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PHILADELPHIA(AP 9.23.2010) — Six years after the state Legislature legalized gambling, Philadelphia is set to become the largest U.S. city with a casino.
The opening Thursday of SugarHouse Casino, Pennsylvania's 10th casino, comes after years of community protests and delays. Now, casino officials expect thousands of gamblers to attend the first official day of business at the casino's 1,600 slot machines and 40 table games.
"We can't wait to welcome all the players," said Wendy Hamilton, general manager of the casino on the Delaware River waterfront. "The fact that this was a four- to five-year process, it makes it all the more exciting."
The casino conducted test runs of its games on Monday and Wednesday, with the proceeds going to charity. It is scheduled to officially open to the public around 1:30 p.m. Thursday, after getting a final go-ahead from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
That will make Philadelphia (population 1.55 million) pass Detroit (population 910,000) to become the nation's largest city with casino gambling.