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Philly's not casino-free, but Casino-Free is still very much alive in Philly

Casino-Free Philadelphia is planning to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Sugarhouse Casino in September with a new anti-gambling campaign. This campaign will focus on the amount of SugarHouse patrons who have taken out a line of credit to support their gambling.

"500 people have taken out a line of credit at SugarHouse," complained Kaytee Riek, the director of Casino-Free Philadelphia, an anti-casino group in Philadelphia that formed in 2006. Riek dramatizes her point by saying that the minimum line of credit is $500, which is quite a sum of money for many Philadelphians.

Casino-Free Philly is calling their campaign "quicksand credit," which is an analogy to how rapidly money can disappear when its gambled. "Quicksand credit drives people to addiction," said Riek. Riek is especially concerned about the affects of gambling on low-income players. "Preying on poor people is not a way to get customers."

This is simply the latest campaign held by the anti-gambling group. In 2010, Casino-Free orchestrated a "reclaim the riverfront" campaign, which focused on safety and jobs. One hallmark of this campaign was the formation of a casino town watch to document SugarHouse's tactics to attract patrons. Before SugarHouse opened, the advocacy group concentrated on convincing investors and elected officials to reject the proposed SugarHouse and Foxwoods casinos.   

The campaign is slated to be unveiled on September 23, which is one year after the opening of SugarHouse. With so many potential low-income Philadelphia gamblers living near SugarHouse, this promises to be an interesting campaign.

Source: Kaytee Riek, Casino-Free Philadelphia
Writer: Andy Sharpe    
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