Gambling and Pittsburgh's Neighborhoods: A Baseline Study of Allegheny West & Manchester

by Henschel, Gabriel Michael

Abstract (Summary)
This research project seeks to lay the groundwork for future studies on the interaction of the Majestic Star Casino and the Pittsburgh communities. The introduction of gambling into a society has long been seen as the gateway for the introduction of other social evils and the degradation of the community; however, some recent evidence suggests that communities and casinos can cohabitate for the mutual benefit of all parties involved. Considering the animosity between these strongly held opinions, this project was predicated on the concept of journalistic objectivity attempting to neutrally collect and catalogue a body of evidence for the future use of researchers on either side of the debate. Beyond the need for universality, to form conclusions which claim to know the exact effect of an un-built casino on Pittsburghs neighborhoods would be a contrived effort at best and academic heresy at worst; thus, the focus of this project is to gather data on the physical condition, community life and general health of the neighborhoods surrounding the proposed site before casino construction is completed. The physical condition of the neighborhoods has been documented by the creation of a thorough photographical catalogue of Allegheny West and Lower Manchester the two neighborhoods which most directly adjoin the casino site. The catalogue gives a street-level view of the community from a pedestrians prospective. The roughly 4,000 photos collected for this thesis will give future researchers tangible evidence of the current condition of the housing stock, street layout, and residential conditions present in the neighborhoods. Supplementing this catalogue are digitally recorded interviews with neighborhood leaders, government officials, and experts. These interviews not only elaborate on the current state of the neighborhoods, but also detail the interviewees thoughts on the coming casino and what potential effect it may have on Pittsburgh. These two catalogues are enhanced by a neighborhood statistical analysis, essential background information on the casino selection process, and a brief overview of the Majestic Stars construction plans. The entirety of this thesis is dedicated to helping future researchers better understand one of the most controversial issues of our time: gambling.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Dr. Carolyn Carson; Kerry O'Donnell; Dr. Raymond E Jones; Dr. Morton Coleman

School:University of Pittsburgh

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:urban studies


Date of Publication:02/17/2009

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