In keeping with today’s post, NETG correspondent Bert reported breaking news after noon time concerning the MMCT, the joint venture between the Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegan tribes. The tribes announced that they have chosen the vacant Showcase Cinemas lot in East Windsor as the location for Connecticut’s third casino.
Cinema in East Windsor for proposed casino.
Right off Route I-91 and only a few minutes from the Massachusetts line, East Windsor was chosen over the Windsor Locks location closer to Bradley International Airport.
The proposal includes:
space as large as 300,000 square feet (Twin River Casino is about 300,000 sq. ft.)
and with 2,000 slot machines (1.5 more slots than Plainridge Park)
and 150 game tables (less than half of the amount in either Foxwoods & Mohegan Sun).
A 2,500-space parking garage would be relocated just to the east of the abandoned Showcase building, in addition to a 1,200-space garage nearby.
Last September, the Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegans — the tribal operators of the state’s two casinos forming MMCT — reopened the search for proposals for a Hartford-area gambling attraction to compete with a $950 million casino and entertainment complex under construction in nearby Springfield. Jobs and state revenue were said to be the two most important factors in adding a third casino, combating expected losses to MGM Springfield which is well on their way to completing their “urban casino.”
Eight casinos inside this radius by 2018 – not including Maine and NY Expansion!
Wow, has the Bay State’s Casino Expansion News been busy these past two weeks. Just when a topic comes up and I start to post about, it gets put on the back burner because something else comes up. It reminds me what the suits told me at Plainridge Park – “Massachusetts is a different place…”
If after reading this “Timeline of Turmoil” you have any questions or comments, feel free send me an email at email@example.com, leave a comment on our website at NE Timegambling.com, or find our beginning Facebook community and join us to add to the discussions.
Waste Site for the expected Wynn Casino
July 7th – of the Associated Press reported that a group of Massachusetts residents opposed to casinos are challenging the sale of state property to Wynn Resorts, saying the MBTA failed to comply with the state’s public bidding law when it proposed selling some $6 million worth of land to Wynn for its $1.7 billion casino project on the Everett waterfront. But the lawsuit suggests officials representing the MBTA, Wynn and the city of Everett were in discussions to convey the property without a public bid as early as 2013.
Tribal leaders want to turn the long dormant Wampanoag community center into a bingo hall.
July 7th – Nelsen Sigelman of MyTimes.com reported that Aquinnah selectmen (Martha’s Vineyard) voted unanimously to deliver a cease-and-desist letter to the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) that orders the tribe to stop work intended to transform a long-unfinished shell of a community center into a high-stakes bingo facility. Spurned in its quest for a piece of the mainland gaming pie in favor of the Mashpee Wampanoags, the Aquinnah tribal membership narrowly voted to turn its unfinished community center into a Class 2 gaming facility. The Mashpee Wampanoags are still waiting for the go ahead on their Region C entry in Taunton, MA.
Steve Wynn – Annoyed in Everett?
July 7th – Peter Howe of NECN reported “Legal skirmishing around Las Vegas impresario Steve Wynn’s $1.6 billion casino plan for Everett cranked up” another notch. Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said he has no intention of backing off a 158-page multi-count lawsuit Boston has filed contending the Wynn casino process was shot through with favoritism and shenanigans.
July 13th– NECN reports that the city of Boston says “interviews conducted by state investigators show Wynn Resorts was aware a convicted felon had a stake in land it eyed for a casino.” The city is suing the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to have Wynn’s gambling license revoked. It says commission investigators interviewed at least five witnesses who testified Wynn’s representatives were informed of or actively discussed Charles Lightbody’s ownership stake in the Everett waterfront land before securing an option on it.
View of the Sullivan Square Rotary. (photo by Stuart Cahill)
July 13th – Sean P. Murphy of the Boston Globe reports state Attorney General Maura Healey said that “The state should delay its consideration of a crucial environmental permit needed for the construction of a $1.7 billion casino in Everett until an independent traffic study is completed.” The casino would be built less than a mile from Charlestown’s Sullivan Square, a crossroads of several major roadways in the shadow of a hulking, elevated section of Interstate 93, from which still more traffic pours into the often-congested square. “For this project, that approach is insufficient,” Healey wrote. “We believe it is critical that MassDOT and the Commonwealth benefit from an independent analysis of the traffic impact, paid for by Wynn, before considering” any plans to mitigate traffic impacts.
Twin River Casino, RI
Larger than most people realize – two large casino floors
Twin River Casino in Rhode Island continued to push towards the addition of a hotel to accompany its Event Center, 300,000 square-feet of gaming space, 4,500 video slot machines and virtual table games (including blackjack and roulette), as well as 80 (soon to be 120) live table games including blackjack, roulette, craps and more. In addition, the purchase of the slots parlor in Newport, RI was completed in Twin River’s attempt to move it to Tiverton, RI on the MA/RI border to compete with Plainridge Park, Massachusetts’s first casino – also slots only.
Connecticut not only has seen a slight rise in gaming revenue from both Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, legislation continues to move forward for a joint full casino slightly smaller than MGM Springfield. The northern border of CT is the focal point to counter the expected competition from MGM Springfield.
Back in the Bay State…………….
July 16th – Big Bad MGM Resorts International will try to prevent the construction of a tribal casino in Connecticut that would compete with MGM’s own resort being built in Springfield, Massachusetts. Hartford Courant’s Kenneth R Gosselin reported more rounds fired between CT & MA casino officials. MGM already lobbied hard with CT legislators to stop the bill for a satellite casino, but failed. “We’re not going to go peacefully,” William Hornbuckle, president of MGM Resorts International, told Bloomberg News, adding that MGM was “contemplating our options…..We are ideally positioned to go into Hartford and attack.” On the day of the MGM Springfield groundbreaking, MGM Chairman and CEO Jim Murren, who is from Connecticut, just likeHornbuckle, ridiculed Connecticut’s plan, calling it a “box of slots,” but he didn’t threaten any action.”
Plainridge Park Casino
Interesting that the only Massachusetts casino that will open for the next three years will be its own “box of slots” at Plainridge Park Casino in Plainridge. Now, why would a big successful industry giant like MGM invest so much time in this? Three things – greed, arrogance, and…….WORRY!
July 17th – Casino News Daily reported that in its newest court filings, the city of Boston claims that Wynn Resorts
representatives were well-aware that a convicted felon would benefit from his stake in the land where the Las Vegas-based gambling operator is to build its Everett casino. At least five people revealed in interviews with commission investigators that representatives for the casino giant were informed about Charles Lightbody holding a majority stake in the land prior to signing a deal for the 30-acre site where the Everett gaming facility is to be built. Under the state law, criminals are not allowed to profit from casinos. Boston said that the latest findings are crucial to its case, as they indicate that the state Gaming Commission had neglected important issues while considering Wynn Resorts’ application.
That’s just a quick (quick?) update into what happened lately. If you have any questions or comments, feel free send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, leave a comment on our website at netimegambling.com, or find our beginning Facebook community and join us to add to the discussions.
The bill to expand casino gaming in CT due to the posed threats by future Massachusetts casinos continues to go through changes. Now, a two-step process for possibly opening a new tribal casino in Connecticut faces a vote in the state House of Representatives.
Step 1 – the tribes would issue a request for proposals to municipalities interested in hosting one satellite casino, most likely in northern Connecticut along the Interstate 1 corridor to help combat the planned MGM Resort casino in nearby Springfield, Massachusetts.
Step 2 – Any development agreement reached between the tribes and the community, following various local approvals, would have to be reviewed by the Attorney General and governor’s office. Ultimately, a new casino could not operate until the General Assembly amends state law to allow casino gambling.
The existing two tribal casinos are located on sovereign tribal land. A casino outside of tribal land brings many other considerations into question.
Patty McQueen, a spokeswoman for the two tribes, said both respect everyone’s position on the legislation, but stressed that the bill is about allowing the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes to retain jobs and revenue in Connecticut.
But I have other questions, outside the box if you will – both from the large picture state approach and from the individual gambler’s approach.
1) Will this allow more gambling, privatized from the gambling industry? Could Caesars Entertainment (who have teamed up with tribes in North Carolina & California), add another to support Indian Tribes like the Shaticokes or Eastern Pequots for example? Remember, the BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) is looking into easing the process of federally recognition. Interesting that the biggest opposition to to this is Dam Malloy and the State of CT.
2) The anti-gambling community always has a great interest in saving CT citizens from gambling addiction – certainly a valid concern. But won’t those who are enticed by additional a casino only 20 to 40 minutes away in Massachusetts. MGM Springfield is definitely closer and easier to get to than CT’s tribal casinos in southeastern CT. Does a half hour make a difference?
3) What are all these jobs CT will be losing if they don’t build another casino? Vendors, suppliers, casino staff? I would like to know about the specifics Connecticut is expected to lose that one casino will save.
4) How will the two tribes play this out? Obviously, some prefer Foxwoods, some prefer the Sun. How will comp points be affected? This may seem like a little consideration, but the place they spend their money it is as important to many gamblers as which part of CT are Red Sox or Yankees fans.
5) I know this is far down the line, and could be a moot point, but…….will it have a hotel? How will it compete with MGM for the recreational gambler and the advantage gambler’s attention. Night clubs? Restaurants? So much that should be considered NOW if it is given a green light now so the end result is a not half-thought-out version for the State of CT anti gaming groups to say “I told you so.”
So little time, yet so much at stake on both sides. And still, so many questions……