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

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Mayor Sarno Needs To Focus on Springfield

According to MassLive’s Peter Goonan, Mayor Domenic Sarno reacted to a court decision favorable MMCT’s proposal for a new tribal casino in Connecticut, by referring  to it as a “glorified slots parlor.”

Wow, did he follow that up with a “nah, nah-nah, nah nah… or sticking out his tongue?”

Sarno obviously doesn’t know the differences in casino offerings.  If he wants to see what a “slot parlor” IS, he should go east to Plainville, MA where Plainridge Park Casino, the only Massachusetts casino resides and is the only one bringing in revenue.

You see Mr. Sarno, slot joints don’t have table games.  But, Mr. Sarno, let’s compare the casino aspect of each future property:

PROPERTY                          MGM SPRINGFIELD                       MMCT EAST WINDSOR, CT CASINO

Gaming Space                          125,000-square-foot                       200,000 square foot
Slot Machines                          3,000 slot machines                        2,000 slot machines
Table Games                               75 gaming tables                            50 to 150 gaming tables
Both will have a poker room, high limit areas, hospitality services like restaurants, shops, and entertainment.

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

So where’s the difference?  Well, the CT casino has proposed more square footage and more table games.  Hmmm, doesn’t sound like a glorified slot parlor to me.

Now, we know that proposals change, right Mr. Sarno?  MGM’s Michael Mathis admitted that things change – hopefully to enhance the final product. CT’s casino may change from its original plan.  But don’t hold it against them. Remember the following MGM changes & proposal changes?

  1. Where is that hotel tower MGM initially promised?  Oh yeah, plans were changed.
  2. And jobs for the residents of Springfield? According to Chris Goudreau from ValleyAdvocate@Play.com, More than half of the unemployed population in Springfield — 2,150 people — could be automatically disqualified from getting a job at the MGM casino, slated to open in late-2018, under the current state gaming laws, according to MGM research performed to help change the Massachusetts gaming law.  I understand you are a “man of the people” and are working to help change the employment considerations set up by the state and the MGC.  That change has promise for the people of Springfield!

    An updated rendering released in September 2015 shows MGM Springfield’s scaled-back hotel plan, which no longer includes a 25-story glass tower. Pictured here is the new site of the hotel, at Main and Howard.
    MGM SPRINGFIELD / COURTESY THE SPRINGFIELD REPUBLICAN PHOTO DESK

     

  3. How about apartments for the area around the casino? MGM may put some of its market-rate apartments in the old Court Square Hotel on Elm Street, across from Springfield City Hall. Now its plans for the old school department building at 195 State Street are unclear.  MGM has been considering putting all its apartments at the old Court Square Hotel.  In case you don’t know, market rate housing is any apartment that has no rent restrictions. A landlord who owns market rate housing is free to attempt to rent the space at whatever price the local market may fetch, beneficial for landlords, as it is less complicated and they may be able to generate higher rent income as a result.  Definitely not affordable housing to help out Springfield’s residents.

So, changes do happen in the planning. They are to be expected – just ask MGM.  And it’s true!

So, Mr. Sarno, why are you so worried about CT’s third casino?  Do you have so little faith in MGM’s promise to raise the quality of life with this new model of “urban casino?” Concentrate on what matters most – the future of Springfield, MA.  The residents, the businesses, the unemployed – they all need your help.

MGM’s plans include lots to be excited about.  Fresh ideas entwined with MGM success and Springfield’s blue-collar fabric make for big potential.  MGM is not a casino company, it’s a “resort” company – and a very successful one at that. Look at what they are building for Springfield:

Armory Marketplace, rendering courtesy of MGM Springfield.

The “Amory Square” – Dining, Retail and Entertainment District has so much to offer the residents and visitors of Springfield:

  • 165,000 square feet of dining, retail and entertainment space
  • 15 shops and restaurants
  • Movie cinema – 50,000 sq-ft and 12 screens
  • Bowling alley – 20,000 sq-ft
  • Outdoor stage for free live music and entertainment
  • Location between Union and Howard streets
  • Multi-level parking garage with 5,000 parking spaces. (as long as it’s FREE parking?)

And a Hotel that offers:

  • 25-story hotel with 250 rooms
  • World-class spa
  • Pool – 10,000 square fee
  • Roof deck – 35,000 square fee
  • Outdoor garden
  • Meeting and banquet space – 40,000 square feet
  • The hotel will use the existing building facade at 73 State Street

This is what MGM does best.

Finally Mr. Sarno, I believe you should follow your own advice concerning MGM Springfield, “…..my focus should and will be on what we can direct and control – continuing to put a first class resort establishment in Springfield.”  (Your words, no one else’s!) Stay away from the name calling – it shows a lack of understanding and is beneath those officials in government we, and Springfield, put our trust in.

Enough said.

Binbin

Connecticut Lawmakers, MGM, & CT Casino Expansion

Let’s start with some statistics:

  • Total employment in Connecticut is below the level of jobs that existed in Feb. 1989 – 27 years without any permanent job growth in the state.
  • Since 2007, only Nevada and Illinois have seen less growth in personal income.
  • Once the state’s third largest sector, non-durable manufacturing (something produced for the consumer’s immediately use and usually has an expected lifespan of three years or less) is nearly $15 billion below its previous peak in fall 2007.


It’s no wonder that lawmakers from the Bridgeport and New Haven areas are calling for an open, competitive process for the evaluation of casino proposals.  The two largest cities in Connecticut would like a chance change some of their resident’s hard times.  Like many regions of the country, southwestern legislators think gambling casinos are the answer.

Kevin Brown, left, Chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Council and Rodney Butler, right, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council,

Kevin Brown, left, Chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Council and Rodney Butler, right, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council,

A bill was recently proposed for the establishment of “a transparent and competitive process for the issuance of commercial gaming licenses by the Department of Consumer Protection.”  Legislation authorizing commercial rather than tribal casinos would have to be enacted before the tribes — or anyone else for that matter — could open a third casino in the state.This is direct conflict with the current MMCT venture by the Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegans. A 2015 law enabled the tribes to jointly pursue proposals for casino sites from Connecticut municipalities.

Why? Jobs is the main concern.  But is there some shenanigans in the background?

Jim Murren and MGM Resorts

Jim Murren & MGM Resorts

MGM Resorts International, the gaming giant whose development of a $950 million casino resort in Springfield, Mass., has been against the CCMT from the get go.  Of course, they favor the bill.  MGM has even commissioned market research that determined that a casino in Bridgeport would be more beneficial to the state than one in north-central Connecticut.  But have they considered their competition – the New York City area casinos, such as Empire City and Resorts World, which just happen to be some of the most popular and lucrative in the country.

“These legislators have it right, and they are proposing what Connecticut should have done from day one: put in place a process that is fair, open, transparent, reliable, and competitive,” Alan Feldman, an MGM Resorts executive vice president, said in a statement. “That’s how Connecticut wins — with a process that allows all qualified bidders to compete and the state to get the best deal. It is hands down the best way for the state to maximize the number of jobs that can be created, and the amount of gaming revenue that can be generated.”

The Pequots and the Mohegans now remit 25 percent of their slots revenue in accordance with exclusive gaming agreements with the state. The addition of commercial casino would legally allow the tribes to pay nothing, nullifying the compact with the state.

I think it should be looked into.  Like Massachusetts, a huge application fee of an industry giant could be taken, put in the coffers, with no responsibility to any of them.  They could also follow the northern neighbor by choosing to give a licence then taking it back and not issuing it due to the possibility of over-saturation, as in Brockton and Rush gaming southeastern licence.

mgm-nation-harbor

MGM National Harbor

And why is MGM so happy to stir the pot?  My opinion – greed and exclusivity.  Conquering the east coast gambling market is on the agenda of MGM International.  They have already become the single owner of Borgata – the best casino in Atlantic City.  They built Washington National Harbor in Maryland, close to D.C.  A Georgia licence is becoming more of a priority.  And their strangle-hold in Las Vegas as caused the death of a sacred Vegas amenity – free parking.  What better to conquer Connecticut with a “if we can’t have one, no one else should” strategy.

Any way you look at, Connecticut’s economic woes won’t be solved by casinos. Deciding the fate of casino expansion depends on sifting through the smoke-screens and scratching deep enough to find the real intentions of all parties concerned.

 

 

MGM Springfield – Random Thoughts

MGM Springfield Casino Entrance

MGM Springfield Casino Entrance

I want MGM Springfield to succeed.

There, I said it.

I want it to bring revenue for an economically needy city, I want it to be beautiful and to enhance the rundown parts of Springfield.

thI want it to be another casino jewel in New England to solidify southern New England as a gambling/tourist destination.  MGM, Wynn, Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun, Twin River – all large casinos with amenities to provide for vacations & stay-cations alike.

But I still have doubts to accompany the excitement of a top-class resort venue and their journey to 2018.  So here are random thoughts about the MGM Springfield project and related issues:

The original plan video can be seen here. The original plans were impressive, but now take away the tower, lower the parking garage by two floors, and move the apartments in the opening of the video further away from the casino.  Inside, MGM Springfield looks similar to Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas (Sumerlain), with restaurants outlying the casino, and the essential “Center Bar” made so by the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas long ago.  It has modern looks like MGM’s latest “Aria,” but much brighter.

VIDEO CLIP – MGM Springfield President Michael Mathis explains changes.

No free alcohol on the Casino Floor -Plainridge Park Slot Parlor

No free alcohol on the Casino Floor -Plainridge Park Slot Parlor

Will MGM & Wynn be powerful enough to influence a repeal to the “NO Happy Hour” Law in Massachusetts?  Imagine no alcohol freebies on a casino floor owned by MGM & Wynn – blasphemy!

MGM Atlanta

MGM Atlanta

MGM is a giant in the gambling industry and shouldn’t have any trouble separating their concerns in Macau & Las Vegas.  But their project in Atlanta, the first casino in Georgia, might be more of an interest than Springfield.  Massachusetts hasn’t been the most welcome state in the country concerning Wynn & MGM’s interests.

MLife Rewards Club of MGM

MLife Rewards Club of MGM

I’m encouraged about then East-West connection the rewards club, MLife, will provide.  Earning points in Springfield that can be used in Las Vegas & Biloxi (MGM owns Beau Rivage Resort Casino there) is exciting!  Let’s face it, MGM does own some incredible properties.  Imagine earning connections to stay at Bellagio in Las Vegas!

MGM dismisses everyone else in New England (except Wynn) as no competition. Eliminating the hotel tower is disappointing.  Yet, their “hotel on its side” plan idea is supposed to be the thing that distinguishes them from the Foxwoods & Mohegan Suns of the world.  Sorry MGM, we know you are big stuff in the gaming industry, but rationalizing a downgraded hotel as game changing in the casino industry is just insulting.  New Englanders just aren’t that naive and stupid.

MGM Springfield

New rendering of MGM Springfield’s, minus the Hotel Tower

Speaking of the comparison to Connecticut’s casinos, if the Nutmeg State’s casinos (including a third in the Hartford area) are not a threat to MGM Springfield, why the law suit, why the comparisons to CT instead of watching out west to New York State, and why say you want a casino in CT (Bridgeport) only to have pulled out of Foxwoods?  Hypocrisy I say.

Changes in design plans DO happen all the time, and rising costs are sighted as the reasons for these changes – whether it’s a Mall, housing project, or a casino.  I’m more concerned with what MGM is going to bring to gamblers.  So, MGM, I ask you – what advantage do I have spreading my money in Springfield compared to other New England options?

Poor VP Pay outs in many MGM properties. Jacks or better at 7/5.

Poor VP Pay outs in many MGM properties. Jacks or better at 7/5.

Will MGM have the same poor to mediocre Video Poker paytables that are in all their other properties?  The exception is Borgata in Atlantic City which they share with Boyd Gaming. You’re going to have to make your gambling options better if you seriously want to compete with CT & RI.

images (3)I wonder what plans MGM Springfield has concerning smoking.  The options provided for smokers at Plainridge Park seem almost punitive.  Massachusetts Casino Law has the entire casino as non-smoking.

I have so many other thoughts, questions and requests concerning MGM Springfield, but they will just have to wait.

My brain hurts, time for a break.

Tomorrow its a look at Thanksgiving dining promotion at New England’s casinos.

Binbin

 

 

 

Connecticut Casino Proposals Running out of Time

Kevin Brown, left, Chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Council and Rodney Butler, right, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council,

Kevin Brown, left, Chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Council and Rodney Butler, right, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council,

According to the Kenneth Gosselin of the Hartford Courant, the tribes that operate the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods casinos are seeking to jointly open and operate a gaming venue in the capital region to blunt competition from a megacasino now under construction in nearby Springfield. But to be honest, MGM continues to tweak it’s “megacasino” in a way more like downsizing the project due to the threat of Connecticut’s third casino. Click here for

Foxwoods/ Mohegan Sun Joint Casino, East Hartford, CT

Artist Rendering of renovated Cinemas building for New Mohegan Sun/Foxwoods Casino

For the past month, the Mohegans and Mashantucket Pequots have sought proposals from towns and cities.  The tribes said late last week that they don’t intend to announce the names of the municipalities submitting proposals when the deadline passes Friday at 4 p.m. But at least East Hartford and East Windsor appear locked in.

Bradley International Airport sign

Bradley International Airport & Casino not in the cards.

Previous considerations for Windsor Locks at Bradley International Airport and the Enfield Mall were voted down by town officials and residents.

The Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegans envision a casino with 2,000 slot machines and 100 to 150 tables, with an estimated development cost of $200 million to $300 million. The size of the casino and other amenities would range from 150,000 to 350,000 square feet, with the latter half the size of MGM Springfield.

Cinema in East Windsor for proposed casino.

Cinema in East Windsor for proposed casino.

East Windsor is the new entrant into the Satellite Sweepstakes. Denise Menard, East Windsor’s first selectman, said the town will propose a casino at another shuttered Showcase Cinema visible from I-91, about 8 miles from the East Hartford theater and a 12-minute drive away, and an adjoining property where there was once a Wal-Mart.

Both East Hartford and East Windsor have access to main interstate I-91, with East Hartford also having I-84 crossing in front of it.

The deadline passes after Friday, 4:00pm.

A few other posts along the MGM lines included:

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

Can Jim Murren; MGM Resorts Be Trusted in Springfield?

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Massachusetts Casino Region C – “To Be or Not To Be,” That IS the Question

Massachusetts Regions for full casinos.

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

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

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

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.

MGM Springfield

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

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.

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.

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.”

That’s all for now.

Binbin

 

Can Jim Murren & MGM Resorts Be Trusted in Springfield?

Jim Murren, MGM Resorts

Jim Murren & MGM – Can they be believed?

It has not been a good year to be a shareholder in a major casino company. Yet MGM Resorts Chairman and CEO Jim Murren is smiling at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas this week: “We’re doing better”

And despite all the drama MGM has caused in Springfield, Massachusetts, in Connecticut, and for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, the head of MGM Resorts International insists the company remains committed to building a casino in downtown Springfield despite a recent redesign that eliminated a 25-story hotel and associated apartments.

MGM Springfield

New rendering of MGM Springfield

The project will still include a 250-room, six-story hotel and 30 to 35 market-rate apartments that will be built in a former school department building that’s been vacant since 2010, MGM President William Hornbuckle said after meeting with Mayor Dominic Sarno. Hornbuckle said that he was disappointed the hotel tower, but obviously the talking heads of MGM would spin it that way. He promised that the casino would still open in September 2018 and provide 3,000 jobs, which I do believe will happen. Will it be the blueprint that was originally expected?…that remains to be seen.

East Hartford Casino

Mr. Murren, this is one of the other two possible CT third casino sites. Did you forget to mention there were three? No mall here!

He also dismissed possible competition from a casino proposed for northern Connecticut, not far from Springfield.  But still contends that they ought to be able to build in CT.  “Does Connecticut come into play?” he said. “The answer is unequivocally no.”  Every time MGM dismisses CT’s “box of slots” approach to battle MGM Springfield with their imposed air of passive, over-confident arrogance, (acting as if MGM has nothing to worry about) they turn around looking for more litigation against the Nutmeg State. At G2E in Las Vegas this past week, Jim Murren mocked the proposed satellite operation — “It’s a shopping center, that’s sexy” — while still insisting it could threaten his company’s massive investment.

Tom Brady

Tom Brady reacts to beating the Cowboys. Where’s Greg Hardy

Must be nice to think he knows everything, and to pass that opinion on to the Las Vegas big wigs at G2E.  It makes no sense that something that will not “come into play” takes so much of their time outside the actual casino project.  He sounded like Greg Hardy of the Dallas Cowboys before getting embarrassed by the Patriots 30-7 – far from the truth but full of arrogant bravado.

Shouldn’t Springfield legislators and the Mass Gaming Commission be concerned with the project being built by a company that:
  • changes plans without consent of the MGC or City of Springfield
  • continues to struggle with their casino project in Macau, China
  • saw a decrease in it’s Las Vegas revenue
  • is building a 20,000 seat arena in Las Vegas, but refuses to build parking, even though the cities residents have asked for parking

MGM SpringfieldThe Springfield City Council, meanwhile, has called for a nonbinding citywide referendum in November on the proposed design changes. Some councilors are questioning whether the project will still deliver on promises of 2,000 construction jobs and other economic benefits. But remember, MGM announced the design changes two weeks ago, citing in large part rising construction costs. Some members of the state’s Gaming Commission expressed concerns.

The new design will be subject to a vote in the city council and approval by Mayor Domenic Sarno, who has voiced preliminary approval of the changes as the city conducts a full review. The changes include the change in hotel layout, eliminating the original hotel tower, the elimination of 250 to 300 parking spaces by removing one floor from the planned parking garage and the relocation of planned market-rate housing off-site.

The real question is, “Can the MGM really be believed & trusted to follow ALL that the MGC and the Springfield intended?
Time will tell.
Binbin

 

MGM’s Real Intentions in Suing Connecticut

imagesMGM 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?

massachusetts-to-pilot-new-tool-to-limit-gambling-lossesYES, 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

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?

That’s all for now.

Binbin

Connecticut Officials Given Extended Time to MGM Legal Suit

Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy

Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy

Gov. Dannel Malloy, Secretary of State Denise Merrill and Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection Jonathan Harris will have until Oct. 1 to prepare for the legal suit by MGM Resorts International over the state’s plan to build a new tribal gaming facility.  MGM’s filed a lawsuit on August 11  that accused the state of unconstitutionally favoring Connecticut Indian tribes in its newly-passed gaming bill. The original deadline was Sept. 1.

imagesConnecticut Federal District Court Judge Alvin Thompson explained that “…due to the nature of Plaintiff’s claims and the press of other business in both the state and federal courts, the undersigned requires additional time to prepare an appropriate response.”  MGM did not oppose the extension, the motion said, and the Connecticut officials were granted the extension.  I actually they would have hoped for a further deadline to bide more time since their property is now scheduled for late 2018!

The amendment to the Connecticut law allows the Mohegan & Pequot tribes currently operating their own casinos under federal Indian gaming law to issue a request for proposals for a new casino. Any municipality in the state could respond and negotiate a development deal with the tribes. MGM calls this unconstitutional, saying “…by authorizing the new casino on state rather than tribal land, the restriction is illegal race-based discrimination and unfairly prevents out-of-state companies from seeking the new license.”

One possible property available now is the closed Showcase Cinemas in East Hartford off of I-84

One possible property available now is the closed Showcase Cinemas in East Hartford off of I-84

The law is specific in who is eligible to build the new casino: a business entity “owned exclusively by both the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and the Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut.”  It’s intentions is to keep jobs and gambling revenue in the state.

MGM’s intentions could be many:

  1. To get a chance for a casino in Connecticut, even though they pulled out the partnership with Foxwoods a few years ago.
  2. To waste Connecticut’s time in litigation so that the Satellite casino run by both tribes can’t get a running start at controlling the I-91 corridor minutes from Springfield.
  3. To slow a reaction by CT to the impending threat of Massachusetts gaming which through naivete or arrogance, MGM disregarded as a consideration.

October 1st – more fireworks to come!

That’s all for now.

Binbin

MGM Grand Suit vs CT – NETG Has a Answer

David Collins, who posts editorials for the New London Day, is not someone I particularly agree with most of the time.  Usually he finds reasons to badger the two casinos in CT on monthly rants about their evils and harm to the Nutmeg State.  But today, I was stunned to find myself agreeing with his editorial.

Mr. Collins starts out by saying, “If there was any doubt that MGM Resorts, developer of a new casino in Springfield, Mass., is worried about plans for a proposed tribal border casino in Connecticut, the big gambling company proved it this week with a federal lawsuit aimed at stopping the Mohegans and Mashantucket Pequots.”

th (82)YOU BETCHA!  Not only that, but I would go one step further….MGM knows that this is a shot in the dark, much like the NFL attorneys are starting to feel the error in their litigation with Tom Brady.  Both are similar. How? – THEY BIDE TIME, but for different reasons. As David Collins puts it, “…Still, the lawsuit puts an immediate cloud on Connecticut’s plans — if nothing else, a prospect of endless legal delays.”  That’s it. This huge smoke screen is just an attempt to stop Connecticut’s attempt to get into the border game before them.  This giant of the gaming industry – who owns over 1/3 of the Las Vegas Strip – is worried they won’t be able to pillage CT as they were so sure they would.

One last quote from Mr. Collins’s article before I make my simply naive solution:

The Wampanoags proposal is outside their reservation in Massachussetts.

The Wampanoags proposal is outside their reservation in Massachussetts.

“…..MGM’s lawsuit is based in part on a warning that Jepsen issued before Connecticut lawmakers gave the tribes a yellow light for a new casino, an argument that giving the tribes exclusive rights for an off-reservation casino could be unconstitutional, in violation of the equal protection clause. Curiously, the Massachusetts law that allowed MGM to pursue a casino license also gives Massachusetts American Indians certain preferences in pursuing a southeastern Massachusetts license.”

So, let’s take a page out of Massachusetts own playbook.  We’ll call it “Deflate-MGM-gate.”

Step 1. Form a temporary commission headed by Attorney General Jepsen to decide on the license to be sure that it is fair judgement (like the MGC did with Steve Crosby, and his cronies for the final choice of Wynn & MGM.)

th (84)

Proposed look of casino in closed Showcase Cinemas building in East Hartford

Step 2.  Allow MGM and any other industry giant who thinks they want a piece of the casino pie in Connecticut for ONE CASINO LICENSE to put up $400,000 for an application fee, but make it sooner, like within two weeks. Oh wait, add inflation, so make $500,000 per license.  (Remember

Mohegan Palmer casino rendering

Mohegan Palmer casino rendering

that Mohegan Sun put up $800,000 for two licenses in Palmer and Revere only to be not “good enough” for the MGC.).  The license is complete with the understanding that all taxes to the state is the same as the pact now in play with the Mohegans & the Pequots.

Step 3. Take their money. Give a shorter amount of time than Massachusetts (I mean, doesn’t everyone want to get started right away to get CT’s money & jobs?) for finalizing their artist renditions, plans and start community searches for a prospective place in CT for their additional casino.

Step 4. One month to get community approval.

Meanwhile, the two tribes may continue to work on their proposal off the reservation the same way Massachusetts has allowed the Mashpee Wampanoags to try to get their act together independently of the four area licenses in that state!

Step 5. Decide what’s best for CT, which is the first plan. The two tribes build a satellite casino, later than expected, but still before MGM & WYNN can get up & running.

Simple, right?

  • Takes less time off the clock to get started in Connecticut to please big arrogant meanie Jim Murren of MGM.
  • CT gets the players it really wanted all along for its casino to battle MGM on the border – much like MA did with MGM & WYNN.
  • CT makes money on the process  – much like Massachuetts did dismissing the “also-rans” in their “fair” process.

Told you it was simple.  David Collins editorial can be found on following link: “Let MGM bid on a new casino”  It’s a great read.

That’s all for now.

Binbin