Will the Main Line Get a Casino?

The old Barnes might just be the perfect spot for a new gambling establishment

Recently, in a Narberth-Bala Cynwyd Patch story about a consulting firm declaring City Avenue the perfect spot for a new casino, George Manos, township commissioner, was quoted as saying, “There is probably not a single person in the township who would support the use.”

Now wait a minute. Let’s step back and think about this a little differently. I mean, maybe the west side of City Avenue could use a little excitement. Let’s face it: Now that they’ve driven out all that annoying high-brow culture by chasing one of the world’s most impressive private art collections straight down to the Parkway, they could fill the cultural vacuum with some neon and sequins!

In fact, wouldn’t the Barnes Museum be just the perfect site for a flashy new casino? I mean, it’s just sitting there empty and all. Well not exactly empty—there are still students there, but why not just finish the job and chase all the art lovers out? In fact, they could add an extension to the back of the building, right over the arboretum, to make it a giant gambling magnet! The construction would add jobs and revenue, and the loss of the rare plant and tree specimens is no big deal. No one cares about that stuff anyway.

Wait, how about this! To avoid all the bus congestion that had the neighbors’ shorts in a bunch, the city could build a big-ass parking lot on their side and run smaller shuttles over to Merion. They could leave a small amount of parking available at the museum/casino for the high-rollers. In fact, the neighbors could organize a town watch to patrol the parking lots to look for pets and young children locked in the cars. And they wouldn’t have to worry about art-loving weirdos strolling around anymore because we all know that gamblers don’t stroll. No, they are a purposeful bunch; get in, lose some dough and get the kids home by dinner.

The revenues earned could fund all kinds of job-producing programs. There would have to be a hotline for people with gambling problems, and the local Gamblers Anonymous group would have to look for bigger digs. Maybe the Cardinal down the street has some room in the basement. Oh, come on, just think of it: the Barnes Casino. Don’t you love the ding, ding, ding of it?