Connecticut tribal casinos gear up for Wynn, MGM competition

Updated September 2, 2018 - 5:34 pm

HARTFORD, Conn. — At Bradley International, the airport serving Hartford, Connecticut, MGM Resorts International had a banner asking travelers if they would rather go to a resort in the middle of town or in the middle of nowhere.

It was an obvious dig at Connecticut’s two dominant tribal casinos, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation’s Foxwoods Resort and Casino and the Mohegan Indian Tribe’s Mohegan Sun, both on forested reservation land in the southeastern part of the state.

MGM Springfield, in the middle of Springfield, Massachusetts, opened its doors Aug. 24 to rave reviews and overflow crowds. Meanwhile, Wynn Resorts Ltd.’s Encore Boston Harbor is scheduled to open in June.

It’s too early to tell how MGM’s opening will affect customer traffic at the massive tribal resorts, but it’s clearly game on for a new era of casino competition in New England.

Ray Pineault, president and general manager of Mohegan Sun, said new competition is nothing new.

‘Preparing for this for years’

“We’ve been preparing for this for years. We understand the MGMs and Wynns are coming to Massachusetts and they’re looking to get into this New England market because it’s been such a successful market,” he said.

Pineault said the Mohegan Sun has weathered new competition from upstate New York since February, when Resorts World Catskills opened with 2,150 slot machines and 150 table games in Monticello. Resorts World already had a 5,000-slot parlor at Aqueduct Race Track in Queens near John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Also, “New Jersey has always been very competitive for us, and obviously Pennsylvania opened up with all their casinos,” Pineault said.

Massachusetts’ only other casino, a slots-only parlor at Plainridge Park harness racing track, opened in 2015.

To Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby, the new casinos represent the potential for wresting away revenue he believes belongs in Massachusetts.

“The evidence suggests if we did nothing else in Massachusetts but bring back (money that was) being gambled in casinos outside Massachusetts by our citizens and that alone would make it a success,” Crosby said. “We would have $250 million in tax revenue just by bringing back those citizens.”

More at stake

A Las Vegas gaming industry analyst believes there’s more at stake for MGM in the completion of MGM Springfield and the company’s competition with the tribes.

John DeCree of Las Vegas-based Union Gaming said MGM’s decision to blend the $960 million resort into the fabric of downtown Springfield sets the stage for future projects on the other side of the world.

“We spent several days in Springfield ahead of the opening, touring the new facility and getting a sense for local expectations,” DeCree said in an Aug. 27 report to investors.

“Two things were apparent. First, local residents are truly proud of the development; and second, MGM’s design and development team just gave the company a big boost in the race for licenses in new jurisdictions like Japan. The meticulous attention to detail, unique integration of local history, and success in restoring key historical landmarks like the 130-year old First Spiritualist Church and 123-year old State Armory, won’t go unnoticed by new jurisdictions considering MGM for new gaming and (integrated resorts) licenses.”

MGM relocated the historic church and armory to be a part of the four-block MGM Springfield campus. An estimated 15,000 people a day visited the new casino in the first weekend days after the opening.

Meanwhile, Connecticut’s tribal casinos are trying to counterpunch MGM’s new resort by partnering with each other on a new slot parlor in East Windsor, Connecticut, about 13 miles south of Springfield. The proposal is tied up in a federal court case involving the tribes, the state and the U.S. Department of Interior.

Rhode Island casino

And the competition continues to grow.

The Tiverton Casino Hotel, a 1,000-slot-machine, 32-table-game tribal casino in Rhode Island, 500 feet from the Massachusetts border, had its ribbon-cutting ceremony.

And then, there’s Encore Boston Harbor looming on the horizon. The battle for market share will be well- established by the time it arrives.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
A Facebook-branded space inside of Macy’s at the Fashion Show shopping center
A Facebook-branded space inside of Macy’s at the Fashion Show shopping center will showcase 13 small businesses in November and December and seven in January. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
T-Mobile uses ticketing data to plan for event
T-Mobile Executive Director of Arena Operations explains how ticket sales data and demographics help plan staffing, vendors, parking and operations for an event.
Costco opens its doors in southwest Henderson
Costco has opened its fifth Las Vegas-area location near the intersection of St. Rose Parkway and Amigo Street. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas strip mall and office park
The Krausz Cos. and WG Group bought a strip mall and an office park in Las Vegas for nearly $80 million total. They acquired a portion of Tropicana Beltway Center in the southwest valley for $59 million. They also acquired the Westbay office complex in the Las Vegas Medical District. The buyers are former owners of The Gramercy, a once-mothballed mixed-use project in the Las Vegas suburbs. They sold The Gramercy in phases for more than $100 million.
Mario Barth talks about the growth of the tattoo industry
Celebrity tattoo artist and business owner Mario Barth talks about the growth of the tattoo industry at The World of Tattoo industry trade show at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas
$7.5M Las Vegas pot dispensary opens near Las Vegas Strip
Planet 13, which bills itself as one of the largest dispensaries in the world, opened to the public Thursday. It has entertainment including an interactive floor and floating orbs. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caesars CEO to step down next year
Caesars Entertainment Corp. CEO Mark Frissora will leave the casino company in February. Frissora has been CEO since July 2015. He was named CEO right after Caesars' operating company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Caesars Entertainment emerged from bankruptcy protection in October 2017 Before Caesars, Frissora spent seven years as chairman and CEO of Naples, Fla.,-based Hertz He led the consolidation of the rental-car industry through Hertz‘s acquisition of the Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group.
Planet 13 in Las Vegas adds twist to marijuana dispensary look
Planet 13, which bills itself as one of the largest dispensaries in the world, opened to the public Thursday. The dispensary is located near the intersection of Desert Inn Road and Sammy Davis Jr. Drive, near Trump International, in Las Vegas. Planet 13 has plans in the future for a coffee shop, a tasting room for marijuana-infused beer and wine, a lounge for consuming marijuana on site if that is legalized and space for food.
Caesars Entertainment opening 2 resorts in Dubai
Cove Beach will open on Meraas’ Bluewaters Island in Dubai in November and Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai and The Residences at Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai will open in December. (Caesars Entertainment)
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Facial recognition software at G2E – Todd Prince
Shing Tao, CEO of Las Vegas-based Remark Holdings, talks about his facial recognition product. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Bobby Baldwin to leave MGM
MGM Resorts International executive and professional poker player Bobby Baldwin is set to leave MGM.
Caesars has new armed emergency response teams
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has created armed emergency response teams. They are composed of former military and law enforcement officials. "These teams provide valuable additional security capabilities,” Caesars spokeswoman Jennifer Forkish said. Caesars is hiring Security Saturation Team supervisors, managers and officers, according to LinkedIn. The company did not say how many people it plans to hire for the units. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas, airlines prepare for CES
CES in January is expected to attract more than 180,000 attendees. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
AGS partners with Vegas Golden Knights
AGS is the nation’s second-largest manufacturer of Class II slot machines used primarily in tribal jurisdictions. It announced a marketing partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like