Rivers Money Dries Up
"PITG’s commitment to the community included a $1 million contribution per year for three years to a neighborhood redevelopment project in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, a $7.5 million contribution per year for 30 years toward the funding of a new arena in Pittsburgh and a $1 million per year contribution for three years to the Northside Leadership Conference"-Adjudication of the Gaming Control Board, 2008.
We won’t know if the Rivers Casino lived up to its obligation for the hockey arena until the Penguins’ star center is the ripe old age of 53, but the time is up on the three year community redevelopment agreements, and it does not look like the casino is looking to extend what was agreed to by the original winner of the slots license. It noted in a prepared statement that "Rivers will continue supporting Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods through its ongoing community outreach programs." It has met its commitment, and there have been projects undertaken with the money from the agreement, and it should not be expected to do more.
That’s not going to stop the beneficiaries of the agreement from making the case for more and, one could argue, they are free to make an appeal to the casino the same way they would the state, the Federal government, the URA, the County Redevelopment Authority, etc. that their good and noble work needs to continue. One official stated "What they said is not a surprise. That doesn’t mean to our minds that that’s the end of the conversation. That doesn’t preclude future plans. So we’re happy to talk to them about the future". But it is fair to ask if community groups could become addicted to gaming money-if so, do we need to start "Redevelopers Anonymous?"