Gambling mogul Steve Wynn and his Wynn Resorts have announced a departure from previous plans to build a casino in Philadelphia.
The decision to pursue other business opportunities came as a shock to many considering that not long ago Wynn called the prospect of putting his name on a downtown Philadelphia casino “delicious.” The change of heart may stem from the fact that the brick and mortar casino market may become over-saturated in the region.
That over-saturation includes New York, where voters recently approved seven casinos to be built throughout the state. The new gambling establishments will likely copy the floor plans of casinos found in Las Vegas. However, the approval came with the restriction that no casinos be erected in or around the city of New York for another seven years.
Philadelphia boasts one casino already, the SugarHouse, situated on the Delaware River. Another, the Parx Casino, is located just a few minutes from the city proper. All told, Pennsylvania is home to nearly a dozen casinos that include racetrack-casinos or ‘racinos.’
The proliferation of gambling in the state has allowed Pennsylvania to surpass New Jersey as the second-ranked gaming destination in the U.S. in terms of revenue. Nevada has long held down the top spot and that is not likely to change in the foreseeable future.
What may change is the revenue totals of the individual Pennsylvania casinos if more brick and mortar gambling establishments are added to the mix. Wynn did not build his gaming empire by making poor decisions, so speculation runs rampant that the casino honcho sees the big picture that the greater likelihood of substantial gambling profits may be found in other locations.
That leaves a few other companies vying for the right to build a new casino in Philly. Market East Associates, PHL Local Gaming, Tower Entertainment and PA Gaming Ventures are among the bidders. A frontrunner will likely emerge now that Wynn has removed his name from consideration.
Pennsylvania lawmakers have tossed around the idea of enacting online gambling legislation. That would certainly make the state’s casinos experience an increase in value if the rights to an online license are restricted to the casinos themselves as has been done in Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey.
The latest effort at Internet gambling legislation was offered by Rep. Tina Davis in April. That bill hit a roadblock despite several state officials believing it was necessary to keep pace with the neighboring states of Delaware and New Jersey. Delaware launched its online gambling regime just five days ago and New Jersey is slated to follow suit later this month.
Pennsylvania is now in ‘wait and see’ mode with regards to online gambling endeavors. The state will likely analyze the success and/or problems associated with the Internet gambling rollouts of their neighbor states and act accordingly. The smart money is on Pennsylvania joining the online gambling party at some point, the only question left unanswered is when. Our page about Pennsylvania poker and gambling laws provides more in depth information on the history, the current situation and the house bill 1235.