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Wynn Resorts withdraws from Philadelphia casino project


Courtesy of Wynn Resorts

A rendering of the proposed Wynn casino in Philadelphia that Wynn Resorts submitted to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board on April 6, 2010

Updated Thursday, April 8, 2010 | 4:52 p.m.

Wynn Resorts announced today it is pulling out of negotiations and agreements to develop and operate the Foxwoods Casino project in Philadelphia.

"We are fascinated by the legalization of full gaming in Pennsylvania and stimulated by the opportunity that it presents for Wynn Resorts, but this particular project did not, in the end, present an opportunity that was appropriate for our company," Wynn Resorts Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn said in a statement.

The Las Vegas-based casino operator announced in February that it had reached a partnership and management agreement for the casino on the Philadelphia waterfront. Under the proposed agreement, Wynn would have taken a 51 percent stake in the project, while a partnership including the Connecticut Indian tribe that owns Foxwoods Casino in Mashantucket, Conn., and three local investors, Lewis Katz, Ron Rubin and Ed Snider, would have smaller shares.

Wynn detailed plans for the $600 million project in his fourth quarter earnings conference call last month, saying the the casino would include 3,000 slot machines, table games and several dining options. Plans didn't call for the casino to include a hotel, Wynn said.

Pennsylvania lawmakers legalized table games in January, which Wynn has said would help it attract gamblers from farther away and compete with casinos nearby states.

On Monday, Wynn met with the Philadelphia Gaming Control Board and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter to present plans and full-color illustrations of the proposed casino.

"I'm in a state of shock," Stephen A. Cozen, a lawyer for the original Foxwoods investors told The Philadelphia Inquirer Thursday in a report on its Web site.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Cozen heard the news at the same time as the public. "We're trying to find out what the reasons are for this and determine what, if anything, can be done about it. That's the only comment I can make."

A spokeswomen for Wynn Resorts said the company had no further comment on the agreement termination. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board closed at 5 p.m. Eastern time, minutes after Wynn Resorts made the announcement, and wasn't available for comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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