The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board ruled Wednesday that a hotel and casino proposed for Philadelphia's Stadium Complex can be built following a challenge over ownership rules.
In a 7-0 vote, the board found that businessman Watche "Bob" Manoukian's involvement in the project will not cause him to exceed a controlling interest limit, the board's spokesman said.
State law bars a party which owns the majority of one state casino from holding more than 33.3 percent of another gambling house, according to the spokesman.
Breaking news and the stories that matter to your neighborhood.
Manoukian controls an 85-percent stake of Parx Casino in Bensalem, Bucks County. He previously told the board he would transfer a $34 million interest in the South Philadelphia casino project to a trust for his sons.
The board agreed the move would be sufficient for the project to avoid breaking the law.
The $600 million stadium casino, pitched to the public as the Live! Philadelphia Casino and Hotel, if approved, will be built at 9th Street and Packer Avenue. It will have 2,000 slot machines, 125 table games, 220-room hotel, and restaurants and shops.
Stadium Casino LLC, a partnership between Cordish Companies and Manoukian's Greenwood Racing, Inc., was awarded approval for the project in 2014. But the project has been mired in protests and court proceedings.
The board said Market 8 Associates, the group behind a proposed casino along East Market Street, has 30 days to appeal the board's decision.
If an appeal is filed, the Pennsylvania supreme court will hear arguments on the case. Without an appeal, the gaming board will finalize the license and review the project's financing sources paving the way for construction.
A casino at the stadium complex will be Philadelphia's second. SugarHouse Casino, located on Delaware Avenue in Fishtown, opened in September 2010.