Commentary: Will New England Gaming Follow the Sad Affairs in Las Vegas?

Welcome to Las Vegas SignLas Vegas is one of my favorite places in the whole world.  For some of us, it captures the our imagination and interests like no other city.

But it, like much of the gambling is changing – and not for the better as far as I am concerned.  Humor me while I tell you why…..

Las Vegas, “the Meadows” the gambling mecca. It’s called many things with no gray area implied:

The Las Vegas Strip

The Las Vegas Strip

Sin City or the Adult Disneyland, Lost Wages or Home away from Home, Heaven or Sodom & Gomorrah. Whatever it means to you after your initial visit, it sticks with you.  For some of us, we love the experience, and it does become our favorite vacation, even an obsession.

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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

Massachusetts Casino News Overwhelming Lately

So, where do I begin?  Let me take you back a few weeks to start because there has been a whirlwind of news in the Bay State concerning their new found obsession – casino gambling.  So I decided to make the casino news in Massachusetts brief, and if interested you can look for more info –

Where to begin, where to begin…..

  • International Game Technology (IGT) inked a deal with the Massachusetts Gaming CommissionIGT & MGC for the provision of a central monitoring system to 20,000 electronic gaming devices at up to four venues in the Commonwealth. The implementation of IGT’s INTELLIGEN System in Massachusetts will be its sixth in the United States.
  • Wynn Resorts is opening an office in Massachusetts to oversee the development of a planned $1.6 billion casino in Everett. The gambling company announced Thursday that the 7,626-square-foot office in Medford about two miles from the site of the proposed casino.  Meanwhile, the same casino is mired in a lawsuits from both the city of Boston and neighboring city of Somerville.
    Wynn, Everett Mass

    Wynn, Everett Mass

    Mayor Marty Walsh claims the process by which the permit was awarded was rigged in favor of Steve Wynn’s Wynn Resorts. The Mass. State Ethics Commission is now checking into a possible conflict of interest on the part of gambling commission chairman Stephan Crosby who had a longstanding friendship and past business dealings with one of the owners of the Everett land sold to Wynn for the project

  • MGM has targeted the opening of their Springfield casino for late 2017, but that may be delayed further. MGM Springfield, in response to questions regarding its construction schedule and permitting delays related to its $800 million casino project, has scheduled a meeting with the MGC originally scheduled for yesterday. imagesThe discussions will include the MGM project and the pending Interstate 91 viaduct rehabilitation project in downtown center planned by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.
  • In anticipation of the arrival of the expanded gaming industry, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is announcing the launch of the Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program. A future post will outline the program.
  • Developers proposing a Foxwoods casino for the city’s waterfront not only met a critical deadline set by gambling regulators, but a few days cleared a crucial step Tuesday as city residents overwhelmingly approved the proposal in a special election.

    New Bedford rendering

    New Bedford rendering

  • Of course the biggest news – Plainridge Park Opened to the public to start a new era in Massachusetts, Casino Gambling.image

That’s all for now.

Binbin