updated 11/17/2009 4:24:14 PM ET 2009-11-17T21:24:14

Penn National Gaming Inc. has offered $50 million for the unfinished Fontainebleau Las Vegas casino-resort on the Las Vegas Strip.

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Penn said in a regulatory filing Tuesday that it agreed to buy the project from debtors and its offer will serve as the opening bid at a bankruptcy auction.

The resort was initially forecast to cost $3 billion to build and was about 70 percent complete when developers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June.

Penn says it also offered $51.5 million to resume construction and would get some back if the federal bankruptcy court in Miami approves a competing bid.

Penn, based in Wyomissing, Pa., says the sellers will ask the court to set a Jan. 15 deadline for bids and hold the auction Jan. 21.

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