East Coast Case Bets

By David McKee ~ April 8th, 2014 @ 9:39 am

GaetzAlthough talks have been conducted in deep secrecy, a few details of Seminole Tribe compact negotiations have been vouchsafed the public. The tribe is telling the state “don’t push us on this,” reminding it that the Bureau of Indian Affairs can strike down any usurious terms — as we saw it do to Massachusetts not long ago. On the other hand, state Sen. Don Gaetz (R, left) says of Florida Gov. Rick Scott‘s people, “Anybody who goes to the negotiating table needs to come away with at least as much as he came to the table with, if not more.”

Democrats in the state House could cause trouble by demanding, once the compact is unveiled, that it contains a wider array of games for parimutuels in South Florida. Whether a compact can be finished and put through the legislative process before adjournment is an open question — although pessimism is the order of the day. Stay tuned to this frequency.

Penn National Gaming may have bested Cordish Gaming in Massachusetts. However, Cordish continues to eat Penn’s lunch in Maryland. Last month, Maryland Live winnings rose 38.5%, to $62 million of the state’s $78 million total. Hollywood Casino Perryville grew a proportionally slimmer $8 million, while independent Ocean Downs banked $4 million, good for a 5% increase.

Caesars Entertainment only got $12.5 million for the Claridge Hotel in Atlantic City, it has been revealed. Given Caesars’ spending habits, that’s hardly a drop in the bucket. New owner Terence McCarthy is going with a Roaring Twenties re-theming of the property, picking up on a motif that had been showing promise over at Resorts Atlantic City before the Mohegan Sun people came aboard and took a new tack. City-wide, sales taxes and luxury, hotel, and tourism taxes reached record levels, which gave New Jersey Casino Control Commission Chairman Matt Levinson cause for hope. Cash-flow comparisons with last year, though, were a mixed bag of increases (led by Tropicana Casino & Resort, +47%) and declines (like Resorts’ -54%).

What’s happening in Springfield?

A strongly worded editorial in the Springfield Republican spanks those do-gooders who belatedly want to repeal the state’s casino legalization. “In effect, Massachusetts would be saying that its word cannot be trusted,” it asks. “And who wants to invest in an uncertain situation such as that? … The ballot question is an embarrassment and a waste of time and energy.”

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