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Allegheny County Wants Written Casino Deals

6 July 2006

PENNSYLVANIA – As reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "With the sale of the Penguins drawing closer, the city and Allegheny County want more than just talk from two casino bidders that have pledged to help fund a new arena, likely a key to keeping the team in town.

"They want it in writing.

"County Chief Executive Dan Onorato said yesterday the proposed written agreements could give 'a comfort level' to groups interested in buying the Penguins.

"Gov. Ed Rendell has asked the applicants for the Pittsburgh casino license to contribute $7.5 million a year for 30 years as part of his $315 million plan to build an arena.

"…Mr. Onorato said the city and county, through the Sports & Exhibition Authority, will ask Mr. [Don] Barden and Forest City to put their promises, made in April, in writing.

"…In response, Mr. Barden said he already has given his commitment in writing to the state Gaming Control Board, which will award the Pittsburgh license.

"…Abe Naparstek, a Forest City spokesman, said the developer 'will have a discussion directly with the county executive' about a written agreement. He had no further comment…"

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