Off the Menu: Parx Plan To Transfer OTB To Chickie’s and Pete’s in South Philly Voted Down

It occurred faster than it takes to complete an order of crab fries. The Philadelphia’s Zoning Board of Adjustment voted on Wendesday in opposition to a plan that will put off-track betting and a sportsbook in a Chickie’s and Pete’s in South Philadelphia.

Nonetheless, they’ve had months to digest all of the arguments earlier than making a call. Since January, conferences have been held to determine whether or not Parx On line casino’s South Philadelphia Race & Sportsbook may relocate to the Chickie’s and Pete’s on Packer Avenue a few mile away.

Through the streamed digital vote, the Zoning Board voted in opposition to the relocation 3-1. Chairman Frank DiCiccio was the one vote for relocation.

A authorized problem by Parx stays doable

Parx sought zoning approval to maneuver the South Philadelphia Race and Sportsbook presently situated at 700 Packer Avenue. The brand new $700 million Stay! Philadelphia On line casino is situated straight throughout the road. A Chickie’s and Pete’s in a small buying small buying heart close to a residential neighborhood represented the spot of the rejected plan.

A authorized problem stays doable. Nonetheless, there isn’t a resolution about that but, in line with Parx co-counsel Mark Stewart.

Stewart expressed disappointment with the vote:

 “Their motion was opposite to the Metropolis Planning Fee’s favorable suggestion and the robust file justifying the particular exception. We’ll await the Board’s written resolution earlier than making any selections on subsequent steps.”

The Packer Park Civic Affiliation vehemently opposed South Philadelphia Race & Sportsbook, also referred to as the Turf Membership, transferring their OTB and sports activities betting operations. Legal professional Paul Boni represented the Packer Park Civic Affiliation. He noticed the rejection as a call by the federal government to guard a residential neighborhood.

“A objective of a zoning code is to guard the neighborhood,” stated Boni. “Folks can debate whether or not playing parlors are already situated too conveniently close to residential communities. This proposal was to put in a sportsbook right into a neighborhood buying heart, into an institution that caters to kids. Authorities is starting to see that there ought to be some restrict.”

Heated arguments and a shock resolution on Parx request

The three-1 vote to nix the transfer was a shock. The zoning board beforehand allowed the applying to maneuver forward as a “particular exception” as a substitute of the vigorous variance approval format.

Stewart famous there was additionally an endorsement of the challenge simply earlier than the vote from the town’s Planning Fee. Consultant Ian Hagerty stated the Planning Fee didn’t anticipate a lot influence from the proposal.

The vote was additionally considerably of a shock given PA playing enlargement, the legalization of sports activities betting, and the flexibility of individuals 21+ with PA sports activities betting apps to wager wherever within the state.

At one level in the course of the contentious conferences, Michael Mattioni, a lawyer for Parx identified that you can guess on sports activities proper now at Chickie’s & Pete’s.

Matthew Cullen, Parx’s senior vice chairman for iGaming and Sports activities added:

“You’ll be able to sit in church and guess in your cellphone if you wish to.”

Neighborhood affiliation thrilled with resolution

The Packer Park Civic Affiliation’s neighborhood group vigorously fought the plan with a petition. A protest rally featured indicators warning “Grasping Petey” that the proposal was undesirable.

Barbara Capozzi, the chief of the Packer Park group, hailed the choice in assist of native residents.

“Our residents are robust and vocal and we joined collectively to have a say in what occurs right here. We look ahead to Chickie’s & Pete’s – as a household restaurant – persevering with to be part of our neighborhood for a few years to come back.”

Permitting OTB wagering mechanically permits sports activities betting

Wednesday’s resolution may have implications past simply the South Philadelphia Chickie’s & Pete’s.

Approving horse racing mechanically piggybacks approval for extra profitable sports activities wagering. Stewart stated stand-alone pari-mutuel racing is now not a enterprise mannequin that works.

Parx partnered with Pete Ciarrocchi, the proprietor of Chickie’s & Pete’s sports activities bars. Ciarrocchi has not responded to PlayPennsylvania for a request for remark. There’s a Chickie’s and Pete’s location in Parx On line casino in Bensalem and there are plans for one at a mini-casino in Shippensburg.

Parx and Chickie’s and Pete’s have plans for putting horse race wagering and sportsbook operations in extra places within the Better Philadelphia space. The increasing chain has over 15 places and extra within the pipeline.

Petitions looking for approval to maneuver extra OTBs nonetheless pending

Since January, the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Fee has sat on petitions looking for the relocation of three Parx OTBs tied to Chickie’s and Pete’s places, together with the Packer Ave. location, with out taking motion for months.

The fee has two different comparable requests pending along with South Philadelphia. The fee meets subsequent on June 29.

One is to maneuver the shuttered Oaks Race and Sportsbook in Montgomery County to a location at 10 Liberty Boulevard, in Malvern, Chester County, the place a brand new Chickie’s and Pete’s is deliberate.

The opposite was the Turf Membership location at 150 S. 69th St. in Higher Darby, which had closed a decade in the past. That petition seeks to relocate operations to the Chickie’s and Pete’s at Pilgrim Gardens Purchasing Heart at 5035 Township Line Highway within the Drexel Hill part of Higher Darby.

The publish Off the Menu: Parx Plan To Transfer OTB To Chickie’s and Pete’s in South Philly Voted Down appeared first on Play Pennsylvania.

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