Casino-Free Philadelphia hopes to talk to gaming officials at SugarHouse in regards to 60 Minutes segment

Casino-Free Philadelphia will visit SugarHouse casino Thursday to ask gaming control board representatives about issues on gambling addiction raised in a 60 Minutes report on casinos that aired Sunday.

During the 5:30 p.m. trip, the anti-gaming group they will seek “information necessary to determine if sufficient precautions are in place to protect those addicted to gambling, and for information necessary for the state of Pennsylvania to determine the effects of casinos on its citizens’ mental health,” according to a press release.

The 60 Minutes report featured an interview with Gov. Ed Rendell. During the interview, Rendell became agitated with interviewer Leslie Stahl when she asked if bringing gaming to Pennsylvania would lead to more gaming addiction locally.

Watch the episode here.

Rendell acknowledged that some people “lose their paycheck.” He also told Stahl that people in Pennsylvania were gambling before gaming came here, either by other means, such as betting on sports, or by visiting casinos out of state. Rendell said Pennsylvania should benefit from that revenue.

This does not sit well with Casino-Free.

“The evidence that slot machines are addictive is clear,” said Lily Cavanagh, Organizing Director of Casino-Free Philadelphia. “What the interview showed us is that Gov. Rendell admits the state of Pennsylvania, through the casinos, is purposely going after the paychecks of addicted gamblers to raise revenue.”

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About the author

Kellie Patrick Gates, Waterfront, casinos, planning reporter

Kellie Patrick Gates writes about planning, neighborhood development and the Central Delaware Waterfront. A journalist for more than two decades, she  worked for daily newspapers in Central Pennsylvania, Upstate New York and South Florida before coming to Philadelphia in 2003 to write for the Inquirer. Her work has appeared on PlanPhilly since 2007, and she also writes Love, the Inquirer's weekly wedding column. A native of Elk County, Pa., Kellie lives with her husband, Gary, and their dog and two cats.

Follow her on Twitter @KelliePGates

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