At about one o'lock this afternoon the group that grants Pennsylvania casino licenses will meet in Philadelphia, presumably to green light a second Philadelphia casino. This second operation will join the existing Sugar House Casino on the Delaware waterfront.
The meeting is expected to be brief and there is much speculation that the license will go to a group called "Live!" that plans to build a casino in South Philadelphia near the stadiums. This venue would join a bar and restaurant complex (also called "Live!") in the same area.
All along we have favored the Market8 hotel/casino plan proposed by the Goldenberg Group which would put the action at 8th & Market Sts. in Philadelphia's convention district.
But, here what we've been told: Supposedly, there was one holdout on the board who is against any casino that would not be near a major highway and/or interstate. The thinking was that a casino in the middle of the city simply would not work. The shortsighted Pennsylvania board seems to agree, only wanting drive-in/drive-out casinos. They don't seem to be into mid-city hotel/casino operations. Instead, they seem to like quick, down 'n dirty "convenience casinos" where you simply pull in, do the deed and then leave quickly and quietly. This is all sorta clandestine and sordid in a way - like visiting a porn shop or a "gentleman's club."
We're still hoping Market8 wins as it is the most exciting proposal and simply makes the most sense.
And we sympathize with the good folks in South Philly (and our friend, Barbara Capozzi) who are fighting yet another venue in their already overcrowded neighborhood. Keep fighting, Barbara! Don't give up, no matter what happens today.
And, one other thing: Shame on the wimpy Governor-Elect Tom Wolf who has refused to get involved in the controversy and help the folks in South Philly. Wolf begged off arguing that the casino board is an "independent agency." Wolf looks and acts like Mr. Peppers (or, Walter Mitty, take your pick) and he's off to a predictably limp start.
Oh, well - that's life in Pennsylvania!
You voted for him, folks - now, deal with it.