Is Center City Casino Location "Environmental Racism"?

Chris Brennan reports that a panel discussion at UPenn's Wharton School is right now focusing on the notion of "environmental racism" as Stephen Mullen of eConsult Corp. called it, for a casino proposed near Chinatown at the Gallery.

Grace Kao, director of the school's Asian American Studies Program, said that was a dangerous spot for a community she described as big on gambling. "The stereotype, unfortunately, of the Asian American gambler...is probably true," said Kao, who then struggled for an analogy to the casino location.

"Like a bar in an Irish neighborhood," quipped former Inquirer columnist Tom Ferrick, who has written in favor of the two casinos proposed in the city. The academic crowd burst out in laughter.

"As long as we're stereotyping," added Mullin, whose firm works for Foxwoods, the casino considering the Gallery.

Mayor Nutter's administration is taking some shots for a lack of transparency -- a key campaign theme for him -- in how Foxwoods might move to the Gallery from its state approved site on the Delaware riverfront.

"You want transparency until you're making the decisions," said Mullin, a former city Commerce Director who also advised Nutter's transition team on casinos.

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