Rivers, Penguins Are a Strong Hand

The five-year anniversary of the opening of Rivers Casino is fast approaching and thus so is the five-year anniversary of the casino's relationship with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Whether or not you're in favor of gambling or of the casino's presence in the Steel City, the casino and the hockey franchise have enjoyed a mutual relationship that has benefited the city of Pittsburgh as well.

Part of the casino's agreement with the city of Pittsburgh is that Rivers will pay $7.5 million every year for 30 years to aid in the construction cost of Consol Energy Center, the Penguins' shiny new arena that opened in 2010. Paid in two yearly installments, a hefty check of $4.7 million cleared the bank just last month. This revenue stream lifts some of the burden off of Pittsburgh's taxpayers.

The casino is also used as a home for the Pittsburgh Penguins' Alumni Association's Charity Poker Tournament. The third annual event played out in March and it raised money for the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation. The game was Texas Hold 'em and a $200 entry fee granted you unlimited $25 buys of chips. Players competed for Penguins memorabilia including signed jerseys sticks, pucks, photos and Penguins tickets.

Located less than three miles from Consol Energy Center, Rivers Casino serves as a popular destination for out-of-state fans who want to squeeze in some table games before or after a Penguins game. This leads to additional outside revenue for the city.

Wheelhouse, the sports bar and grill inside Rivers Casino, has become a popular gathering place for fans to watch the Penguins in action on what Rivers claims to be the largest high definition television in Pittsburgh to go along with another 40 flat screen TVs. Wheelhouse also serves as the home to FSN's live Penguins pre-game broadcast.

Like it or not, the Penguins' relationship with Rivers Casino is a win-win.

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