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Casino-Free Philadelphia Refuses to Testify on Aimless House Bill 65
Philadelphians Call on Legislature to Drop Provision for Additional Predatory Casinos in City
For Immediate Release
Dan Hajdo, dan [at] casinofreephilly [dot] org, (267) 971-0937
PHILADELPHIA, February 24, 2011
Casino-Free Philadelphia will not testify at the House Gaming Oversight Committee's hearing on House Bill 65 held today at City Hall, and has initiated a petition by residents opposing any new casinos in Philadelphia.
House Bill 65 proposes putting up, potentially, two Category 2, stand-alone slots licenses, for auction and allows the bidder to select a location anywhere in the state. Those licenses include a Category 1 "racino" license the bill converts to a Category 2 license as well as the revoked Foxwoods license once the pending appeal is resolved.
"This bill will not guarantee that Philadelphia will not have a second casino," said Dan Hajdo, board member and a spokesperson of Casino-Free Philadelphia. "It will not improve the lives of Philadelphians. Real change is going to come from the people of Philadelphia, from the demands of communities targeted and impacted by the casinos."
In a meeting with representatives of the No Casino In the Heart of Our City coalition, State Rep. Mike O'Brien (D-Phila.) stated that his purpose in supporting the bill is to ensure Philadelphia does not get another casino. Rep. O’Brien is a sponsor of the bill and member of the Gaming Oversight Committee.
"We're glad that Rep. O’Brien wants to make sure Philadelphia doesn't get another casino and invite him to sign the petition at NoMorePhillyCasinos.org," said Hajdo. "Casinos exploit mental illness for profit. The duty of the state is to prevent that sort of harm, not to ask for its cut. The legislature should simply eliminate any remaining licenses."
Casino-Free Philadelphia's mission is to stop casinos from coming to Philadelphia and close any that open. The social and economic costs of predatory gambling are plainly apparent from an industry reliant on addiction to survive. Visit us online at www.CasinoFreePhilly.org.