Monday, July 27, 2015

Sunday Globe Special: Mississippi Missed Casino Boat

Meet your future, Massachusetts:

"In poor Miss. town, a missed chance to restore a community; Casino revenue did little to take edge off poverty" by Chico Harlan Washington Post  July 25, 2015

TUNICA, Miss. — For two decades, ever since her county of plantations and shotgun shacks had struck it rich, she’d been awaiting the prosperity. Great jobs for all, she’d imagined. Improved living standards. Perhaps no place in America’s Deep South had ever received a better chance to create new economic opportunities for its people.

Starting in the early 1990s, Tunica had become a neon-lit casino destination. The county had since raked in $760 million, a fortune for a county with 10,000 people, but the greatest windfall in the history of the rural South had failed to lift up a community, despite all the casino money.


A county that the Rev. Jesse Jackson once described as ‘‘America’s Ethiopia’’ had changed little in its poorest neighborhoods, even as riverfront casinos and other lavish development had sprouted up along the farmland hugging the Mississippi River.

Obama is there today.

Tunica’s strike-it-rich narrative is a rarity in the Deep South. But the disappointing way it played out shows how fundamental — and possibly intractable — the problems are in an area that lags behind the rest of the country as the poorest region with the least economic opportunity....

What went wrong in Tunica is a matter of perspective. To the political leadership that developed the casino plans and spent that money, the story is one of good intentions gone awry, an attempt to boost an industry that could potentially create jobs in a corner of the country that never had much of an economy or hope for the future.

Of the hundreds of millions of dollars that Tunica earned from its gambling venues between 1993 and 2015, just a sliver — about 2.5 percent, according to county records — was used on social programs to help the poor.

The county is now facing its own financial problems, pinched by declining gaming revenue, and many in Tunica fear that a massive opportunity has been squandered.... 

So who stole it, I mean "lost" it all.

And why would gambling revenue be decking when we have been told by government and pre$$ a remarkable AmeriKan economic recovery has been unfolding?


Maybe you would be better off spending the day at the track or playing the slots.

"Not so fast for the full casino era; Resorts to open no earlier than 2018, two years beyond target" by Sean P. Murphy Globe Staff  July 20, 2015

When Plainridge Park opened the casino era in Massachusetts last month, it was considered a first, modest step on the road to a multibillion-dollar industry.

As originally envisioned, the next great leap was supposed to come in 2016 with the openings of three grand resort casinos, bringing thousands of jobs and a new stream of state revenue.

But today, plans for the resort casinos have stalled. Even the best-case scenario would be for two of them to open no earlier than 2018, while the fate of the third remains in limbo.

“You could say the state is losing $1 billion in revenue because of the delay from 2016 to 2018,” said Clyde W. Barrow, a University of Texas professor who has long studied the New England casino market.

“The debate over whether to legalize casinos went on for over a decade in Massachusetts, and now it’s starting to look like the implementation period is going to be just as long,” he said....

Treating them like a pot clinic.

The MGM Resorts casino in Springfield [has been] delayed because of nearby highway construction, the Wynn proposal is hung up in court, and the worst-case scenario for casinos in Massachusetts would be the more likely scenario that “the state will muddle along, and we’ll look back someday and say, ‘What took so long?’ ”

Patrick regime?


The most likely scenarios:

"New lawsuit challenges Wynn casino on MBTA land acquisition" by Sean P. Murphy Globe Staff  July 07, 2015

A group of taxpayers has filed a lawsuit that seeks to derail plans for a Wynn Resorts casino in Everett and adds their objections to those of Mayor Martin J. Walsh of Boston, who is aggressively pursuing a legal strategy against the casino.

The crux of the taxpayers’ lawsuit, which was filed Monday in Suffolk Superior Court, is the propriety of the recent sale by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority of a 1.75-acre parcel of land to Wynn. That parcel is planned for the main entrance to Wynn’s proposed $1.75 billion casino in Everett.

On Tuesday, a Wynn spokesman called the taxpayers’ lawsuit “a desperate” public relations effort meant to distract from the real facts of the land transaction.

The lawsuit filed asserts that the MBTA failed to comply with state public bidding law in negotiating a sale price of $6 million. The lawsuit names the MBTA and Wynn as defendants and asks a judge to rescind the sale agreement.

The taxpayers group filing the lawsuit includes John Ribeiro, who headed the group Repeal the Casino Deal. That group last year campaigned on behalf of a statewide referendum that would have overturned the 2011 casino law that allows Las Vegas-styled gambling in Massachusetts. Voters overwhelmingly backed the casino law.

Ribeiro said his group supports Walsh’s efforts, but feels its lawsuit is important because it is an attempt to protect a broader segment of the public.

“Mayor Walsh is acting on behalf of the city, while we are acting on behalf of the Commonwealth,” Ribeiro said in an interview. “The MBTA is supposed to be acting in the best interest of all taxpayers, but isn’t doing so in this case.”



Suit challenging Wynn license will go forward

Wynn Resorts threatens to file defamation suit against Mayor Walsh

Walsh defiant on casino after Wynn threatens lawsuit

The mayor’s statement was the latest in a fusillade of rhetoric and legal challenges.

Boston ‘spewed and spun’ rumors about Wynn casino, US says

Wynn needs to win over Charlestown hearts

State AG calls for delay in key permit for Wynn casino

I wonder who is holding the trump card.

New Bedford casino developer withdraws bid

Collapse of New Bedford plan signals caution on Southeastern Mass. casinos

Charlie Baker saying little about ethical cloud over Steve Crosby

Letter reveals identity of complainant in Crosby case

Different Baker?

"Kirk Kerkorian, the media-shy investor who became one of the richest Americans by betting his money on ventures such as casinos and film studios, died Monday night at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 98. His close friends included Cary Grant and Frank Sinatra, who often joined him at Los Angeles restaurants and Las Vegas gambling tables. He was a polarizing figure. Some said he was an unscrupulous manipulator who disregarded the rights of minority shareholders, but his defenders maintained that any investors who stuck by him were bound to make big returns."


State gaming commission member to resign Sept. 30

Gaming panel delays vote on Suffolk Downs racing

Also seeTribe told by judge to halt work on Vineyard casino building

Nice sky.

Mass. lottery sales set record in 2014, surpassing $5 billion

Different kind of treasure.

UPDATE: Casino defense calls for testimony

Also seeWynn offers to bolster T’s Orange Line

Faster than the horses.