Major debt payment facing Foxwoods ResortJuly 05, 2010 9:32 AM by Ray Poirier
"Foxwoods is having money trouble? How could that be?" asked a New Hampshire resident who previously was a frequent visitor to the Connecticut tribal casino that at one time was the largest and most profitable casino in the world.
"When I went there," explained the former player, "I would have to stand in line for an hour to play a $1 slot machine."
But that was before the economic downturn…before the increased competition from nearby states…before the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, owners of the facility, spent nearly a billion dollars to partner with MGM Resorts International (then known as MGM MIRAGE) to build a huge hotel/casino adjacent to their original building.
The tribe’s debt level reportedly is in the $2 billion range with a $700 million revolving credit facility provided by Merrill Lynch (now owned by Bank of America) that is coming due on July 13.
Tribal leaders have been negotiating with lenders to get a loan reduction since last year but no progress has been reported.
Causing concern to lenders around the country is the fact that federally-recognized tribes are considered sovereign nations protected by the federal government. Thus, according to recent court rulings, the casinos cannot be taken over by lenders as has happened with other defaulting casinos.
A further extension to the July deadline is expected while talks continue, say observers.
The Riviera casino-hotel will come tumbling down but at an expected cost of $42 million and not for at least six months if a recommendation to the Las Vegas Convention and Tourism Authority is approved.
The Chicago White Sox go for a four-game sweep of the Red Sox when the two teams meet at Fenway Park in Boston. Chris Sale will toe the rubber for the Chisox who have won seven straight.
Macau appears to be headed for a loosening of the proposed ban on smoking in casinos that will allow the continued presence of smoking lounges. There had been a lot of behind-the-scenes conversations aimed at achieving this compromise.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady vowed to fight his four-game suspension Wednesday, and team owner Robert Kraft opened training camp by saying he continues to “believe and unequivocally support” the three-time Super Bowl MVP.
Gaming revenue along the Las Vegas Strip corridor fell 16.31 percent to $445.5 million during June and the statewide win was off 8.4 percent to $830.9 million.