The battle to win a license to build a second Philadelphia casino is heating up.

As city officials offered their impressions of competing projects Tuesday, protesters interrupted the presentation.

 

Deputy Philadelphia Mayor Alan Greenberger and two consultants gave an analysis of the proposals from six groups vying to build a new casino. Even though they would not pick one favorite, the testimony leaned toward two sites: "The Provence" and "Market 8." Greenberger says both plans would revitalize underutilized areas of the city.

"It is our belief that Market 8 on Market Street East will have the most immediate impact, while the Provence is part of a longer-term revitalization of North Broad Street," Greenberger said. "Both projects can be transformative projects for the city "

Casino opponents disrupted the meeting for about five minutes. Shouting and bearing signs spelling out problems such as "addiction" and "crime" they associate with gambling, the protesters were ushered out of the room by police.

Provence developer Bart Blatstein said he isn't deterred by the protest, adding that he is pleased with the city's analysis.

"We've worked hard, our team has worked very hard to create the best product possible, to have that trendsetter in the country, in the nation," he said.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is not expected to pick a winning project until spring.