Contractor Suing SugarHouse Casino Over Unpaid Renovation Fees

According to New Jersey contractors, SugarHouse is trying to skip out on some of the bill of its large expansion.

The Philadelphia-area casino unveiled its renovations over a year ago. Last month, the general contractors on the project, Skanska USA Building Inc, filed a $14 million lawsuit against the casino. Skanska claims that is the sum SugarHouse still owes on its work.

SugarHouse paid $118 million so far to Skanska

Skanska claims the casino initially agreed to pay them $123 million for their work. However, some modfications to the plans resulted in $8 million of additional work. There is also a disputed $1 million in payments SugarHouse wrote off as “liquidated damages.”

To date, SugarHouse has paid Skanska $118 million, creating the $14 million shortfall.

SugarHouse representatives declined to comment to Philly.com about the matter.

The expansion of the property was a big event last year. The project included a seven-story parking garage, a host of new restaurants, a Poker Night In America-branded poker room, and an events center. When the casino cut the ribbon on the expansion, it listed the cost of the construction project at $164 million.

Other contractors claim SugarHouse owes them too

Apparently several vendors besides Skanska believe SugarHouse owes them money. There are currently a dozen subcontractors with claims against SugarHouse regarding the project. Some of the plaintiffs are seeking money directly from SugarHouse, while others want compensation from Skanska.

The sum total of these outstanding bills comes in at around $10 million.

SugarHouse rep Jack Horner did comment on the subcontractor situation. he places the blame on Skanska:

“It is the obligation of the general contractor to pay the subcontractors. Unfortunately, the general contractor has not done so, and the subcontractors have filed liens to protect their interests. It is important to SugarHouse that the subcontractors who built our expansion are compensated fairly and that our general contractor meets its obligations to them.”

Some of the subcontractors who worked on the project spoke with Philly.com about the problems getting paid. According to them, big projects often feature language in the contractor and subcontractor agreements which state there will be no payment until the client pays the contractor.

In this situation, even if Skanska does owe these third-party subcontractors money, they claim it should come out of the $14 million still owed to them.

Meanwhile, these subcontractors are dealing with both outstanding balances and mounting legal fees related to the liens seeking repayment.

Last year, SugarHouse took in over $116 million in revenue, compared to $97 million in 2015. Thanks in large part to the expansion, the casino saw an uptick of 22 percent. It also solidified its status as one of the top three Pennsylvania casinos.

About The Author

Jessica Welman

A graduate of USC and Indiana University, Jessica Welman has long been involved in the poker industry. She has worked as a tournament reporter for the World Poker Tour, co-hosted a podcast for Poker Road, and as the managing editor for WSOP.com.

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