Jackpot, North Side edition

Written by Bill Toland on .

The house always wins -- unless you never step foot in a casino:

"Some North Side groups will profit from the Rivers Casino without setting foot inside The Northside Leadership Conference is awarding more than $500,000 for 11 projects designed to improve the area. Money for the projects is coming from $1 million the casino supplied to the leadership conference in June. In its bid for the city's slot license, the casino committed to providing $1 million annually for three years to help with housing and neighborhood business district development on the North Side."

Find out which organizations received money here. 

... From the border: Find out what the proposed casino in Cincinatti may look like here. 

... In the previous blog posting I mentioned that Columbus casino developers and city hall were fighting about sewage. Now, a lawsuit has been filed:

"The developer of a planned Ohio casino for Columbus claims in a lawsuit that water and sewer services to the property are being withheld in violation of the company's constitutional rights. CD Gaming Ventures Inc. of Pennsylvania claims the services are being denied as part of what it says is an effort to force annexation. The federal lawsuit filed Friday against city, county and other officials asks the court to prevent services from being blocked and seeks monetary damages."

So now there is a consitutional right to sewage service? I think Scalia would disagree.

... CD Gaming Ventures, by the way, is a subsidiary of Penn National Gaming. Building a casino is an expensive, cash-intensive process, which might explain this:

"Penn National Gaming Inc. is seeking to unload its 49 percent stake in Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park in Maryland, according to the company's partner in the tracks. Tom Chuckas, the Maryland Jockey Club's president and chief operating officer, confirmed on Tuesday that officials for Penn had approached MI Developments recently on how the company could unwind its position in the tracks. Penn bought the 49 percent stake in 2010 in the hopes of steering a casino license to Laurel, but those efforts have proven unsuccessful."

So if you've ever wanted to own 49 percent of a racetrack, now's your chance. Though, as a wise man once said, Always own 51 percent.

Odds and ends

If you like the blackjack tables, the payout rate will remain friendly in Pennsylvania ... Temple students aren't yet interested in SugarHouse ... more on that scary casino field trip (and deadly bus crash, which killed 15) from over the weekend: "In many cases, the small bus operations started as a means of shuttling Chinese workers between big cities, then transporting Chinatown residents to Atlantic City and other casino destinations. Now college students and others looking to pay less are finding these lesser known carriers on the internet and booking trips."

Last, Pennsylvania's resort license is still up for grabs:

"It is widely believed that the Category 3 license was created by the legislature with Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Greene County in mind. It was assumed by some that Nemacolin would sail through the process. The deadlock on the board indicates that's not so. Recent media reports have pointed to money troubles for Nemacolin's financial backers. A Gaming Control Board spokesman says he can't comment on those reports, but board members are aware of them. Their Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement can still make recommendations should new and relevant information about the applicants come to light."

... and a heartfelt godspeed to Chris Briem, the blogger and Pitt stats man whose charts, graphs and demographics analysis have graced the pages of this newspaper, this blog, and the pages of other publications too numerous to mention. Hurry back.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.