You didn't think that the Isle of Capri would win that casino license, did you?Not enough hands in not enough pockets. We all know how politics works (although some, like myself, know more than others). It was clear from the outset that another casino company had the inside track. Why? Payola. Some powerful Pennsylvania people are in the pockets of some powerful casino operators.
Shocked? Then you don't watch enough Sopranos...or Goodfellas...or Godfather...or Casino...or...
I don't know why politicians go through the process of pretending there is a process when the decision is already known. Perhaps the delay puts more money in their pockets from said payola arrangement.
The Isle of Capri I'm sure knows some politicians - just not as much as their competitor.
The only real hope the Pens had was from Jim Balsillie, who walked away from the deal because of too many restrictions. Usually when you buy something, you want to own it outright - not with strings attached. So even though the NHL states that Balsillie was not restricted from moving it, they had asked for some things in lieu of that concession. Those things caused Balsillie to walk away from the deal. What could they be? A "fee" to be paid to the NHL to move the team? If so - then technically he would be allowed to move it...but under what could be a hefty penalty.
What else? The city he moves it to must be approved the Board. This means - no Kitchener/Waterloo.
So Balsillie walks.
The Pens slim, one per cent hope of staying in Pittsburgh rests in Frank D'Angelo's hands. The CEO of Steelback Brewery has stated that he would keep the team in Pittsburgh. However, for some reason nobody is taking this guy seriously. He is not mentioned enough in the media, and the story revolves around Balsillie (still) over D'Angelo.
That tells me that he is a longshot to get this team. He was refused a much cheaper CFL team. Why is that?
He has Phil Esposito in his corner, which is a plus. Otherwise, I don't see him getting the team. Something just is not right with him. He reminds me of a money-making schister. Fast talker, fast hands...that sort. Brilliant businessman though. Hey, he got his money somehow!
So will Kansas City change the name of the Penguins when they get the franchise? The Kansas City Scouts return? Sidney Crosby of the Scouts? Scouts rearguard Ryan Whitney picked up two assists last night, as ...
But I digress. The real point is politics and payola. I hate the greed of the politicians and that is what this boils down to. One casino company is no better or worse for a city than another. The difference maker is how fat they can make a politician's wallet. They don't care about the good of the city, or the people. They care about the good of their bank account.
Were you under a different belief?
NEW - Stu from Pittsburgh make a good point - here's another angle he gives me in this email:
Great article, and 99 times out of 100 you are right on your calls, but this time you are actually off base. If the decision had anything to do with money or Payola, Forest City/Harrah's would be holding the slots license today. They bribed more politicians during this whole process than even you can imagine.
No, this time, the board chickened out and went with the safe/least controversial choice. This guy that got the license was the longest of long shots. No one here even considered him a viable choice. It was either going to be Forest City because of the bribes or IOC because of the Penguins. Then, Forest City ran into a snag because Harrah's might be getting bought out, and the Gaming Board didn't want to take a chance on an unknown operator. They also didn't want to be viewed as bowing to the pressure of the Penguins as well as the people that lived in the part of town that IOC was planning to put their casino came out in full force that they did not want it in their neighborhood.
This left PITG as the safe choice, and the city now scrambling to come up with some way to save the Pens.
So there's a local perspective, and some insight that I did not know about.