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