speak out against casinos in philadelphia

As you know, concerned citizens in Philadelphia have long been fighting the gambling industry's efforts to construct casinos in their neighborhoods, which many see as predatory efforts to exploit Asian communities.

The latest evidence comes from casino developer Steve Wynn, in recent comments in an investor call he made last week about coming to Philadelphia. Here's the info I received from Asian Americans United:
If there's any question about how predatory and exploitative the gambling industry is toward Asian communities, take a look at some of Steve Wynn's recent comments in an investor call he made last week about coming to Philadelphia:

- The Vietnamese are part of the group he calls his "old friends" who like to "shoot craps and gamble";

- He loves his proximity to "these people" and the Philadelphia neighborhoods overall;

- He called his Asian workforce in Macau "totally delicious."

As he puts it, in his own words:

"I love the proximity to these people. I love the proximity to the Vietnamese neighborhood. And I'm gonna put in a beautiful Vietnamese restaurant for them."

When it was announced that a casino would be built on the edge of Philadelphia Chinatown in September 2008, Asian Americans United and many of you rose to fight off one of the most powerful monied and politically-connected industries in the nation. In the process, we became politicized about the exploitative and predatory nature of the casino industry, an industry that uses everything within its power to boost its bottom line through exploiting vulnerable Asian communities, particularly our seniors, recent immigrants and young people. We're not alone as targets – the industry loves college kids, neighbors and "every stripe of ethnic group" that loves to gamble, as Wynn puts it.

But Wynn's comments and casino industry practices should make it clear, we're in their sights.

On Wed. March 3rd, we're headed to Harrisburg to make sure Steve Wynn hears from Asian communities who aren't playing to stereotypes and seeking to exploit our people for their profit. We're coming to Steve Wynn tomorrow not because he'll offer us food and ply us with "pretty colors" and noxious and bizarre labels. We're coming to Steve Wynn because these are our communities, these are our children and we're standing up to say he's not entitled to them.
If you're in the area, and you're concerned about what casinos are trying to do to Asian communities in Philadelphia, join Asian Americans United in Harrisburg tomorrow. Buses leave at 7:15 a.m. from 30th Street Station and return mid-afternoon. $25 per person or contact AAU at 215-925-1538.

And if you can't make it, pass it along to someone you think might be interested and spread the word. For more information, go to the Asian American United website here and the Casino Free Philadelphia website here.

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