Thursday, July 10, 2008

From the Department of Who Didn't See This Coming?

And then there's this:

International lender Credit Suisse has notified North Shore casino developer Don Barden he is in default of a $200 million bridge loan for the project according to a petition filed with the state Gaming Control Board.

The board today is considering a request by Mr. Barden to approve a new financing plan for the casino that includes a change in the company holding the license for the project. Mr. Barden would no longer be the majority owner of the casino, according to his spokesman...

The proposed investment would be used to pay off the bridge loan and to help complete construction.

If Credit Suisse enforces the default, it could result in construction disruption and significant delays in finishing and opening the casino. Work was halted at the site last month after contractors said Mr. Barden hadn't paid for work since April.
Color me shocked.

Now, I don't know much about Credit Suisse, but I can tell you that there a whole lot of folk 'round these here parts that are determined to make this casino work: the Governor, the Legislature, the County Executive, the Mayor, the Hill District (for the promised cash), etc. etc. Unfortunately, Mr. Barden may have written a couple of checks that his butt couldn't cash, bitten off more than he could chew, leaped before he looked, or any number of various cliches.

The world of high finance escapes me, but one would think that this restructuring of ownership is not going to be easy, lead to major delays, and probably result in a cut back to the promises that were made early on. However, because the main excuse for these casinos has always been the fig leaf of "tax relief" the Gaming Control Board may opt to allow for such a move with assurances that revenue will come in shortly.

One has to wonder, however, if Barden's plan all along was to "low ball" the Gaming Board, get his foot in the door and be forced, FORCED to change his plans.

One also has to wonder if the Rooney family might be looking at gaming oppportunities a wee bit closer to home.

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