Playing Poker with Philly

Philadelphia is in the process of auctioning off it’s second casino license. The city is already home to Sugar House Casino but a half dozen or so individuals are now lining up for the chance to develop another casino within the heart of Philadelphia, with projects being proposed at sights such as The Philadelphia Inquirer’s old headquarters on Broad Street, spearheaded by none other than Temple University Alum Bart Blatstein . Not long ago natives of Philadelphia would have to travel to Atlantic city for the prospect of winning some money on the black jack tables but before long a Harrahs popped up in Chester and then in 2010 Philadelphia opened its first casino. Now, Developers such as Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn are eyeing the situation carefully as this opportunity is the first of its kind in Philadelphia and holds the potential to better Philadelphia as a center of attraction. One needs to look no further than Las Vegas to understand the economic activity created by gambling. Year after year tourists from all parts of the globe travel to Nevada  to drown themselves in a vat full of vices. By legalizing Gambling in Las Vegas, the city opens its doors to new visitors everyday and in turn businesses which have nothing to do with Gambling thrive. Restaurants feed new customers everyday, hotels stay booked, venues have less trouble selling tickets, taxes are collected from slots machines etc. That’s the good side, as for the bad, well, the cons are all too obvious. Gambling addiction is no different than any other addiction in the sense that it holds the potential to ruin people’s lives by enticing users with the prospect of winning money. The question then is this? Do the Benefits of opening a casino outweigh the negative effects, such as an increase in degenerate gamblers living in Philadelphia? All i can say for certain is that the house always wins.



3 thoughts on “Playing Poker with Philly”

  1. My opinion on most issues is usually to let people make their own decisions if it is not harmful to others, but I have a serious problem with people having increased options to gamble. Like you said, the house always wins, so the opposite side is that gamblers as a collective always lose. Casinos are successful businesses and they invariably bring economic stimulus to their immediate areas, but the costs are too high if they rely on ruining the lives of repeat customers. Proponents might argue that most gamblers are “responsible” and that they are simply paying for fun. I would think however, that most people that go to casinos are regulars and that they seriously negatively affect their lives. I simply think that the burdens that addictive gambling impose on society is not worth the benefits of increased economic activity.

  2. I think that gambling can be a great way to let of steam. I know a lot of people who will head to the casino every once in a while, throw around some money and have a good time. But I do agree that by building more and more casinos, you’re enabling a potential problem. I’m not saying that one casino in an area means no gambling addiction. But if you increase the spots in which somebody can gamble, don’t you increase the risks as well? Especially considering the possible location on Broad Street. The accessibility to such a location would make it prime for a casino, but would also get far more unnecessary foot traffic. It’s a tricky one though, and I really don’t know where I stand on the situation.

  3. There is an interesting overall economic affect that the legalization and spread of gambling in a municipality has. Obviously, gambling promotes consumer spending and like you pointed out, business thrives. However, there are other negative affects aside from the possibility of addiction. There is a very interesting link between crime levels before and after gambling is introduced to an area. There are plenty of reasons why such a link may exist. One is that gambling promotes an atmosphere of “bad” morality, that the ethics of society are degraded. Another, more interesting (in my humble opinions) theory is that if one happens to win at the casino, they exchange their chips for cash. The winners, often intoxicated and believing they are on a lucky streak are therefore easy victims for muggings. This promotes criminal activity in an area because they have found a stable, albeit probably meager, source of revenue.

    I was referencing this study done by Professor Andrew Buck (Temple)
    Sorry for the length of the link.

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