Mayor Nutter today revoked a building license awarded to SugarHouse Casino in the closing weeks of the Street administration.

At a City Hall news conference, he used harsh language to criticize the city action that preceded him, saying the license was "issued in error" by the city Commerce Department and was "unnecessarily rushed."

SugarHouse will have 30 days to appeal to the city to issue the license again, but only after a more extensive review process, Nutter said. He did not say how long that process would take - "it will be reasonable' - if SugarHouse chose to appeal.

At the same time, Nutter affirmed his belief that the city alone has the authority to issue the license, which would give the casino operator the right to build on submerged land owned by the state on Delaware Avenue, near the Fishtown-Northern Liberties border.

A group of state lawmakers, as well as City Council, has petitioned the State Supreme Court to revoke the license itself, saying that only the state has the right to grant it.

Nutter said he believes that lawsuit is now moot because there is no license.

The mayor reiterated that he is not a fan of the site for the SugarHouse or the Foxwoods casinos. In the case of SugarHouse, he said, concerns about traffic, parking, congestion and more were "brushed to the side" by the Street administration in a process that he characterized as improper. "It was an abuse of a discretion," Nutter said.

Contact staff writer Marcia Gelbart at 215-854-2338 or