Last week, according to this article from the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board decided that the second casino license originally tabbed for Philadelphia would indeed remain in the city. With that decision, speculation has begun anew about the location of the second Philadelphia casino. Could it be at Broad & Callowhill, behind the Inquirer Building, as Bart Blatstein has proposed? Could it get built on the Delaware waterfront? The Schuylkill waterfront? Market East?
We’ve been thinking about this for years, and the only location that seems to make even a little bit of sense is South Philly, in the Sports Complex.
It makes almost too much sense. Easy access from the highway. Easy access via public transportation. It’s separated from the nearest residences by at least two blocks of parking lots. There’s a built in audience on any game day or concert night. Lots of people come here from New Jersey or the PA burbs, so the casino would actually collect tax dollars from outside the city. Tight regulations with the Special Services District would eliminate the potential for nuisance businesses to crop up in the surrounding area.
We’re pretty sure that the state law, as it’s currently written, would prohibit this location because of its proximity to Harrah’s
Chester Philadelphia. But if the mayor was lobbying so hard to keep the license in Philly, couldn’t he lobby equally hard to get an exception to that law? Or to change the law? It seems like an arbitrary reason to keep the casino out of its best possible spot.
Look, we’re not saying that we love casinos. We’re not saying that we’re stoked that there’s going to be a second casino in Philadelphia. If you ask us, we were good when AC was the closest gambling destination. But if a casino is getting built here no matter what, we can’t imagine a location where it would have more success while disturbing fewer neighbors.
How ’bout right behind Xfinity Live? Just imagine walking into the Spectrum Casino, where security guards are dressed like the Broad Street Bullies and the dealers are dressed like Disney on Ice. The possibilities are endless!
Hey Mr. Snider, want to give this casino thing one more go?