In total the Sugarhouse will have 1600 slot machines, and 40 table games, including Blackjack, Roulette, and many others. With an estimated population of 1.55 million people residing in Philadelphia, this will make the city the largest to have casino gambling.
The delay in opening the casino is due in part to fierce debates that lasted years. Casino gambling has many positive and negative aspects to it which can benefit or hurt a large city like Philadelphia. Proponents of the SugarHouse Casino, as well as any casino built in the city say that casino’s create jobs, and benefit the community in the form of tax revenue. The other 9 casinos within the state have generated over $4.3 billion in tax revenue. This money can go towards education, cleaning up the surrounding areas, and creating a better atmosphere in and around the city. The Sugarhouse Casino alone will create approximately 850 new jobs. Those against the casino, say that putting gambling in an already depressed area of the state will enhance the problems that already exist.
With Atlantic City, the 2nd largest gambling city in the country, only about an hour away from Philadelphia, officials in the shore town are worried that the new casino in Philly may take away much needed business in the already struggling gambling town. A large percentage of gamblers who travel to Atlantic City each week are from the Philadelphia region. With the Sugarhouse now open, fears in Atlantic City are that many of those customers will stay home.
The Sugarhouse itself is located on the Delaware River, and is approximately 1.3 million square feet, sitting on the 22 acre lot where the Jack Frost Refinery once stood. The estimated tax revenue for the casino will be about $1 billion over it’s first 5 years in operation. The construction took just under a year to complete. The casino will open at approximately 1:30 PM today, Thursday the 23rd of September.