Foxwoods Casino Forced To Locate in South Philly

Pennsylvania's gambling regulators have approved a 21-month extension for the planned Foxwoods slot-machine casino along the Delaware River waterfront in South Philadelphia.

State Gaming Control Board Chairman Gregory Fajt warned Foxwoods officials before the unanimous vote Friday to stop any further consideration of alternative sites,despite continuing opposition from citizen activists.

Foxwoods was set on opening a casino at the old Strawbridge & Clothier store at 801 Market Street in downtown Philadelphia. “We don’t want to hear that there are other sites that you want to look at,” said Fajt, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The vote followed a lively hearing at which more than two dozen protesters held up signs urging the board to "pull the plug" on the project and repeatedly interrupted the proceeding.

Foxwoods attorney, F. Warren Jacoby expressed frustration over lack of progress after the group spent $160 million to buy the South Philadelphia property on Columbus Boulevard, acquire a license and develop plans, according to the paper.

“What do they have to show for it?” he asked. "They have their license, but they've been stymied at every turn.”

Mayor Michael Nutter, in a statement, said he was “disappointed in the ruling and described the Columbus Avenue location as a “bad site” for the casino, according to the Inky.

Foxwoods executives said they plan to open an "interim" casino with at least 1,500 slot machines, including restaurants and entertainment venues by the new May 2011 deadline and to expand in the years ahead, possibly to include a hotel.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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