The unnamed Pittsburgh casino is back on track; casino revenues are down slightly across the state; and in Washington County everybody is trying to figure out how to split $12 million or so in local slots tax revenues, courtesy of The Meadows; but thie big news is over to the west, in Ohio, where the voters will (again) have a chance to approve casino gambling through a November referendum:
"Backers of a $600 million casino resort initiative collected enough certified signatures to bring the controversial issue before Ohio voters in November, Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner said Friday. Brunner's office said the proposal contained 480,003 valid signatures, above the required 402,275 needed to qualify for the ballot. Beachwood-based MyOhioNow.com on Aug. 5 submitted about 800,000 signatures for Issue 6, which calls for Ohio's first casino to be developed in Clinton County, between Columbus and Cincinnati."
"The sponsors of a low-key ballot measure to build a casino in southwestern Ohio suddenly have a battle on their hands -- both hands. On the right is Vote No Casinos, a group that includes many of Ohio's traditional gambling opponents such as leaders of the conservative public-policy group Ohio Roundtable. On the left comes the No On 6 committee, with the financial heft of a Pennsylvania-based gambling conglomerate that owns a riverboat casino near Cincinnati and a horse track in Toledo."
That "Pennsylvania-based gambling conglomerate" would be Penn National.
Dispatches from the east
We move from Ohio to Philly, where city officials and SugarHouse Gaming continue to dicker over where the casino should be built:
"A proposal to build the Foxwoods Casino within the Gallery at Market East rather than on the South Philadelphia waterfront would allow the city to reinvent one of its dreariest downtown thoroughfares and improve nearby neighborhoods, Gov. Rendell and Mayor Nutter said [this month]. Rendell, Nutter and Foxwoods officials formally introduced their plan, which calls for building a 3,000-machine slots parlor in part of the Gallery, a 1970s-era attempt at urban retail redevelopment that never quite took."
Kinda like Allegheny Center.
Up in smoke, part II
Is this a glimpse of Pennsylvania's future?
Via Cigar Aficionado: "The Illinois smoking ban is partially to blame for eight straight months of lost revenue in state casinos, says Tom Swoik, executive director of the Illinois Casino Gaming Association. From January, when the smoking ban started, to August, casinos' gross receipts dropped 18 percent compared to the same period in 2007, according to the association's monthly report. Also, 926,000 fewer people have visited the casinos."
You're right, it could be the smoking ban. Or maybe the crippled economy? Anybody watching CNN over at Cigar Aficionado?
This is a trend, it seems:
"Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em in the public concourses at Ameristar Kansas City Casino and Hotel -- but only for another 10 days at most." The smoking ban kicks in imminently.
Odds and ends
MTR Gaming plucks a CEO from Isle of Capri ... A horse trainer was killed at a racetrack in Erie ... The Donald is trying to rescue his Atlantic City operation with a giant skyscraper ... Kansas is go for launch, casino-wise.