On March 3, 2007, the City Council in Philadelphia voted overwhelmingly in favor of allowing voters decide on the planned waterfront slots parlor. This move was made despite the City Solicitor’s warning that a challenge from the state gambling board will likely not prosper in court.
After a heated hearing that day, City Council voted 6-0 to pass the proposed referendum in the ballot in May, which will ask voters if they approve of the modification of the zoning laws to push off the casino facilities in the riverfront near the city center. The whole council is likely to vote on the matter on March 15, 2007.
Councilman W. Wilson Goode Jr. commented that they decided to give voters the chance to air their side in the matter. Supporters of the measure have already gathered around 20,000 signatures in support of the ballot measure, which aims to prohibit casinos 1,500 ft of any home, schools or churches in the area. If it will is approved, the SugarHouse Casino in Fishtown and the Foxwoods Casino in South Philadelphia.
However, City Solicitor Romulo L. Diaz Jr. warned that even if voters approve of the referendum, it will only block about 2 slots gaming facilities in Philadelphia because the state is the one responsible for choosing the location of the slots casino. Nonetheless, Councilman James Kennedy stated that they plan to go ahead with their plans no matter what problems they may encounter.
Regarding the slot machines license, 3 of the rejected applicants have also challenged the decision made by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to award their fellow competitors. The City Council, 2 organizations from the Philadelphia civic associations and the residents in the area filed appeals that day as well.