Thursday, August 24, 2006


As one can expect, the controversy over proposed slots parlors across the state seems to have many layers of controversy, ranging from nepotism among ranking officials of the state's gaming control board (aka business as usual in Harrisburg) to the governor shoving a highly unpopular property tax reform plan down the collective throats of the taxpayers and school boards across the state. It was only a matter of time before SEPTA ended up getting caught up in this mess in an indirect fashion.

According to an AP article, at least three SEPTA Board members are among the many investors, albeit small, in two groups vying for slots licenses in different parts of the state:

Two board members of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Pasquale Deon and James Schwartzman, joined Las Vegas Sands Inc. in its pursuit of a Bethlehem slots parlor by virtue of their long-standing personal and professional ties to company executives, a Sands spokesman said.

Another SEPTA board member and Philadelphia labor leader, Herman Wooden, joined a sprawling group of business people in the city in search of a company to run the casino. They eventually found Robert Earl, the founder of Planet Hollywood, said the group's spokesman, Jay Devine.

Many of the stakes owned by local partners will be tiny.

Great. Politics as usual at 1234 Market...

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