Thursday, July 24, 2008

Aw Craps...

I didn't think that gambling was supposed to be a spectator sport, but apparently we're all doomed, DOOMED! From the P-G:

HARRISBURG -- The latest deal to save a casino in Pittsburgh faces major uncertainty by as early as July 30 if it is not approved by then by the state Gaming Control Board.

That's what Chicago billionaire Neil Bluhm today told a state Senate committee that is looking into the deal where Mr. Bluhm and other investors would take over for Don Barden, who now holds the slots license for the partially built North Side casino.

"We have a situation where the project could be in default by July 30. The bridge lenders have sent a notice of default and foreclosure. They have threatened to sell the property in foreclosure. This project could go into bankruptcy. That would mean a long delay," Mr. Bluhm said....
All of which is, you know, super for the City when, of course.

I mean, it's not like Bluhm is going up to the Legislature and the Gaming Board, sticking a gun to their head and saying 'approve this or die'. It's not that at all. Rather, he's going up to the Legislature and the Gaming Board, sticking a gun to their head and saying 'approve this or you lose the casino, the tax revenue, property tax relief, money for the new arena and any money that would have gone to the Hill District.' It's not like it's a threat or anything.

And then, of course, there's this:
Mr. Bluhm's comments came a day after Standard and Poor's rated his firm, Holdings Gaming Borrower, at "B" -- often referred to as "junk bond" level, saying the firm's fixed-charge burden for the property is high, that current economic conditions are weak and that its first-loss term loan holds a recovery rating of 6, "indicating that lenders can expect negligible (0-to-10 percent) recovery in the event of a payment default."
Which, I'm sure makes everyone feel real confident.

Now, I'm not saying that this Bluhm guy is bluffing, but, as a Government apparatchik, I've seen more than my fair share of clients that come into my office, scream hysterically that if approval is not granted on their particular project in the next thirty seconds, blood will rain down from the skies, the seas will dry up, and Carrot Top will star in a major motion picture, only to see, when I do grant the appropriate approvals, the projects languish anyway.

So, I say: burn the Casino down and sell the license to Wilmerding or Pennsbury Village or something.

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