Gaming Board Sues the Philadelphia City Council Regarding Casino Regulations

On April 12, 2007, the Pennsylvania Gaming Board filed a case against the Philadelphia City Council before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court aimed at cutting Philadelphia’s jurisdiction over the gambling casinos. Last December 2006, the Pennsylvania State Gaming Board allowed investors to build the Sugarhouse and Foxwoods Casino on 2 separate areas near the Delaware River.

The Gaming Board’s decision sparked a debate about who will have control over the casinos in the city. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is aiming to retain control over all decisions regarding the placement of the casinos. The decision would also strip the city council vote that aims to prohibit slot machines within 1,500 ft of any school, residential area, churches, civic center, parks, playground, public pool or public library. If not blocked, the vote will push forward on May 15, 2007.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Board believes that this referendum is illegal. Pennsylvania Gaming Board Chairman, Tad Decker, said that they must take immediate action because holding a referendum on this issue is just a waste of time and money. The lawsuit filed by the gaming board also stated that the city council did not inform the public enough and did not hold any hearings to discuss the matter.

Jane Bokunewicz from the Drexel’s Hospitality Management Department and an ex employee of the Tropicana in Atlantic City, said that the delay made by the critics of the casino will only cost millions of dollars in profit loss. After the proposal regarding the slot machines was passed in 2004, the plans for slot parlors and casinos in Philadelphia went into high gear.

Investors began filing for slot applications with the gaming board. The gaming board chose to give the slots license to the Foxwoods and Sugarhouse Casino in Philadephia and approve the placement of the slot machines in the casinos across the state.


19 June, 2007