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Barden Enters Pittsburgh Slot Race

23 December 2005

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania – As reported by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette: "Detroit businessman who is the nation's only African-American casino operator will join the battle for Pittsburgh's slot machine license, with a proposal to build a $300 million to $350 million riverfront complex on land west of Heinz Field.

"Don Barden, owner of five casinos, including one in Las Vegas, confirmed yesterday that he will bid for the city's slots rights. He is one of at least six candidates in a field that includes the Penguins and Station Square owner Forest City Enterprises.

"…In Pittsburgh, the proposed casino also would carry the name Majestic Star. Mr. Barden will head a group called PITG Gaming LLC. He said he would reserve at least 19 percent of the casino ownership for local investors.

"…Mr. Barden explored sites in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia for the last two years before deciding to bid here. He said the state's $50 million slots entry fee and the 54 percent tax rate on revenue made developing two sites infeasible. He said he settled on Pittsburgh because of the demographics and the site…"

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