CT Casino Expansion Attracting Lots of Attention

The proposal for an additional casino two years ago, voted to keep jobs and gambling revenue in the state, has caused quite a stir. The $900 million MGM Resort in Springfield, Mass., well under construction, is threatening to lure away business from Connecticut’s two Tribal casinos.

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, MTCC

While Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun’s gaming revenue declined almost 50% between 2006 and 2015 (Source: State Department of Consumer Protection), recent months have showed some stabilization.

Now it seems more than just the MMCT (the joint venture by Foxwoods & Mohegan Sun) wants a pie of the pie – dwindling as it may seem.

IN-STATE OPPOSITION

Bridgeport representatives still want Southwestern Connecticut to be considered as part of an imminent gambling expansion. Bridgeport Dem. Representatives, have introduced legislation that would allow new gambling locations throughout the state, along with competitive licensing processes and a tax of 25 percent on gross revenue from slot machines and table games, saying “It would be beneficial for the Shoreline to team up with the tribes with slot machines, but we are not even given that opportunity.

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

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

State Sen. Tony Hwang, R-Fairfield, is part of a new group, including religious organizations and people with gambling addictions, against any gaming expansion. During a recent news conference with other opponents, he said that while the tribes have been promoting the potential jobs and economic benefits of another casino, the industry is well past its prime. “We may be looking at an industry that is at a saturation point.”  This could very well be true.  But the quick fix that Connecticut lawmakers are looking for to help the state’s budget woes is still alluring.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy admits that additional revenue isn’t the best reason to consider a new gambling location. “We’re not talking about gobs and gobs of additional money,” Malloy said recently. “I think what the Indian tribal nations within Connecticut are saying is that ‘our market is under assault and we need help in defending that market.’ Ultimately that is a question for the Legislature.”

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen has been battling MGM in court since 2015, when the multi-national corporation, with resorts as far-flung as Macau and mainland China, charged that its rights were violated by the law passed to allow a new casino. “The District Court agreed that the state has not — at least to this point, in light of the limited nature of the Special Act — infringed on MGM’s rights and granted our motion to dismiss MGM’s lawsuit, and MGM has appealed that decision,” Jepsen said. “The appeal has been argued, and we currently await the Second Circuit’s decision.”

 

 

MGM – BRIDGEPORT PARTNER or INSTIGATOR

KEITH M. PHANEUF of the CT MIRROR, reminded us of an analysis prepared for the tribes by gaming consultant Clyde Barrow estimates that the MGM facility — which is more than halfway complete and expected to open in 2018 — would cause the loss of 9,300 jobs and $702 million in revenue to Connecticut’s casinos during its first three years of operation. MGM would prefer no competition.  Instead, MGM sources did their own study, and amazingly suggested the Southeastern area as best for Connecticut.  How nice of them to stir the pot AND get the competition away from them.

Resorts World, Queens, NY.

Resorts World, Queens, NY, less than a hour away.

Instead, a Bridgeport casino would compete with much larger casinos in the New York City area, (Resorts World & Empire City) who are considered some of the largest revenue creating casinos in the country – all at the risk of losing 25% revenue from Foxwoods & Mohegan Sun.  Any additional commercial casinos will negate the compact with both Pequots & Mohegans.

THE CT PROCESS CONTINUES

East Windsor’s Board of Selectmen voted 4 to 0 Saturday to accept terms of a development agreement with two Native American tribes to allow construction of a casino in a vacant movie theater just south of Springfield. The partnership of the Mashantucket and Mohegan tribes told a legislative committee Thursday that it will decide on a site within days. According to Dave Canton of MassLive, “the East Windsor site is the former location of the Showcase Cinemas alongside Route 91. The Windsor Locks location is a former tobacco field near Bradley International Airport.

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

Tobacco Farm Parcel in Windsor Locks in between I-95 & Bradley International Airport.

windsor-rendition

East Windsor selectmen have agreed to terms that would allow MMCT Ventures to build a proposed casino on a site near I-91.  The illustration shows a proposed casino as envisioned by MMCT Ventures. Courtesy of Mass Live

In presentations made before the vote, the partnership estimated the new casino would generate about 1,700 construction positions, and approximately the same number of permanent positions once the casino starts operations. About 75 percent of those positions would be full-time. The last hurdle for the project would be a gambling permit from the state. While the tribes have operated gambling casinos in Connecticut for many years, both are on tribal land and fall under federal laws. This would be the state’s first commercial, non-tribal, casino.”

One point that Connecticut legislative are missing is the fact by opening up the process to commercial casinos, it may postpone the process for years, which is playing right into the hands of MGM & Springfield.  Add two more years at least to the process, and MGM Springfield will be firmly entrenched, while the expansion ion New York won’t give Bridgeport a chance. Talk of saturation in the market?  Bridgeport & the tribal casinos will have no recourse than to cannibalize each other’s pie of the Connecticut gaming pie. Wynn Boston Harbor will even be competed before any Connecticut casino.

SPRINGFIELD REACTION

MGM Floor Plan

MGM Floor Plan

According to Bob McGovern of the Boston Herald, Mayor Sarno has had a lot to say about the duel between Springfield’s budding MGM presence and Connecticut’s third casino project. When asked whether the mayor was comparing the proposed Connecticut casino to a “glorified slots parlor,” Sarno’s spokeswoman said: “Yes.” According to Mr. McGovern, “Some Springfield politicians weren’t concerned with the prospect of a nearby casino, saying the MGM project will dwarf whatever facility the tribes attempt to hastily put up.”  However, their arrogance seems to be blinding them to some simple facts:

  1. Connecticut’s MMCT casino won’t be a “slot’parlor” – with table games, dining options, modern gaming, and possibly a hotel, it’s far from a slot parlor. If they want to know what a slot parlor is, they should visit their own state’s version at Plainridge Park in Plainville, MA.

    Plainridge Park Casino

    Plainridge Park Casino

  2. MGM has touted itself as interested in the resort experience, not the gambling, per se. But, isn’t the gambling the revenue part that Massachusetts is looking for since the gambling, not the hotel and other amenities, is where the state revenue will come from?
  3. 126,262 total square feet – that is the now reduced size of the MGM Springfield casino – according to Peter Goonan’s report for MassLive. That’s not the “Casino Block” space, which includes Hotel, Retail, Food and beverage, Convention space, Residential living space, Operations.  That is 50,000 sq. ft. less of casino space than Plainridge Casino’s gambling floor!

FINAL NETG ANALYSIS

In a short period of time, a site will be chosen by MMCT. But that might only be the beginning of expansion, if any in Connecticut.  At this time, we all 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.

That’s all for now – that’s enough, don’t you think.

 

Baby Boomer Promotions at New England Casinos – 55+ Is A GOOD THING!

shutterstock_186746726The Casino Needs to Realize Baby Boomers are still their Bread and Butter in gambling.

Sure, we don’t stay out until 2:00 am partying.  But, we are more mobile, available, and interested in recreation than any senior groups before us.  So why all the bother about those millennials? Word has it most are so in debt, free games like Jenga and Shuffle Board (yes, can you believe it!) now offered in casual casino lounge areas better be accompanied by the “oonce” of night club activity and cheap drinks to pry their money (destined to pay off beau-coups loans) away from them.

NEWSFLASH – Hey CASINOS, WE’RE STILL HERE!  55+ and we’re better than ever!


So, senior gamblers are not your great grandmother’s gamblers anymore.  When it comes to gambling, value and comps, we are are usually (hopefully) smarter than many younger patrons, and value our relationships with casino staff, hosts, dealers and bosses.

So, it’s not a wonder that there are some great deals for senior gamblers in New England’s Casinos.  Here is an updated list for May & June, 2016:

Foxwoods Resort and Casino

Pequot Tower & Casino, Foxwoods

FOXWOODS RESORT CASINO

Food and Beverage:

  • OVER 50% OFF at the Festival Buffet on Tuesdays* (11 a.m. – 2 p.m.) andThursdays* (6 p.m. – 9 p.m.). Original prices: $23.99 & $19.99 Young & Fun Price: $9.99
  • 10% off all food items at Junior’s on Tuesdays
  • Drink specials on Tuesdays at Cedars Restaurant, Halo, Sports Bar, Centrale Fox Tower and Live@Atrium Bar & Lounge;  $3 Drafts,          $4 Bottled Beer, $5 House Wine, $6 Mixed Drinks, $8 Martinis
  • 10% off any Cina-pack at Auntie Anne’s
  • 10% off food at Johnny Rockets

Retail:      20% off in Winners on Tuesdays, 

  • 10% off at the following stores in the Tanger OutletsCalvin Klein, Kay Jewelers, Samsonite, Columbia, Gap, Fossil, 10%off your purchase of $65 or more at Crocs, 15% off one item at Lids, $5 off $25 purchase at Go Games, 10% off sale shoes at Ecco, Show your ID at Shopper Services and receive a FREE Tanger Outlets at Foxwoods coupon book

Hotel:  $109 Deluxe Room at Grand Pequot Tower, Cedar Hotel or The Fox Tower, $89 Deluxe Room at Two Trees Inn – Valid Mondays and Tuesdays to Memorial Day

Spa: 20% off Monday through Thursday after 4 p.m. on Salon/Spa Services and Retail offerings at The Norwich Spa at Foxwoods, 10% off of full priced services at G Spa & Salon Tuesday – Thursday, Sunrise/Sunset specials at G Spa & Salon – $30 off selected services 8 a.m., 9 a.m., 6 p.m. & 7 p.m. daily

Be sure to call or go to the website at YOUNG & FUN. Exclusions & blackout dates may sometimes apply.

Mohegan Sun Resort Casino

Mohegan Sun

MOHEGAN SUN RESORT CASINO

Forever Young – Every Monday, May 2nd – June 27th

 

FREE GIFT – Each Monday, our first 1,000 guests with a Momentum card will receive a special gift by visiting the Summer Coat Check located in Casino of the Earth starting at 9:00am. New gift each week!

BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE ROUND OF GOLF – Offer includes golf cart and practice balls for the range at Mohegan Sun Golf Club. Please call 1.888.777.2464 to reserve your tee time.  Must present Momentum card and valid ID at the Golf Club. Both golfers must be 60 years of age or older. Based on availability. Valid Mondays only at Mohegan Sun Golf Club 2016 season only.

CARING SOLUTIONS – Visit the Caring Solutions table each Monday from 10:00am – 1:00pm in the Spring Gateway, next to the Lost Guest booth in Casino of the Earth. Receive a free back scratcher* and learn how Caring Solutions may be able to assist in your family’s home health care needs.      *While supplies last.

DINING DEALS – 

  • Arooga’s Grille House & Sports Bar – Purchase one entrée and receive a second entrée at half-price. Valid between 11:00am – 2:00pm.
  • Ben & Jerry’s – Purchase one hot fudge sundae get second at half-price.
  • Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana – Receive 10% off purchase.
  • Geno’s Bagels, Sweets & Subs, Geno’s Fast Break, Geno’s Pub and Wok-On By Geno’s Fast Break– Purchase one entrée and receive a second entrée of equal or lesser value at half-price. One offer per guest, per Monday. Not valid on holidays or Arena show nights.
  • Hash House A Go Go – Featuring our special “Downsize Menu” for guests 60+ which offers our same “twisted farm food” in simply smaller portions. Choose breakfast from $5.95, lunch or dinner from $6.95 and don’t forget you can get breakfast selections at lunch or dinner too.
  • Jasper White’s Summer Shack – Choice of fried fish sandwich, fish tacos, grilled chicken burger, grilled shrimp or grilled Angus burger, all served with house-made chips for $15. Includes choice of iceberg salad, creamy clam chowder or Bermuda fish & crab chowder.
  • Jasper White’s Summer Shack Express Choice of fried clam strip basket with coleslaw, fried fish sandwich with tartar sauce, grilled chicken burger or grilled Angus burger for $15. All options served with French fries and include choice of cup of creamy clam chowder or mixed greens salad.
  • Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville – Choice of the soup of the day or house salad with choice of entrée for $14.95: Chicken with pasta (cavatappi pasta in a garlic herb cream sauce, topped with Cajun seared chicken breast and fresh chives) or Fish and Chips (LandShark beer battered cod, fried golden brown and served with French fries and tartar sauce). All meals include choice of soft drink, coffee or tea.
  • Johnny Rockets – Receive 10% off food and beverage.
  • Krispy Kreme Doughnuts – Receive a FREE small drip coffee (non-specialty beverage), coffee or tea with the purchase of six or more doughnuts.
  • The Lansdowne Irish Pub & Music House – Mum’s Meatloaf: House-baked meatloaf topped with a sweet and savory ketchup glaze, served over mashed potatoes with beef gravy and daily vegetables for $15. Includes one non-alcoholic beverage.
  • Michael Jordan’s 23.sportcafe – BBQ chicken (3 pieces) with mashed potatoes and choice of soft drink, coffee or tea for $15.
  • Seasons Buffet – 2-for-1 buffet.  Coupons / other  promotions excluded.
  • Todd English’s Tuscany – 2-for-$40 Tuscan Table. 11:30am – 3:00pm.

SHOPPING DEALS – 

Essentials Stores – Receive 10% off Mohegan Sun logoed items.  Dylan’s Candy Bar – Receive 20% off nostalgia candy.  Galina’s – Receive 10% off any one Vera Bradley item.  Must mention offer at time of sale. Does not apply to prior purchases or sale items.  The Old Farmer’s Almanac General Store – Receive 20% off all regular-priced merchandise.  Pasta Vita – Receive a FREE insulated bag with the purchase of any entrée.  Robert Graham – Receive a FREE gift with any purchase of $250 or more.  While supplies last.  Spin Street – Receive 10% off one item of choice.  Excludes clearance and sale items.  Sunglasses USA – Receive 15% off one pair of sunglasses. Not valid on sale items or special orders.  Yankee Candle – Purchase a regular-priced Reed Diffuser and receive a Reed Diffuser refill bottle FREE.

FRIENDS & FAMILY

Bring your friends & family and receive up to $30 in Free Slot Play!* The more friends you bring, the more you earn! In addition, all guests 60 plus who sign up for a new Momentum card on Mondays will receive$10 in Free Slot Play!  Sign up at any Player’s Club booth. NOTE – With no prior Player’s Club membership. Both the Momentum member and friends must be 60 years of age or older to be eligible.

LIVE ENTERTAINMENT – The Wolf Den. Never a cover. Never a minimum.  Mondays, Noon – 12:45pm & 1:15pm – 2:00pm

Plainridge Park Casino

Plainridge Park Casino

PLAINRIDGE PARK CASINO

50+ 20% DISCOUNT AT THE SHOPPING STATION – Monday -Thursday in May receive a 20% discount at the Shopping Station.You must present your Marquee Rewards® card and your 50 plus Rewards card. Not valid with any other offer or discount.

HOLLYWOOD CASINO, HOTEL & RACEWAY

Hollywood Casino, Hotel & Raceway, Bangor Maine

Hollywood Casino, Maine

50 PLUS REWARDS 3X TIER MULTIPLIER – Play with your Marquee Rewards® card on Sunday, May 1, 15 & 29 from 8AM – Close to earn 3X Tier Points! *Exclusive to our members age 50 and above.

50 PLUS REWARDS CARD-IN PLAY – Play with your Marquee Rewards® card on Monday, May 9 & 23 from 11AM – 2PM for your chance to win $50 Free SlotPlay®! 3 winners will be drawn every 15 minutes. *Exclusive to our members age 50 and above.

Oxford Casino, Maine

Oxford Casino, Maine

OXFORD CASINO

Senior Day – Every Wednesday, FOR GUESTS 50+

Visit a promotional kiosk, starting at 8:00am. Get a FREE virtual entry and cookie voucher. Drawings are hourly from 10:00am to 1:00pm. Earn more entries through slot and table play beginning at 5:00AM on promotion day. 28 winners of $50 in Free Slot Play, 7 winners every hour! One lucky player will win the grand prize of $1,000 in Free Slot Play!

If anyone knows of 55+ Promotions at Twin River &/or Newport Grand

 

Have fun out there.  That’s all for now.

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?

Binbin

New England’s Best in Casinos – According to Casino Player Magazine

Mohegan Sun - Best Overall Casino

Mohegan Sun – Best Overall Casino in New England, according to Casino Player Magazine’s “Best of 2015”

What Is Your Favorite New England Casino?

Where do you find the best hotels, games, rewards club, dining?

unnamedLike any “Best Of” Lists, it’s hard to figure out if it’s for real, or just a popularity contest – usually a mix of both. In New England the results could depend on loyalty to longer standing casinos.  In the next 5 years, this poll should become much different & interesting, with lots of competition and quality offerings from at least eleven casinos.

So here are the Best of New England’s Casinos, according to Casino Player Magazine.

Mohegan Sun Resort Casino – Best Overall Gaming Resort, Best Hotel Staff, Best Spa, Best Casino, Best Promotions, Best Slot Tournaments, Best Reel Slots, Best Video Slots, Best Blackjack, Best Craps, & the Casino You Feel the Luckiest In

Foxwoods Resort and Casino

Pequot Tower & Casino, Foxwoods

Foxwoods Resort Casino – Best Hotel, Best Rooms, Best Suites, Best Pool, Best Golf Course, Best Vacation Resort, Best Players Club, Best Hosts, Best Comps, Best Table Game Tournaments, Best Poker Tournaments, Best Roulette

Twin River Casino – Best Dealers, Best Sports/Race Book, Best Video Poker

Important notes

While Twin River

Twin River Casino

Twin River Casino

has been the third place award winner every year, there seem tobe some changes going on.  TR’s table games show life and fun with the best dealers win.  Also, Plainridge Park & Newport Grand placed 2nd & 3rd respectively in the sports book entries – ahead of Mohegan Sun & Foxwoods!  Twin River also placed second in the Slot Tournament section, Roulette, and the Casino You Feel the Luckiest In.

Please send me your thoughts on this Casino Player Magazine Poll.  Anything you strongly disagree?  I’d love to hear about it!

Have a “Royal” Day.

Binbin

 

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

Massachusetts

Massachusetts Casino Industry Worried?

After chatting with friends and colleagues recently in Las Vegas concerning their thoughts on Massachusetts’ Gaming Expansion, it seemed to be unanimous – Massachusetts is doing it their way, but not necessarily the best way.  They are running a little scared lately, but are too stubborn to show it. It includes badgering Steve Wynn, making Rush Gaming Developers wait for a Region C decision, and letting MGM

MGM Springfield

New rendering of MGM Springfield’s cut down proposal.

change this and that without approval. It seems the Bay State’s opinion of Mohegan Sun Resorts follows the same narrow-minded spin.

Bruce Mohl, from Commonwealth Magazine, recently reported in his article “Casino Border Wars” that Mohegan Sun as an underachiever not good enough for Massachusetts.  With the history Mass casinos so far, they would have been so lucky to have Mohegan Sun part of that gambling Plan.

His reasons for such a poor opinion of the Mohegan Tribe’s casinos?  Well, let’s take a look:

  1. A key reason for the casino’s success was the large number of customers pouring over the border from Massachusetts. That’s True. But let’s include Maine, NH, Vermont, Rhode Island, NY, and NJ (which took a bite out of Atlantic City).  It’s because both Foxwoods & Mohegan Sun are “Destinations,” unlike Plainridge Park Casino (a box of slots – MGM’s own description) and the proposal in Brockton which represents a mid-level locals casino in Nevada.
  2. Not welcome in Palmer.
    Mohegan Palmer Casino

    Mohegan Sun’s rendition of Mohegan Palmer Casino

    Palmer Mohegan Sun applied for the Region A (Western) license of 150 acres of land purchased in Palmer – land that was waste-free (Everett) and didn’t entail bulldozing blocks of historical buildings (MGM in Springfield) and was closer to the newest threat to western Massachusetts. The bid was rejected by 94 votes out of over 5200. Why? It would “destroy the rural character of a town.” So, instead, they mirror the state’s poverty level of 11% and added a Motor Speedway.  Go figure.

  3. Not Welcome in Revere. Mohegan Sun joined forces with Suffolk Downs in Revere in a bid to win the eastern Massachusetts casino license, however, Wynn Resorts was chosen to build a casino in Everett. Wynn was great in winning over the Gaming Commission, by criticizing the Revere proposal as Mohegan Sun’s pursuit was “to protect its flagship casino in Connecticut.”
    mohegan-sun-revere-casino-rendering-7414f532fa69586d

    Rendition of Mohegan Sun at Suffolk Downs in Revere

    The MGC believed it, even though the Mohegan Tribe has made Resorts Casino in AC a winner and it’s Mohegan Sun Pocono in Pennsylvania continues to be a success.

  4. Protecting It’s Own Casino Interests. Mr. Mohl and the rest of Massachusetts thinks it’s awful that Mohegan would expand to other areas to protect its assets. But, he just doesn’t get it.  MGM & Wynn expanded outside of Las Vegas, and they did it to expand their brand. MGM is looking at Georgia for an additional site, and both are in China. Expanding their brand.  Penn National expanded to Plainville after already owning Hollywood Hotel Casino in Bangor, Maine.  They now own two New England casinos, yet nothing was said about Plainridge Park protecting it’s Hollywood Casino.  The Mohegan Tribe, much like Penn, MGM, Wynn, Caesars’, etc have the right to expand.  If you’re successful in the casino industry, that’s what you do.

Mohl’s bottom line, and I quote, “What all this maneuvering tells you is that Mohegan Sun — and the state of Connecticut — are very worried about the impact of Massachusetts casinos on the casino businesses in Connecticut and willing to do just about anything to blunt their impact.”

If something doesn’t scare you, or threaten you, ignore it? But if it is a concern, pay a lot of attention to it – and that’s just what Massachusetts is doing.  CT knows that more casinos in New England will impact their two large destination casinos, so they are doing something about it.  But Massachusetts continues to look south to CT and south-east to Rhode Island as both states make plans to battle or New England’s gamblers.

Rendition Wampanoag Casino in Taunton

Rendition Wampanoag Casino in Taunton

Plainridge Park Casino

Plainridge Park Casino in Massachusetts

Massachusetts is the state most worried about it’s share of the pie.  MGM wouldn’t be trying to stall CT’s third casino and the MGC wouldn’t be considering no Region C license due to the Wampanoag’s casino proposal gaining momentum if they weren’t. Plainridge Park has seen two straight months of decline – a sudden concern – and Twin River & the CT casinos have seen positive revenue in recent months.  MGM says it’s not worried, but continues to cut back its approved proposal in Springfield, and both MGM & Wynn won’t be making money for the Bay State until late 2018.

So who’s doing the most maneuvering and who is the most worried?

I say Massachusetts.

That’s all for now.

 

Binbin

 

State Keno in Connecticut

Keno

Is Keno the latest battle ground in New England’s Gaming Wars?

In CT, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration announced Tuesday afternoon it had reached an agreement with the two Indian tribes that run casinos in southeastern Connecticut to share 25 percent of the keno proceeds.  CT would then be the third New England State to offer Keno in bars, & restaurants

Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy

Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy

As reported in the CT Mirror by Keith M. Phaneuf, “the compact that grants the state a share of the video slot revenues from Foxwoods Resorts Casino and from the Mohegan Sun casino also grants the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes exclusive rights to offer casino games in the state. And keno…..is considered a casino game under that compact.”

Using estimates from the nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis, the legislature assumed last June when it adopted the current, two-year state budget, that keno would add $30 million to the state’s coffers starting next fiscal year.  But other states in New England also rely on keno, which is believed to date back to China in the 1st century AD when characters from one of Confucius` poems were used, rather than numbers, in the matrix.

mass lottery

Massachusetts lottery – Most successful in the country?

In Massachusetts, the State Lottery that runs the Keno in establishments all over the Bay State, added a new structure that improves the overall odds of winning a prize with the addition of a 10X multiplier, producing larger jackpots and add more winning experiences.  The Lottery ended fiscal year 2015 with a record-setting $985.8 million in net profit, surpassing the previous high.  Massachusetts is considered the home of the most successful lottery in the nation in terms of per capita sales.

In  Rhode Island, Keno, is also run by the state lottery or “The Lot.” A new twist on an old favorite Keno game is called Multi Chance Keno with a chance to win FREE games and HIGHER prizes, doubling the amount of your base game wager.

Click on the following links for more information on Keno in both Massachusetts & Rhode Island.

Vermont, New Hampshire & Maine, while consistently legislating for Keno at bards & restaurants, are still not able to get it voted in.

Foxwoods Entrance

Foxwoods Entrance

Mohegan Sun Sign

Mohegan Sun Sign

The cooperation between the two CT tribes continues, (see Connecticut Casino Plans Continue to Take Shape) starting with the joint proposal of  a third casino in the state. “The Mohegan Tribal Council feels very strongly in open and productive dialogue between our two governments,” Charles Bunnell, chief of staff for external and governmental affairs for the Mohegan Tribal Council, said. “The recent agreement to allow the Connecticut Lottery Corporation to offer Keno is a perfect example of that communication and our desire to find common ground.”

William L. Satti, director of legislative affairs for the Mashantucket Pequot, stated: “We are pleased to work with the state on issues of mutual interest that ultimately will continue to allow Connecticut and the Tribal Nations’ economies to prosper.”

Remember when the only game in town way back in the 90’s was a little bingo hall on the Mashantucket reservation?  How things change.

That’s all for now.

Binbin

 

5 Reasons New England Gamblers Will Decide Where the Casino Money Goes – John Kostrzewa’s Article Hits the Mark

John Kostrzewa, Literary Editor, Providence Journal

John Kostrzewa, Literary Editor, Providence Journal

John Kostrzewa – Finally someone making sense!

As I read John’s article yesterday “John Kostrzewa: Market, not regulators, will shape casino landscape” I felt I was not alone.  It’s not whether the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, the Connecticut Legislature or the Maine legislature for that matter, consider more casinos feasible, it’s the gamblers themselves that will show if New England will be too saturated to handle more casinos.

“Are there enough gamblers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts to support more casinos in Brockton, Taunton and Tiverton?…..The commissioners say they need the time to do more due diligence. But it’s the market that will eventually dictate how many more casinos are built and which ones will succeed.”

Plainridge Park Casino

Plainridge Park Casino

Bravo, a man of reason.

Mr. Kostrzewa goes on to cite the many question marks involved in this seemingly game of wait & see.

  1. The MGC is waiting to see what Twin River does with its plans.  Besides adding a hotel, they would like their recent purchase of Newport Grand moved to Tiverton, Rhode Island – right across the border from Plainridge Park in Plainville, Mass. See my previous posts  “Twin River, Casino & Hotel…” and “Twin River/Plainridge Park Comparison” for more coverage.
    Twin River Casino

    Twin River Casino

  2. Mass Gaming & Entertainment, the last group standing for the Region C license is a partnership of Neil Bluhm, chairman of Chicago-based Rush Street Gaming, and George Carney, owner of the Brockton Fairgrounds. But Bluhm is getting impatient. “I don’t want to spend the time, effort or money waiting around,” Bluhm told The Associated Press.
    Proposed Brockton Casino
    Proposed Brockton Casino
  3. The Mashpee Wampanoags were given the go ahead to build a $500-million casino when the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs that it would accept the  Wampanoag application to take 151 acres in Taunton into federal trust. This would create two casinos in Region C. The Wampanoags also pointed out that they reached a compact with Massachusetts officials in 2013 to pay the state 17 percent of its revenue in return for the exclusive right to run the only casino in southeastern Massachusetts. If the MGC were to award Brockton their casino, this would compromise the pact, and could have the two casinos battle for the same gambling pool, and the Mashpees not paying anything to Massachusetts – but Brockton would pay revenue under it’s for Region C application with the MGC. See my previous post Mashpee Wampanoags Casino – “Game Changer” for Mass Casino Expansion?
    Wampanoag Casino, Taunton Massachusetts
    This architectural rendering, released in 2013, shows a new design for a resort casino that the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe hopes to build in Taunton. This rendition was released in 2013
  4. Connecticut’s plan for a third casino is moving forward, despite MGM Springfield’s worry, law suit, and sudden change in it’s original proposal.  Springfield residents and politicians are confused by this move, questioning why and if it’s legal.  Click here for more.
  5. All this will be going on in between the two behemoth casinos in Connecticut, who are ramping up their own large resorts, and the jewel of New England, the proposed Wynn Everett Resort Casino outside of Boston supposedly completed by 2018.
    Wynn Everett Resort Everett, Mass

    Wynn Everett Resort Everett, Mass

It’s like one huge “Whoopee Pie” – the top and bottom will still be a consistent taste, but who knows what’s going to be in the filling by 2018!

John Kostrzewa says it best, and I will end with his own words.  He says, “With all that going on, you have to wonder how all those new casinos within an easy drive of one another can get financing — and if so, how they can survive……..Time will tell.”

Bravo!

Binbin

 

 

Mohegan Sun Dining Review: Jordan’s 23Cafe

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Nothing special when it comes to service.

When eating and drinking at sports bars & restaurants, certain things are in the realm of expectations.  Naturally, being a social dining place, the ambiance is loud, casual and includes varied monitors of programming that bombards the senses with different sports, trivia, and other forms of entertainment.

Oh, and they should include two things that good restaurants have – good food and great service.

Jordan’s 23Cafe is a popular dining spot at Mohegan Sun, but don’t visit on a night that has a concert or sporting event.  The service lacks the care and attentiveness expected at any good restaurant.  This is based on two visits before events at the Arena.

th (68)First, let me say that since they opened with the opening of the concourse at Mohegan Sun, the menu continues to get smaller, and options less flexible. On the first visit I ordered the grilled pesto chicken sandwich, which was ok, but bland.  The rest of my party’s meal was not correct, bringing that awkward meal of some eating, some waiting.  The second visit, the food was deemed ok, with my fellow diners all getting burgers.  While the Black & Blue Burger continues to be a favorite and consistent entree at Jordan’s, the two Lone Star Burgers were nothing special, with a BBQ sauce on the sweet side.michael_jordans_23-header-641x361

All these sandwiches and burgers come with fries, which I still can’t tell if they are frozen or made there. If you want sweet potato fries, it’s only $1 more and is a worthy substitution.  But for those who are health conscious, you can get “greens” instead – FOR $3 extra!!!!  So, to eat healthier, you are penalized by a small salad of greens (on the first visit, the server couldn’t even articulate what”greens” were) as a substitute.  For $5.50 you can add a house salad and still get your fries – so substituting “greens” a bargain only to the restaurant.

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The Man Himself – He looks sad – maybe he knows how bad the service is in his restaurant?

Where Jordan’s really drops the ball is service. Suggestion – know your server’s name and note when she is in your area, because you might not see her again between your ordering and paying.  The food is brought to you in a timely fashion from the kitchen wait staff. But, be prepared to wait for “service.”  Our experience for for four burgers, three waters and a soda took 50 minutes.  We were never re-visited to check on our food, and I had to catch my server to ask for my water to be refilled.  Getting your bill and paying for it takes a good 15 minutes, especially when the server messes up your payment, forgets your box for leftovers, and seems more interested in other tables with more people – I guess for a better tip.

SERVICE – so lacking at Jordans 23Cafe. If you are going to a Mohegan Sun event and are looking for a place to eat, if you choose Jordans, go early, allow lots of time, and keep track of your server, in case you might want something during your meal before it gets cold.  Oh and ask for two waters each – there must be a drought in there.

It is obvious that since it’s opening, Michael Jordan’s 23 SportsCafe is getting by on its name, location to the arena, and past success.  Certainly, not on its attention to customers by the wait staff.

The BVR rating (Binbin’s Value Rating) = Two pair – nothing special anymore!

Binbin

NETG Pick Six – 6 New England Casinos This Week’s Promotion

A NEW Weekly event is started tonight.  Sunday’s blog will be called the “NETG (NE Time Gambling) PICK SIX.”  Every Sunday night I will highlight one of, or the best, promotion of the week in each New England Casino.  So, his the first installation:

HOLLYWOOD CASINO, HOTEL & RACEWAY

50+ Rewards Hot Seat Slot Tournament – Monday, May 11 & 25 from 1PM – 4PM you could be the lucky winner of up to $500 Free SlotPlay! Play with your Marquee Rewards card for your chance to participate in a 50 Plus Rewards Hot Seat Slot Tournament. 15 Players will participate in a tournament every half hour. The top 15 scores overall will win up to $500 Free SlotPlay! *Exclusive to our members age 50 and above.

OXFORD CASINO

Spin O Rama – Saturday, May 16 from 3:00pm to 8:00pm.  Every half hour, one lucky winner will be chosen to take a spin at winning UP TO $6,000 IN CASH! Visit a Promotional Kiosk beginning at 1:00PM to enter.

TWIN RIVER CASINO

$200,000 Bonus Play Sweepstakes continues through to Memorial Day Weekend! – Twin River Rewards Club members will be eligible to receive one free entry into this promotion by simply inserting their Rewards Card into any one of our Promotion Kiosks or any eligible VLT. As an added bonus, all guests qualify for accelerated entry earnings where for every 100 points earned on the VLTs during the earning period, guests will receive one additional entry! Starting at 12pm, one drawing will take place every hour until 9pm for a chance to win a $5,000 Bonus Play prize! Earn drawing entries now until Memorial Day weekend.

NEWPORT GRAND CASINO

WINDY WEDNESDAY WINNINGS – It’s the Money Booth! – May 13th, from 4:00 – 7:00pm. You may be selected to take at chance in the Money Booth while playing slots.  30 seconds in the booth and you can win Cash & Free Slot Play.  Participants selected every 30 seconds!

FOXWOODS RESORT CASINO

HOT SEAT SWEEPSTAKES – WIN YOUR SHARE OF OVER $150,000 IN PRIZES – May 11–15 from 2– 8pm.Every 30 minutes they randomly choose one guest playing on any slot machine or table game with their Foxwoods Reward Card. From 2pm until 8pm, the lucky guest will win $1,000 instantly. If you are in the seat to the left and to the right of the winners, you will also win a prize!

MOHEGAN SUN RESORT CASINO

THE SURPRIZE PATROL! – EVERY THURSDAY IN MAY, BETWEEN NOON – 8:00PM.You have THREE chances to WIN BIG! Each Thursday, Mohegan Sun’s SurPrize Patrol will randomly award THREE table games players $2,500 in CASH! Plus, any Momentum members playing at the same table as the winner will each receive a $75 Mobil Gas gift card!

That’s all for now.

Binbin