Rally in favor of the Philadelphia casinos
Hundreds of people turned out
in front of Philadelphia's City Hall in a rally supporting the
plans for two new casinos in the city.
members of a labor and trade union coalition called Build Them
Now gathered yesterday in Philly to support the plan for the
SugarHouse and Foxwoods casinos, with anti-casino activists
threatening to put continued pressure on state and city
lawmakers to prohibit the two casinos along the Philadelphia
Both casinos were granted
licenses on December 20th of last year but stymied at every
turn, including by a recent attempt for a referendum, which was
blocked by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
With the 54 percent tax on
casino profits, the state gaming board has estimated that the
two casinos will generate over $340 million per year in tax
revenues for the state, $25 million of which would go to the
city of Philadelphia. Under state law $5 million would
automatically go to the Philadelphia School District. Supporters
also say that the tax that the city would like see from the
casinos could help bankroll a planned $700 million expansion of
the Pennsylvania Convention Center by 2010, and would give the
visitors of the city more entertainment options.
The team behind the proposed
$550 million SugarHouse Casino at North Delaware Avenue and
Shackamaxon Street on the waterfront said they were eager to
move forward, and Foxwoods and its proposed $560 million casino
at Columbus Boulevard share the same motivation, claiming that
every day the casino building is being blocked it is costing
Philadelphia $85,000 a day in revenue and thousands of jobs.
Residents in the communities
around the proposed casino sites, who believe their quality of
life will be diminished by the two casinos near their homes, vow
to continue to fight their development.