Clarke: Not Everyone Wants Casinos To Move

City Councilman Darrell Clarke weighed in this week on the effort to force two proposed riverfront casinos to relocate, telling state Rep. Dwight Evans that there are clearly two sides to the issue.  Evans has pledged to work with Gov. Rendell, state Sen. Vince Fumo and Mayor Nutter in conversations with the casino developers on the issue.

Clarke, in a letter to Evans this week, said that much of the attention on the issue goes to residents who live near the Foxwoods site in South Philly and the SugarHouse site in Fishtown and oppose the projects.  "However, there are a substantial number of residents in my district who support the SugarHouse casino in particular, and believe its completion will be a benefit to the community," Clarke wrote.

Three community groups have been negotiating with SugarHouse, Clarke wrote, on "unprecedented benefits" that the project might bring.  Clarke said he wasn't passing judgment on casino locations but wanted Evans to know the pro-SugarHouse groups wanted to brief him on their efforts. He urged Evans to consider all viewpoints on the issue.

Rendell last week said the meeting on relocation would probably happen during the second week of August.  The casinos have repeatedly refused to move but have agreed to attend the meeting.