Wynn & MGM Rumors Abound in Massachusetts

Matt Maddox (left & Steve Wynn (right) courtesy of CNBC

Wynn Resorts new CEO Matt Maddox reported on CNBC Wednesday that “Boston’s not up for sale. What Boston represents for us is a good growth opportunity……I like that market. I found that land. I pursued that deal. I entered the agreement with the host community five years ago. I liked that market then, I like that market now.”

Rumors have been spreading daily over the two new casinos in Massachusetts.  It all started when Steve Wynn, then CEO of Wynn Resorts, Wynn, was accused of demanding sexual favors from female employees over the last three decades. Since these allegations became public, and his resignation as Wynn Resorts chairman and CEO on Feb. 6, a firestorm of speculation has whirled around Everett, MA.,  spreading to Springfield, MA and even Connecticut’s tribal casinos.

MGM BOSTON HARBOR?

MassLive reported that “gaming officials are exploring the sale of Wynn Boston Harbor, with MGM Resorts International as a top candidate to purchase the project.”  MGM Resorts International has been urged on by John DeCree of Union Gaming stating “purchasing Wynn Boston Harbor could result in a double-digit increase in return on investment for MGM than their casino project in Springfield.”  But state gaming regulations only allow a casino operator to hold more than one gaming license in Massachusetts.  Selling their MGM Springfield project would then be necessary to purchase the Wynn property in Everett.

MORE RUMORS

Meanwhile, back in Springfield, MGM this week has reported a new opening date – earlier than the previously announced late September.  MGM Springfield is now prepared to open (mark your calendars!) August 24th, 2018.  This report is not a rumor, but will the casino in Springfield be owned by MGM by that time?

With a series of “what-ifs” and “thens,” check out this possible 5+ step scenario:

  • 1. MGM purchases Wynn Boston Harbor, becoming MGM Boston Harbor
  • 2. MGM sells Springfield casino.
  • 3A. Mohegan Sun buys Springfield, becoming Mohegan Sun Springfield (the Mohegan tribe lost out to Wynn for the Boston license with their proposal in Revere. or
  • 3B. MMCT Joint venture between the Pequot & Mohegan tribes in CT change it’s prospective 3rd CT casino in South Windsor to Springfield, MA.
  • 3C. The prospective 3rd CT casino in South Windsor continues as a joint venture between the Pequot & Mohegan tribes in CT
  • 4. The prospective 3rd CT casino in South Windsor is not built, leaving Foxwoods out of the mix, until….
  • 5. Connecticut opens bidding for Bridgeport Casino, as Foxwoods & MGM become prime suitors to battle it out for the NYC market.

It seems like fun to make these rumored projections, much like a mock draft on Draft Day.  But it isn’t fun and games for the city of Springfield. MA. Casino opponents in Springfield always warned that “something like this could happen with MGM’s track record.”

MGM Springfield

Remember when this beautiful tower was going to enhance the Springfield skyline?

AND WHAT ABOUT SPRINGFIELD?

According to MassLive, “Mayor Domenic J. Sarno said Friday he has been assured by the top executives of MGM Resorts International and MGM Springfield that it remains committed to building a first-class resort casino in the city, despite unconfirmed reports that the company is in discussions to purchase the under-construction Wynn Resorts casino in Everett.” Residents have made it known that they need MGM for its economic and jobs promises. Some note that MGM has already changed its plans when they changed the 30-story hotel tower and decreased the casino floor.

Other residents have noted that businesses have been reluctant to break ground in Springfield to accompany the opening of MGM Springfield.

MGM has stated, “We do not comment on rumors or speculations around transactions. We remain fully committed to the opening and success of MGM Springfield.”  But it is the Boston market that will pay the most dividends.  Springfield has always been, to some, a questionably lucrative project.

CONCLUSION

Many events would have to happen in order for Wynn Boston Harbor to become MGM Boston Harbor. The summer will prove to be interesting, as state legislatures business is coming to a halt soon in both states, putting a hold on possibilities.  Besides the Wynn Boston Harbor mess and the MMCT situation in CT, sports-betting is also on the table in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

For Springfield’s sake, I hope the next throw of the dice isn’t “snake-eyes!”

Binbin

Connecticut Casino Expansion Intensifies

 

MGM  Bridgeport rendering top. Proposed MMCT joint venture casino between CT’s Mohegan & Pequot tribes for East Windsor, CT. below.

To add a casino or not add a casino? – That is NOT the question. To add two casinos? – Now that’s the question!

To get the prequel for this post, click on the the post “Wynn, MGM, Bridgeport & MMCT – Questions Abound.”  

The battle at the border between MGM Springfield and the MMCT joint casino venture by the Mohegan & Pequot tribes is going on three years now. But events in March took the conflict to a new height. Highlights?  Sure, there are plenty:

  • CT Attorney General George Jepsen advised legislators on Thursday to consider and test the market for opening Connecticut to commercial casinos, believing that commercial casinos would not jeopardize the $160 million in slots revenue that the state expects to collect in 2018 from the exclusivity deal signed with tribal owners Mohegan Tribe and Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, owners of Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino.

    Attorney General Jepson

  • According to MGM, Connecticut left tons of money on the table by accepting the first casino proposal that came their way. MGM has argued for the past year that the casino proposal process should be open to commercial interests. MGM would also pick a different location – Bridgeport, which is further from the MGM Springfield than East Windsor.
  • MGM wants to build a casino and hotel on the Bridgeport waterfront – the only place MGM is interested in. A bill to support this was in jeopardy after committee leadership refused to hold a vote on it, but it was passed with one major change – Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun will still be allowed to develop their own casino in East Windsor, CT, minutes from the Massachusetts border and from MGM Springfield. Due to the change in the billMGM isn’t so so sure it’s interested if the MMCT casino in East Windsor is allowed to be built.

    Connecticut State Capitol

  • Then, Connecticut lawmakers approved a revised bill that could pave the way for the construction of the state’s fourth casino. The piece of legislation nearly died in the General Assembly’s Public Safety and Security Committee, but last-ditch efforts from lawmakers supporting the idea helped it survive with a 21-3 vote in favor. If approved in the Legislature, the bill would allow for the opening of a new bidding process for operators interested in building a casino in Connecticut. In case the proposed commercial casino bill reaches the desk of Governor Dannel Malloy and he signs it into law, the state of Connecticut would then subsequently allow the local Indian tribes, casino developers, and other qualified entities to submit their respective proposals for establishing the fourth legally authorized gaming venue in the state.

You can’t make this stuff up!  At any given time, either side sound like adolescents not getting their way, only this is different – there’s a lot of money at stake!

Remember to go to TravelZork to see our monthly post, as well as all of their great coverage of  travel, Vegas & casino resources on the web.

MGM Winning the Battle in CT by Outspending the Rest

Hold The Demolition!

The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribal nations were set to begin work on dismantling the abandoned Showcase Cinamas in East Windsor where the joint venture of MMCT were to build a casino. Let’s face it, it was intended to be a quick reaction to save jobs and revenue going over the border to Springfield .

MGM Resorts International continues to throw any resistance they can, raising its own bet for Connecticut’s lucrative gambling dollars. In case you missed it, in the last few years MGM has:

  • flooded the towns considered for the MMCT third casino venture with propaganda to promote disinterest
  • stirred the pot by inciting other CT tribes to “get their piece of the pie,”
  • made CT legislators consider other processes for gaming in the Nutmeg State
  • studied and suggested Bridgeport as the best place for a new casino (away from Springfield)

    Bridgeport, CT – MGM casino quest

  • continues litigation with the state of CT concerning the casino addition
  • slowed the third casino process to a crawl, getting ahead with their project in Springfield while
  • continuing to move forward steadily in building MGM Springfield
  • and even has CT politicians & residents alike thinking that no additional casino is the best scenario

With an offer for a Bridgeport casino and fierce opposition to the East Windsor site within 17 miles of the $900 million MGM casino nearing completion in Springfield, Mass., there is as much as $20 million a month in Connecticut gambling revenue at stake.

Ken Dixon of the CT Post reported the following actions as MGM raised the ante last year:

  • Spending more than $3.8 million in TV and radio ads and lobbying state agencies and lawmakers, including Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Attorney General George Jepsen, a Hearst Connecticut Media review of public records in the Office of State Ethics has found. (The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegans’ joint venture spent less than $1.2 million.)
  • MGM hired a Washington lobbyist to focus on the Department of the Interior and the White House, paying Ballard Partners $270,000.
  • Lobbying total comparisons: MGM Resorts International $3.8 million, Mashantucket Pequot Tribe/Foxwoods $77,850, MMCT Venture, (East Windsor tribal casino) $1.2 million, Schaghticoke Tribal Nation of Kent $158,194 (when MGM backed an effort to get the tribe recognized and allowed a competing casino)
  • MGM Resorts International’s growing investment in Connecticut lobbying – 2015 — $172,937  2016 — $1,224,440, 2017 — $3.8 million

“It’s par for the course,” said Andrew Doba, spokesman for the two tribes. “MGM has shown, month after month, year after year, that they are willing to spend ungodly amounts of money to prevent Connecticut from taking the logical and necessary steps to protecting jobs and revenue.”

Connecticut State Capitol

Recently, Kenneth Gosselin if the Hartford Courant reported the introduction of a bill that would open casino expansion in Connecticut to competitive bidding calls for scrapping plans for a casino in East Windsor. The bill requires that proposals include a workforce of at least 2,000 and an agreement to give the state at least 25 percent of gross gaming revenues from all games, plus at least 10 percent from slot machines. The pact with CT’s two tribal casinos now in action insures 25% of all slot revenue.

What would the New bill entail?

  1. Bids are due by Jan. 1.
  2. The proposals also must show the bidders are able to pay a one-time $50 million licensing fee to the state.
  3. The legislature’s public safety and security committee, which oversees gaming, will hold a public hearing on the bill on March 8.

The legislative committee will take a broader look at the future of gaming in the state, including sports betting, in an informational forum.

Last February I wrote that there were three future possibilities in Connecticut concerning casino expansion:

“At this time, here are the possibilities:

  1. No Casino – yes, that’s right.  In a quick Twitter poll on our NETimeGambling Twitter site, 60% responded to no casino, 20% for Bridgeport, and 20% for the Hartford area.
  2. MMCT gets their casino, the mess continues, but to no avail.
  3. All Hell Breaks Lose! – the process is revisited, commercial casinos apply for two licenses, and I’ll be writing about it well into 2020.”

Well, here we are a year later. I guess not much has changed, except for one thing – MGM is winning the battle in CT.  Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods should start thinking about other possibilities to compete for the gambler’s dollar.

 

 

CT’s Third Casino, An Underwhelming Reality?

Proposed MMCT joint venture casino between CT’s Mohegan & Pequot tribes

Last week, MMCT, the joint venture between Connecticut’s Mohegan and Pequot tribes, showed a slight blueprint of what the satellite casino planned for East Windsor, a blueprint that was underwhelming. The news was that it would include 2,000 slot machines, up to 150 tables, and a five-story, 1,800-parking space garage.

Steve Ruddock, a veteran of the gambling industry and longtime contributor to numerous publications including DFS Report, USPoker.com, and PlayMa.com.  As a resident of Massachusetts and a scholar of the gambling industry, Steve has a special perspective on the  gambling expansion in Connecticut.

Drawings were submitted to the town and are little more than a rough sketch a first glimpse at the thinking behind the $300 million development.  Steve’s analysis was quite good and can be read at “IT APPEARS EAST WINDSOR CASINO’S BIGGEST SELLING POINT IS A PARKING GARAGE”

Blueprint for MMCT East Windsor Casino.

Steve and I exchanged opinions and I believe I’m now leaning his way. He called it a “slot box.”  I hesitated when I read his opinion and asked him what constitutes a “slot box.”  Steve’s definition was “A casino without a lot of amenities. Somewhere you go to gamble and do little else.”  I must admit, after seeing his explanation, I do agree.  This third casino is not going to come close in comparison to MGM Springfield.  As presented, it IS a “slots box.”

It made me wonder what other slot boxes this size and this amount of table games and slots were in Las Vegas or elsewhere.

Of course there is Plainridge Park Casino and Raceway in Plainville, Massachusetts.  But that was the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s plan all along.

Elsewhere in New England there is Oxford and Twin River casinos in Maine and Rhode Island respectively, but both have completed, or in the process of completing a hotel.

NYC has its Empire City and Resorts World, both large slot joints, with no hotel. But these two casinos with few amenities are highly successful. East Windsor is a far cry from New York City concerning the number of available gamblers, so the comparison of how successful a slot parlor could be to keep revenue and jobs in Connecticut is questionable.

Resorts World, Queens, NY.

In Vegas, with that definition would you consider Casino Royale on the Strip, Dotty’s chain of slot joints, (much smaller, no hotel), and some of Downtown Vegas Casinos, like El Cortez and the Plaza, even though they have hotels.

It’s too bad that a hotel isn’t in the mix for East Windsor, never mind a good restaurant like Stack’s (Plainridge Park) or the many high end eateries at both Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun.  Or, how about some meeting space to add to the hotel to add to convention crowds from Hartford. In other words, there needs to be more incentive besides program loyalty to keep Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun patrons from crossing over the Massachusetts border.

Bottom line is, why not build a world class casino, smaller scale, like those in SouthEastern CT? Something that would be able to compete with MGM Springfield. Something that costs more than $900,000!

I’m not in favor of open bidding in Bridgeport, or anywhere else in CT. The future ramifications would open up a can of worms that would not fix CT’s financial woes. But I do think that East Windsor and the people of CT deserve better from MMCT.

Thanks to Steve Ruddock for inspiring this post.

Binbin

 

 

 

Two Years Ago

Two years ago, I posted the following article about the changes between 2013 & February, 2016.  it’s interesting to see what had happened in that time period, what was expected to happen between then and now, and actually where we stand two years later. So, here is the actual article, with updates as we go. Remember this was originally written in 2016. Enjoy…..


(February 8th 2016) Let’s go back in time first…..

Two years ago in New England.

Two years ago in New England.

Two years ago, (2014) it was all about Wynn Everett never happening, Mohegan Sun’s rejection in Palmer or Revere, and MGM Springfield causing concern over traffic, historic buildings, yadda, yadda, yadda…

Last year, (2015) MGM Springfield & Wynn Everett are given casino licenses, but will open two years later. Connecticut looks at the possibility for a third casino, law suits between MGM & CT, and Wynn & Boston’s Mayor Walsh erupt, Rhode Island’s Twin River buys Newport Grand and talks of moving it to Tiverton, while Massachusetts opens its first Casino in Plainville, Mass. only to find disappointment because of declining revenue after its opening. (As we now realize, Plainridge Park has had a series of months with growing revenue. Wynn & Walsh made nice, nice, Twin River Management is progressing through those plans in 2018.)

imagesIt’s 2016.  Wynn & MGM have begun breaking ground, fewer lawsuits remain, and Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville continues to perform to less than expected (and highly bloated) results.  CT is trying to find a location for its third casino, and everything seems to be moving forward to the wonderfully saturated and competitive casino market we know as New England.

But what would the casino industry be like without some turmoil?  So, here’s the next chapter of  “As The New England Casino Industry Turns.”  Recently:

IN MASSACHUSETTS

  • The Bureau of Indian Affairs officially designated Mashpee Wampanoag lands as a reservation on Friday. In September, the U.S. Department of Interior agreed to take 321 acres of tribe-owned land into trust on its behalf.
    Rendition Wampanoag Casino in Taunton

    Wampanoag Casino in Taunton

    But not so fast, a group of Taunton property owners filed a lawsuit in federal court Thursday challenging the designation of neighboring land as a Native American reservation, a legal move meant to block a $500 million casino planned for the location,  describing the tribe’s plans for a massive casino and hotel complex as “grossly out-of-character” for a quiet residential area. Sound familiar?  (i.e., Palmer MA, Tiverton RI) (First Light continues to be stuck in “Legislative Limbo.”)

  • Then there’s Brockton – you remember that city, don’t you?  They’re the ones patiently waiting to find out what Massachusetts and the Mass.Gaming Commission are going to do with the Mashpee proposal in Taunton.  th (11)The Brockton casino proposal is the only remaining commercial license applicant pursuing a license provided to the southeastern region by the state’s gaming law. If both eventually appear years in the future, it’s said they will be able to “co-exist,” meaning not prosper, not financially aid the state of Massachusetts, and play second fiddle to MGM & Wynn forever.  The new lawsuit mentioned above by Taunton could keep the decision in limbo for years.  Rush Street Gaming, developer of Brockton’s Casino proposal, won’t stick around that long. (The MGC decided not to award any SE gaming license, with Brockton being the last casino standing, but not getting the award.)

IN CONNECTICUT

thA third casino site for a jointly run Foxwoods/Mohegan Sun Casino to compete with MGM Springfield Resort being built across the line in MA, will be decided on later than expected.  Now remember, MGM Resorts filed a lawsuit against the state of Connecticut in 2015 alleging that the state had not followed fair policy by giving casino establishments an equal right to bid for a third casino in Connecticut, suggesting partiality to CT’s two “casino” tribes.  Recently, The Schaghticoke Tribal Nation, ignored by CT and feds, established a business entity with the aim of being allowed to establish a commercial casino within the borders of CT and they remain dedicated to the idea of operating the third CT gambling faculty. Richard Blumenthal, the state’s congressional delegation, have opposed new rules by the BIA that would have made winning federal recognition easier for tribes like the Schaghticokes.  In one week, the tribe from Kent, CT was approved and denied, with Connecticut saying their made a “boo-boo.”   Maybe MGM Springfield has a point with their lawsuit. (The whole thing was eventually dismissed, leading this blogger to wonder if there is still a political predjudice towards tribal peoples. Ironic that it would be alive and well in New England, you know – Pilgrims, first contact, etc…)

IN RHODE ISLAND

The Battlefield for Casino Supremacy in Rhode Island & Southeast Mass

The Battlefield for Casino Supremacy in Rhode Island & Southeast Mass

Twin River Casino, owner of Newport Grand Casino, would ask voters statewide and in Tiverton to decide the fate of the new casino with referendums on the November 2016 ballot. The question would need to pass both statewide and in Tiverton for the casino to be approved.  In a Tiverton town meeting, townspeople sounded genuinely split on the issue as they talked about the practicalities and the morality of hosting a gambling venue. (Tiverton and Twin River Casino’s new Hotel is all happening – just r-e-a-l-l-y sloooowwwwwwwly)

IN MAINE

York County, Maine om the Mass & NH borders where the third Casino in Maine is proposed

York County, Maine on the Mass & NH borders where the third Casino in Maine is proposed

Hey, is Maine still looking to add a third casino – closer to the Massachusetts border?  According to a detailed report in the Bangor Daily News, petition circulators were hired in the state of Maine to gather signatures to try and bring another casino to the state.

Soon after the signature campaign started that circulators began to allege issues that they were hired by the company Harness Racing Jobs Fairnessto gather signatures, promised as much as $10 per signature! The unorthodox campaign to give a Las Vegas gambling developer the sole right to build a York County casino submitted its signatures Monday to put the proposal to Maine voters in November.  NETG prediction – referendum? sure…..casino?  Nah. (And we were right – twice and no Maine casino in York county.)

So, unless you were gone for the month of January and February (2016), that’s the news to peak your interest. Same issues, just different players.

Binbin

Wynn, MGM, Bridgeport & MMCT – Questions Abound

Over the last few days, news reports have made my mind spin.  While so many headlines have come from different angles, they all seem related to NETimeGambling interests.  Our coverage of New England Casinos news this week has noticeably been missing, but not on purpose. You see, we could report all the news that you have read about already, but it’s too early for comprehensive coverage. The past week’s headlines could actually turn the entire southern New England gambling landscape upside down. Covering this takes careful perspective and consideration.

However, it hasn’t stopped me from thinking about all of it – past, present, and future. Random thoughts running rampant.  Now, I need to share before my head bursts.

Billionaire casino mogul Steve Wynn steps down as chairman and CEO of Wynn resorts, amidst allegations of sexual misconduct.

Steve Wynn with his rendition of Wynn Boston Harbor

It’s sad to think that these allegations go back so many years. The “good old boys” network of covering for each other in entertainment and political fields is now being uncovered in the casino industry.

  • Will it stop the casino in Boston Harbor from still built and becoming the jewel of New England’s casino landscape?  Emphatically “No!”
  • Will the Massachusetts Gaming Commission take the charge and investigate the lies Steve-o made to Cosby and the MGC?  If they have any integrity they will – something that was questionable in the way the license was handled in the first place.
  • By the way, the state Gaming Commission said the omission of mentioning the $7.5 million settlement paid to a woman by Wynn in 2005 in the gaming license application is “critical” to the commission’s review and decision whether or not to approve. How should Mohegan Sun feel about such an unfair process of choosing Wynn over their Revere casino application.

Future Of Proposed East Windsor Casino In Doubt

Proposed MMCT joint venture casino between CT’s Mohegan & Pequot tribes

The fed’s delay, influenced by MGM adding itself to the MMCT lawsuit defense, has seemingly turned the tables on the Pequot and Mohegan joint casino in East Windsor. The U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs had 45 days to approve or deny the changes to Connecticut’s gaming compact with the tribes. But, recently, the Trump administration advanced an interesting argument that may even cause the extinction of the East Windsor Casino project even as demolition is scheduled for the casino site. In a motion filed on Monday, government attorneys called for the removal of the Pequots from the case. They contend the tribe’s new casino deal is not subject to “mandatory deadlines — or any deadlines at all” at the federal level, all of which proves true and stops the tribe of Foxwoods fame to be deleted from the MMCT suit.

  • My first response was MGM will do anything to protect its MGMSpringfield project.  It shows me that rumors of questionable success and an unsure feeling about MGM does exist. If you were sure the product you were peddling was so great, why try to kill off all competition?
  • How could Foxwoods not see this coming? Not realizing this snafu was serious enough to put the 3rd casino project in jeopardy could start tribal hostilities between the two tribes once again – dating back to 1637 when the Mohegan’s were originally part of the Pequot tribe, but gradually became independent and allied with English colonists in the Pequot War.

Revoke East Windsor license and set up competition in Bridgeport?

Supporters of a casino in Bridgeport rolled out a bill this week, to revoke the East Windsor license granted last year and replace it with a competition for proposals for a single casino costing at least $500 million. The bill calls for bids by Jan. 1, which would have to include a deal with a city or town, complete with a referendum, anyplace in Connecticut.

Distance from Bridgeport to Resorts World, less than 60 miles away.

  • Why Bridgeport?  Well, before the tribal pacts were made Mohegan and Pequot Tribes, Wynn and Trump saw Bridgeport as a perfect site with proximity to the Big Apple. But, then Governor Weicker made the agreement with the tribes for sole gambling rights. Trump, Wynn, and Bridgeport probably still haven’t forgiven the state of CT.
  • Why Bridgeport?  Because MGM, who has found a new city for financial promises, can’t build a casino anywhere in CT that is within a 90 mile radius of Springfield, according to their licensing agreement.
  • Why Bridgeport? It will open up a bidding war for the first commercial casino in the Nutmeg State, with developers required to meet specific requirements, including: A minimum of 2,000 people to be directly employed at the facility, $500 million minimum total investment for Commercial Casino Gaming Facility, $50 million nonrefundable license fee due before construction, 25% of the annual gross gaming revenue on both Slots and Tables, and additional 10 percent of the annual gross gaming revenue from the operation of video slot machine games to fund Educational Cost Sharing grants for distribution to municipalities.
  • Guess what – NETG suggested rebidding 2 years ago.  Only it was to add more money to the state coffers like Massachusetts did – all those application fees add up!  Then, turn around and do what you want anyway. Ask Rush Gaming and CET Gaming how The MGC choices stack up in their eyes.

MGM is quite the instigator!

Casino.org says, “Although Connecticut’s two tribal operators believe it’s part of a very elaborate bluff, an artist’s rendering of the proposed MGM Bridgeport casino, which the gaming operator says will bring 2,000 permanent jobs and a tax revenue stream of $316 million per year, has been created and presented to the state’s power brokers. (Image: MGM Resorts International)

It all began with CT’s reaction to MGM Springfield. MGM was not happy that Connecticut would acquiesce to their competition. Lobbyists infiltrated the MMCT process in choosing a site, and continued to lobby against it when East Windsor was chosen. Then another tactic – trying to get the Schaghticokes tribe federal and state recognition. That didn’t happen, so it was on to  Bridgeport.  I guess MGM is seen as the Golden Ticket to needy groups and cities.

MGM sure has a lot of money to stop CT’s “slot-box.”

Yep, that’s what they called it, even though it will be close in size, casino area, and gambling offered – with a full casino, unlike Plainridge Park in Plainville Massachusetts. MGM could stand for “Money Gone Mad” if referring to expenditures to battle the MMCT venture. Check this out:

  • MGM spent more than $3.8 million in TV and radio ads and lobbying state agencies and lawmakers, including Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Attorney General George Jepsen. The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegans’ joint venture spent less than $1.2 million.
  • MGM hired a Washington lobbyist to focus on the Department of the Interior and the White House, paying Ballard Partners $270,000.
  • Lobbying totals: Mashantucket Pequot Tribe/Foxwoods $77,850; MGM Resorts International $3.8 million; MMCT Venture, (East Windsor tribal casino) $1.2 million; Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority $178,702; Schaghticoke Tribal Nation of Kent $158,194
  • MGM Resorts International’s growing investment in Connecticut lobbying; 2015 — $172,937; 2016 — $1,224,440; 2017 — $3.8 million  *Source: Office of State Ethics

What will Southern New England’s gaming look like by 2020?

Your guess is as good as mine. Questions abound:

  • Could we see one or two commercial casinos rise up in Bridgeport, New Haven, Hartford?
  • How many will be operated by MGM?
  • Will Caesars Entertainment make an appearance in CT?
  • Will CT’s tribes extend to Bridgeport? East Windsor?

Too many questions.  Now my head really hurts.  I guess I’ll just have to wait and see…………we all will.

Binbin

 

 

NETimeGambling Looks Back & Forward from 2014

“All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.” ~Ellen Glasgow

Two years ago in New England.

Four years ago in New England.

A Look Back to 2014

I was looking back at old NETimeGambling posts from 2014 & 2015. So many changes have take place in New England’s Casino Industry.  It’s hard to remember some of the proposals that failed compared to those that have materialized. A few years ago, New England was simply an area with a few casinos. Let me remind you what was happening back then:

“Connecticut Casinos are on the verge of losses beyond recovery. (Instead, by 2017, both Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun have made many additions and changes, and have diversified their interests into other revenue generating areas, making their relevancy in New England stronger and ready for the New England’s casino expansion.)

”Massachusetts is still in a mess concerning it’s third full casino license in the Southeastern area.” (Eventually, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission passed the New Bedford waterfront and chose Rush Gaming’s proposal in Brockton – but when the Wampanoag tribal casino looked to generate more for the state, the southeast region license was denied to Brockton.  At this time, “First Light Resort of the Wampanoag tribe is stuck in a lawsuit with the townspeople of Taunton.)

Remember when there were two other bidders besides Penn National Gaming for the Slots-only casino? Raynham Park, a former dog-racing track; and Cordish Bros., which had proposed building a slots parlor in Leominster were the other two.

Mohegan Sun was denied not one proposal, but two – in Palmer to MGM Springfield, and Revere’s Suffolk Downs to Steve Wynn’s casino in Everett.

By the way, Mohegan Sun was Suffolk Down’s second suitor. Caesars Entertainment had to withdraw from a connection with Suffolk Downs in 2013 due to alleged ties to Russian organized crime.

A Look Forward From 2015

Southeastern New England’s expansion possibilities in 2015

In 2015, I suggested that the peak number of prospective casinos in New England (prospective, but not probable) totaled at 20! Yes I know, as Tevye from “Fiddeler on the Roof said, “crazy, no!”

Here’s what I posted in 2015. These were my insane expansion numbers of casinos in New England: (for laughs and giggles)

CONNECTICUT – 2 tribal resorts, and 3 tribal “satellite” casinos = Total of 5
RHODE ISLAND – 2 casinos, both under the name of Twin River Casino, Hotel & Resort = Total of 2
MASSACHUSETTS – 3 casino resorts, 1 slots-only parlor, 1 tribal (Wampanoags) = total of 5
NEW HAMPSHIRE – 2 casinos = (don’t count on it, although I expect it brought to legislature at least two more times in the next ten years) = Total of  2
VERMONT – yes, even Vermont has been questioning keeping its revenue in the state, since threatened by MA & NY = Total of  1
MAINE – 3 casinos, all expanded to small resorts and 2 tribal (Maliseets & Passamaquaddys) = Total of 5

Some say the Northeast is already saturated. Can you imagine if all this did come true?

Main Street, Red Rose Pizza in the far left corner. In between is Howard Street to the Cinema, Bowling, and Event area

I can’t wait to see what really happens before my eyes. And it all starts next year with MGM Springfield. Remember, “all change is not growth.”  But change is on the horizon.

Make it so!

That’s all for now.

Binbin

New England Casinos – 5 Top Stories of 2017

2017 was the year that we finally started to see the future of casino gaming in the northeast. Pennsylvania is adding more casinos. New York will complete it’s 24th casino with Resorts World Catskills in 2018. Atlantic City is showing signs of recovery with the addition of Hard Rock Casino in the former Trump Taj – and just maybe Revel will be bought, renovated and opened. And, New Jersey continues to lead the fight in the world of online gaming legislature and country-wide sports betting.

In New England, things have certainly ramped up. Only one word comes to my mind when someone mentions casinos in New England – Expansion. Expansion in Massachusetts with two new casinos by 2019, expansion in Rhode Island with a new hotel and casino in Tiverton, new expansion in Connecticut, however, at this time we still don’t know exactly how much.

So, here’s a look back at 2017 in New England – casino style.

1. MGM SPRINGFIELD

The City of Springfield, MA is preparing for a renaissance in jobs, revenue and entertainment with the opening of MGM Springfield. It’s going to be a different brick-and-mortar casino than previous MGM projects. It could be the single most important project in Springfield history, raising the Rose City up from the ashes.

MGM Springfield Casino Entrance

MGM Springfield Casino Entrance, Main Street to the left,

 

MGM Springfield – What City Improvements Can We Really Expect?

MGM Springfield – An “Urban” Casino

MGM Springfield Releases New Details with Local Flavor

MGMSpringfield Resort Success is Crucial For Springfield

 

2. MOHEGAN SUN CONTINUES TO DIVERSIFY AND EXPAND

 

Kathleen McWilliams, a reporter for the Hartford Courant, reported the Mohegan Tribe’s plan for the former Norwich Hospital site in Preston CT, (just across the river from the casino), would be made into a dozen amenities, including an indoor water park, a senior living center and a sports complex. This huge plan also includes include outdoor and indoor entertainment attractions, a large performing venue, time share units, retail, an RV park and marina. The plan includes restaurant space, a convenience store and gas station. A large project such as this is completely opposite from the trend in casino projects in size and dynamics. Not essentially connected to the casino part of the Tribe’s operations, it will be an overwhelming list for the town of Preston, CT.  In addition, on the casino campus, Mohegan Sun is again expending, this time in conference space.

Mohegan Expo Center, with Earth Hotel upper left.

 

Mohegan Sun News – Plans for Norwich Hospital Site and Mohegan Expo Center

3. FOXWOODS 25th ANNIVERSARY

Foxwoods celebrated it’s 25th Anniversary.  For 25 years, starting with a small bingo hall and the help of then Governor Weicker, Foxwoods has continued to be a country-wide phenomena. It is the largest casino property by square feet, it is the second largest casino area, and it includes the only covered, indoor Tanger outlet in the country. Gaming renovations have included two stadium gaming areas, offering $1 blackjack (3/2), and the continuation of one of the best poker rooms in the country. A more comprehensive move towards non-gaming amenities have included the addition of thrill rides, a zip line and race track for 2018, new restaurants, and additional night-club options. The celebration has gone on most of the year, with many giveaways and events. Here is coverage of New England’s first casino in 2017.

Foxwoods 25th Anniversary – Part 1- The Path To The Top

Foxwoods 25th Anniversary – Part 2 – The Celebration

4. MAINE’S THIRD CASINO PROPOSAL FAILS

Once again, Maine had supporters for a third casino in York County.  Once again, it was defeated. Maybe it was the fact that it seemed like a legislative scam, or that the backers could not be trusted. It started in February and continued along a sleazy path until it’s defeat in November.

Maine’s Third Casino – The Ultimate Scam Allowed by No Legislative Policy

Today’s the Day – The Vote for a Third Maine Casino

5. MGM / CT – THE BATTLE GOES ON

Shall we really re-kindle all of the MGM vs. MMCT news?  Well, it did monopolize much of the gaming news in both Massachusetts and Connecticut.  I guess I have to compare it to our country’s political climate – just nasty. Then there is the possibility (little to none) of a Bridgeport Casino by MGM?  or  MMCT?  or anyone else – as long as the CT agreement with the Pequots & Mohegans  is nullified. Whoo-wee, here are the top posts concerning the I-91 Battle of the Border.

The Old Showcase Cinemas, East Hartford, CT

The Old Showcase Cinemas, East Hartford, CT

East Windsor is Chosen By MMCT for CT Casino

MGM, Massachusetts, Provide Answers to Connecticut’s Casino Mess

MGM Has Mastered the Art of the Stunt – David Collins

Casino.org says, “Although Connecticut’s two tribal operators believe it’s part of a very elaborate bluff, an artist’s rendering of the proposed MGM Bridgeport casino, which the gaming operator says will bring 2,000 permanent jobs and a tax revenue stream of $316 million per year, has been created and presented to the state’s power brokers. (Image: MGM Resorts International)

MGM Bridgeport Casino – All The Angles

Other news included:

New Hampshire once again considered a casino, and looked into internet gaming, but nothing has yet to come of it.

Twin River Management Group finally made its plans for Rhode Island.  After Tiverton’s approval of a new TRMG Casino/Hotel in it’s town, and after they had already purchased Newport Grand, TRMG will move it’s Newport operastion to Tiverton.  They will also build a hotel at it’s flagship property in Lincoln, RI.

New England Casinos will be Increasing the number of casino Hotel Rooms By Over 30% by 2019.

Plainridge Park Casino & Raceway, a slots-only casino, continued to make progress in attracting guests and increasing revenue.

MGM Springfield is ahead of schedule for its 2018 opening. 2017 showed major progress in Springfield’s best hope for economic success.

Wynn Boston Harbor broke ground and in progressing towards a 2019 opening with great anticipation throughout the region.

Oxford Casino in Oxford Maine, finished their hotel on the premises and added another dining option – the Ox Pub.

WOW, WHAT A YEAR!

Living in such a small part of the country with such a vibrant casino industry that is gettiing on it’s feet again after the 2007 recession certainly makes my job easy.  Next year? – more expansion, more excitement, and more bickering from the Connecticut shoreline to downeast Maine.  Happy New Year everybody.

New England Casinos – Past, Present, and Future

Happy 5th AnniversaryWhen I first started NETimeGambling, I hoped that New England would have become the Biloxi-Gulfport, Mississippi of the northeast, an extended area of casinos offering gamblers the variety and quality to go along with the area’s historical and cultural tourism.

How naive could I be? The casino industry couldn’t responsibly help New England’s Tourism industry – it’s all business to them.

This month marks our fifth year anniversary of NETimeGambling.com. So much of our casino landscape has changed and continues to evolve. Let’s look at the beginning of NETimeGambling and see what we were writing about in 2012.

CHRISTMAS PAST – 2012

The finished 3600 seat Bingo Hall was the keystone that the World's largest casino would be built around

The finished 3600 seat Bingo Hall was the keystone that the World’s largest casino would be built around

CT casinos had continued to drop in revenue due to the recession of 2007, NY racinos and slot parlors.
RI had seen a slight increase with hopes to get its table games up and running to take away from CT’s two Mega-casinos and before MA casinos were to be built.
Massachusetts intended to add three, if not four, casinos within three years to take back the revenue lost RI & CT,
NH wanted to keep their citizens at home as well, so they considered legalizing gambling.
ME had two casinos in 2012, one with a hotel and one considering hotel expansion.
And lest we forget that AC was still reeling from the recession and their own denial and completion from the likes of PA, NY and DEL, and recently New Jersey’s own consideration of statewide gaming. Atlantic City was already down to 9 Casinos, soon to be 7.

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 2017

Connecticut casinos have stabilized a bit, with positive revenue months becoming more frequent. After cutbacks in jobs, machines and management, both Foxwoods & Mohegan Sun have adapted its approach to be more competitive inside New England and beyond. An additional project projected for East Windson, CT will feature a Foxwoods/Mohegan joint casino venture known as CCMT.

mohegansun earthtower

Mohegan Sun seems to be the most motivated, adding another hotel and beginning a huge convention space addition.

Rhode Island’s dependence on gaming revenue continues. With the addition of table games, Twin River Casino in Rhode Island stepped up the battle for casino patrons with Massachusetts. Twin River Management Group purchased the Newport Grand Casino to move it to Tiverton – right on the Mass-RI border. Tiverton Casino was approved which makes the Newport move to Tiverton inevitable. Twin River started building a hotel, but both TR and the Tiverton project are stalled at this time.

Massachusetts continues to add drama to casino expansion in New England. Penn National opened Plainridge Park Casino, a slots-only casino that has continued to build its own loyal customers. Two other Massachusetts Wynn Boston Harbor & MGM Springfield. Both are on schedule to open in 2018 & 2019 respectively.

Wynn Boston Harbor on the river.

The Mashpee Wampanoag’s casino in Taunton, MA, has been stalled by political red tape and still doesn’t look like a finished deal.  It’s “Firts Light” project would be another formidable casino, if it ever gets the approval to continue past breaking ground.

New Hampshire will never approve a Las Vegas style casino for itself, but it seems the Charitable Gambling Law is alive and well in the Granite State. Poker rooms, including other table games, are increasing in popularity.

Maine’s two casinos are holding their own. Hollywood in Bangor received tax rebates from the city of Bangor to help it float financially. Oxford is expanding, adding meeting space and an attached hotel, with the Hampton Inn across the street now open. A third casino in Maine was introduced again for the York County area in a referendum for only one suitor, but, once again crashed and burned.

Outside of New England, Casino Changes Continue

New York State added more casinos, Atlantic City’s Casino is now down to seven, but has shown life in the past year. MGM now in full control of Borgata. Revel is rumored to be sold, and Hard Rock is moving into the Taj. This could be AC’s summer of growth.

Online gaming is on the tongues of legislators of New England States.  Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Connecticut has eyes on online revenue.

CHRISTMAS FUTURE……2020

Eleven casinos in four states. Online gambling in MA, RI, NH,  & CT.

Springfield, Massachusetts is experiencing a renaissance, Wynn Boston Harbor entices people from all over the U.S.

Connecticut casinos continue to diversify.  Foxwoods becomes an amusement destination as well as a casino resort. Mohegan Sun opens its huge project across the river of retail, housing, and wellness.

The Norwich hospital site in Preston, to be developed by Sun. In the far top, Mohegan Sun sits.

Convenience casinos continue to thrive in Tiverton, RI; Plainville, MA; Oxford, ME.

And with the growth of the casino industry, casinos find ways to help the homeless, help the addicted, and raise the quality of life in its communities.

Conclusion

Will there ever be a vision of prosperity for casinos, with good gambling rules, free parking, more casino hotels, and patrons that are welcomed with smiling aces, appreciated and rewarded sincerely?

For the sake of New England recreational gamblers and New England Tourism, we once again ask,

“CAN WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?!!”

Binbin

5 Cases Against Skewed Plainridge Park Survey

Recently, an article was circulated by many touting that “Plainridge Park Casino had ‘recaptured’ $100 million in gambling revenue from Massachusetts customers who had been going to out-of-state casinos.”

Wow! That’s monumental!……..if it were believable.

Numbers are deceiving. Surveys should not be assessed on terms of small captive sample sizes and numbers that dictate questionable generalities beyond the realm of possibility. As we see on the news, and in the paper, a survey could prove just about anything and is used to bolster one side’s thoughts against the other.  Numbers can be used to lie, or at least exaggerate a point. So is the case with this latest survey.

Please Note – NETimeGambling loves Plainridge Park Casino. It’s machines are up-to-date, it’s clean, it’s smoke-less, and the staff seems friendly and hospitable. This isn’t about the casino, it’s about the misleading survey.

Gaming Commission Chairman Steve Crosby said the survey showed that the casino law was achieving its prime goal of having Massachusetts customers spend their money in state rather than going to Rhode Island or Connecticut.  So, let’s look at the survey results:

WHO CONDUCTED THE SURVEY?

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who are conducting a multi-year, comprehensive study known as the Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) conducted this data.  They presented it to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

CASE #1

“Nearly 90 percent of PPC patrons had visited casinos in other states in the year before PPC opened, with the majority, 72.3 percent, having visited casinos in Connecticut and 55.9 percent in Rhode Island. The majority of PPC patrons were from Massachusetts, with 11.4 percent from Plainville or nearby towns and another 66.5 percent from other Massachusetts communities. Overall, 19.2 percent of patrons were from outside the Commonwealth.”  

NETG – Studies such as this that include stats about gamblers, but not important information about gambler’s bankrolls, amount of betting, and length of sessions.  Consider this statement, “19.2 percent of patrons were from outside the Commonwealth.”  By itself, it seems great.  But realistically, most gamblers frequent multiple casinos, especially aware gamblers. So, 1 of every 5 were from another state.  That could mean one car each from CT, RI and Maine for every 15 Massachusetts patrons. (That would mean 1 out of 15 cars from CT, or only 6% from CT – see how numbers can lie!), Is this really significant?  Gamblers travel – it’s a given. A similar survey should be done at Twin River, Foxwoods & Mohegan Sun for an accurate comparison.  Unless the results were skewed in favor of MA, it’s a moot point.  I wonder what a similar survey to turn up with cars from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, New York and New Jersey at the Connecticut Tribal casinos.  Lump all those states together, and I estimate you would find a higher percentage of patrons outside the Nutmeg State.

CASE #2

“Recaptured” patrons are Massachusetts residents who would have spent their money at an out-of-state casino and “reallocated” patrons are Massachusetts residents who would have spent their money on other goods and services in the state had PPC not opened. The research team estimates that over half of all gambling, 58.3 percent, and non-gambling, 50.4 percent, spending by Massachusetts patrons at PPC is “recaptured.”

NETG – So let me get this straight. Plainridge Park has “recaptured” over half of all gambling from other states by asking certain patrons, the majority from Massachusetts (remember the numbers for CASE #1) if they spent money on gambling that they never spent on gambling before?  How is that “recaptured? – they never gambled before! 

CASE #3

The general adult Massachusetts population, Plainridge patrons are “older, somewhat more likely to be white, more likely to have higher education and an annual household income between $50,000 and $100,000.”

Plainridge Casino Floor

Plainridge Casino Patrons

NETG – I could have told you that without the survey. Older patrons with travel to closer casinos, especially with slots – that’s a demographic you will find across the country. The race and household income represents the town of Plainville. This should not be revelations to the recapturing of funds – it’s the effect of a “locals” casino, unlike a destination casino teasing away patrons from other states for it’s shows, dining, or shopping.

CASE #4 –

Rhode Island’s Twin River Casino, said two years ago that their expected revenue dip would be about 10 percent when Massachusetts opened its first slots parlor. Instead, it has seen only 5% dip.

Twin River Casino

NETG – Will the MGC admit changes in their findings at Plainridge when Tiverton opens in 2019 and the pendulum swings back?  How about those who frequent Plainridge Park changing their minds and going to MGM Springfield?  Will Plainridge, without table games continue to withstand competition from Twin River, Tiverton, and the biggie – Wynn Boston Harbor?  Surely it will, but it shouldn’t be seen as a failure, just the process of competition.  When the dust settles in 2020 on New England’s Casino landscape, that’s when success and failure, recapturing and reallocated patrons could take a serious turn INSIDE the Commonwealth, to the detriment of Plainridge Park.

CASE #5

The majority of those (patrons surveyed), 72.3 percent, gambled at Connecticut casinos while 55.9 percent went to Rhode Island. The majority of Plainridge patrons were from Massachusetts, with 11.4 percent from Plainville or nearby towns and another 66.5 percent from other Massachusetts communities, the survey found.

NETG – Again, gamblers travel, it’s a given.  Loyalty, on the other hand, is different. The survey questions seem to benefit the answers wanted, not the questions needed. Where were these other important questions, such as:

  • Where do you most frequently gamble?
  • At which casino do you have the highest tier rating? (this would should amount gambled, time spent, and customer value to the casino)
  • Do you visit casinos for non-gambling reasons?  Entertainment? Shopping? Dining?

Finally, it is obvious so far, that more gamblers are coming out of the woodwork. Saturation is still a concern, and the effects of 10 casinos won’t be seen for a while. 

THE FINAL POINT

Plainridge is a great property on its own merits. It will continue to build it’s loyalty, but a few visits by a small clientele does not a loyalty program make.  Plainridge Park has shown tremendous progress, but why Massachusetts has to skew their results to show certain victories in revenue only shows rhetoric and politics at its worst.

Binbin

 

 

MGM Has Mastered the Art of the Stunt – David Collins

I’ve always thought it was lazy to just promote someone else’s post in place of mine, but today is the exception.

While reading the morning paper, I came upon David Collins’s article in The Day.

Bravo!

(standing up, clapping, and getting a strange look from my wife)

David Collins is Genius. Bravo! Bravo!

What was I excited about?  His OpEd on the recent MGM bomb dropped on Connecticut concerning a casino in Bridgeport.  After yesterday’s NETG post MGM Bridgeport Casino – All The Angles, explaining the many considerations and connections involved with a Bridgeport Casino in CT, I was wondering if I was objective enough, or maybe too objective.

David Collins, New London Day Columnist

Then David Collins comes along today and says so articulately what many of us think in MGM’s meddling in CT’s affairs.

THIS IS A MUST READ.

So, without further ado, click on this post by David Collins.

MGM Has Mastered the Art of the Stunt – David Collins

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did at NETG.  You can contact David Collins at email  d.collins@theday.com & Twitter  DavidCollinsct

Bin

Mohegan Sun Continues History of Expansion With New CEO

Mohegan Sun Resort Casino

Mohegan Sun Resort Casino, Uncasville, CT

Mohegan Sun has been planning for the future. Expanding its portfolio to include non-gambling amenities has been in progress for years, knowing that competition will soon increase in New England. Where else but at its flagship property in Uncasville, CT to introduce the latest expansion.

Mohegan Sun is expanding its convention space by building an $80 million exposition and convention center. According to Kenneth Gosselin of the Hartford Courant, “the 240,000-square-foot venue will open in the summer of 2018 and will help the tribe compete for larger tech industry shows, golf shows, home shows, motor sports and hunting and fishing shows. The convention and expo center also will allow Mohegan to expand shows already hosted by the casino such as Terrificon, the comic convention.”  The expo and convention center also will include a ballroom, 18 meeting rooms, a boardroom with an outdoor terrace and kitchen.

The new convention center is going to be HUGE!

“This new conference center will help us solidify Mohegan Sun as not just the premier conventions destination, but the premier resort in the Northeast region,” Mohegan Tribal Chairman Kevin Brown reported.

 

Expansion is nothing new to the Mohegan Tribe. Here is a history of its portfolio diversification:

Mohegan Sun Pocono, Pennsylvania

Mohegan Sun Pocono, Pennsylvania

  • On January 25, 2005, Mohegan Sun acquired its first gaming venture outside of Connecticut with its $280 million purchase of the Pocono Downs Racetrack Pennsylvania. Mohegan Sun renamed the property “Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs” and began a major expansion, operating the first slots casino in the state of Pennsylvania in November 2006.
  • Project Horizon included the addition of a third casino before the project was terminated due to the recession in 2008
  • In August 2012, the tribe announced an agreement to take over management of the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey

    Resorts in Atlantic City accepts Momentum Dollars for all amenities

    Resorts in Atlantic City accepts Momentum Dollars for all amenities

  • In 2014, the tribe entered into franchise agreements with Smashburger, Arooga’s Grille & Sports Bar, Jersey Mike’s Subs and purchased a wood pellet production plant in Peebles, Ohio, from the Pennington Seed Company. Also in 2014, the Mohegan Tribe, under the subsidiary Mohegan Holding Company, founded KÔTA, a premium provider of digital technology solutions for copying; scanning; sending and managing and producing print, document workflow and visual communications–all from the industry’s most reputable manufacturers and vendors.
  • The Earth Hotel was opened in November of 2016, adding over 300 rooms.
  • Finally, Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE), headquartered in Uncasville, Connecticut announced late last week that the company plans to break ground on the Inspire Integrated Resort adjacent to the Incheon International Airport in South Korea before the end of the year. (2017)

    Casino Resort near Airport. Project is licensed in Korea.

New CEO of Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment Mario Kontomerkos said the company’s expansion from two properties to seven (including the joint casino venture with Foxwoods in East Windsor, CT) over the last half decade has been key to its emergence from a financial predicament following the Great Recession.

“Continued expansion of non-gaming facilities are definitely in our future,” Kontomerkos said.

Not to be forgotten us the agreement the Mohegan Tribe reached with the town of Preston for an ambitious plan to buy and redevelop the property on the Thames River for office, retail, entertainment, recreation and possibly housing. Construction would start within three years and be finished in five years. It is expected to set the offerings of the Mohegan Tribe apart from the rest of New England’s Casino/Resorts, as well as resurrect the town of Preston financially.

The Norwich hospital site in Preston, to be developed by Sun. In the far top, Mohegan Sun sits.

The future still looks bright for Mohegan Sun.

Bin