Photo of a casino.
Will the Sugarhouse Casino be good for the economy or hurt the community? CC by jimg944/Flickr

Pennsylvania’s Sugarhouse Casino opened this week. On the shores of the Delaware River, this casino has been hotly debated. The hotly debated Sugarhouse Casino opened its doors recently. This is the first big casino on the shores of the Delaware River. The gaming licenses issued in 2006 were very limited. The company that owns Sugarhouse Casino received one of the five permits. The risks associated with having a casino in their back yard does not appeal to some. Though the Sugarhouse will create billions of dollars in tax revenue, some are still protesting. Many residents and anti-gambling groups continue to protest the Sugarhouse Casino, and are moving forward with plans intended to reduce casino earnings.

Debates against the Sugarhouse Casino

From the day HSP Gaming, L.P. was granted a gaming license by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, residents have expressed concern. Some community groups claimed that the casino would create a “bad neighborhood” of drunks, no fax payday loan businesses, and crime. A candlelight service was held outside the casino on opening night. Organizers have stated that the vigil was “for people…who are sure to gamble away their savings”.

Sugarhouse Casino promises economic development

There has been strong debate against the Sugarhouse Casino. Residents of Fishtown, closest to the casino, have said that they are happy to have it open. The casino has already provided almost $ 200,000 to be used for everything from veteran’s services to schools. Over 900 people have been hired by the Sugarhouse Casino, including 800 full-time employees.

Future plans for the Sugarhouse Casino

There are big plans for this casino, even though they opened with several hundred slot machines fewer than planned. As more people visit the casino, the casino will expand to include more services. This new casino is going to be the faced with many challenges. Those who have campaigned against the Sugarhouse Casino are going to try and dissuade individuals from visiting the business. Though many are concerned about this new “dangerous neighbor,” the industrial-area casino may very well prove to be a badly needed economic stimulus.


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