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Philadelphia Investors Suing Sugarhouse Casino’s Top Partner

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(Gamblers at the Sugarhouse Casino, on North Delaware Avenue, in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia.  File photo by Mike DeNardo)

(Gamblers at the Sugarhouse Casino, on North Delaware Avenue, in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia. File photo by Mike DeNardo)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - A prominent Philadelphia lawyer and a well-known car dealer — both minority partners in the Sugarhouse Casino — are suing the Chicago-based developer who runs the Delaware Avenue gambling house.

The suit by a partnership led by lawyer Richard Sprague and car dealer Robert Potamkin was filed in Delaware’s Chancery Court, which decides internal disputes by entities registered as corporations in Delaware.

The suit claims that Neil Bluhm, the majority owner of Sugarhouse, and his partners want to scale back expansion plans and borrow less money in the process.

The suit claims the local partners are being bypassed in that decision-making process.

Ed Ellers is a Temple University law professor with a specialty in gaming law.

“The decision to refinance in a lesser amount or limit the amount of financing to a certain amount is one of those decisions that looks to be the crux of the matter,” he tells KYW Newsradio.

Ellers says it also appears to come down to corporate governance and voting rights of the minority partners on those decisions.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is not commenting, saying it doesn’t react to internal disputes.  A spokesman also notes there currently is no development plan before the board for action.

Reported by Mark Abrams, KYW Newsradio 1060

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