Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Admiral Fails to Put Up Cash for New Site Casino Gets 5-Day Extension from City

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Admiral Fails to Put Up Cash for New Site Casino Gets 5-Day Extension from City

Article excerpt

The Admiral may be stuck at its present location for many years because it refuses to put up a $5 million deposit for a move to a better location farther north on the riverfront.

The deadline to pay the deposit to the city passed on Thursday. Mayor F reeman Bosley Jr. is giving the casino five more working days to come up with the money.

The Admiral wants to complete the move by the end of next year. Experts believe the casino would do better if it is located north of Laclede's Landing, closer to parking and less susceptible to interruptions caused by high water on the Mississippi River.

President Casinos, the Admiral's owner, must get the $5 million in cash to the city by the end of next week or it will have to delay any relocation until two years after a competitor, St. Louis Entertainment Ventures, is up and running.

Those terms are in a city ordinance covering the lease to Entertainment Ventures north of Laclede's Landing.

The city has been negotiating a new venue for the Admiral since August. On Monday, President Casinos offered the city a performance bond, rather than a cash deposit. Lloyd Jordan, Bosley's chief of staff, said the city must have a cash deposit because a performance bond is too difficult to collect.

"We have to know they have the financial ability to move . . . because there could be other interests that might want to move up there," Jordan said. "Why tie up an opportunity if they are not on firm financial footing to do it? It's unfortunate because we're doing everything we can to work with them."

Michael Lazaroff, the lawyer for President Casinos, said the company had the wherewithal to finance the move.

"We told them we can finance the project," he said. "There's some confusion between our capability and the feasibility of the project."

A company spokesman complained about the city's attitude. "We're the largest new business to come into the city in over 20 years. We also have the largest minority employee base of any United States gaming vessel. …

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