Oh happy day!

Written by Bill Toland on .

The Dow is up! Use your newfound stock winnings to gamble at Pittsburgh's casino, which is right on schedule (or at least, its most recent schedule, which is more than a year behind the original schedule):

"Rough as it is, the $800 million North Shore casino slowly is taking form, from the 90-foot-high drum atrium, the building's centerpiece, to the curve of the sleek two-story facade designed to follow the river, to the gigantic 3,872-space parking garage being built behind it. During a tour yesterday, [general manager Ed Fasulo] said the casino, after weathering a work stoppage and financing crisis that cost Don Barden his majority ownership last summer, is on track to open in August."

... check out this cool 360-degree shot of the casino atrium.

... "Nearly two years after Pennsylvania's casinos began opening, compulsive gamblers seeking treatment are able to begin receiving services paid for by the state. The state Department of Health posted a listing on its Web site last week of 13 different individual or agency providers, including several in southwestern Pennsylvania, authorized to be reimbursed for treating gamblers. Officials say at least two dozen more providers are likely to be approved soon, making them eligible to be reimbursed for up to 20 therapy sessions for gambling addicts or their family members."

... Nice problem to have: Canonsburg is trying to figure out how to spend its casino revenue.

Dispatches from the east

You don't have to be Paul Krugman to figure this out, but September is going to go down as a bad month for casinos:

"More bad news for the gaming industry is expected when the New Jersey Casino Control Commission releases revenue figures for September. Larry Mullin, president and chief operating officer of Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, estimates revenue fell about 15 percent in September. If true, it will be the biggest monthly decline so far this year. Overall, the casino 'win' has dropped 5.2 percent in the first eight months of the year due to the weak economy, high gas prices and competition from slot parlors in Pennsylvania."

Gonna go on a limb here and say we can expect more of the same for October.

... That's ugly, but a delay in implementing Atlantic City's smoking ban could help at least a little bit:

"Atlantic City's City Council voted narrowly last night to delay a complete ban on smoking in the casinos. They did so because powerful casino operators and even some casino employees eager for a smoke-free and healthier workplace joined politicians in ice-cold terror that the ban would drop revenues even more, perhaps as much as 30 percent in total. Those numbers would almost assuredly result in major layoffs."

... Man, you can't give these things away:

"Split Rock Lodge, citing the strained economy, has asked the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to drop its application for a slot machines license. When Split Rock, at the western end of the Poconos in Kidder Township, applied in June 2007, the stock market was robust, the real estate market strong and 'credit was readily available' from lenders with whom owner Vacation Charters Limited 'had longstanding relationships,' the [Poconos-area] resort said in a release."

If you recall, both Seven Springs and Nemacolin had applied for the same "resort" slots license, which limits the mini-casino tp 500 slot machines instead of the 5,000 maximum at racetrack and stand-alone casinos.

But both of those Western Pennsylvania resorts pulled their applications, as well.  

Dispatches from the south 

Maryland ministers are lining up against the state's proposal to legalize slots at racetracks: "Pastors at the 23 churches affiliated with the Laurel Clergy Association are all sermonizing against the referendum throughout  the month leading up to the Nov. 4 election," reports the The Gazette of Gaithersburg, Md

Neil Bluhm's proposed Illinois casino-hotelOdds and ends

Maine's casino proponents outspend opponents 18-1 when it comes to political lobbying ... Only Indians need apply at this job fair, for a Native American casino ... This editorial urges a "no" vote on the Ohio casino proposition ... Greektown Casino in Detroit is looking for a buyer ... Thanks to the lousy economy, it's a tough negotiating atmosphere for the labor unions that last year won the right to represent several thousand workers at casinos across the country ... Neil Bluhm, part owner of the Pittsburgh casino now that Don Barden has given up his majority stake, has big plans for Illinois.  


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