The Sugarhouse Casino opened today an hour and a half from Atlantic City today in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania legalized gambling in 2004, and the opening of this casino has been long awaited. With 1,600 slot machines and 40 table games, Sugarhouse will very likely take away some business from the casinos across the border in New Jersey. Sugarhouse is the first legal gambling hall in the state.
This casino will be a huge benefit to the state of Pennsylvania; it is expected to generate over one billion tax dollars over the next five years. $1 million per year is going to local school districts. The casino has also created almost 1,000 jobs, 800 of which are full time. The typical dealer makes between $40,000 and $50,000 per year. Still, the casino has met some opposition. Groups and individuals who have rallied against the casino have largely resigned in the fight against the casino. Thursday’s grand opening is a somber event for these people. Rather than continuing to fight against the casino, many of the opponents have decided to promote issues such as awareness of gambling addiction.
When the casino opened its doors early Thursday afternoon, there were all ready 500 people waiting to enter. Still, the Philadelphia casino promises to be a controversial landmark in Pennsylvania.