Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Must be Talking Play Money

Sometimes I wonder how lawyers really keep a straight face.   So the news snippet today is that the Rivers Casino is appealing its recent property assessment set at $199 million.  So some poor lawyer needs to make the case that the $800 million dollars spent on the casino built a product overvalued at $200 million.  Yeah, yeah, take out the value of the actual machines and other incidentals, but what does that get you??  I'd love to hear what assessment valuation they are arguing for and on what basis. I'm a bit surprised the city or city school district didn't appeal the valuation as being too low. I'll have to ask the lawyers if it's too late for that. 

I hate to point out that if you were to look at the profitability of the casino... which might still be negative..... or gross sales...  both are doing a lot better now than when they set the assessment value a couple months ago.  Maybe that could be an argument for lowering the assessment value right?  Makes as much sense as arguing the whole place is worth cents on the dollar right out the door. 

Which then leads me to consider......  if we sell the parking garages they would have to pay property taxes right? How much are they expected to be valued at in total??? But if we lease them I am presuming they won't since they will still be owned technically by the Parking Authority.   All stop...  another post there...  back to the casino. 

Anyway... last weeks numbers are out and there is a bit of erosion in their numbers, but not too much.  They also seem to have kept up their heightened level of promotional play.  Below is what I see for that trend.  How do you get those prizes?  Can I just go hang out one day down at the casino and maybe I will win something...  I presume they must pay out based on your level of play??  but I dunno.

Rivers Casino Promotional Plays By Week


Blogger n'at said...

As soon as I read that statement in the PG i thought to myself: are there any other casinos in Pennsylvania proximate to real estate equal to or greater than Pittsburgh's CBD in density or overall value? One would expect that the casino in Philly would have an assessed value greater than ours, at least on per sqft metric - should said casino ever officially open.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 9:24:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

I wonder if the state couldn't make more money as a payoff from Atlantic City for not having a casino in Philly than it could by opening a casino in Philly.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 9:29:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

that would be a coasian side payment... MH must either be economist or lawyer?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 10:25:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

Data analyst.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 11:49:00 PM  
Anonymous BrianTH said...

As an aside, I still think it would be useful to add something like a four-week moving average to the Casino Revenues chart (it seems clear to me there is enough volatility to warrant doing that).

Anyway, the AIA apparently estimated the construction cost at $300 million, and the County backed that down to $200 million to accord with the 2002 Base Year system. That part sounds plausible to me, and it also implies that whenever there is a reassessment it should go back up to $300 million.

But that does raise the question of what they spent the other $500 million on, and I'd like to see a breakdown. But part of me is looking at that building and thinking it doesn't look like much more than a $300 million building, so maybe it really did go somewhere else.

Thursday, March 25, 2010 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

that could be a deeper question than it seems... and one that will likely never be answered.

but the machines are pricey no doubt... but lets guess $10K a pop... they ought to have gotten a good deal given how bad the gaming industry is doing, but who knows. $10K times 3,000 is what? $30 mil. A big number, but not enough to matter in this calculation.

Thursday, March 25, 2010 6:22:00 PM  

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