Gambling with Philadelphia: Examining the Impacts of Commercial Casinos in a large American city.

Main Article Content

Moira Aileen Conway


Casino gaming has emerged in the United States in a variety of new locations as a source of economic development.  In 2010 commercial casino gambling expanded into a major United States city, when a casino opened in Philadelphia.  The city currently has one open casino and a second proposed casino, this, along with three other casinos in the metropolitan area, makes Philadelphia an important case study to examine the impacts of casino gaming in a major urban area in the United States.  Through interviews and media/policy analysis, the casinos interaction with the local community during the planning process, and since the one casino has opened are analyzed.  It is revealed that a variety of stakeholders were involved in the casino location process, and the community has been impacted by the casino in a variety of areas including economic effects, a community benefits agreement, crime, potential gambling addiction and gentrification.  

Article Details



Works Cited

Assad, Matt. (May 20, 2012). Pennsylvania leads the way in casino taxes. The

Morning Call. Retrieved from:

American Gaming Association: Pennsylvania. Retrieved in March, 2015 from


Austrian, Ziona & Rosentraub, Mark S. 2002. Cities, Sports, and Economic Change: A

Retrospective Assessment. Journal of Urban Affairs, 24(5), 549-563.

Bachelor, Lynn W., (1998). Stadiums as Solution Sets: Baseball, Football, and the

Revival of Downtown Detroit. Review of Policy Research, 15(1) , 89-102.

Barnes, Tom. (2010, January ). PA Senate OKs Table Games. Pittsburgh Post-

Gazette. Retrieved from:

Biloxi Blues- The Underside of the Mississippi Miracle (N.D). Working for

America. Retrieved 4/27/11 from:


Blanchard, M. (June 5, 2007). SugarHouse woos Fishtown Fans. PlanPhilly. Retrieved


Blevins, Audie & Jensen, Katherine. (1998). Gambling as a Community Development

Quick Fix. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science , 556, 109-123.

Chapin, Timothy S. (2004). Sports Facilities as Urban Redevelopment Catalysts.

Journal of the American Planning Association, 70(2), 193-209.

Ciabattoni, Christanna. (April 30, 2010). Fishtown: Art Galleries Contribute to

Community’s Gentrification. Philadelphia Neighborhoods. Retrieved from:

Dannestam, Tove. (2008). Rethinking Local Politics: Towards a Cultural Political

Economy of Entreprenerurial Cities. Space and Polity, 12(3), 353-372.

Delaware Riverkeeper (2008). Sugarhouse Casino- Letter Re Army Corps

Permit. Retrieved from


Delaney, Kevin, J. & Eckstein, R. (September, 2007). Urban Power Structures and

Publicly Financed Stadiums. Sociological Forum, 22(3), 331-353.

Dense, Jeff & Barrow, Clyde. (2003). Estimating Casino Expenditures by Out-of-State

Patrons: Native American Gaming in Connecticut. Journal of Travel Research, 41(4), 410-415.

“Do AC” Media Campaign. Atlantic City Alliance. Retrieved from:

Eadington, William R. (1998, March). Contributions of Casino-Style Gambling to

Local Economies. Annals, AAPSS , 556.

Eadington, William R. (1999). The Economies of Casino Gambling. Journal of

Economic Perspectives , 13 (3), 173-192.

Felsenstein, Daniel, Littlepage, Laura & Klacik, Drew. (1999). Casino Gambling as

Local Growth Generation: Playing the Economic Development Game in Reverse. Journal of Urban Affairs , 21 (4), 409-21.

Florida, Richard. (2012, November 25). Gambling away our cities. New York Daily

News. Retrieved from:

Gambardello, Joseph A. (September 23, 2012). Police say robbery ring preys on

SugarHouse patrons. Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved from:

Gates, Kellie P. (July 7, 2008). Updated: Casino re-site battle heats up. PlanPhilly.

Retrieved from:

Gates, Kellie P. (November 9, 2012). Six applicants tell city they want Philadelphia's

second casino license. PlanPhilly. Retrieved from:

Gazel, Ricardo. (1998). The Economic Impacts of Casino Gambling at the State and

Local Levels. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 66-84.

Hall, Tim. & Hubbard, Phil. (1998). The Entrepreneurial City and the “New Urban

Politcs” In Hall, T. & Hubbard, P. (Eds). The Entrepreneurial City: geographies of politics, regime, and representation. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Harvey, David. (1989). From Managerialism to Entrepreneurialism: The

Transformation in Urban Governance in Late Capitalism. Geografiska Annaler, 71(B).

Hilario, Fran & Shelly, Jared. (November 18, 2014). Live! Hotel and Casino wins

Philadelphia casino license. Philadelphia Business Journal. Retrieved from:

Hoyt, Lorlene. (February, 2007). Beginner’s Luck. Planning Magazine. Retrieved from:

Jessop, Bob. & Sum, Nhai-Ling. (2000). An Entrepreneurial City in Action: Hong

Kong’s Emerging Strategies in and for (Inter)Urban Competition. Urban Studies, 37(12), 2287-2313.

Johnston, David. (June 22, 1993). Firm Buys an Option for Riverfront Casino Two Ex-

trump Officials Seek Part of Rob Rubin’s Rezoned Site for a Floating Gaming Hall. The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved from:

Levine, Marc. (2003). Tourism-Based Redevelopment and the Fiscal Crisis of the

City: The Case of Montreal. Canadian Journal of Urban Research, 12(1), 102-123.

Macaluso, Lauren & Laurie, Tyler. (December 8, 2010). Fishtown: Sugarhouse’s

Community Benefits Agreement Helps Neighborhood Groups. Philadelphia Neighborhoods. Retrieved from:


Miller, William & Schwartz, Martin. Casino Gambling and Street Crime. Annals of the

American Academy of Political Science, 556(1), 124-137.

Minton, Eric. (2006, April). Hey, Big Spender. Planning , 18-26.

Nichols, Mark, Stitt, B. Grant, & Giacopassi, David. (2002). Community Assessment of

the Effects of Casinos on Quality of Life. Social Indicators Research , 57 (3), 229-262.

Pelissero, John P., Henschen, Beth M. & Sidlow, Edward I., (1991). Urban Regimes,

Sports Stadiums, and the Politics of Economic Development Agendas in Chicago. Review of Policy Research. 10(2-3), p. 117-129.

PlanPhilly: Issues. Retrieved in March, 2010 from

Rose, Nelson. (2005). Pennsylvania’s new slot law. Gaming Law Review, 111–112.

Schwartz, Amy E. & Ellen, Ingrid G. No Easy Answers: Cautionary Notes from

Competitive Cities. The Brookings Institution. Retrieved 7/11/11 from

Steinbrueck, P. (February 1, 2007). Leaders must develop unified vision.

SugarHouse Year One: Pennsylvania bets, Philadelphia loses. Casino-Free

Philadelphia. Retrieved 12/12 from:

Sze, Julie. (2009). Sports and Environmental Justice: “Games” of Race, Place,

Nostalgia, and Power in Neoliberal New York City. Journal of Sport & Social Issues. 33(2), p. 111-129.

Teague, Matthew. (2007, June). Gaming the System. Philadelphia Magazine.

Tsai, Pamela. (September 1, 2009). Casino’s bid to enter center city Philadelphia

thwarted. Epoch Times. Retrieved from


Types of Gaming By State. American Gaming Association Retrieved from:

Van Voorhis, Scott. (2009, June 15). Foxwoods Philadelphia story faces potent urban

opposition. Gambling Compliance. Retrieved from http://www.gambling

Velotta, Richard. (2008, February). The G Word. Planning, pp. 27–30.

Walker, Douglas M. & Jackson, John D. (2007). Do Casinos Cause Economic Growth?.

American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 66(3), 1-13.

Wallace, David J. (November 24, 1993). Real Estate; With hopes that casino gambling

will soon follow, Philadelphia developers plan retail centers. The New York Times. Retrieved from:

Warner, Susan. (January 5, 1994). Bally to Buy 31 Acres of Riverfront The Casino Firm

is Staking a Claim In S. Phila. It Dropped Plans Last Year to Purchas Another Tract. The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved from:

Whitehouse, Mark. (2007, 11-July). Bad Odds. The Wall Street Journal , R5.