Loveman still livid about Massachusetts rejection

It’s been nearly a month, but Caesars Entertainment Corp. Chairman Gary Loveman is still fuming over his company’s rejection by casino regulators in Massachusetts.

The company was partnering with the Suffolk Downs Race Track on a proposed $1 billion gaming complex in Boston and had spent about $100 million on the development. Caesars had a 4 percent ownership stake and planned to manage the hotel-casino near Logan International Airport.

But state gaming regulators, based on concerns raised in a 600-page investigative report authored by an outside consultant, suggested to track officials that Caesars wouldn’t be found suitable. Caesars withdrew from the project, which is in limbo because voters rejected the development on Nov. 5.

Loveman, who said he spent 13 years lobbying Massachusetts to legalize gaming, is embittered. He lives near Boston, taught at the Harvard Business School, holds a doctorate in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and owns a minority interest in the National Basketball Association’s Boston Celtics.

What angers Loveman most is that Caesars, which is licensed for 50 casinos in 13 states, wasn’t given the opportunity to rebut allegations raised in the report.

“It’s not like we’re a new applicant with a great deal of uncertainty,” Loveman said. “We’re on display for examination every day.”

Wynn Resorts Ltd. seems to be the leading candidate for the sole Western Massachusetts gaming license.

“If Steve (Wynn) had put in a better proposal than us and they had chosen Wynn, then congratulations to Steve,” Loveman said. “It would have been a better result than this.”

Regulators, he said, fixated on the company’s unrelated partnership with the Gansevoort Hotel Group. The New York City-based boutique hotel operator was leasing its name to Caesars for the $185 million renovation of Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall on the Strip.

A Gansevoort investor is alleged to have ties to Russian organized crime. Caesars’ outside compliance committee knew of the allegations, but it wasn’t deemed an issue because Gansevoort was providing only its name and marketing ideas to the Strip project.

Caesars cut Gansevoort loose, but that wasn’t enough to satisfy the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

“This was an inconsequential relationship with a guy who has never been found guilty and charged with anything,” Loveman said. “To make it worse, they wouldn’t let us cure it. In regulatory practice around the world, if there is a minor problem, you are given a reasonable chance to fix it. You’re not sent to the gallows because of a simple thing. We offered remedies, but they were stuck on this issue.”

Loveman said the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is “staffed by people who have never been in the (gaming) business.”

“If you form a regulatory body, and you argue the work is important, you might want to staff it with some people with some sort of expertise in the area,” Loveman said. “They ought to have some degree of intellectual modesty. If I’m a regulator and I know I’m completely new at the job and other jurisdictions have looked at these types of issues, I think I’d want to know (some background) before I was going to make a radically different decision.”

HOWARD STUTZ/LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

Business
Dig This opens new location In Las Vegas
Remember when you were a kid and played with construction toys in the sand box? Dig This Las Vegas has the same idea, except instead of toy bulldozers, you get to play with the real thing. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Town Square developer Jim Stuart building again in Las Vegas
Las Vegas’ real estate bubble took developers on a wild ride, something Jim Stuart knows all too well. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Salon opens at Veterans Village
T.H.E. Salon, owned by Nicole Christie, celebrated their opening at the Veterans Village with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Southwest Airlines considering Las Vegas-Hawaii flights
Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly says the airline is "very focused" on Hawaii. Hawaiians have a strong presence in Las Vegas.The city’s unofficial status is “Hawaii’s ninth island.” In 2018, at least 2,958 people from Hawaii moved to Nevada. Of those, 88.7 percent moved into Clark County, according to driver license surrender data. According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, 310,249 people came to Las Vegas from Hawaii in 2018.
Fewer Nevadans are celebrating Valentine's Day
Fewer Nevadans are celebrating Valentine's Day. About 1.2 million Nevadans are expected to celebrate this year, a 5 percent drop from 2018. A growing number of people consider Valentine’s Day over-commercialized. Others weren’t interested in the holiday or had nobody to celebrate with. But spending is expected to rise. Those who do celebrate are buying for more people. The average American is expected to spend about $162 this year for Valentine’s Day, a 57 percent jump from a decade prior. Katherine Cullen, director of industry and consumer insights at NRF
Foreclosures of mansions in Las Vegas
Las Vegas was ground zero for America's foreclosure crisis after the housing bubble burst. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rick Helfenbein talks about the impact of tariffs on the clothing industry
MAGIC fashion convention showcases men's clothing trends
The MAGIC fashion convention has come to Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center to showcase some of the hottest clothing trends for men. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Allegiant Air flight attendants learn how to handle a water landing
Field instructor Ashleigh Markel talks about training prospective flight attendants for Allegiant Air getting live training with a raft for a water landing at the Heritage Park Aquatic Complex in Henderson on Monday. (John Hornberg/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery speaks
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery speaks about the new Smith & Wollensky restaurant coming to the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian in Las Vegas.
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery speaks
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery speaks about the new Smith & Wollensky restaurant coming to the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian in Las Vegas.
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery talks about Las Vegas return
Michael Feighery, CEO of Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group, discusses the restaurant's upcoming return to the Las Vegas Strip.
Apartments to Come to Hughes Center
Developer Eric Cohen discusses his current building project at the Hughes Center office park in Las Vegas, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019. Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Stratosphere to rebrand to The STRAT
The Stratosphere, a 1,150-foot-tall property in Las Vegas will be renamed The STRAT Hotel, Casino and Skypod.
Local designers’ picks for the Las Vegas Market
The trends that local interior designers are noticing at the Las Vegas Market this year. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trends in bath products at Las Vegas Market
Camille Herd, the showroom manager for European Bath Kitchen Tile & Stone, talks about the popularity of free-standing bath tubs. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Kitchen trends at Las Vegas Winter Market
Las Vegas Winter Market displayed kitchen trends that mirror common dining accessories at Strip eateries. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Emerging trends in gifts at Las Vegas Market
Julie Smith Vincenti, curator for the First Look showroom tour on gifts and lifestyle, talks about the emerging trends in those categories for this season. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Las Vegas house prices are rising
Southern Nevada home prices were up 12 percent year-over-year in November.
Caesars Republic Scottsdale
Caesars Entertainment Corp. is building its first non-gaming hotel in the United States in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Caesars Entertainment Corp.)
Interior designer Mikel Welch talks about trends for Las Vegas Market
Interior designer Mikel Welch, who also is the on-camera designer for TLC’s Trading Spaces, discusses the trends he sees for the 2019 Las Vegas Winter Market. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
SHOT Show 2019: MEGGITT Virtual Training
MEGGIT showcases its virtual training system at SHOT Show 2019 in Las Vegas.
MGM delivers 700 meals to TSA workers at McCarran
Chefs at Garde Manger at Mandalay Bay provided 700 meals to federal employees who are affected by the government shutdown. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
SHOT Show 2019: A "nonsemi-automatic” weapon
Brandon Dunham of Nevada-based Franklin Armory show off the company’s new rifle prototype it calls a “nonsemi-automatic” weapon. The gun does not use a gas system to fire.
Las Vegas-based concrete repair company knows how to beat the heat
ART Concrete Solutions, a Las Vegas concrete-repair firm, addresses the challenges of construction in the extreme heat and sun of Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas based company brings color to concrete in the desert heat
Semco Modern Seamless Surface, a Las Vegas surface engineering company, knows how to put color in concrete construction in the Vegas heat. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Fun photo booth at World of Concrete
World of Concrete show at the Las Vegas Convention Center sponsored by DeWalt gives conventioneers a chance for photos with giant tools. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
SHOT Show 2019: Laserstar Technologies
Laerstar Technologies showed off their laser engraving machines, that can be used to personalize anything from guns and knives, to medical tools and household items. (Mick Akers/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
World of Concrete Show has big equipment on display
World of Concrete Show has big equipment on display at the Las Vegas Convention Center including an impact crusher, concrete pump and a self-erecting portable concrete batch plant. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Shot Show 2019: Kalashnikov USA shows off new products
Jonathan Mossberg of Kalashnikov USA talks about new products on display at Shot Show 2019 in Las Vegas.
ad-high_impact_4
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing