“Casinos are ‘economic development’ in the same manner that Taco Bell is ‘dinner'”

Will Bunch, a senior writer at the Philadelphia Daily News, wrote passionately about another casino coming to Philadelphia. While Philadelphia is not Florida, the similarities of a potential new casino are the same. His final paragraph really shines a light on the issue of the expansion of gambling and what it means for a community:

“That’s why it’s kind of nauseating to see Philadelphia take one more compulsive step down this pathway of failure. Casinos are ‘economic development’ in the same sense that Taco Bell is ‘dinner.’ And they are only palaces in the sense that they are monuments to the crony capitalism of the politically connected. Gambling is a tax levied on the working-class people who fantasize about moving up a notch with a spin of the wheel — to protect the societal ‘winnings’ of the filthy rich who wouldn’t be caught dead in a place called Live! And you’re kidding yourself if you don’t think that Live! will mean more addictive gambling, which leads to more crime, shattered families, even suicide. You can argue whether we need ‘big government’ to cure social problems, but it’s repulsive and immoral when your government goes into the business of intentionally causing them. And it’s a massive distraction for public officials who should be working on the things that actually create jobs that last — like better public schools for example.”


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Another casino, because that worked so well for Atlantic City

This is Philadelphia, where we arrest Jesus one day, go crazy for the Pope the day after that, and on the third day, we hand the keys to the city over to a casino. Once again, Springsteen was right: It’s hard to be a saint in the city…this one, anyway.

That said, the news that Pennsylvania’s anonymous gambling poobahs have granted Philadelphia’s slow-train-wreck-coming 2nd casino license to the future operators of a parking-lot-ringed abomination near the sports complex called the Live! Hotel and Casino is about as exciting as the 76ers latest D-League free agent signing. (Also, note: When you need an exclamation point to tell people you’re alive, that’s never a good sign.) The gaming palace strip-mall is headed to a location, at 9th and Packer, site of a Holiday Inn, where 95 percent of Philadelphia can ignore it. Mayor Nutter, who seems to be finally finding his voice now that he’s leaving office, spoke for most of the city yesterday when he said: “It is what it is.”

Read the rest of the column here