City Casino Competitors Escalate War of Words - Thursday 30th of March 2006

PENNSYLVANIA As reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "It's only March. Months, if not a full year, may pass before the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board awards slot machine casino licenses. And yet Pittsburgh First, the coalition that wants to bring a casino and new arena to the Hill District, says it's already fed up with the 'negative attack ads' published by Harrah's Entertainment and Forest City Enterprises, which want to build a Station Square casino.

"The two are competing for a single Pittsburgh casino license.

"A third competitor, Detroit businessman Don Barden, wants to build a casino on the North Shore but has yet to draw fire from the other two.

"Two Sundays ago, Forest City ran the first of its full-page, color advertisements in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, hyping the Station Square proposal and panning the one from Isle of Capri Casinos Inc., which has joined with the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team and Nationwide Realty Investors for its plan for the Hill.

"Three days ago, Forest City and Harrah's ran another ad, the second in a series, focusing on tax relief. It said that Harrah's, because of higher projected gambling revenues and a higher investment in the casino structure, would generate greater tax revenues than Isle of Capri.

"...In a letter delivered yesterday to the offices of Pittsburgh Mayor Bob O'Connor and Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato, the Rev. James Simms Pittsburgh First's chairman and a former Allegheny County Council president says the ads use 'exaggerated projections and a distortion of the facts.'..."

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