The state gaming commission is preparing to give out another casino license in Philadelphia, and residents in the city have mixed feelings about whether the city needs an additional casino. While a second casino could be good for the city in terms of revenue, some residents are concerned about traffic, parking and the potential conflict between the already existing Sugarhouse Casino and the new casino.
Philadelphia City Councilman Mark Squilla (D. – 1st District) recently voiced his support for the Market8 casino proposal. Squilla said that revitalizing East Market Street was of high priority in his election platform. Squilla views Market8 as the best opportunity to rejuvenate one of the most visible areas of the city.
According to a recent Philly.com article, three Philadelphia politicians, Councilman Squilla and state representatives Michael O’BrienJohn Taylor, support the Market8 Casino as the best location for the city. However, Lori Jensen, a frequent visitor and former resident of Philadelphia, thinks the city is better off with just one casino.
“I don’t think we need another casino in the city” said Jensen. “I’d prefer to gamble in Atlantic City because I like horse racing and some of the New Jersey casinos have racetracks.”
Dena Herrin is the president of the Congregation Rodeph Shalom located at the corner of Broad and Mount Vernon streets. The congregation is partnered with the Friends Select School and the Mathematics, Civics and Sciences Charter School in protest of The Provence casino proposal. The congregation’s intervention was accepted on the grounds that The Provence group has failed to detail an efficient means of handling a significant increase in traffic volume that the resort and casino would cause. Herrin’s concerns were not limited to traffic and parking, however.
“This is an area that has seen a resurgence in residential development,” said Herrin, speaking on behalf of the congregation. “This casino would discourage home ownership, and we believe that home ownership is critical in developing any residential neighborhood.”
Representatives of SugarHouse Casino, located along the Delaware River waterfront, have voiced their concerns about the revenue that they would lose if another casino opened in the city. Projections released by Market8 associates revealed that approximately 22 percent of the casino’s revenue would come from already existing casinos in the area. Of that 22 percent, an estimated $100 million in revenue would come from SugarHouse. Tim Puckett, an employee of Center City, Philadelphia, could not agree more with SugarHouse’s concerns.
“Well, the casinos haven’t been doing well in general in Atlantic City and other areas around here,” said Puckett. “I don’t know that adding more of them will help the already existing ones such as SugarHouse and Parx.”
Joseph G. Procacci, the CEO of PHL Local Gaming, LLC, wants to put Casino Revolution on the map near the stadiums in South Philadelphia. Along with his brother Michael, Procacci owns Procacci Brothers Sales Corp., one of the largest wholesale companies in North America. Currently, Procacci Brothers operates seven buildings near the Philadelphia Sports Complex.