This Just In: August 13 - 20 | This Just In | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

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This Just In: August 13 - 20

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Jack-pots and Pans 

Summary: The long-awaited North Side casino opens. Station: WTAE Channel 4 Reporter: Shannon Perrine Airtime: 2 minutes, 48 seconds on Aug. 9 Visuals: * An aerial view of the mammoth structure. * A bustling crowd waiting to be among the first to enter. Highlights: * When anchor Shannon Perrine sets up: "We're taking a live look right now at the Rivers Casino on the North Shore of Pittsburgh, where the slot machines are humming tonight. The doors opened officially to the general public at noon today. But not everyone who showed up wanted to gamble." * When Perrine narrates, "Some got up at 4 a.m. to wait in line ... Others got up early to protest." * When Bruce Barron, of No Dice, explains, "We're here today to mourn the opening of a fancy new facility that will suck $400 million a year out of the Pittsburgh-area economy while its wealthy owners claim they're doing something great for the city." * When another male protester says, "It's gonna increase addiction, crime, poverty -- and we just don't need that." * When Perrine interjects, "But that message did not seem to impact the sea of gamblers who put their money in the machines trying to come out a winner. [This man] drove down from Indiana, Pa., and walked to the first machine he found." * When Perrine adds, "The slots, of course, are the main attraction, but the restaurants are getting a lot of attention, too. Years of politics, protest and anticipation come down to this. The mayor says the city budget hit big with the Rivers Casino." * When Mayor Luke Ravenstahl remarks, "Obviously, it also means a significant amount of revenue ... which we're grateful for and in need of [it], so ... it's great to see that it's finally here." * When Don Barden, a minority owner in the casino, promises, "Over a thousand people have already been employed ... The City of Pittsburgh will get a minimum of 10 million a year, the county 10 million a year, plus the Penguins will get seven-and-a-half million dollars a year." * When Perrine segues, "A local bus operator says it will hire up to 20 people, all to take passengers to the Rivers Casino. Lenzner Coach Lines says it will offer trolley service from every major hotel in town." What We Learned: This may be the only North Side venue where even a Buc might be a winner. Unanswered Question: Will the opening spawn another protest organization, perhaps, "Rage Against the Machines"? News Value: 7. Most Pittsburghers-in-the-know grasp both sides of the debate, and this story does a great job of representing the different factions. The photography also captures much of the excitement -- both negative and positive -- of the event. 

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