Well, gambling may be legal, but only if you can find a place to put a casino. Personally, I think that there are better options than the Hill district. Tony Norman of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette has an op/ed piece about the attempts to place a new casino in the Hill district. It got me to think a bit about where a casino should be. Mr. Norman points out that a casino would never be proposed for two of the more affluent neighborhoods in Pittsburgh. Although he has a point about the racial make up of those neighborhoods playing a factor, I think it would be just as unlikely for a casino to be placed in any suburban area.
First of all, the city of Pittsburgh needs the revenue that will be generated, so it should stay in the city limits. Our downtown sits in the crux of three rivers, so real estate in downtown is pretty limited. While there are several open open properties, the geography of the city does not allow for much growth. I can understand why the Hill was chosen as a possible site; it is situated right above downtown. But it is also isolated, with the arena and major roadways interupting the flow from downtown. It is also a strictly residential area. There are no, and I mean no, businesses in the Hill district.
I think the best place for the casino would be on the south shore, accross the bridge from downtown. There is already a mall, Station Square, a couple of natioanl chain entertainment venues (like Hooters)and room for growth along the strip between the rise of land to Mount Washington and the Monongahela river. There is also an outdoor arena that has hosted bands and other events.
The north shore would be a good alternative. The two new stadiums are already there, so there's plenty of parking.
They should just leave the Hill alone. Why ruin a perfectly good residential area? You should see the vista of the city from the crests of the Hill district. There is a lot of beauty in the Hill.