Casino mogul Steve Wynn is not finished with Philadelphia, afterall.
He's looking to hire a director of online gaming products, to be based here.
On-line gaming isn't legal anywhere in the Commonwealth, but legislators have begun considering it as a means to get more money into state coffers. Wednesday, the Senate passed a resolution for a study on weather Pennsylvania should legalize on-line gaming, as well as other means of keeping Pennsylvania gaming competitive in a time of increasing competition.
Pennsylvania neighbors New Jersey, Delaware, and just recently New York have already legalized on-line gaming.
"The group exploring online gaming for Wynn Resorts happens to be based in Philadelphia," said Wynn spokesman Michael Weaver. "Their work, and the fact that they live in Philadelphia, has no relationship to specific gaming activity in Pennsylvania," he said.
Elsewhere in Harrisburg, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is preparing to award the second Philadelphia license for a physical casino. Wynn was in the running for that license, but on Nov. 11 announced the decision to withdraw from consideration. The earliest posting PlanPhilly found for the director of online products job is dated Nov. 16. (An additional posting for this job has a later date, so it's possible there were earlier postings as well.)
“The Director of Products is a mission-critical role responsible for ensuring that the quality, breadth and depth of our real-money and social casino products on mobile, tablet and desktop web is second to none in the market. This position is based out of Philadelphia,” reads the job description. “Candidate will take a hands-on leadership role in helping to set the product roadmap for the Company and ensuring the designs, features, and user-experiences of our products deliver extremely engaging experiences to our players. Candidate will work with in-house and third party product teams to help direct and define the various product designs to meet a very high level of product quality. This will include working with UX and UI designers, product engineers, product managers and product marketing teams. Candidate will be held accountable for the final quality of the product and user-experience.”
To learn more, see the job posting here.
When asked what impact on-line gaming would have on the city, Philadelphia Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Alan Greenberger said it's “intuitively logical that internet gambling would cut into casino gambling,” but this is clearly “a question for the experts.” Greenberger said it might be that internet gambling would expand the audience for gambling in Pennsylvania, without cutting into the physical casino's revenues.
One thing Greenberger is certain of is the state legislature's commitment to casino gambling. He predicts lawmakers won't expand gaming here to the internet unless their study conclusively finds it won't hurt Pennsylvania's existing bricks-and-mortar casinos.
Of Wynn's job announcement, Greenberger speculated that the basing of the position in Philadelphia might have more to do with proximity to an international airport, New Jersey, and other states that allow on-line gaming than on a prediction that the state legislature will bring on-line gambling here.
Kellie Patrick Gates writes about planning, neighborhood development and the Central Delaware Waterfront. A journalist for more than two decades, she worked for daily newspapers in Central Pennsylvania, Upstate New York and South Florida before coming to Philadelphia in 2003 to write for the Inquirer. Her work has appeared on PlanPhilly since 2007, and she also writes Love, the Inquirer's weekly wedding column. A native of Elk County, Pa., Kellie lives with her husband, Gary, and their dog and two cats.
Follow her on Twitter @KelliePGates