Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Barden Refinancing Hearing Put On Hold

PITG Gaming owner and Majestic Star Casino developer Don Barden asked the state Gaming Control Board for a hearing extension about his $630 million refinancing plan. PITG spokesman Bob Oltmanns says litigation costs, market failings, and other delays have hiked up the amount needed to complete the casino. As a result, they are proposing to change several aspects of the agreement that predicated their award of a gaming license. PITG wants to refinance through Credit Suisses, delay construction of non-gaming facilities, and divert a $3 million grant for Hill District redevelopment. Oltmanns says while there was no explicit agreement that PITG would invest in the Hill only if they received redevelopment rights to Mellon Arena, it was understood in negotiations that whoever won the gaming license would also gain those rights. They were awarded to the Penguins. Oltmanns says Barden wants permission from the city to spend the money in other ways in the Hill. He would not speculate on PITG's next move if the plan is denied.

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