Let’s Talk About Bets, Baby: Bob Brady, Parx, Penn National, And The Second Casino License

livebobOh, Bob Brady. You nearly pulled a hammy when you went out of your way to save the bike race, now known as the Parx Casino Philly Cycling Classic. Yes, Parx Casino. The place where parenting goes to die. Because nothing in this town can happen anymore without a casino’s name branded all over it (see: everything Sugar House throws their name on).

And so what, you say. So Bob Brady saves the bike race and then some companies offer some sponsor money, you say. So what if it’s a casino, YOU SAY. Well, sure. But Bob Brady himself has got a bit of a thing for casinos. Brady has been advocating for a city-run casino, to help fund the schools, since all of this second license stuff was getting warmed up. Originally, Brady was calling for a gambling palace down by the Walt Whitman Bridge, but now he (and others) are behind the proposed Penn National Casino plan, which would sit at 700 Packer Ave. Parx, for their part, has their own proposal for that same license.

The Penn National proposal (we’re gonna see more of these come out as the presentations get closer), features a casino, nightclub, 300-room hotel, a whole lot of parking, and a 5,000 seat concert theater which — in the rendering — looks exactly like the Wells Fago Center. The proposed Hollywood Casino Philadelphia (gross) would be a joint operation between Penn National (who would control one-third) and the new non-profit Philadelphia Casino Benefit Corp. (controlling two-thirds). PCBC would dedicate its income to the Philadelphia School District and pension fun. So, there’s at least something positive here.

But Paul Boni, an “anti-gaming activist” with Stop Predatory Gambling, doesn’t think it’s such a good idea. He says government is already too supportive of gambling and that “The city should not make any government program – no matter how worthy – dependent on the success of a casino,” because coughcough Revel coughcough.

The casino license presentations are scheduled for early next week, and we’re sure this is only going to get more interesting/awful/skeevy. Stay tuned!

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