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Pa. Lawmaker Presses For Public Input In Selection of 2nd Phila. Casino Site

(Slot machines in the Sugarhouse casino, on North Delaware Avenue in Fishtown.  Credit: Michelle Durham)

(Slot machines in the Sugarhouse casino, on North Delaware Avenue in Fishtown. Credit: Michelle Durham)

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By Pat Loeb

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Pennsylvania state senator is predicting a much different selection process for Philadelphia’s second casino, and he’s asked the state’s Gaming Control Board to make sure the community is involved.

farnese larry side Pa. Lawmaker Presses For Public Input In Selection of 2nd Phila. Casino Site

(Pa. state senator Larry Farnese, in file photo, provided.)

The history of gaming in Philadelphia is one of long delays, unnecessary expense, and missed opportunity, says state senator Larry Farnese (right) in a letter to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

In the letter, he outlines four steps to make the process smoother, including at least three public hearings and a web site where bidders make full disclosure about plans and local impact, “so that we do not run into the same problems we had in 2006 and, most importantly, so that people do not feel they were steamrolled by this process like they did a few years ago.”

Community groups are already joining forces to voice concerns.  The North Broad Coalition, for example, has been formed to focus on traffic and crime issues related to a proposal to put the casino in the former Philadelphia Inquirer building at Broad and Callowhill Streets (see related story).

Farnese says the Sugarhouse casino — Philadelphia’s first — has shown that such issues can be resolved.

“We are in a different position than we were back in 2006,” he says.

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