SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia is marking its one year anniversary with a block party and fireworks. Today casino leaders and politicians gathered at the gaming hall along the Delaware to mark the occasion and talk expansion.
Surrounded by the musical hum of the casino, Councilman Frank DiCicco remembered his own role in bringing legal gambling to Philadelphia.”I was not an early supporter, as we all know–not of casinos but of locations,” said DiCicco. “The traffic issue, which I was extremely concerned about, probably more to the south than here but I did have a concern about the impact on the community and it certainly did not come into fruition.”
City Councilman Darrell Clarke called SugarHouse the best casino on the East Coast. “I’d just like to thank the SugarHouse family for taking a shot and taking a chance in Philadelphia,” said Clarke. “You all made a decision to bid on the project and you delivered as promised and I just wanna sat that in spite of some of the concerns, that I’ve gotten absolutely zero complaints about this operation.”
SugarHouse General Manager Wendy Hamilton looked to the future: the casino’s expansion plans.”We will bring 500 new jobs to this neighborhood–full time jobs all with health benefits and 401k just like today,” said Hamilton. “Preliminary plans for this expansion include a seven storey parking garage, up to four new restaurants, a doubling of the gaming floor.”The casino plans to expand–adding about 500 full time jobs that come with health insurance and a 401k plan. That’s on top of the 1,000 existing jobs.Activists from Casino-Free Philadelphia point out the jobs at SugarHouse are non-union and say they have gone disproportionately to white males.
Tomorrow activists plan to mark the casino’s one year anniversary by warning casino patrons about what they call, “the dangers of predatory gambling.” They plan to display a large banner showing how much money gamblers have lost at SugarHouse so far.