Philly Locals Rally Against Chickie’s and Pete’s Sportsbook

A crowd of local South Philadelphia residents gathered to protest a proposal for the popular Chickie’s and Pete’s restaurant and sports bar to host a Parx Casino sportsbook.

Local South Philadelphia residents from the Packer Park neighborhood crowded into the parking lot of Chickie’s and Pete’s restaurant and sports bar last week for a rally against the restaurant’s plan to host a Parx Casino sportsbook.

More than 100 residents waved signs and made speeches in opposition to the increase in gambling available in the neighborhood.

“I wanted people to know what was going on,” said Barbara Capozzi, president of the Packer Park Neighborhood Association, according to South Philly Review. “The legal process alone is probably not going to stop Pete (Ciarrocchi). It’s Parx, too. They’re a great organization but it’s all about money to them. This is our neighborhood, and there is no neighborhood in this city that fights harder for ourselves.”

Ciarrocchi is the chairman and CEO of Chickie’s & Pete’s Crab House and Sports Bar, a chain of 16 locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. His position is that the advent of mobile sports betting has made the actual location of wagering irrelevant. He also has said offering a sportsbook will better allow him to compete with the new Live! Philadelphia casino in the neighborhood.

“When they leave here, there will be nothing in their pockets,” said Packer Park Civic Association board member Rob Rabena at the rally. “They’re going to look in cars and break in. A lot of us lived here for a long time. We have to draw the line and say enough is enough. We don’t want gamblers 50 feet from these houses right here.”

Homemade signs at the rally said, “Gambling Destroys Families,” “Crab Fries – Yes, Gambling – No” and “Greedy Petey.”