Philly to get second casino
Live! Hotel & Casino was awarded Philadelphia’s second casino license this week; the backers of which also own Parx Casino in Bensalem. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board was persuaded that the placement of the casino in South Philadelphia’s sports complex would bring in sports fans and alleviate traffic concerns. The Board noted that the location next to the sports stadiums has the potential to “create a year-round attraction.” Other locations considered were in center city and the board did not buy into the idea that casino-goers would use public transportation to get to those locations. The casino is expected to open in about 15 months. Critics and competitors felt the decision will create a monopoly in the Philly area for the Parx owners and will have negative economic impact on other area casinos, including SugarHouse and Harrah’s Chester.
Pope Francis announces trip to Philadelphia
Last March, Governor Tom Corbett traveled to Rome, Italy with other representatives from Philadelphia and the Catholic Church to invite Pope Francis to attend the 2015 World Meeting of Families. Word then was that the pope would consider the invitation; Pope Francis has now confirmed he will attend the meeting taking place in Philadelphia in 2015. The pope told Corbett in March that he would attend but swore Corbett and his camp to secrecy until the Vatican was prepared to make the announcement. That announcement came this week as religious leaders gathered in Rome for a summit on marriage and family life. During the pope’s visit a public mass will be held on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway; the meeting and pope’s attendance are expected to draw around 2 million people. Pope Francis will be only the fourth pope to visit the United States and it will be his first visit as well.