Legal Battle Beginning Over Proposed Casino Site in Pennsylvania

SugarHouse Casino received their license to build a casino on twelve acres of state owned land. They believed they would begin building after they received the license.

That scenario may never play out after legislators filed a lawsuit Wednesday claiming that Philadelphia officials went above their authority by issuing the license.

The submerged banks of the Delaware River is the area in question. In order to use submerged land, legislators must issue legislation to grant “riparian rights”. That did not happen in this case.

The SugarHouse Casino investors believe that they are doing a good thing by putting the casino in that area. “We would be creating public access where there currently is none, and if we can’t build on it under Pennsylvania law, then no one can,” said SugarHouse spokesman Dan Fee.

The investors have vowed to extend one pier and remove fill and broken structures from the other piers. They also intend to build a water taxi dock and marina, and a fan shaped park to allow people access that currently does not exist.

The casino project is expected to cost in the range of $600 million. Part of the deal with the city of Philadelphia would call fro the SugarHouse Casino to pay an annual fee of $282,270 to the city.

The lawsuit is claiming that Philadelphia’s licensing authority applies only to wharfs, docks, and other harbor structures only, not casinos.


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