Friday, April 25, 2008


The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has delayed a vote on a refinancing plan for Pittsburgh's casino. Casino developer, Don Barden, wanted a decision by May 8th saying the delay could endanger his plans to refinance with Credit Suisse on what had been a $450 million deal. He is now seeking $630 million to meet the rising costs associated with construction delays. Barden told the board that he feels there is a conspiracy behind the delay, but did not elaborate. Gaming board members say they are concerned about the refinancing plan as well as Barden's misgivings about a $3 million commitment to revitalize the Hill District. Last week Barden petitioned the board to eliminate the $3 million investment because he said that was contingent on his receiving the development rights near the new arena. Those development rights belong to the Penguins. The board said it will wait to vote until May 14 on both the refinancing plan and the $3 million commitment.

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato want to sit down with Barden to discuss his request to drop the funding for the Hill District. The mayor has said that he wants to know what Barden will do with his $3 million commitment, and wants to ensure that wherever the money goes, it stays in Pittsburgh.

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