Philly casino just about ready for business

As soon as they relocate a few of those rocks, they'll be putting in the first couple of rows of slots machines as well as a big tent for their "temporary" casino in Fishtown. OK, OK, just kidding -- slightly -- but does anyone really believe that Philly's two "gambling palaces" are going to look much more appealing than the picture above.

As duly noted on Philebrity:  

“This interim facility is to be the initial phase of the permanent and much larger casino development. This is to be a permanent building right from the outset. This ‘interim casino’ will be the cornerstone of the rest of our project.”

My translation: "You know how you thought that after all these years the casinos in Philly would just end up being hideously ugly, concrete, windowless smoke-filled boxes contributing nothing but a couple of plug nickels to the surrounding community. were right!"

I've been opposed to the slots in Philly from Day One. It's a terrible way to raise revenue, a regressive tax that falls heavily on the poor and the elderly and helps politicians like Ed Rendell do what they do best, which is to avoid making harder choices. On a moral level, it fuels people's addictions and creates new ones even as we spend millions of government dollars to fight different (less lucrative?) kinds of addictions. It distracts civic leaders from working to attract real, well-paying, permanent jobs here in productive activities from high tech to health care to specialized manufacturing.

But for God sakes, if you're going to foist these things on the public, make them look nice! Philadelphia's entire slots-parlor experience has been infused by the Spirit of '76, and by that I mean 1976, the year that Frank Rizzo botched the seemingly unbotchable, America's bicentennial.

* Sorry for the light problem that's finally been fixed.