Now that Pennsylvania gambling regulators have taken the right step in revoking the license for the long-delayed Foxwoods Casino on the Delaware River, it’s time for them to consider cutting the city’s losses altogether — by scrapping a second casino for Philadelphia.
Thousands of low-income Philadelphians scraping by from week to week don’t need yet another place to gamble away the rent money. SugarHouse Casino already is up and running on North Delaware Avenue, less than three miles from the Foxwoods site. Nearby Bensalem and Chester also offer slots and table games.
Along a waterfront that Mayor Nutter hopes to transform into a thriving residential, commercial and recreational district, one casino is more than enough. The Foxwoods site stands at an already traffic-clogged stretch of South Columbus Boulevard crowded with big-box retail, prompting Nutter bluntly to call it the “wrong site for Philadelphia.”
Even if smarter plans for the site could be floated — such as philanthropist H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest’s idea to save the SS United States cruise ship by converting it to a casino — the tide seems to be ebbing for a second city casino.
After all, three major casino investors were unable to put a deal together to make the Foxwoods project fly, including gambling magnate Steve Wynn. Even at the eleventh hour, as the state Gaming Control Board was poised to decide Foxwoods’ fate, the project’s backers conceded they had yet to raise much of the money needed to build their gaming hall at the foot of Reed Street.