Just a few more months:
"The Rivers Casino took delivery of its first 278 slot machines today, marking another milestone in the North Shore venue's development. During a ceremony this morning, casino officials and Sanford Rivers, a state gaming control board member, placed the first slot machine, a Mr. Cashman festooned with blue and white balloons, in its bank on the gambling floor. It was the first of 3,000 to be installed at the riverfront casino by the time it opens on Aug. 5, including the first machine in the state with a $500 wager."
Whoa. You could burn through your entire pension check in seconds at one of those $500 machines (see video of the event here).
But at least you'll save money on parking:
"It might not be on par with free drinks. But the Rivers Casino will offer customers at least one perk during its first month of operation -- free parking. But their luck could run out after that. At this point, the North Shore slots venue, scheduled to open Aug. 5, will provide free parking in its massive 3,872-space parking garage for the first month as a 'gesture of goodwill,' General Manager Ed Fasulo said yesterday. Officials also are hoping the freebie will help to mitigate traffic backups and minimize frustration during a period in which the casino expects to attract large crowds eager to check out the venue."
After that, it's anybody's guess. But the garage will be outfitted with gates and pay stations, so that may be a clue.
... More feedback on the Supreme Court ruling from two weeks ago:
"One of the leading experts in gambling law found the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's rulingoverturning the prohibition on campaign donations by casino owners and executives shocking. I. Nelson Rose, a law professor at Whittier college in California, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that gambling usually falls under a state's police powers and trump constitutional concerns. 'Everywhere else, the restrictions even on advertising have been upheld by the courts. When lawyers who worked for New Jersey casinos wanted to get involved in political campaigns, the courts basically said, 'No, gambling comes under the state's police power and if you don't like it, you don't have to be in this,'' Rose told the newspaper."
... Pennsylvania's governor gets lucky:
"He considers himself a 'pretty good' blackjack player and likes the ponies, though he has never really been all that lucky a gambler. But Gov. Ed Rendell -- Pennsylvania's biggest cheerleader for slot machines -- had an encounter with Lady Luck last spring at Harrah's Chester Casino & Racetrack that is only now coming to light. He left $2,000 richer, according to Mr. Rendell's federal tax return released to The Inquirer last week."
Dispatches from the border
Ohioans still aren't sold on casino gambling:
"A new poll shows that Ohioans favor legalizing casino gambling in the state, but those results don't mean voters will pass a possible November ballot issue allowing casinos in Ohio's four largest cities. The poll, conducted by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati, shows that 60 percent of respondents favor making casino gambling legal in Ohio. However, the poll analysis notes that Ohioans' purported 58 percent support of gambling 'in the large Ohio city where you live or near to where you live' has grown only slightly since the same question was asked in 1998. Yet Ohioans continue to overwhelmingly defeat gambling issues at the ballot."
Most recently, last November.
... Is Delaware getting sports gambling and table games?
"Delaware moved one step closer to sports betting on Friday as House lawmakers
resurrected and revised a bill that failed to win approval earlier this week
amid opposition from the casino industry. [Because] of a brief and unsuccessful experiment with a sports lottery in the
late 1970s, Delaware is one of only four states, along with Nevada, Montana and
Oregon, grandfathered under a 1992 federal law that bans sports gambling.
Delaware's status as the only state east of the Mississippi River that can offer
sports betting could provide an economic buffer against slot machine competition
in neighboring Pennsylvania and Maryland."
The bill also calls for state officials and the casino industry to submit an initial proposal on table games within 75 days of enactment of the sports betting legislation, reports the Inquirer.
Odds and ends
The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority decided not to pursue a casino in New York ... The Greektown Casino buyout in Detroit isn't going so well, with two "low-ball" offers ... The SugarHouse casino in Philadelphia gets a preliminary thumbs-up ... The Flying Elvi show at The Meadows in Washington County keeps getting postponed becasue of weather and wind ... The Sands casino in Bethlehem, Pa., is hiring.