Detroit entrepreneur Barden pushed out

Jul 22, 2008 7:00 PM

by Ray Poirier | Detroit entrepreneur Don Barden, whose casino business include Fitzgerald’s in downtown Las Vegas, as well as two riverboats in Gary, Indiana, was pushed aside in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, when he failed to complete the financing for a proposed $780 million stand-along slots emporium.

In order to save the project, Barden sold a 75% interest in the gambling facility to Philadelphia real estate investor Neil Bluhm and his Walton Street Capital LLC. Bluhm said Walton and other partners will pour $120 million into the project while raising another $650 million from investment banks.

The partnership agreement must still be approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

Still to be determined is whether Bluhm, the majority owner of the unbuilt SugerHouse Casino in Philadelphia, can hold two gaming licenses.