Media Blog

Casino on the Front Lawn

I rarely find myself in agreement with Philadelphia Weekly, except for the time they described me as “crazy-eyed and clean-shaven,” (the latter describing my head, not my chin) but they are highlighting an important story here:

With news coverage about Philadelphia’s maybe-imminent casinos languishing below the fold for a couple years now, one could be forgiven for tuning the issue out.
But don’t. Instead, go to Fishtown and Pennsport, where two casinos are planning to build along the Delaware River. Talking to the neighbors, you learn those casinos are issue No. 1, and if the neighbors’ optimism is any indication, the bright lights are hardly imminent.

What they aren’t writing is that Philadelphia’s Democrat-dominated media is going notably easy on the state’s Democratic governor, Ed Rendell, who is attempting to inflict casinos on two modest, working-class neighborhoods in Philadelphia–casinos which, critics note, will be the only two casinos in residential neighborhoods in the civilized world. You want a casino on your front lawn?

This isn’t just a Philadelphia story. Revenue-hungry politicians in every city in America want to get a piece of the gambling action, no matter the long-term costs to the community. If a Republican governor were trying to force a crime-ridden industry onto a poor neighborhood–a neighborhood that doesn’t want it–do you think the media might get a little more excited?

Here’s how Forbes described Philly’s gambling competition, Atlantic City:

Crime in the city is about three times the U.S. average, and the murder rate is twice the national average, according to FBI data.

With apologies to the late Hunter S. Thompson, Atlantic City remains dangerous and depraved. Donald Trump, welcome back.

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