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.
They are at it again in Florida where there is a proposal before legislators to allow two destination resort casinos, each with an initial investment of $2 billion.
It will make a big difference, CEO Gary Loveman said this week as he discussed plans to combine the real estate owned by Caesars Entertainment Operating Company into a publicly traded real estate investment trust.
The Macau casino numbers for February were as bad as expected, casino revenue plummeting 49 percent to $2.4 billion. It was the ninth straight month of declines.
Baseball Previews | This is the second of 30 MLB previews to the 2015 baseball season as seen by GamingToday sports editor Mark Mayer. Today, the Chicago Cubs. On deck: Baltimore Orioles.
Baseball Preview | This is the first of 30 MLB previews to the 2015 baseball season as seen by GamingToday sports editor Mark Mayer. Today, the Washington Nationals. On deck: Chicago Cubs.