Philadelphia residents fight against decision to move Parx Casino racing, sportsbook businesses

January 12, 2024
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The Packer Park Civic Association plans to take the matter to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Philadelphia residents have vowed to oppose a recent decision to relocate Parx Casino to Chickie’s & Pete’s restaurant and bar, according to a Philadelphia Inquirer local report.

A Pennsylvania court recently ruled in favor of moving the casino’s racing and sports betting businesses to the bar.

In the ruling, the three-judge Commonwealth Court claimed that residents had presented “generalized testimony about the possible pitfalls of legal gambling and testimony from local residents that they oppose the relocation because they feel the character of the neighborhood may be affected.”

The court went on to state that, “the Association failed to meet its burden of demonstrating that the proposed relocation of the sportsbook to the new location would detrimentally affect the health, safety, and welfare of the neighborhood than would normally be expected from the proposed use.”

Chickie’s & Pete’s first opened in 2003 and since has become a family dining spot, according to the local report.

City residents said they want to maintain the bar’s current family-friendly vibe, something they believe could be jeopardized if Parx Casino’s businesses are moved.

Growing concern over the relocation has caused the Packer Park Civic Association to appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to block the approved move. However, pushback against moving the South Philadelphia Race & Sportsbook has been a three-year ordeal.

The civic organization told local news that Chickie’s & Pete’s “has been the neighborhood spot where families take their children to celebrate birthdays, graduations, or simply enjoy a meal of pizza and crab fries.”

Packer Park Civic Association President Barbara Capozzi elaborated further on the association’s disappointment on the ruling to local news via email by saying, “[We are] very disappointed that the Commonwealth Court ruled in favor of an invasion of gambling into a pristine community that solidly does not want this use.

“We surely did present ample proof, besides common sense, that gambling is an invasive cancer in a community. Just the crime stats around such sites, which we showed, are proof enough. This is a community of hard-working, law-abiding, rule-following, kind and generous people.”

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