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Deputy Mayor Doesn't Want To Banish Casino To Hinterlands

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Yesterday, in a report to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, the Deputy Mayor of Philadelphia explained that, according to their analysis, the three casinos shoved in the southernmost reaches of the city wouldn't do as much to spur development as the casinos closer to the city center would. In other words, Market8 and The Provence have the upper hand, and Wynn Philadelphia is close behind.

Even though the South Philly proposals have touted their distance from neighborhoods as an asset, it seems that the city is looking to spur development by incorporating the second casino into areas of the city with heavy foot traffic and access to transportation.

The proposal with the most immediate potential to invigorate the city was the Market8 proposal: the city likes its location and its proximity to mass transit, but is concerned about the congestion and parking issues it might generate. There's also the question of whether its proximity to pawn shops on Jeweler's row would create a situation where those with gambling problems would pawn valuables in order to continue gambling.

The other proposal that received high marks from the city is the Provence. Selling points for the complex include its mixed-use resort style amenities, and its location on North Broad (the city hopes to encourage development in the area.) The Provence also has Bart Blatstein's successful track record going for it. However, the Provence would probably also create traffic problems.

Though the city is interested Wynn Philly's proposal, they're concerned that it might draw business away from The Sugar House, rather than bringing new customers into the city. The city wants to see Wynn Philadelphia work with The Sugar House to create a connection between the two casinos.
· Deputy Mayor: Center City casino proposals more likely to stimulate development, attract new audiences [Plan Philly]