Lovely news! As you may or may not know, BMC ASA has been involved in the past with the Anti-Casino Campaign in Philly, which aimed to stop the building of a slots parlor at The Gallery in Center City. Recently, Foxwoods’ slots license was extended on the condition that the casino stay at the Waterfront. Regardless, many Philadephians are still against the building of ANY casino in the city due to the harmful effects a casino have on community members. The following is taken from the AAU (Asian Americans United, an organization which became the forefront of the Anti-Casino Campaign) website (http://www.aaunited.org/), please read up when you have time, thanks!!!
Stopping Foxwoods in the Heart of Our City. Continuing the fight on the Waterfront.
We have achieved one of the major goals of our campaign. We stopped Foxwoods from building a slots parlor in the heart of our city.
At a public hearing on Friday, August 28th, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board extended Foxwoods’ slots license for another 21 months, with the condition that Foxwoods stick to its licensed site at the waterfront in South Philadelphia.
- Foxwoods’ attempt to locate in center city has been rebuffed.
- Foxwoods investor, Ron Rubin’s attempt to become Foxwoods’ landlord as well has been foiled.
- Philadelphia’s political elite’s attempt to force a Center City casino on Philadelphian has been denied.
Now, as Foxwoods faces the choice of building at the waterfront or no place at all, it does so in an extremely weakened state. The casino industry is tanking nationwide. Here in the Philadelphia area, we see more and more casinos scrapping over a limited customer base. The tribe that is partnering with local investors to run Foxwoods needs to restructure $2 billion of debt and is at risk of defaulting on its loans. The credit market is tight, limiting almost all new construction. Foxwoods’ credibility is at an all-time low; even casino-boosters like the PA Gaming Control Board are questioning Foxwoods’ capacity and will to get a slot parlor up and running.
You joined us in a fight that everybody said could not be won. Since the start of this struggle, we have understood the powerful array of forces lined up against us. And despite all the naysayers who said that we should be quiet and accept the inevitable, we have added our strength to those who have kept casinos from breaking ground in Philadelphia to date. Foxwoods’ forced retreat from Chinatown and Center City marks one more important step in the long battle to drive predatory gambling from Philadelphia.
There is More Work To Be Done
It is our Coalition’s stand that slots parlors do not belong near any neighborhood. It wasn’t right for Chinatown and Center City to be saddled with casino. Neither is it right for the people of Pennsport, South Philadelphia, Fishtown or Northern Liberties to be saddled with one.
We also understand that casinos profit by promoting addiction and impoverishing their customers, and the threat of this predatory business extends beyond neighborhood boundaries.
We also need to be vigilant and guard against future casino intrusion into Center City. If Foxwoods fails to meet the conditions of the Gaming Control Board, their license would be revoked and new casino developers sought – which might mean a return to the center city site.
We are encouraged by the recent events, and we are inspired to press on to eliminate the threat of predatory gambling in our city.
Posted by: Cynthia K.