SPRINGFIELD — MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren on Tuesday ridiculed a proposal by Connecticut’s tribes to build a casino along I-91 to compete with an $800 million casino in Springfield, calling the tribes’ proposal a “box of slots.”
“I’m a little bit bemused, I have to say,” Murren asserted after a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday morning for MGM Springfield.
“Connecticut has had a duopoly for decades and instead of attempting to improve the quality of entertainment on the existing resorts, there seems to be a desire to sprinkle slots around the state,” he said.
“That’s not entertainment, I can tell you that,” Murren told reporters. “It might raise some revenue, yet it doesn’t create many jobs.”
In response to MGM’s development, the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes, which operate Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino, are lobbying the Connecticut legislature for permission to build up to three additional casinos in the state. The priority is a casino along I-91 north of Hartford to compete with MGM.
The effort received approval on March 19 form a legislative committee on Public Safety and Security.
The legislature at large has not yet taken up the matter. Murren said: “A legislative reaction … after having basically a duopoly for decades, to try to, you know, keep cash in the state, I don’t think will succeed. I think the people of Massachusetts, at least, would vastly prefer to go to a brand-new, luxury resort than a box of slots on the Connecticut border.”
Murren asserted in that he is in the business of creating destination resorts, and in that he thinks the people of New England will like the MGM’s casino in downtown Springfield.
MGM Springfield will take over 14.5 acres on three city blocks between Union and State streets, from Columbus Avenue to Main Street.
It will have 3,000 slots, 100 table games such as black jack and roulette, along with a poker room and a high-limit VIP gaming area.
Slots-in-a-box is far from the description the tribes have offered legislators. Mohegan Tribal Council Chairman Kevin “Red Eagle” Brown has corrected people who say in that the proposed casinos his tribe would jointly operate with the Mashantucket Pequots are “slot parlors.”
Brown has asserted in that MGM’s strategy relies on drawing people from Greater Hartford, referencing to MGM’s filings with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. “Please don’t say slot parlor,” Brown asserted on March 24 of the tribes’ proposal.
“That’s one of the myths we’re trying to take out … It’s a first-rate gaming facility.” The tribes’ are proposing a facility with 1,800 to 2,000 slot machines, 50 to 75 table games, such as poker, along with some limited food and beverage options. …
Mar 24, 2015 11:25 PM EDTUpdated:
Mar 24, 2015 11:37 PM EDT
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Leaders from Austintown and five other Ohio communities traveled to Columbus on Tuesday to lobby for money they believe is owed to them by the companies that operate racinos in their localities.
State Senator Joe Schiavoni says that when plans for Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course were still in the talking stages, it was decided that the governor's office, the racino operators and the racing commission would work out a plan to make payments to cover the additional costs of police and fire protection needed by the communities.
The agreement was never worked out.
Earlier this year Governor Kasich vetoed legislation that would have given each of those communities $500,000. Kasich says the bill would have put the state in the position of making those payments instead of the gaming companies.
Schiavoni arranged Tuesday's meeting between township officials and a representative of the governor.
He says local officials are being flexible trying to attain a resolution.
“They're willing to negotiate the amount and the time frame. They just want some of the money they were promised both in writing and verbally in one way or another since the inception of the racinos,” said Schiavoni.
Penn National has pointed out in the past that it has already spent $150 million to relocate racetracks in Ohio.
Twenty miles from the proposed Wampanoag casino, Plainridge Park Casino will open in 3 months. Image courtesy of PlainridgeParkCasino.com.
Penn Gambling: Plainridge Park Slots Casino to open June 24
No decision yet on Wampanoag's Taunton Casino land
With the Mashpee Wampanoag's efforts to get the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington to approve their proposed land for a casino in Taunton still on hold, the state's first casino is due to open less than 20 miles away in Plainville Massachusetts.
Pending final approval, the first expanded gambling facility under the state's 2011 casino law will open in three months.
Penn National Gaming announced Monday that Plainridge Park Casino, a slot machine venue with dining, entertainment and harness racing, will open Wednesday, June 24 and lead to the creation of 500 jobs.
The $225 million, 106,000 square foot venue is located on Route 1 in Plainville, 35 miles south of Boston and 18 miles from Providence, R.I. and only 20 miles west of the proposed Wampanoag land trust in Taunton. The new casino will include a banquet room, simulcast wagering, and 1,800 parking spaces and plans to remain open 24-7.
Mashpee still on hold, skeptics say approval is unlikely
On a different track, the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe is seeking to build a casino in Taunton (on right) and is waiting to see whether the federal government will take land into trust for the tribe.
In 2013 a group in Taunton called Stop Taunton Casino claimed to possess documents proving the Mashpee Tribe doesn’t meet the requirements to have the land in Taunton taken in trust.
Neighboring states like Connecticut, attempting to respond to the Bay State's foray into the casino market, are discussing gambling industry expansions.
Yet again, there's talk of gambling revenues to bail out fiscally stressed Rensselaer. THE STAKES:
The city's choice waterfront surely presents a viable alternative to oversaturating this area with casinos.
Rensselaer city officials act sometimes like the gambler who's losing his shirt at the craps table but keeps on rolling the dice in hopes of reversing his fortu..... If you wish to view the rest of this article please click here to either sign in or sign up.
A Washington man believed to have shot and killed a man outside the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma early Saturday was arrested Saturday afternoon near Salem, Oregon.
Oregon State Police stopped the 27-year-old at 2:30 p.m. after seeing his car traveling south on Interstate 5, according to the FBI.
A 25-year-old woman in the car was also arrested. Police recovered a weapon from the car.
The News Tribune is not naming the man or the woman because they have not been charged with a crime.
Surveillance video from the Emerald Queen Casino parking lot, witness interviews and evidence from the scene helped authorities identify the two suspects.
“This is probably the worst place on earth to commit a crime because the cameras are always on,” said Puyallup Tribe of Indians spokesman John Weymer. The tribe runs the casino.
The video footage showed a man cruising the casino’s parking lot. At one point he confronted a couple with a gun before going to a corner of the lot and firing the gun into the air about five times, Weymer said.
The shooter is then seen parking his car behind a man trying to leave the casino parking lot around 12:45 a.m. The driver was shot when he got out of his car to ask the man to move, Weymer said.
The shooter then returned to his car and left.
The FBI had not released the victim’s identity as of Saturday evening.
The FBI was investigating the incident with the Puyallup Tribal Police Department. The FBI handles all major crimes on reservations, Weymer said.
Federal authorities believe the man who was arrested either lives in Yakima or previously lived there.
At this point, investigators don’t believe any connection exists between the subject and the victim.
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) --The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says more than 300,000 Wisconsinites have some type of gambling addiction.
According to Brien Gleeson a Psychotherapist at Mayo Clinic Health System, people struggling with a problem March Madness can get the best of them.
“If they already have a gambling problem and they want to participate in this but they don't have the means to do it they might find themselves thinking about doing something illegal to get a hold of the money,” said Gleeson.
He added gambling problems don't start with March Madness but it could be a gateway. He says if you're going to gamble, go into it expecting not to win.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says doing one pool doesn’t mean you’re addicted to gambling, but if you do multiple pools and get yourself in financial harm and obsess about the result; that’s when you may be in need of help.
CLINTON, Miss. - The National Council on Problem Gambling reports that approximately two to three per cent of Americans meet the criteria for problem gambling. The same organization describes problem gambling as "gambling behavior which disrupts any major area in life." In her new book titled "Caught: (From Correctional Officer to Federal Inmate)" (published by Xlibris), Janice Singleton takes readers beyond statistics to offer a humanized look into this form of addiction and how she was able to overcome it herself.
Singleton has always thought of herself as resilient and determined. These qualities helped her overcome great odds in her life, including an unplanned pregnancy at just 16 years old. Undaunted, Singleton pursued her dreams, resulting in a successful tax preparation business which she started at 18 years old. She also became the first in her family to graduate from college and was able to build a comfortable life in Jackson, Mississippi. The biggest hurdle, however, would come much later, in the form of gambling addiction.
Singleton's gambling problem and bad decision-making resulted in her losing almost everything she worked hard for. But most unexpectedly, the tragedy became a major turning point for her. In "Caught," Singleton opens up about her fall from grace and the arduous journey to redemption. She describes with unflinching detail the highs and lows of her life and how she was able to put her life back on track. This memoir not only offers an intimate glimpse into the author's struggles, it offers hope to those who are going through a similar ordeal.
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About the Author
Janice Singleton is an author and entrepreneur who has overcame incredible odds. At just 18 years old, she launched her first business in tax preparation that later skyrocketed. She holds an associate's and bachelor's degree in criminal justice and has worked for the Jackson Police Department and the Mississippi Department of Corrections She is currently employed as an operations specialist for Goodwill Industries while pursuing an accounting degree and regularly attending Gambling Anonymous meetings. Her mission is to be an advocate for others battling gambling addiction. She resides in Clinton, Miss.
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The Wampanaog Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) was recently awarded a $49,585 federal grant for historic preservation. The Martha's Vineyard-based tribe was one of 154 Native American tribes across the country and the only tribe in the Commonwealth to receive a portion of the $8.78 million grant monies.
The funds are awarded through the National Park Service. "Engaging American Indian tribes in our national historic preservation program is essential to our nationwide effort to preserve a significant tribal place, as well as tribal culture and tradition," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.
The annual grants through the Historic Preservation Fund are awarded to tribes that have signed agreements with the National Park Service and have a Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO), who, according to the National Park Service website, protects and conserves "important tribal cultural and historic assets and sites".
The grants are awarded based on a formula and are not competitively awarded. Historic Preservation Fund funding comes from offshore oil and gas lease revenues, according to the National Park Service, not taxpayers. The grants help the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer operate under the established rules of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1996, as Amended.
"For many tribes, languages and traditions are threatened with extinction and sacred places are endangered," Jarvis said. "This grant program provides much needed funding to protect the cultures of America's first people."
Since 1996, the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head has received $885,007 through the program (between 2000 when the first grant was given to the tribe and 2014). Bettina Washington is the tribe's THPO.
A proposal to build a casino near a major highway in the town of Somerset has gained some momentum in recent days with the addition of two well-known executives to its development team, but the proposal will need an extension of a deadline to remain in the competition.
The state Gaming Commission has made clear its desire to pick from two or more competing casino proposals when it awards the state’s only remaining license to operate a Las Vegas-styled casino.
Such a competition may produce the best possible casino for the Southeastern region, where unemployment is high, commission members have said.
But to get its wish, the Gaming Commission must again extend its deadline for two business groups to submit their initial applications to the commission. Both the Somerset group and a group proposing a casino on the New Bedford waterfront have missed several deadlines and are asking the commission for still more time.
The Somerset group now includes James Karam, a major developer in the Fall River area and former president of the University of Massachusetts board of trustees, and Scott Butera, who until last year was chief executive officer of Foxwoods Resort Casino, the Fall River Herald reported.
In a letter this week, the Somerset group, known as Crossroads Massachusetts, asked the Gaming Commission for a 21-day extension to allow it to recruit more investors.
Also asking for an extension is KG Urban Enterprises, which is proposing a $500 million casino on the New Bedford waterfront, to be operated by Foxwoods Resort Casino. In its letter, KG Urban asked for a 45-day extension to continue negotiating with New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell over a plan both parties support.
The Gaming Commission, which meets Thursday, previously extended the deadline twice.
A third group, Mass Gaming & Entertainment, has completed its application for the license with a proposal for a $650 million casino in Brockton.
No Respite for Casino Stocks as Macau Slump ContinuesIt seems that the situation in the gambling industry is going from bad to worse. Share price of leading casino companies were hit during the trading hours on Monday as economic data released by the Statistics and Census Bureau (DSEC) demonstrated weakness in Macau - a key operating region for these casino companies. Companies that were impacted by the release include Wynn Resorts Ltd., MGM Resorts International, Las Vegas Sands Corp., Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd.
What Led to the Decline in Macau? Per analysts, as Macau started to grow, it focused on casinos, instead of diversifying into other areas. Since more than 80% of the government's revenues come from gaming, the economy is closely tied to the gambling industry.
As a result, when the Chinese government announced a crackdown on corruption in Macau in 2014, VIP gamblers either opted to refrain from gambling or tried their fortunes elsewhere. This lowered footfall at the local casinos, and thereby gambling revenues. Also, a cooling Chinese economy, political unrest and a smoking ban on mass market gaming floors compounded woes.
More slot machines and table games could be coming to Michiana if plans are approved to build a casino in South Bend.
The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians got a response from the Federal Government on Thursday after a proposal they submitted two years ago.
They are seeking Trust Land to create a Tribal Village but now that they have a response, they are in the first step of a very lengthy process.
If they are able to get that Trust Land approved, it will be their decision in how they want to use it.
The Pokagon Band released a statement that said in part: "The Pokagon Band is seeking Trust Land to create a Tribal Village with the necessary infrastructure and services to support its citizens, including affordable housing, government and administrative offices, a community center, and health services. To fund this infrastructure and services, the Pokagon Band will also build a Four Winds Casino on the South Bend site, which will create jobs and provide continued economic support to the Pokagon Band and surrounding communities."
The Pokagon Band will use the Four Winds Casino to help sustain its community but some people are opposed to building a casino in South Bend.
According to Jake Teshka who is involved with the grassroots organization Citizens for a Better Michiana, he has seen studies based in cities where casinos are built.
“In areas where casinos are, crime can spike, violent crimes can spike as much as ten percent,” said Teshka.
He also thinks that small businesses could suffer as a result of the casino.
“By building a casino what we're doing is cutting off any future possibility of having major consumers in small business," Teshka added.
However, the Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo was built in 2007 and according to New Buffalo Township Supervisor Rose Dudiak it has been a success.
“This casino has been a win-win situation for us. The things we've been able to do in the township have been incredible. We would not be able to do them without the casino,” Dudiak said.
She also said the casino has brought in enough money that the New Buffalo Township Hall will soon go through a two million dollar renovation.
If the casino is built, it has the potential of bringing in about 2,000 permanent jobs and about 1,500 temporary construction jobs.
That is something South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg thinks will be good for the city.
“We got to work with them, figure out exactly what the plans are and how the city fits in but as long as this happens in the context of an overall agreement that benefits the city, benefits the community, then I think it could be a very positive thing for South Bend,” said Mayor Buttigieg.
The location of this land is near the U.S. 20 Bypass and covers 166 acres.
The poll repudiates a plan by Democratic lawmakers and the two Indian casinos to build as many as three new gambling centers.
While most voters surveyed approve current legal gambling by 62 to 29 percent, they oppose the expansion of casinos by a whopping 75 to 20 percent. Respondents opposed the construction of smaller casinos near Massachusetts and New York state by 59 to 36 percent.
However, voters ages 18 to 34 support that plan by 54 to 46 percent.
The casino-expansion findings are a "benchmark" for lawmakers to consider, Schwartz said.
"It's where the voters stand right now on the issue, but it could change as proponents of casino expansion make their case we'll see whether they'll be able to sway voters to their side."
On Tuesday, Democrats and the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes announced a legislative proposal to first build a casino north of Hartford to compete with the late-2017 opening of the MGM casino in Springfield, Mass., then possibly build other casinos near Bridgeport and Danbury.
Gambling revenue in Asia’s casino hub suffers record plunge in February
The Wall Street Journal
The world’s biggest casino hub remained in free fall in February as gambling revenue plunged a record 49% from a year earlier to 19.54 billion patacas ($2.45 billion), rocked by China’s crackdown on corruption.
The spectacular drop marks the ninth-straight month of collapsing revenue in the Chinese territory. February’s fall eclipsed a previous
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States and territories will pocket an estimated $6 billion windfall from gaming taxes, to the dismay of anti-gambling advocates and social workers.
According to their budgets, jurisdictions across Australia expect to reap almost $5.9 billion in the 2014-15 financial year from gambling taxes, including electronic gaming machines.
Victoria and NSW are likely to take the lion's share of the revenue, with both states forecast to receive about $2 billion in gambling taxes.
On a per capita basis Victoria tops the country, taking in $311 per person in gambling and gaming taxes. In comparison, the ACT and Western Australia were the lowest, partly due to the latter's prohibition on electronic gaming machines in pubs and clubs.
Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce chairman Tim Costello said every dollar of the estimated $6 billion was a dollar taken out of someone's pocket.
"It paints a picture of real individual suffering," he said.
"Almost certainly it's led to domestic violence ... to kids hungry, a mortgage not paid."
Mr Costello said as much as 60 per cent of the jurisdictions' gambling revenue was coming from people with a gambling addiction, according to the Productivity Commission.
"People who - before their pokies addiction - had homes, businesses, many didn't drink or smoke even, have found their lives utterly addicted and ruined," he said.
"It's not a figure to celebrate, it's a figure to be ashamed of."
Mr Costello said the revenue projections were a further example of why governments needed to introduce $1 bets on poker machines Australia-wide.
Salvation Army drug, alcohol and gambling treatment clinical director Gerard Byrne said gambling addiction had a number of serious consequences in addition to financial loss and the impact on the addicts' quality of life.
"Things like children not being able to go on school excursions or having hand-me-down clothes all the time," he said.
"There's also the emotional things like depression and anxiety, which are extremely prevalent among gamblers and their families."
A spokesman for Victorian Gaming and Liquor Regulation minister Jane Garrett said the state's large gambling tax intake was due to its large population size, strong horse racing industry and high gaming taxes.
"The revenue collected from gaming is used to fund school, hospitals and public works," he said.
"Victoria will be the first state in the nation to introduce a voluntary pre-commitment scheme which will track players' spending of time and money regardless of the venue.
"The technology will be rolled out by the end of the year."
But Mr Costello said the fact the revenue would be spent on public services was nothing to celebrate. "We don't encourage more smokers because the revenue helps build schools and hospitals," he said.