By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Congressman Bob Brady came to City Hall Thursday, pushing his proposal that a second city casino benefit the city pension fund and the school district.
Congressman Brady and others are backing a plan in which Penn National Gaming would run the second casino, and two-thirds of the revenues would be channeled through a non-profit to the struggling school district and the pension fund.
Brady told City Council members that if a second casino is to be built, the city should benefit.
“I figure that if the house always wins, why not have our taxpayers own the house?”
Five other firms are bidding for the second license. Brady said if any of them offer the same arrangement, he’s on board.
“It can be any of the other five. We’ll accept two-thirds (of the revenues) from any of the other five casinos and we’ll advocate for them too.”
Council President Darrell Clarke stressed that only the Gaming Control Board — not City Council — will decide this.
“We have no vote on the gaming commission as it relates to the location, the type and all other aspects of this particular operation.”
But Brady said the city should make its voice known in Harrisburg.
“We get up here on the bus, and start lobbying saying we can use this money — because it helps them. That’s less money the state’s gotta give to the city, that they don’t want to give anyway!”
Mayor Nutter has been cool to the Brady proposal. At the hearing, his Commerce Director, Alan Greenberger, testified that the administration will review the Penn National Gaming plan along with that of the other applicants. Brady said this arrangement for two-thirds of revenues to the city and schools needs to be considered.
“If we don’t explore this, I’m a little embarrassed about this town.”
The six applicants will present their proposals to the gaming board at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, beginning at 9 a.m. on February 12th.