philadelphia's chinatown fights casino plans

There's a fight going on in Philadelphia's Chinatown. A couple of weeks ago, Governor Rendell and Mayor Nutter announced their master plan to reinvent one of the city's dreariest downtown thoroughfares and improve nearby neighborhoods... by building a casino: Rendell, Nutter hail casino plan.

The Foxwoods Casino would be a public-transit-friendly, 300,000 square feet, 5,000-machine slots parlor open 24/7 within the Gallery at Market East next to Chinatown. The community is not cool with this, with many calling the plan a "very, very, bad idea" for Chinatown. And they're gearing up for a fight: Chinatown Ready To Fight Casino Relocation.

As many know, and as research has shown, there have been consistently rising rates of gambling addiction within the Asian American community. Many feel that a casino within such close proximity of Chinatown will run the risk of feeding a gambling habit: Chinatown residents fear lure of gaming.

Of course, the casino people don't see a problem. Why would they? At a recent press conference, when confronted with concerns raised about gambling addiction, Foxwoods chair Michael Thomas apparently responded, "You call it a gambling addiction. I call it a client base." Ah, it all becomes clear, doesn't it?

Here's a good interview with Helen Gym on Asian American United on why Foxwoods is a bad idea for the Gallery: Community activist Helen Gym on why she's opposed to the Foxwoods/Gallery site. And here's her blog entry outlining why a casino would be detrimental to Chinatown: Environmental racism, Chinatown and the Gallery casino.

For more information on the issue, visit the Asian Americans United website here. They've got a downloadable fact sheet on the direct impacts of the casino on Chinatown. Also visit Casino-Free Philadelphia. And the Facebook group Students Against the Gallery Casino. And finally, sign the online petition. Show your support and spread the word—we can make this issue extend beyond just Chinatown and Philadelphia.

angry archive