Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Supreme Court Looms Over City On Casino Moves

The state Supreme Court has once again ruled in favor of a proposed local casino in a dispute with the city. The circumstances, however, have completely changed since that fight started.

Supreme Court Looms Over City On Casino Moves

The state Supreme Court has once again ruled in favor of a proposed local casino in a dispute with the city.  The circumstances, however, have completely changed since that fight started three months ago.  The court on Tuesday approved a request made by Foxwoods in July to appoint a "special master" to oversee any requests the proposed casino makes to the city on zoning, permits and other bureaucratic matters.  The court appointed Joseph McCloskey, the senior judge on the state Commonwealth Court, as special master.

But that all had to do with the fight Foxwoods, approved by the state in December 2006, had with the city about its proposed site on the Delaware riverfront in South Philly.  Foxwoods last month agreed to consider a move to the Gallery at 11th and Market streets in Center City.  The special master can make calls on either location.

City Councilman Frank DiCicco, who led the fight against Foxwoods, briefed his colleagues this afternoon on his plan to introduce zoning legislation for the casino at the Gallery tomorrow.  While Chinatown residents and businesses are angry and opposed, DiCicco said the zoning move is just the first step in the process and no guarantee that Foxwoods will win city approval for the new location.  And DiCicco warned that the Supreme Court could always step in again. "We can put up all the road blocks we want," DiCicco said. "The Supreme Court has overruled us 14 out of 14 times."

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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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