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PhillyInc sees debt people buying Las Vegas resort

Penn National Gaming scooped up the $1 billion M Resort after buying the $230 million in outstanding debt last fall.

Penn National Gaming is nothing if not opportunistic. Last October, it bought the debt of the billion-dollar M Resort, a Las Vegas casino that had opened in March 2009, for $230M. Today, the Wyomissing, Pa., casino operator said it had acquired the business in exchange for the debt. That's some math.

We've been hearing about the "patent cliff" that Big Pharma has been racing toward for so long, what more needs to be said? Well, Investor's Business Daily has a roundup of the dominoes that begin to fall starting in November when Pfizer's Lipitor, with $7B in U.S. sales, goes off-patent. Patents on GlaxoSmithKline's Advair Diskus expire this year, too ($4.7B in sales).

As for the future of the pharmaceutical business, one analyst said it's no longer a growth industry. Gulp. And this is an industry that employs how many people in the Philadelphia area?

Let's hope the jobs data coming out starting today with the ADP National Employment Report are strong, because I really don't want to see economics pundits using the nation's No. 1 movie, "The Hangover Part II," as a metaphor for the economic "soft patch"/double-dip or whatever they're dubbing what feels like a slooow-dowwwwn. (If the international box office for the flick is strong, at least it will count toward the President's goal of doubling U.S. exports in five years.)

Off to work now.