Pittsburgh casino developer assures gaming board

Pittsburgh casino developer Don Barden told the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board on Wednesday that efforts to complete USD 780 million in financing for his planned Majestic Star Casino are moving forward, a spokesman said.

Barden’s spokesman, Bob Oltmanns, said the Detroit businessman „addressed all of the board members‘ questions. They seemed to be satisfied.“

Oltmanns said he did not want to give a timetable for when financing arrangements would be complete, but said, „we are moving forward as diligently as we can.“

The Gaming Control Board had asked Barden to appear Wednesday to make sure his development was moving forward.

Board spokesman Richard McGarvey said the board was not making judgments on the viability of Barden’s plan, but merely wanted to make sure it was progressing.

The casino once was projected to cost about USD 450 million, but construction costs have soared since Barden’s plan was approved by the gaming board. Oltmanns declined to disclose the current construction cost.

Majestic Star Casino is under construction and projected to be complete in May 2009.

Oltmanns said Barden told the gaming board that the casino’s steel frame is 65 to 70 percent complete, and that the elevator shaft in the parking garage is in place and „the rest of the garage is coming up out of the ground around that.“