Online Gambling News the way they are!
   Web        OGpaper portal          

Pennsylvania Supreme Court stops casino referendum

The highest court in Pennsylvania issued an injunction disallowing the city of Philadelphia the placement of an anti casino referendum on the ballots in May 15th. The court also requested lawyers from both sides to submit legal briefings by the 27 April, which would indicate that the Supreme Court will try to issue a final decision to be reached by the 15th of May.

Philadelphia riverfront casinoThe proposed referendum was to forbid the building of casinos within 1,500 feet from homes or any other public buildings, and it was approved by the City Council in late March. It came as a result of great public outcry against the building of the two planned casinos in East Philadelphia and Fishtown.

The two-year old gaming board in Pennsylvania filed two suits in front of the state's Supreme Court, one requesting the halt of the future referendum, and the other one for court decision that the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board was the only institution which had an authority over casino placement, and the City Council has no legal base and power to authorize this vote.

Daniel Hunter, the coordinator for Casino-Free Philadelphia, said: "We are outraged by the decision. It's a very cowardly way to avoid public opinion." However, Mr. Hunter is looking forward to a positive outcome and a lift of the injunction before the elections on the 15th of May. Casino-Free Philadelphia ( are also calling on Gov. Edward Rendell to remove the Gaming Control Board Chairman Thomas Decker for an alleged conflict of interest.

The two casinos to be build, which sparked the outrage of neighbours and activists, are SugarHouse Casino in Fishtown, and Foxwoods Casino - on Philadelphia's riverfront. The casinos received the approval of the gaming board last December. The owner of Foxwoods Casino Resort in Connecticut, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, is the major investor in the Foxwoods Casino Philadelphia. The bigger investor of the SugarHouse Casino is the billionaire Neil Bluhm, a Chicago developer.

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania will also look into five appeals to the gaming board licensing decision. If those appeals are successful, the court will reopen the bid for the two casino licenses. And if the referendum is overturned, Philadelphia may become the first big city with a casino in the United States.


Related news:

 Yet another casino bill in Texas
 Tom Celani gets Nevada casino license




Copyright 2005 © . All rights reserved.