Connecticut lawmakers are expected to announce legislation today that would allow new, smaller casinos along the state's borders with Massachusetts and New York. The Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegans, who operate tribal casinos in Connecticut, would open the smaller casinos in the proposed bill.
Mohegan Sun could promote its flagship property in Connecticut to players at a proposed casino in Revere, Mass., documents show, despite Mohegan Sun's constant denial that it would try to lure players to Connecticut, where it pays lower taxes. Mitchell Etess, CEO of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, said the marketing deals are limited to similar deals at the Revere casino. The recipient of the Greater Boston license could be determined next week, and marketing the Connecticut casino in Massachusetts is an issue Wynn Resorts Chairman Steve Wynn, whose company offers a competing proposal, has frequently brought up.
In Connecticut, the financial woes of tribal casino operators were a big story for 2009. The Mashantucket Pequot tribe ended the year in default on some of its debt. Meanwhile, the Mohegan tribe refinanced $200 million of debt and proceeded with a $44.9 million renovation.
The $15.5 billion buyout offer for Harrah's Entertainment is making waves in the casino industry, and some say gaming regulators will need to adjust licensing practices, as more private-equity funds flow into the casino sector. Gaming experts this week said hotel-casino financing has been transformed by the large scale of new casino developments.