IT WAS truly disappointing to see the Dec. 11
editorial calling for unconditional surrender to the casino gambling gang.
Twisting logic like a pretzel, you argue we should accept casinos because:
* The Eagles and Phillies stadiums are bad investments.
* The uproar over gambling has helped create a plan for the riverfront, and, well, let's just plan to deal with the casino mess and thank them for uniting the riverfront neighborhoods.
* If the casinos aren't built, maybe we could wind up with something worse.
* A "city of this size and complexity" won't be destroyed by slots parlors.
* And because "the state says" (echoing the casino's PR) that delays are costing Philadelphia $72,000 a day in lost revenue.
Let's take these points one by one.
First, while pro sports might cost the city more than it brings in, it's doubtful we'll ever have a parade to celebrate Foxwoods and SugarHouse chalking up a record year. And while a losing season may be depressing, every day the casino industry will crank out a single product by the thousands - losers - and that's a bummer worse than any Eagles fiasco.
The planning on the riverfront may have been accelerated due to the casinos' waterfront takeover threat - and it created a vision of what the waterfront could be, freed of the sleaze and crime of gambling. We don't need casinos to help us plan, or to prevent big-box development on the river. As recent events have shown, the casinos oppose local planning in any form and use the courts to force their will on this city. Planning will survive without casinos - the opposite may not be true.
This large and complex city is currently being threatened with destruction by a small group of young people with access to guns. Adding gambling and alcohol to the mix could push us to the tipping point.
Taking the word of the same state pols who used the courts to jam gambling down our throats on how much "revenue" the city is losing is astonishingly naive. In fact, studies by the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, the Wall Street Journal, Temple University and Philadelphia magazine all show gambling will cost the city far more in spending shifts and crime than we will ever get back from gambling fees.
"It's time to consider walking away from the table, before the losses start to bankrupt us," sighs the editorial board at the end of this puff piece for the casinos.
In fact, the real losses are yet to come. That's why CasinoFree Philadelphia, along with every riverfront neighborhood group, and a handful of gutsy and principled Philly politicians, including our next mayor, are betting against riverfront gambling.
President, Trophy Bike Garage