Five licenses for Casinos were given out recently in PA - 2 of them being in Philadelphia. They say it will benefit all PA residents, but it seems like there will be a lot of harmful effects - especially for residents in those areas. Opinions? Comments?

Dec 21, 06 11:31 am

say hello to alcohol

Dec 21, 06 11:43 am  · 
vado retro

since when do we give a damn about the philistine masses who do not recognize our genus!

Dec 21, 06 11:58 am  · 
liberty bell

Philarch that was just about the only thing I didn't like about Ed Rendell - his desire to use casinos as revenue builders, when Philly has so many other amazing things going for the tourist business as it is.

I think it's sad. I could probably google it, but do the Philly permits have locations associated with them? 9th and Market, for example?!?

Dec 21, 06 12:01 pm  · 

Actually it is the Indian Tribe From Southern Connecticut which is behind one of those PA Casinos. I'm not a gambler but I have made two trips to the Casinos, just to see what is going on. I'm amazed at how much money is tossed at the building of these things.
The Hotels, the parking structures, the Entertainment Halls. They even built a new road to the Casino in Southern Connecticut. The State takes a percentage of the Gaming and no other Casinos are
allowed exept those operated by the indian tribe. However the people behind the Casino's in Connecticut came from Singapore, and South Africa.

Dec 21, 06 12:14 pm  · 

penn had several charrettes and workshops on the philly casino project back in 2005. even had the mayor in the upper gallary. winka did a scripting studio for casinos. the conclusion was that downtown wasn't the right place- king of prussia or camden would be more appropriate.

Dec 21, 06 12:17 pm  · 

Liberty, they are looking at putting the casinos up on delaware ave about a mile down from penns landing (accross the street from show and tell if you know the area, not that i do of course.) there were a whole bunch of protestors there last night when i drove by. the casinos are only zoned as slot parlors, no other form of gambling, besides off track betting I think. The problem (one of the many) is that delaware avenue is surrounded by mostly blue collar neighborhoods, I live about 3 miles from where they will be and i know that neither me nor my neighbors could afford to gamble away our paychecks at one of these places, which is exactly who they are gearing them to. without any other type of gambling these parlors aren't going to attract the "whales" or other people who are looking to drop a lot of money into the casinos and therefor, into our city, but rather the people who live paycheck to paycheck and think they might be able to turn their luck around if they just gamble a little of it away, melodramatic? maybe, but if these things go up watch what happens to that area and tell me I'm wrong.

Dec 21, 06 12:31 pm  · 
liberty bell

quixotica your assessment sounds right on the money...oops, bad analogy!

Only slot?!? So yeah - that area is right down where the WalMart bus goes, right? So the poor people will be able to take public transit down to do their gambling. Sigh.

Dec 21, 06 2:14 pm  · 

Lb- when the PA state assembly passed the law in 2005, it specifically was lobbied as 'only slots' being a lesser of the evils of gambling- hah! quix hit the nail on the head of the coffin.

most casinos are anti-urban in design. they intentionally suck people inside and don't let them wander out or create any street presence till every penny is sucked out of their wallets. Even in Monte Carlo - the casino is an urban vampire that can destroy a once vibrant block. In philly's case, a casino can keep the neighborhood from thriving.

look at any of the gulf coast /riverboat towns/atlantic city for the real urban legacy

Dec 21, 06 2:32 pm  · 

FoxWoods and SugarHouse won the casino licenses although the other groups may appeal. I agree that casinos are anti-urban in design. Philly especially is vulnerable. A lot of studies have been done individually by the numerous groups trying to win the licenses. Traffic studies and even urban studies have been done on all sides. What disappoints me is that there are many effects that these casinos can cause that are not quantifiable. You can have all the available statistics in the world, but you will NOT know exactly what it will do to the fabric of the community. You can't measure the effects on culture. Call me a cynic but it seems profitability and quantifiable statistics carry more weight than anything else.

Don't get me wrong, I love gambling (probably too much). I've taken UNPAID vacations during slow days at the office to go to AC and gamble. And on my 21st, I didn't go drinking, I went to AC with my friends. But Philly is the wrong place. Even if its the waterfront. In fact, I already hate the development that happened on the waterfront and I was really looking forward to some good development on the waterfront. There is so much potential there.

Dec 21, 06 5:27 pm  · 

pittsburgh too.. was on the cover of the paper today. shit. or was that yesterday?

Dec 21, 06 8:37 pm  · 

imagine with this, but with slot machines...

Dec 21, 06 9:39 pm  · 

I have a unique perspective on this matter.

I am a resident of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a relatively small city (75k) that is going to see one of these casinos completed in the next 5-10 years. I was also the student seat on the Bethlehem Area School District's school board which delt directly with the project and its developers for years.

Bethlehem is famous for the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, which went down the tubes in the later end of the century. The huge site of corporation is now the site for an extravagant MEGA-COMPLEX that includes a SANDS CASINO / VARIOUS UPSCALE RESTAURANTS / A VERY LARGE UPSCALE INDOOR MALL / A CINEMA COMPLEX / UPSCALE RESIDENTIAL UNITS / MUSEUM / and more.

This casino has been part of a huge controversy for years, yet it's still going to be built-- and very soon.


The whole Bethlehem community, especially around the MEGAPLEX site, is rich in diversity, once the home of IMMIGRANT FAMILIES of all countries brought together to work the mills at the Steel Plant. The goal of the new project is to attract visitors and money to our city and state, of course!

The means for this project however is DETRIMENTAL to the community, its diversity, and the heritage of Bethlehem. By making this upscale riverside casino complex -- and by increasing city profits and various markets for tourism, business, etc -- the casino will ULTIMATELY RUIN the heritage of the surrounding residential communities.

The cost of living in this part of Bethlehem is rising. The place of once lower income families is being changed into a high end residential and commercial area. The traditionally ethnic communities are forced out daily in efforts to change the entire dynamic of this area into an UPSCALE, CASINO-FIT PROFIT HUB.

It makes me sick-- and that is only the SOCIAL neglect.

ENVIRONMENTALLY, the new site and its subsequent roads, parking lots, stop lights, POLUTION will dramatically change the urban landscape and its environmental position near a park area, canal, and river.

I'm sure this development will be seen (TO OUTSIDERS) as an improvement to the city and the community. No doubt, i'm sure the structures will be very "pretty" and may even have a few stylistic girders to give the "sense of the history of the Steel Plant." People will come, people will spend money, people will happily leave.

But these people will not see the destruction it has caused and will cause to this historically rich city. It's odd to think that the empty steel plant holds a community together, but in this case it actually does: My immigrant family has lived it for years here!

WITH THE CASINO will come MONEY / SEX / DRUGS / RAPE / MURDER. I'm not defending to keep the status quo; i'm rationalizing the effects of this monstrosity on my community. I'm all up for change and prosperity-- but not at the expense of low-income fmailies and century-long history.

To me, this whole project is going to end up like a small scale disney attraction. Attractions of the sort are to be feared.

Dec 28, 06 1:31 pm  · 

I agree with some of the things you've said Cyklopz although I'm not sure if the results will be that extreme and dramatic.

There are obvious problems with the mega-complex in Bethlehem similar to Casinos in Philly and other cities in PA. Atlantic City and Vegas aren't exactly perfect but they are better examples of cities with tourism as their main source of revenue. In a sense, the main attractions are billboards or just facades with nothing substantial behind them. - I get an image of a Western movie scene where there are only building facades - And this isn't exactly a secret either; buildings there are explicitly designed that way so that you get the illusion that there is a sense of place there when in fact there is nothing there.

In the PA examples, there are tightly knit communities with unique identities there. Not that AC doesn't have communities by the way - Vegas would be the perfect example. To have no substantial thought into the true effects on those communities is absolutely irresponsible. I'm not even sure if the financial numbers they come up with are necessarily the whole picture either. Who are we exactly "benefitting" from?

Call me paranoid, but I get the feeling they intentionally timed the whole Casino fiasco around the holidays to minimize protests.

Bah Humbug

Dec 28, 06 2:30 pm  · 

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