Score one for the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City and its peppery owner, Tilman Fertitta. Its threat to “blow up” a property-tax reform deal was sufficient to bring about a compromise acceptable to all sides. Under the original bill and its fixed-payment system, annual levies would have risen for casinos that arguably need the help the most. Now, that overage will be credited toward their Casino Reinvestment Development Authority payments. Also subtract the $2 million a year the Nugget would have paid the defunct Atlantic City Alliance and you’ve got a package Fertitta can accept.
As Nugget corporate counsel Steve Scheinthal put it, “We’re protected for five years; that’s a good thing. At least we have some stability and we know our taxes aren’t going to rise.”
“JP Morgan analyst Matt Ryan questioned Crown‘s, timing given it is ramping up its exposure to the wagering industry at a time when increased racing fees are eating bookmakers’ margins.” What? Would James Packer ever make a bad business decision? Heresy!
Felix Rappaport continues to unveil a new strategy for Foxwoods Resort & Casino. Operations weren’t predecessor Scott Butera‘s strong suit, by the latter’s own profession.
So, the restructuring having been done, enter Rappaport to commence the rebranding. Of oncoming competition from Boston, Rappaport said, “We’ll certainly lose some people altogether, and we’ll lose some people in terms of frequency. But if we do our jobs properly, I think we can become even more compelling.” And he’s got two or three years to entrench. Both Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun are cutting back on slot inventory dramatically, prompting one pundit to say, “They have, in a sense, already closed the equivalent of two casinos.”
While Mohegan Sun has been targeting nearly every new casino market that comes along and, closer to home, is ramping up its concert program, Foxwoods is being a bit choosier with its comeback strategy. Gambling is still, far and away, the cash cow, but Continued >>