Philly’s Ballot Box

Rather than allow the public to have their say, the PA Gaming Control Board, SugarHouse, and Foxwoods sued the city to prevent a vote from going forward on creating a 1,500-foot buffer between casinos and homes, places of worship, schools, and parks.

In a decision reeking of corruption, the PA Supreme Court overruled the city’s right and the right of the voters by handing down an injunction that prevented the vote from taking place. A sticker stating, “Removed by Court Order” was placed over the already-printed ballot question on each voting machine. Once again, many politicians, reporters, and pundits declared the anti-casino movement dead.

But we take a bold response to repression. Instead of seeing this as a loss, we saw this as a chance to show the city just how deeply casinos and corruption were intertwined.

In just four weeks, Casino-Free Philadelphia designed and ran Philadelphia’s first citizens’ election,

No Way Without Our Say

After the Gaming Control Board made its decision to pick SugarHouse and Foxwoods, we vowed to give the public a say in the siting process. We launched No Way Without Our Say — a petition drive to get over 20,000 signatures. That many signatures would force a city council vote on creating a primary ballot question.

Citizens were asked to support a ballot referendum creating a 1,500-foot buffer between casinos and homes, places of worship, schools, and parks. The goal was to allow Philadelphians a chance to have their voices heard through a legal and open process.

More than 27,000 signatures were gathered in 21 days for the first citizen-initiated referendum in Philadelphia in over thirty years.

The result: Once on city council’s desk, they voted unanimously for the referendum (twice!). On May 15, 2007, the voters of Philadelphia would be given the first chance for direct democracy in this

Operation Hidden Costs

Gov. Rendell is using grossly inflated and misleading numbers to push casino slot parlors into neighborhoods. Industry studies never looked at the costs of casinos, only their benefits. We deserve the truth.

What are hidden costs?

Gambling brings about severe economic costs, even to those who never set foot in a casino. Those hidden costs to the city include the costs for policing, social service agencies to assist addicts, and prosecuting the rise of crime.

Further, casino slot parlors are being given special treatment by the government, such as exemptions allowing them to serve free drinks all days and all hours. Their introduction will cannibalize millions of dollars from the local economy — another hidden cost.

How much are the costs?

Gov. Rendell never calculated these costs or even explored them. Independent research verifies that his claims of the benefits cannot be trusted. His own financial watchdog agency said the …

In the Red: Bankrupting Casinos Before They Bankrupt Us

For the last three years we have prevented construction of two “inevitable” casinos through creative campaigns and direct action. We will continue to stop the two proposed casinos with your help.

Casino-Free Philadelphia’s In the Red campaign aims to persuade casino investors Neil G. Bluhm (of SugarHouse) and Ronald Rubin (of Foxwoods) to abandon their plans for casinos in Philadelphia.

The campaign involves personalized actions designed to educate the public about how their two casinos, if not stopped, will inflict financial damage to families, communities, local businesses and our city budget. More and more people are waking up to what Bluhm’s and Rubin’s casinos truly would be: Part of a financially tanking predatory trade based on addiction that peddles false hope to those in desperate need.

With continuing pressure from citizens, through our In the Red campaign, Mr. Bluhm’s and Mr. Rubin’s involvement will be exposed as predatory, and the …

Reclaim the Riverfront

We’re reclaiming the riverfront for our families, who deserve a place to safely raise their children.

We’re reclaiming the jobs SugarHouse casino destroys—twice the number they create every year.

We’re reclaiming the neighborhood through a casino town watch of the impacts of SugarHouse.

We’re reclaiming the power of our communities to determine our future, not out-of-state billionaires.

A Casino Town Watch

We’re documenting and exposing SugarHouse’s predatory tactics through a casino town watch.

Just like a neighborhood watch, we’ll be working to ensure the safety of our friends and neighbors. And if we shut down their predatory tactics, we shut down SugarHouse. Casinos will go bankrupt when they can no longer rely on addiction to survive.

We will expose SugarHouse’s predatory tactics to Philadelphians across the city, ensuring everyone is aware of the way the casino seeks to exploit our friends and neighbors. We will shut down SugarHouse — and …