Nutter signs zoning for casino at Gallery

Posted: November 17, 2008

Working on a Sunday, Mayor Nutter signed zoning legislation yesterday that helps clear the way for Foxwoods Casino to put a 3,000-machine slots parlor in the Gallery at Market East.

On Thursday, City Council approved bills that establish a commercial entertainment zone in the block bordered by Market, Filbert, 10th and 11th Streets.

Signing the legislation allows Foxwoods to apply to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board for permission to move its proposed casino from the South Philadelphia waterfront to Center City.

"This is the beginning of a process, and there will be many more opportunities for respectful dialogue and debate," Nutter said in a statement released yesterday.

The zoning change has been met with opposition from residents of Chinatown and complaints that they have been shut out of the process.

On Saturday, Nutter met with 15 leaders from Chinatown to discuss their concerns.

Yesterday, Helen Gym, a spokeswoman for Asian Americans United, said they were disappointed but not surprised.

The group was "concerned everything in the city from planning, zoning, to Council, will bring the slots house to Market East as soon as possible without any concern for the cost," Gym said.

She said the Market East location was not about "capturing new dollars or tourists" but was designed to expose the maximum number of Philadelphians to gambling.

Another meeting with Nutter and Chinatown leaders is planned for Thursday.

Contact staff writer Mari A. Schaefer at 610-892-9149 or

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