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Steve Wynn drops bid for Philly casino, citing New York vote

Updated Monday, Nov. 11, 2013 | 1:09 p.m.

PHILADELPHIA — Las Vegas entrepreneur Steve Wynn is dropping his bid to build a casino complex in Philadelphia now that gambling is on its way to nearby New York.

Wynn had made an elaborate pitch this year for a project along the Philadelphia waterfront but changed gears Monday, days after New York voters approved a ballot measure to license seven casinos across the state.

Wynn cited the expected competition, along with market results in Philadelphia this year, as concerns.

"The board has decided that the best course for the company is to pursue business opportunities elsewhere," the company said in a release.

The city has one casino, SugarHouse, up and running and state approval to license a second site. That license is up for grabs because a planned Foxwoods casino never got off the ground.

Wynn had been one of six applicants to make formal pitches to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board in February.

City officials have pushed for a downtown location, arguing it would produce the most tax revenue. A city-commissioned study released last month said the two downtown proposals — along with Wynn's project in the Fishtown neighborhood north of downtown — would bring in the most annual revenue.

The three other applicants hope to build near the sports stadiums in south Philadelphia.

In Massachusetts, a Wynn plan to build a $1.2 billion gambling resort in the Boston suburb of Everett is one of a handful of proposals that have not been rejected by voters. Everett residents overwhelmingly approved the Wynn plan in June, but the company still must clear a background check by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, which plans to award three licenses around the state.

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