SugarHouse owners settle internal feud

Posted: January 31, 2013

Local and Chicago investors behind the SugarHouse Casino have settled a dispute over terms of their partnership, which had created a roadblock to an expansion of the city's first gaming hall.

The two sides reached a settlement Tuesday, but did not disclose terms of the agreement, said Jack Horner, a spokesman for SugarHouse.

"The pending lawsuit relating to SugarHouse Casino and its partners has been resolved amicably, concluding a dispute regarding the casino's business plans," Horner said in a statement.

He said the matter "had no impact on day-to-day operations of the casino, but delayed a previously announced expansion."

The lawsuit, filed in Delaware Chancery Court, exposed the rift between local investors in the project, headed by lawyer Richard Sprague and auto magnate Robert Potamkin, and Chicago developer Neil Bluhm and SugarHouse chief executive Gregory Carlin.

Opened in 2010 on the Delaware River on a 22-acre site in Fishtown and Northern Liberties, SugarHouse was supposed to have expanded its operations by now.

But the lawsuit put on hold the $142-million expansion that included building a parking garage and almost doubling the gaming floor. The plan called for adding a poker room, between 600 and 800 slot machines and 35 to 40 table games.

Local investors thought the expansion was not ambitious enough and argued that the partnership gave them the ability to exercise a "supermajority" vote on the matter.

The Chicago investors disagreed. Testimony last fall in Chancery Court exposed not only the details of that disagreement, but also concerns local investors had about the viability and competitiveness of the casino.

The statement from SugarHouse about the settlement did not expand on what happens next in terms of the expansion.


Contact Jennifer Lin at 215-854-5659 or jlin@phillynews.com, or on Twitter @j_linq.

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