INQUIRER: In suing the administration and City Council, SugarHouse joined the city’s other planned casino, Foxwoods, in forsaking the political process for the courts. Foxwoods Casino has also asked the Supreme Court to require the city to approve its project. (Virtually all issues connected with the licensing, planning and zoning of the state’s nascent slots industry go directly to the highest court, by law.) The lawsuit’s intent: “to force these guys to do what they’re legally obligated to do,” said SugarHouse’s lawyer, Stephen Cozen. Cozen was joined by labor leaders who urged the city to build the casinos now.
Critics responded that SugarHouse was panicking in the face of a new administration, likely to be led by Michael Nutter, that wants to move the casinos. On Tuesday, Nutter urged the state House of Representatives’ Committee on Gaming Oversight to recommend a bill that would require a 1,500-foot buffer between casinos and homes, which would outlaw the riverfront sites chosen — SugarHouse in Fishtown/Northern Liberties and Foxwoods in Pennsport. Nutter spokeswoman Melanie Johnson said: “This is very important to him.” MORE