Visualize Foxwoods Resort Casino. Now plunk it down in the middle of Chicago. That’s essentially what state Rep. Robert Rita (D) proposes to do, pitching a 4,000-10,000-position casino for the Windy City. He also would have the State of Illinois get into the casino business by owning the Chicago mega-casino directly. That’s a nice, little “eff you” to all those struggling, private-sector gaming operators in the Land of Lincoln, isn’t it? Rita’s proposal is certain to bump into opposition from Gov. Pat Quinn (D), who wants to see all new casino tax dollars dedicated toward education, whereas Rita wants some of the theoretical wealth put into construction projects.
“It’s not the big, giant gaming expansion,” Rita claimed, although his alternate piece of legislation looks mighty expansive from here: a slightly smaller casino (6,000 gambling positions) in Chicago, four outstate casinos and an unspecified number of racinos. Rockford and Danville would no longer be assured casinos of their own. The quota of slots per racino has also been Continued >>
Wasting no time, the New York State Gaming Commission appointed three experienced public servants to the Resort Gaming Facility Location Board and gave them a June deadline to accept bids. That’s light speed compared to Massachusetts. It also overshadowed something that ought to dampen the ardor of Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and others. According to a study by Phoenix Marketing, gamblers in New York State have the lowest daily spend of any in the Mid-Atlantic region. The big spenders still head to Atlantic City.
Borgata ($478), Trump Taj Mahal ($450) and Golden Nugget Atlantic City ($444) headed the list, while the bottom five were all New York State properties. (Only players’ club members qualified for inclusion in the survey.) They were: Continued >>
It’s a measure of how lucrative nightclubs are that casino companies are willing to run the attendant risks. (Put another way, by contrast to nightclubs, casinos look as staid as banks.) Case in point, MGM Resorts International‘s half-million-dollar settlement with the Nevada Gaming Control Board over repeated instances of drug dealing and prostitution at House of Blues‘ Foundation Room. In response to a two-month NGCB undercover investigation, MGM sacked several Foundation Room employees and acceded to the hefty fine. (Rick Velotta has the salacious details.) The company also struck a posture of high dudgeon, stating, “The intolerable activities discovered by investigators are obviously completely contrary to the type of luxury resort our company strives to run.”
Judging by the frequency and freedom with which Continued >>