Wynn & MGM – Industry Giants: Arrogant Bullies or Just Acting Badly in New England

“Two guys walk into a New England bar….you’d think the second would have seen it.”  Old joke, I know.  But it fits as you will see at the end of this post.

New England

New England

There’s an old saying in New England about those of us who have lived her and grown up here all our lives. “We don’t accept friendship easily, but when we do, it’s everlasting.”

It’s true that a stereotype of New Englanders is that we can be disagreeable, tending to be suspicious & cautious until we get to know ya.  Trust seems to take more time here in the northeast than other places, but if trust is gained, it’s everlasting. Maybe it’s the tough winters, the three days of spring, the long humid summers, followed by a never-ending falling of leaves, leaves and more leaves.

Fishing in Rhode Island

Fishing in Rhode Island

Whatever is the cause – the weather, the blue-collar history of hard work in textile and fishing industries – when people move here to do business, they need to do their homework to earn our trust.

So in walks two big-wigs from the west.  They are convinced that a) no one knows the gaming industry better than them, and b) they are the kings of manipulation, unstoppable, having their own way, no matter what us peasants in New England want. It is an arrogance that has romanticized the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to the point that Steven  Crosby and his cronies are willing to give Murren & Wynn carte blanche!

Steve Wynn - Annoyed in Everett?

Steve Wynn – Annoyed in Everett?

Case in point #1 – Steve Wynn – What did he expect?  He has worked hard all his life to get to the top – is he now resting on his laurels and properties? He certainly thought that wooing the MGC and Massachusetts as a whole would be easier than this. “We’re hopeful that at some point in the near future we’ll be treated with a little softer hand considering that we’re the biggest single private investment in the history of the state,” Mr Wynn was quoted.  What does this mean?

Well, I guess he thought Boston would roll over on its concerns,

View of the Sullivan Square Rotary.  (photo by Stuart Cahill)

View of the Sullivan Square Rotary. (photo by Stuart Cahill)

traffic would be fixed for him, someone could bend the rules in how he bought property and the Everett waste dump would be cleaned for him.  Welcome to New England, specifically Massachusetts, where you just might have to gain a little trust before all your expectations come true. Now, the AG Healey wants to rescind the license until he gets the traffic & waste cleanup plans completed.

Jim Murren not happy with Connecticut?

Jim Murren not happy with Connecticut?

Case in point #2 – Jim Murren, MGM CEO.  It seems Mr. Murren assumed that New England would just roll out the red carpet, and maybe Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun and Twin River Casino would stop operations and ask for MGM advice.  After all, he represents MGM RESORTS!  Now, he has a fight on his hands with Connecticut over gamblers revenue and he doesn’t seem to like.  Law suits, biding time, using social media to do all he can to make CT out to be the villain – does this seem like a corporation that is tops in the industry? Or is he intimidated by the little ole’ Nutmeg State?

I guess this is different from the Las Vegas Strip, Jim.

The border of CT & MA.Springfield is only minutes from the CT side.

The border of CT & MA.Springfield is only minutes from the CT side.

Maybe you have to gain our trust instead of acting like a bully who isn’t getting his way.  I can’t believe that when MGM put its proposal together, it did not anticipate the possibility of a push-back in CT. It looks like MGM came up with its grandiose $850 million proposal in order to win the Springfield bid and figured that they could deal with the any competition after they were awarded the license.

Welcome to New England, Mr. Wynn & Mr. Murren.  Enjoy a couple of clamcakes and a dose of New England reality with your cup of “chowda.”

So, “Two guys walk into a New England bar…….they both SAW it, but expected to just pass right through it! Both fell down and go BOOM!”

Now, let’s see what they do next when they get up.

That’s all of my twisted view for now.





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