Sunday, August 31, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

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.

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.

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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