Ground broke on Tuesday on an improved SugarHouse Casino set to be unveiled next year that will feature new restaurants, a parking garage, a 30-table poker room and more.
With the help of a SugarHouse-themed backhoe, the casino's executive team, city officials and community leaders held a ceremony at the North Delaware Avenue facility, where the expansion will be built.
"[The SugarHouse team is] excited about a bigger, nicer and "more wow" facility to be proud of," said Wendy Hamilton, general manager of SugarHouse.
To meet the needs of poker in Philadelphia, the casino will open a temporary 24-table poker room. Beginning this fall, the room will remain open 24/7 until the casino debuts its permanent 30-table poker room in 2015.
"Philadelphia already has a huge number of poker players and right now, you have to travel outside of the city to play," Hamilton said. "I think that this is just a more convenient option."
SugarHouse is still working on finalizing deals with the new restaurants to be included with the new expansions.
"All of them are terrific, experienced operators and some of them are from Philadelphia so it's definitely names that folks here will know," Hamilton said.
The $2.9 million investment will result in an estimated $1.8 million in taxes to the City and Commonwealth. Additionally, the opening will create 100 new full and part-time jobs across various departments, with 80 of the positions being poker dealers.
Additionally, the new expansions will result in an annual contribution of $1 million to the Penn Treaty Special Services District, an increase from the $500,000 the casino usually donates, to promote economic growth in the Philadelphia area. A free poker dealer school will also be offered to current employees and new applicants from PTSSD.
"The intent is to help people [in the area] learn the skills [to become a poker dealer]," Hamilton said.
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