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Philadelphia considers casino proposals

If Planet Hollywood has its way, it could emerge as the owner of a casino in the city of Philadelphia. The celebrity-movie-entertainment themed restaurants, which have seen both good times and bad, submitted plans a week and a half ago for a $380 million casino which would be built on a site on the northern riverfront of the Delaware River. While the hope is that a casino would bring increased revenue and add to the architectural beauty of the city, some observers are worried that the building will be just like any other casino out there. Donovan Rypkema, a lecturer for PennDesign, said “Most of these casino buildings are like 14-carat cubic zirconium. They’re huge, but they’re just crappy.”

The Philadelphia Gaming Advisory Task Force recently compiled a report which cautioned Philadelphia and Pennsylvanian officials to wait for final decision for building the casino until all of the plans from potential casino developers are received. “You could have a bad location with a really good proposal, or you could have a really good location with a really bad plan,” Mr. Mahjoubian said. “We first have to wait and see what the casino proposals are, and the city should evaluate each of the proposals when they come out.”

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board holds the power to license casinos in the state, but the city of Philadelphia has the ability to zone the land, thus influencing casino locations. “The city of Philadelphia’s position is that these casinos are going to have a positive impact and we would like to be prepared to plan properly,” said Micah Mahjoubian, the Philadelphia Gaming Advisory Task Force operations director. The Gaming Control Board is accepting applications from casino developers until December 28 of this year. An application is still expected from Trump Entertainment Resorts, which owns three casinos in Atlantic City.

OCA News Editor