If anyone seemed eager to participate in Philadelphia's burgeoning gambling market, it was Steve Wynn, CEO of Wynn Resorts (WYNN). He enthusiastically positioned himself as the savior of a troubled project that had been originally launched by Foxwoods Casino.
Last week, he met with Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and appeared to be weeks ahead of schedule in the design of the would-be gambling den. By the meeting's end, he announced that as far as he was concerned, "the deal is done."
But within a matter of days, Wynn backed out of the deal. In a statement, he said, "This particular project did not, in the end, present an opportunity that was appropriate for our company."
This leaves the Foxwoods Philadelphia casino undertaking in limbo. At the time Wynn got involved, the proposed casino was hanging on by a thread, and the license obtained by Foxwoods was in jeopardy.
Beyond the prepared statement, Wynn hasn't commented on the reason for his change of heart. Stephen A. Cozen, a lawyer for Foxwoods, has revealed no specific details, either. But he did tell the Philadelphia Inquirer that Wynn's reason for retreating "was nothing that anybody would have ever anticipated." He then added, "We feel very much victimized."
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