Friday, August 11, 2006

The Mohegan Sun shines on Pocono Downs

It looks like the Mohegans will not pick up their ball and go home. They got some money back on the purchase price from Penn National and a promise of corporate welfare from the county commissioners to offset the taxes they are obligated to pay Plains Twp.

PLAINS TWP. -As the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority protested what it saw as excessive taxation on its planned slot machine casino, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs President Robert Soper insisted that threatening to drop the project was not just a negotiating ploy.
"We only state things that we mean," Soper repeated Wednesday, minutes after announcing that the Mohegans had reached a deal with former track owner Penn National Gaming Inc. for a $30 million refund on the $280 million purchase price, allowing construction to proceed.
The refund -and a pledge by the Luzerne County commissioners to help the Downs apply for up to $15 million in economic development grants - was enough to erase concerns among local officials and the public that development of a casino would be delayed or halted.

Are you kidding me? They are going to give them $15 million of taxpayer money to build the promised cash cow that is supposed to provide enough tax revenue to fund our schools, reduce the property tax burden, pave our streets and provide free viagra to all of the town's senior citizens? Maybe they will float another bond to finance this brilliant idea. At least Kevin Blaum thinks that idea is DOA.

TL: "The chances are probably zero that any casino operator will get state grants of any kind," Blaum said. "You give a million dollars to a casino operator, it's a million you can't get for someone else."

I'm not against gambling put I have serious doubts about this bill of goods that has been sold to us. A billion dollars a year in tax revenue is promised but I recently read that the New Jersey casinos produce about $400 million a year in tax receipts. Do you really think that the PA slots will be more successful?

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