Fishtown seeks community comps from SugarHouse

Here's one of the best ideas we've heard in a long time: If and when the SugarHouse Casino gets built in Fishtown/Northern Liberties, the casinos would pay for and give out freebies to businesses outside of the black hole of the casino complex. SugarHouse is negotiating with Fishtown Action and other groups on a community benefits agreement, and the casino has agreed to include in its comps -- those perks given to repeat customers that the gambling industry loves -- food, drinks ans services in the neighborhood. Because casinos are regarded as customer hoarders who like to keep customers inside the timeless casino evnironment, residents are worried that local businesses will suffer. FACT President Maggie O'Brien said she got the idea from one of the communities in Western PA which is doing the same thing with its casino.