Rivers Casino Philadelphia Continues $1M Annual Donation to Penn Treaty

Posted on: October 23, 2023, 09:33h. 

Last updated on: October 23, 2023, 09:53h.

Rivers Casino Philadelphia has donated $1 million to an area nonprofit every year since the gaming property opened in 2009.

Rivers Casino Philadelphia Penn Treaty
Rivers Casino Philadelphia executives present a $1 million check to the Penn Treaty Special Services District. The casino gives $1 million annually to the organization that distributes the funds to local nonprofits working to improve neighboring communities. (Image: Rivers Casino Philadelphia)

The casino owned and operated by Chicago-based Rush Street Gaming continued its charitable pledge last week with another $1 million gift to the Penn Treaty Special Services District (SSD). The organization was founded in 2006 after Rush Street gained state approval to build a casino on the Delaware River in Fishtown.

The nonprofit works to empower community organizations through charitable grants and sponsorships. Rivers Casino Philadelphia, which opened as SugarHouse and remained under that brand until 2019, sets aside money from its gaming operations each year to fund the Penn Treaty SSD.

Rivers’ $1 million donation last week brings the casino’s total funding of the Penn Treaty SSD to $11.4 million. The money has been used for 737 grants to 182 nonprofits.

“As a dedicated community partner, Rivers Casino takes great pride in its ongoing collaboration with the Penn Treaty SSD,” said Eric Althaus, general manager of Rivers Casino Philadelphia. “This organization has played a crucial role in enhancing the well-being of our neighboring communities, and we’re privileged to support its mission.”

The Penn Treaty SSD includes the neighborhoods of Fishtown, Northern Liberties, Olde Richmond, and South Kensington.   

Funding Projects

Rivers Casino Philadelphia’s annual $1 million gift to the Penn Treaty SSD has been used to fund neighborhood festivals, improve parks, playgrounds, and gardens, host art, sports, and education programs, and improve infrastructure.

Penn Treaty SSD officials say the nonprofit is currently accepting grant and sponsorship requests. More details can be found here.

Penn Treaty SSD Chair Rick Angeli said in a statement that the nonprofit’s grant and sponsorship recipients work tirelessly “to improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods.” Angeli thanked the casino “for its steadfast support and unwavering commitment.”

“Without Rivers’ annual contribution … none of the work we do for our communities would be possible,” Angeli added.

Casino Expansion

Rush Street Gaming pledged to open a hotel at its Philadelphia casino when it petitioned the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board for a gaming license back in 2006. Seventeen years later, Rivers Philadelphia still does not offer on-site lodging.

However, in July, Rush announced a partnership with a group renovating the former Delaware River Generating System power plant into a mixed-use complex called The Battery. Along with residential apartments, co-working space, and an events facility, the reimagining of the 500,000-square-foot building includes 62 luxury hotel rooms that Rivers will offer its guests.

The casino is a short walk from The Battery along the Delaware River Trail. The walk comprises Penn Treaty Park, famous for being where William Penn signed his peace treaty with the Lenni-Lenape tribe in 1683.

The Battery is being redeveloped by the real estate firm Lubert-Adler. One of the firm’s founders, Ira Lubert, is behind an application to place a Bally’s casino inside the Nittany Mall near Penn State University.