A panoramic view of the section of Springfield’s South End that will be transformed into MGM’s $800 million casino complex. Image provided by businesswest.com
A panoramic view of the section of Springfield’s South End that will be transformed into MGM’s $800 million casino complex. Image provided by businesswest.com

MGM Resorts International is so concerned about the Mohegan-Mashantucket Pequot venture for a third casino, they are now wiping their feet on the welcome mat of the US Congress.

Almost a year ago, I posted that Massachusetts was more worried about the third CT casino venture by MMCT, and it’s own anticipated piece of the New England Casino Pie.  One year later, I still believe it.  It was in response to Bruce Mohl’s article “Casino Border Wars,” where he stated that Mohegan Sun was “an underachiever not good enough for Massachusetts.”  Maybe it’s the other way around.  Since that article was published, Mohegan Sun ventures include South Korea, Washington State, and Atlantic City.  Let’s not forget Foxwoods additional announcement recently for connections in Biloxi, MS.

RELATED POST: Massachusetts More Worried, Not Mohegan Sun, About New England’s Casino Share

Schaghticoke
Chief Velkey at Press Coinference, Courtesy of Schaghticoke Press.

In the past year, MGM has tried opposing the third casino in Connecticut suing the state in a case that is still pending, and has tried to get another lawsuit going with the Kent-based Schaghticoke Tribal Nation on similar concerns of unfair business practices by the state.

And if that wasn’t enough, the response in the courts obviously hasn’t been quick enough, so they are taking their fight to Congress.  MGM Resorts International now expects Congress to adopt a proposed amendment to a Department of Defense spending bill,  legislation that would prohibit Indian tribes from operating commercial “gaming activity” on non-Indian lands.

WHY? – the MMCT venture for a third casino.

The border of CT & MA.Springfield is only minutes from the CT side.
The border of CT & MA.Springfield is only minutes from the CT side.

WHY is CT interested in a third casino?  State Senator Tim Larson, Democrat of East Hartford, said “a third casino can be opened to “get the jump” on MGM in the battle for market share, save jobs in Connecticut and insulate against deteriorating revenue to the state.”

RELATED POST: Connecticut’s 3rd Casino – No Time For Delay

According to Brian Hallenbeck of the New London Day, even the National Indian Gaming Association took issue with MGM’s efforts, “adamantly oppose this unprecedented attack on Indian tribes and their ability to pursue economic development opportunities. There are numerous examples of tribes engaging in commercial economic development activities in a variety of industries, and there is absolutely no basis to single out tribes and prevent them from continuing to engage in economic development both on and off their reservation lands.”

So, why IS MGM Resorts International so interested in this little part of the casino world?  Considerations this:

  • Connecticut is going slower than expected in completing approval for the CCMT venture by the Mashantucket Pequots and the Mohegan tribes. A study of casino development in the state could take place, further postponing a green light to choose a site and build.  Doesn’t that give MGM more time to complete MGM Springfield?
  • While MGM doesn’t acknowledge the threat, it still remains west of Springfield in New York State with the Empire’s states casino expansion. Surrounded, although by 90 minutes, by casinos drooling over new possibilities and looking to add more pressure to nab patrons in an already saturated northeast.
  • Control in Massachusetts – it’s bad enough that MGM has to compete with two of the largest casino resorts in world just 90 minutes away, but consider that they are less than 90 minutes away from two possible enormous threats – the Mashpee Wampanoag’s “First Light,” and Wynn’s Boston Harbor.

So, almost one year later, I repeat – Massachusetts, specifically MGM, is More Worried about their New England Casino Share.  The proof is in the accusations and law suits.

That’s all for now.

Binbin

 

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