Live! Casino Hotel is a new Cordish casino and hotel that is set to be built in South Philadelphia. Just yesterday, the master plan was revealed in a public setting to the Philadelphia Planning Commission. While officials of Cordish felt the plans would be met with applause, they were hit with accusations of racial discrimination and opposition to the casino/hotel.
The meeting was created to provide information on the plans of the casino and hotel, which included artist’s renderings of the venue. The Live Casino Hotel would have 18 stories and would be located north of Citizens Bank Park at Packer Avenue and 10th Street.
Plans for the facility include electronic gaming tables, two thousand slot games and restaurants which can all be accessed via the street. A multi-level parking garage would be added to accommodate as many as 3,000 visitor vehicles. The officials of the casino stated to the commission that they are only required to provide a total of 1,800 parking spaces but decided to provide more due to resident concerns.
On hand at the meeting were the National Action Network, a group created by Al Sharpton. The Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Action Network Chairwoman, Paula Peebles, stated during the meeting that racial discrimination has been indicated by 24 employees who formerly worked at the Cordish casinos in Live facilities based in Kansas City, St. Louis and Louisville, among other places.
Zed Smith, the CEO of Cordish, stated the company does not discriminate. Stating during the meeting, “We have six thousand employees, and we’re not in the business of discriminating against anyone. This matter has been vetted by the Black Clergy here and the NAACP. They did a very exhaustive study of our history and our track record throughout the country, which we’re very proud of.”
In a ten day time frame, the National Action Network has plans to release a report on their findings. An additional meeting on the Live Casino Hotel is scheduled for the Planning Commission on September 15th.
The Cordish Companies opened the $500+ million Maryland Live! Casino in June 2012 and are the developers behind two Hard Rock-themed hotels and casinos in Hollywood and Tampa, Florida.