Statement Regarding Proposed Casino
One of the contenders for the City of Pittsburgh’s casino license proposes to build a casino in conjunction with a new arena for the Pittsburgh Penguins, as well as housing and commercial development, between Fifth Ave. in Uptown and the lower Hill area. The Pittsburgh Penguins are friends and neighbors of Duquesne University. We understand their need for a new arena. The Penguins are an asset to Pittsburgh and we do not want to lose them.
We believe the City needs a new arena if it is to remain a venue for nationally significant entertainment and recreation. We are also supportive of new housing and commercial development in this area. This would be good for Uptown and good for the City. Duquesne is taking the lead in several similar attempts to revitalize our neighborhood, including a multi-use development plan for Forbes Avenue.
However, Duquesne University is opposed to the operation of a casino within easy walking distance of our campus. We have a student population of ten thousand, approximately a third of them in residence on the Bluff. We know from studies that a predictable percentage of a population with easy access to a casino will develop gambling problems. It is a fact that young adults are particularly vulnerable to these risks. We are also aware that other casino sites have attracted alcohol problems, drugs, prostitution, and other crimes. These threats should not be knowingly located within two and a half blocks of thousands of students at one of Pennsylvania’s leading universities; not put less than half a mile from the Bluff that Duquesne has called home since 1885.
As we must locate a casino in Pittsburgh, let it be far away from large concentrations of students. And then require the casino operation, wherever it is located, to fund the new arena that the Penguins and Pittsburgh need.
We believe that this issue is of critical importance to the continued growth and development of Duquesne University.
Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.