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Developers' bid to recoup Foxwoods Casino Philadelphia fee still alive

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A federal appeals court has revived a bankrupt development group’s bid to recoup the $50 million licensing fee it paid for the Foxwoods Casino Philadelphia project that never materialized.

In a ruling late last week, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s ruling last year that upheld a U.S. Bankruptcy Court ruling issued in 2016. A three-judge panel of the appeals court agreed that the Bankruptcy Court had erred.

The panel remanded the case “for further proceedings” to U.S. District Court, which may, in turn, remand it to Bankruptcy Court. 

In 2006, the development group, Philadelphia Entertainment and Development Partners, or PEDP, won one of two casino licenses awarded for Philadelphia. The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe’s Foxwoods Development Co. had a nearly one-third stake in the group, most of whose other partners were Philadelphia-area businessmen. The group paid the $50 million licensing fee in 2007, but the project, beset by regulatory setbacks and local opposition, never got going. Eventually, PEDP partners sought to replace the tribe.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board granted a two-year extension of PEDP’s original license in 2009, then revoked it in December 2010 after the developers missed a series of deadlines for submitting plans and financial information. The board eventually sought a new round of bids for the license.

Sugar House Casino, whose developers won the second Philadelphia license in 2006, opened in 2010. A license for a second Philadelphia casino was awarded in 2014.

— Brian Hallenbeck

Pennsylvania regulators renew Mohegan Sun Pocono license

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board voted unanimously late last week to renew the racetrack casino license of Downs Racing L.P., which operates Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

The Mohegan Tribe’s Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment owns the facility.

In a press release, the board said Downs Racing had met the obligations of its previous license and therefore qualified to have the license renewed for another five years. Both Downs Racing and the public had the opportunity to provide the board with information relevant to the license renewal.

Since its opening in November 2006, Mohegan Sun Pocono has generated nearly $2.7 billion in gross revenue generated by slot machines and table-games play, resulting in payments of about $1.38 billion in gaming tax revenue to the state of Pennsylvania, according to the board.

In December, the board fined Mohegan Sun Pocono $1 million for failing to follow approved financial procedures and for conducting business with unlicensed gaming service providers.

— Brian Hallenbeck

Foxwoods' slots revenue up nearly 11% in December 

Mashantucket — Foxwoods Resort Casino reported Monday that its slot-machine revenue for December was up 10.7 percent over the same month a year earlier.

The casino kept $39 million in slots "win" after paying out prizes, up from $35.3 million in December 2016. It was Foxwoods’ first double-digit gain in a month in nearly two years.

Foxwoods’ “handle” — the total amount of slots wagers before prizes are paid out — totaled $480.4 million last month, a 3.1 percent increase over the previous December’s $465.7 million.

The casino sent $9.8 million of its win to the state.

Mohegan Sun is expected to release its December slots report Tuesday.

— Brian Hallenbeck

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