PHILADELPHIA — Six years after legalizing gambling, Philadelphia is going to have the world’s most famous casino.
Next week, The Liberty Bell Casino, Pennsylvania’s 11th casino, will open after years of community protests and delays. Casino officials expect thousands of gamblers to attend the first official day of business at the casino’s 1,600 slot machines and 40 table games.
“We can’t wait to welcome all the players,” said Margie Williams, general manager of the casino at the Liberty Bell Center. “The fact that this was a four-to-five-year process, it makes it all the more exciting.”
“When a visitor wins a jackpot at the slots, we are going to ring The Liberty Bell,” said casino executive Tom Hillstrom. “Isn’t that great? I thought of that myself. I think it’s going to be a real draw.”
Craps table and blackjack tables will be set up around The Liberty Bell. Casino managers said they would keep the minimum bet at these tables $2 – as to encourage tourists to play. “What is more American than playing craps at the Liberty Bell?,” said casino employee Joshua Whitcomb.
There are many that are upset with Philadelphia officials, saying they’ve “desecrated” a national landmark. “Oh, get over it. That was almost 250 years ago. It’s just a bell! The city needs money and this is a great way to raise it,” said City Comptroller Hank Bloomer.
The casino conducted test runs of its games at the Liberty Bell last weekend. It is scheduled to officially open to the public around 1:30 p.m. Thursday, September 30, after getting a final green-light from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
Philadelphia (population 1.55 million) will pass Detroit (population 910,000) to become the nation’s largest city with casino gambling.
The Liberty Bell Center was opened in October, 2003. On every Fourth of July, at 2pm Eastern time, children who are descendants of Declaration signers symbolically tap the Liberty Bell 13 times while bells across the nation also ring 13 times in honor of the patriots from the original 13 states. But now… everyone will get a shot at ringing the bell. Just win a jackpot!!
The area around the bell served as the nation’s capital (1790-1800) for Presidents Washington and Adams. The Founding Father would be thrilled to know that the Philadelphia has finally fulfilled the American Dream: gambling!
Go to Philly… and try to ring that bell!