “The Stadium Casino agreement with the City is transformative and sets a new gold standard for inclusive economic development in the City.”
Zed Smith, COO of the Cordish Cos., and Tony Ricci, CEO of Parx Casino, stated, “We are proud that this agreement sets a new standard for inclusivity and opportunity for the Philadelphia community, and is consistent with the principles and practices of Cordish and Parx.”
Stadium Casino was selected in November 2014 to develop a world-class resort hotel and casino complex for the City of Philadelphia, after a rigorous and competitive selection process by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Gaming Control Board.
The development recently received master-plan approval from the Planning Commission of the City of Philadelphia, and is now before the City Council of Philadelphia for zoning approval. The destination-resort project will be located at 900 Packer Avenue, bound by 10th & Darien Streets, in the heart of the Stadium District in South Philadelphia. It will include a Las Vegas-style casino floor, featuring more than 2,000 slot machines and 125 table games, a 200+-room upscale boutique hotel and full spa, nationally recognized restaurants and live-entertainment venues, valet parking and an approximately 2,600-space parking garage.

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