Lawmakers Endorse Philly’s Market8

Two Pennsylvania House members and one Philadelphia city councilman have endorsed the Market8 casino proposal as the best for the city and state.

Two state lawmakers and one Philadelphia city councilman have given their endorsement to Market8, the casino proposal of local developer Ken Goldenberg, as the best of the five applicants for the city’s second casino license.

In a news release last week, Pennsylvania Reps. Michael O’Brien and John Taylor, and Philadelphia First District Councilman Mark Squilla, said the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board should grant the license to Market8, at the corner of 8th and Market Streets in the former downtown retail center.

“Weighing all of the presentations, it’s clear the economic opportunities that Market8 will bring outweigh those of the other applicants,” said O’Brien in the news release. “With its Center City location, Market8 will be best positioned to draw the most new gaming patrons and spur economic growth on and around East Market Street.

“Also critically important, Market8 will drive more business to the Pennsylvania Convention Center, generating additional major conventions and therefore more revenue for the state and the city.”

O’Brien also referenced Market8’s proposed rewards program, which would allow gamblers to spend their rewards points at local businesses.

Taylor praised project head Goldenberg in the release. “As a member of the general assembly for more than 28 years, it has always been my priority to create new opportunities to grow the economy,” Taylor said. “Ken Goldenberg has a reputation for delivering for the community and I give him and his investment group credit for looking beyond their project to identify ways to extend economic benefits outside Market8. The project’s commitment to local hiring will bring much-needed jobs to our communities.”

Squilla praised the project’s potential to revitalize the former retail hub of East Market Street.

“When I was elected to office, one of my top priorities became the revitalization of Market East as a strong commercial district and a destination location for the City,” Squilla said. “We have an unprecedented opportunity with this remaining casino license to transform East Market Street in a way that no other development can.”

Goldenberg is partnered with the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority on the $700 million project. Mohegan would operate the casino.