Now that many US states are planning to legalize online casino and online poker games in their jurisdictions, several brick-and-mortar casinos are introducing live poker rooms to boost business and draw players. The Sugar House Casino at Philadelphia has recently launched a new live poker room.

Gambling is nothing new to the residents of Pennsylvania as the state has legalized horse betting activities and lottery games. But Sugar House Casino needs to prove that it is something different as it the only casino in Pennsylvania’s biggest city. Since the Sugar House Casino threw open a brand new poker room with 24 poker tables, the credit of launching the first poker room in Philadelphia now goes to it.

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The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board verified and inventoried the new poker tables, which were brought to the casino by truck. Wendy Hamilton, the general manager of Sugar House Casino, broke open the seal of one of the trucks. The tables were then installed in the interim poker room, which overlooks the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Philadelphia’s poker players can start playing poker in November. Later in 2015, the casino plans to launch its permanent poker room. Hamilton said: “We found a way to put this temporary structure up, just in the meantime. This will house 24 poker tables, so that’s 240 playing positions.”

Currently, the casino is investing $164 million in expansion projects. The new poker room will take up $2.9 million of this amount. The casino expects to generate as much as $1.8 million in tax revenues from its new poker room, which has already created 100 new employment opportunities. Meanwhile, parking space, an events space, and restaurants will also be added to the facility. Once the expansion projects are concluded, as many as 500 part-time and full-time jobs will be generated.

The launch of a new poker room at Sugar House Casino and its various expansion projects is just part of what is happening in Philadelphia. Early in October, Sugar House Casino’s employees voted Sugar House Casino as one of the “Best Places to Work” in Philadelphia. The casino has been getting similar recognitions for the past four years.

A few days before its interim poker room was opened, the casino became the official partner of Philadelphia 76ers. Accordingly, Sugar House Casino will host the Philadelphia 76ers seasonal “tip-off viewing party.” The casino will also host the $100k Buzzer Beater Challenge at 10 Philadelphia 76ers home games.

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