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.
(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.
Massachusetts Regions for full casinos. Doesn’t include Mashpee Wampanoags in Taunton or Plainridge Park Slot Parlor in Plainville.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has its hands full, it seems.
Steve Crosby, Chairman of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission
MGC Chairman Steve Crosby seems to thing all plans have a chance to work itself out. The problem is, many others are doubting it will all come to fruition. In a previous post 5 Reasons New England Gamblers Will Decide Where the Casino Money Goes, John Kostrzewa points to important considerations in New England’s Casino future – something Mr. Crosby and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission should read.
Let’s look at their original plan:
Plainridge Park Casino
SLOTS ONLY LICENSE – Plainridge Park Casino gets the revenue stream started, keeping Mass gamblers in state and luring way Rhode Island gamblers. So far, it has been very successful while seeing a decline each month after its opening.
Wynn Everett Resort Everett, Mass
REGION A LICENSE – Wynn is hand picked after sending home Caesars, then allowing the glitz of Vegas to dismiss Mohegan Sun.
Wynn is now starting the clean-up of the old Monsanto waste site, in litigation with numerous parties, and considering changes to its proposal as this is posted.
New rendering of MGM Springfield’s
REGION B LICENSE – MGM Resorts is chosen in Springfield, only to have unapproved changes made, and delays estimated to put off the opening for three years. Connecticut continues to pressure the MGM project with a third Casino of its own in a joint effort from Mohegan Sun & Foxwoods – somewhere withing the vicinity of 30 miles from Springfield.
Proposed Brockton Casino
REGION C LICENSE – Only Brockton remains, but hasn’t been given the license because of the rebirth of the Wampanoags Taunton project. The MGC is taking a wait and see path, as Twin River bulks up with additional tables, added poker room, a hotel, and possibly moving Newport Grand to Tiverton – across the border from Plainridge Park in Plainville.
How is this all panning out? Originally, four Mass. casinos would be looting & pillaging CT & RI casinos by 2017. But it’s not looking like the plan is on track.
The main concern at this time for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is should a Region C license be awarded at all. According to MGC Chair Steve Crosby, “They can coexist……They would cannibalize one another. Neither one of them would do as well.”
But the main concern here isn’t casinos, community involvement, traffic, or lawsuits. It’s cash, moolah, the almighty buck.
The expansive Mashpee Wampanoag Casino Proposal in Brockton, Mass.
Under the compact between the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and Massachusetts, the state would collect 17% of the tribal casino’s gaming revenues, compared with 25% of revenues from the commercial casino. However, the tribal casino would not be required to pay taxes if a commercial casino were to open in the same region. Which would mean the same number of gamblers, but half the revenue to the state. Would the MGC deny Rush Gaming a chance in Brockton because the Mashpee Wampanoags project looks more likely to happen than three months ago? Is one large Tribal casino better than two casinos – tribal and commercial – co-existing?
Remember, the Massachusetts Casino Law in 2011 didn’t become law because the Massachusetts legislature thought adding the devil of gambling to its list of tourist attractions, it was the greedy devil from within to get their Bay State money back that had been spent by Massachusetts patrons for years in Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Spock in “Amok Time” – Star Trek.
I guess it’s not that easy to build a casino and hear the stream of money drop into Massachusetts coffers. Dear Mr. Crosby, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Or, as Spock said in Star Trek, season 2, episode 1 (“Amok Time,” 1968) , ““After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting. It is not logical, but is often true.” –
MGM continues to pursue it’s litigation with the State of Connecticut concerning a third casino, saying it “… is the result of an illegal and unfair gaming act…” according to the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Essentially, the 14th amendment addresses “Equal justice under law” and mostly refers to states rights against discrimination. According to MGM, this includes the discrimination of commercial competition. When Foxwoods & Mohegan Sun were allowed to agree to a casino outside their tribal lands, should they have opened it up to the industry?
YES, I say! Take a page out of Massachusetts playbook, as follows:
Step 1 – Charge anyone interested the $400,000 application fee.
Step 2 – Quickly set up voting for community endorsements.
Step 3 – Whittle away those that Connecticut thinks are not in it’s best interest.
Step 4 – Pick the casino that they had in mind all along – like Massachusetts did with MGM Springfield & Wynn Everett.
Then everybody’s happy, right? The process is done – the result is the same.
Basically, MGM is saying this pact denies other industry interests to build a casino in the Nutmeg state. In 2006, MGM was looking to increase its brand recognition on the East Coast, and partnered in a relationship with Foxwoods. The MGM tower in 2008 at a cost of $700 million.
Fox Tower at Foxwoods – Originally the MGM Casino & Tower.
In 2008, MGM pulled out of its partnership. According to then MGM spokeman Clark Dumont, MGM wanted to “avoid confusing consumers as it pursues a bid to build its own casino Springfield, Mass. So, what is so different now? If MGM is truly concerned for the state’s residents and rights of further casino industry commerce, wouldn’t a MGM casino built in CT now “confuse consumers?”
Of course. This legal strategy IS not only to confuse consumers, but DRAG out the beginning of Connecticut casino threat to MGM Springfield, and GAIN time for it’s already late opening in 2018.
Hypocrites – hiding their real intentions behind a smoke screen of the constitution for their own selfishness. Their presence in CT with the Foxwoods partnership wasn’t good enough in 2008 – why do they want a chance now?
They really don’t! They are scared that the CT satellite casino on the border will spoil their party – because the mighty MGM wants the ONLY party. Hey MGM, have you noticed what’s happening west in New York State?