- - Tuesday, April 3, 2012

PHILADELPHIA — Pennsylvania is now the nation’s second-largest gambling market behind Las Vegas.

The state’s gaming control board announced Tuesday that Pennsylvania’s 11 casinos pulled in more than $233.1 million in gross slot-machine revenue last month, setting an all-time monthly high for the state.

Atlantic City, N.J., was the previous second-largest gambling market.

The totals include revenue from two test nights and one day of operations at Valley Forge Casino Resort, which opened Saturday. Overall, the figures broke the previous monthly record of $218.3 million set in July.

The gaming board says that for the first two months of 2012, Pennsylvania casinos tallied $515.7 million in gross revenue with slots and tables combined. New Jersey reported comparable gross revenue of $479.6 million.


Chief wants expanded ‘firepower’ to help economies

The managing director of the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday that the global recovery is growing stronger but still is very fragile, calling on the international community to give her organization “more firepower” to help keep tottering economies from going under.

“We certainly need more resources,” Christine Lagarde said without specifying how much more was needed. Ms. Lagarde said the IMF would address that question at its spring meeting in two weeks.

The IMF currently has about $400 billion in resources that it can use to provide loans to countries in trouble; Ms. Lagarde has talked about expanding those resources to close to $1 trillion. The 17 countries that use the euro already have promised to provide $200 billion of that amount.

Ms. Lagarde said the global economy is making some advances in digging itself out of the worst downturn in decades, but that the recovery remains particularly frail in Europe. She suggested cutting government spending too quickly in developed countries such as the U.S. and larger European nations could make things worse, not better.

Policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic need “breathing space to finish the job,” she said. Ms. Lagarde also said that Europe’s faltering would quickly spread and the U.S. recovery, slowly gaining strength, “might well be in jeopardy.”


Icahn: CVR Energy investors agree to hostile takeover bid

NEW YORK — Billionaire investor Carl Icahn says a majority of CVR Energy shares have been tendered in support of his hostile takeover bid for the oil refiner.

Mr. Icahn, who wants to take control and then sell the Sugar Land, Texas, company says investors owning 55 percent of the company’s outstanding shares accepted his offer of $30 per share.

But Mr. Icahn cannot actually buy those shares until CVR’s board removes a “poison pill” rule that prevents the sale of the company. The board has refused to do that, arguing that it can deliver a greater return for shareholders.

Mr. Icahn called on the company to move up an annual meeting to decide the issue. He extended his $30 per share tender offer for the rest of the CVR shares.

CVR share rose 6 percent to $28.85 in premarket trading.


James Murdoch steps down as BSkyB chairman

LONDON — Media executive James Murdoch, under pressure because of his role in Britain’s tabloid phone-hacking scandal, announced Tuesday that he is stepping down as chairman of British Sky Broadcasting.

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., which owns 39 percent of BSkyB, had no comment.

James Murdoch, one of his father’s chief lieutenants, has been facing severe criticism as a result of the phone-hacking scandal that brought down the Murdoch-owned News of the World tabloid.

He has been shedding posts to concentrate on his role in his father’s television business as News Corp. struggles to shake off the hacking furor.

In February, James Murdoch quit as chairman of News International, News Corp.’s British newspaper division.

He has also stepped down from the boards of auctioneer Sotheby’s and prominent pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline PLC.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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