Fishtown seeks community comps from SugarHouse

Here’s an idea: SugarHouse Casino, if and when it gets built in Fishtown/Northern Liberties, would add a new twist to the comps or freebies it gives out to repeat customers. As part of a deal with local neighborhood groups, SugarHouse would offer comps to neighborhood businesses. This would be a change for the casinos, long accused of hoarding customers withing the timeless and disorienting environment of the casino complex. Neighbors, both for and against casinos, have raised concerns that local businesses will suffer if everyone’s running to the casino for a $5.95 shrimp buffet. Fishtown Action President Maggie O’Brien said she stole the idea from one of the communities in Western PA with casino. Fishtown Action, the pro-casino neighborhood group that splintered from the anti-SugarHouse Fishtown Neighbors Association, is negotiating a community benefits agreement with SugarHouse that would include at least $1 million in community give-backs. Controversy will follow whatever agreement is signed, with Fishtown Neighbors certain to claim that any agreement without it is meaningless.