FUMO, EVANS PLEDGE PHILADELPHIA CASINO RELOCATION EFFORT
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A copy of the letter follows:
July 3, 2008
Edward G. Rendell, Governor
Dear Governor Rendell and Mayor Nutter,
The two of us met this evening and discussed the problems concerning the proposed locations of the two Philadelphia casinos, and the lack of progress made thus far toward bringing those projects to fruition. We have decided that it would be in the best interest of the City of Philadelphia, its residents, the taxpayers of the commonwealth, and the casinos themselves if they were to move to a new location. The existing locations are untenable and contrary to the public interest. Accordingly, we intend to pursue aggressively an effort to re-site the casinos away from the Delaware River Waterfront. We ask you to join our effort.
The prolonged controversy and legal battles over these locations have created costly delays and have resulted in repeated unproductive political disputes. They have caused great anxiety for residents in nearby neighborhoods who feel that their communities will be irreparably harmed if casinos are built where now planned. We are determined to change this course. Therefore, if we are unsuccessful in our new effort aimed at relocation, we jointly pledge to take other firm steps in the legislature, including but not limited to legislation that would remove tax breaks, which were under consideration this week, to ensure that this matter is resolved in a way that satisfies the public interest, rather than the interests of a few casino investors.
This endeavor has a greater chance of achieving these desired ends if the four of us work together. We hope you agree.
The two proposed sites are no longer viable, and any future delays caused by continued attempts to embrace them will adversely impact the casino licensees’ and developers’ bottom line. We are willing to assist in finding new locations that will allow the commencement of gaming operations as soon as possible. As Pennsylvania officials who designed and approved the gaming act in an effort to provide tax relief, we have an interest in their success. We are dedicated, however, to making this new industry an asset to all of Philadelphia, rather than a detriment to the City’s waterfront and the vibrant local neighborhoods in close proximity.
We ask your help in setting up a meeting with the casino licensees at your earliest convenience so that we may begin this process in earnest.