12.16.2007

FOR CASINOS

Finally, a reasoned response to all the hullabaloo about casinos in Philadelphia: "Why Casinos Won't Ruin Philadelphia or Riverfront." I know a lot of people whose opinions I wholeheartedly respect who are on the other side of the argument as me, but I have to say most of the opposition comes off to me as smug in its moral indignation. They'd tell you casinos, especially if you live near one, will be the end of civilization as we know it.

I'd prefer to go with what Mayor Street's task force determined (of which two of my bosses were members, in the interest of full disclosure), which is that casinos will represent tidy windfalls for the City, enabling taxes to be cut in other places so that we can be more competitive to residents and businesses alike. I'd also prefer to go with what our firm found when it studied the issue from a real estate standpoint and found that casinos actually have a marginally positive, not significantly negative, affect on nearby property values. And, to be frank, I'd like to be an occasional patron, and happen to think that a couple of casinos make for a nice addition to the entertainment options we have to choose from around here.

But my beliefs apparently put me in a distinct minority on the topic. Thankfully, I've found at least one other like-minded soul as it relates to the casinos. And now that the legal hurdles have been cleared, it looks like we'll all get to see just what impact - positive and negative - these two venues will have on Philadelphia.
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