Firms must honor social duty
In 2006, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board granted Rivers Casino a casino operating license. In exchange, the company agreed to contribute $1 million in grants annually for three years to the North Side and Hill District communities impacted most by the development.
Now the company has announced that it would not be renewing its community agreements, opting instead to stick with its own community outreach programs ("Rivers Casino Won't Extend Agreement With Pittsburgh's North Side, Hill District," April 18).
In granting Rivers Casino its gaming license, public officials argued that the development would provide a significant source of new revenue and jobs.
Yet, although the company has generated over $1 billion in gaming revenue, it has sought to reduce its property tax assessment and resisted efforts of workers to improve their conditions through unionizing.
Rivers is not unique in extracting lucrative commitments from our community while failing to uphold its end of the bargain.
UPMC, for instance, is under scrutiny for its non-profit designation. It is time to demand that companies operating here uphold their social responsibilities.