Penn, Cordish kiss and make up

By David McKee ~ April 17th, 2014 @ 11:15 am No Comments »

Ann ArundelRemember when Cordish Gaming and Penn National Gaming were bitter rivals in Maryland (left) and more-cordial ones in Massachusetts? Well, that’s all so yesterday as the two are teaming up to get in on the New York State market. They’ve identified South Blooming Grove, in Orange County, as their site. It’s just off I-87, the major artery between the Five Boroughs and the Canadian border, which would put them closer to New York than any other applicant. No details are available other than it’s a $750 million, 120-acre project. Perhaps Blooming Grove residents will get the skinny when Penn and Cordish present their brainchild at a town meeting tonight.

They’re not stopping there, either. The two companies are also talking about partnering on a penn-national-gamingHollywood-branded casino in the Albany area. (Whether the state will give two out of four casino licenses to the same operator remains very much to be seen.) Right now, Continued >>

Double whammy in Iowa; Desperation in Illinois

By David McKee ~ April 17th, 2014 @ 10:27 am 2 Comments »

Iowa casino regulators took a strong stand in favor of the status quo, after playing it so cool they had expansion advocates fooled. Following the guidance of their own studies, they shot down the Cedar Crossing Casino project, citing its adverse economic impact on other Cedar Crossingcasinos in the area. Dissenting commissioner Dolores Mertz called for a “market-driven” casino industry in the Hawkeye State: “As a farmer, if I really believe that in agriculture, I’d be really remiss not to do that in gaming.” If they’re going to go to Nevada-style survival-of-the-fittest mode, they’ll need to go to a new process and set of criteria for approving casinos. As it is, the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission is charged with preserving the financial health of the industry and Cedar Crossing didn’t pass that test.

“Beyond dismayed.” That’s how Penn National Gaming expressed its reaction to the denial of its Argosy Sioux City supplication. Penn was appealing Continued >>

MGM’s sudden change of heart

By David McKee ~ April 17th, 2014 @ 9:26 am No Comments »

MGM Springfield detailWell that’s torn it. MGM Resorts International has gone from being a shoo-in for a Massachusetts casino license to asking the state to delay its decision. That means Massachusetts is short some $200 million (including an $85 million licensing fee). Why? Because MGM wisely doesn’t want to pay for a license of which it could be stripped in a referendum. Right now, it’s in the hands of the state Supreme Judicial Court, which will decide whether a casino-repeal measure goes onto the ballot. And if it does, the uncertainty extends into November.

That means no construction work in Springfield and no mitigation payments to the city and its neighbors. The do-gooder brigade has really scored an own-goal on Springfield with its holier-than-thou crusade. If they win, Springfield can kiss $800 million worth of MGM investment goodbye. The company is being Continued >>

Las Vegas, Wranglers both grounded

By David McKee ~ April 16th, 2014 @ 1:57 pm No Comments »

fremont-street-experienceReports of Las Vegas‘ rebirth have been greatly exaggerated … or so the Brookings Institute‘s Mountain Monitor tells us. True, job growth was second only to Phoenix‘s, at almost 1% and double the regional average. Most of that growth, however, seems to have been in low-productivity jobs (casino industry to the white courtesy phone, please). “Putting those together, you get a view of a region focused on relatively less productive jobs. You have decent job growth, but it’s not yielding the kinds of output gains that growth is yielding in other places,” report author Mark Muro told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

He added that, while higher employment is Job One, economic diversification is ultimately necessary to improve the region’s sluggish economic recovery. We still lead major U.S. cities in Continued >>

Further Reading

Penn, Cordish kiss and make up

Double whammy in Iowa; Desperation in Illinois

MGM’s sudden change of heart

Las Vegas, Wranglers both grounded

Self-delusion in Illinois; Grave-robbing at Penn project

Wynn Boston: Solution or overreach?

Cosmo: The right amount of money; MGM learns Arabic

Meet Geoff Freeman

NIMBY in Massachusetts; Hard Rock goes local

Ivey, cheater or genius?

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