Supreme Court Looms Over City On Casino Moves

Is this the future home of a Center City casino?

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."