"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 Moroccan-themed Sahara casino that once hosted the Rat Pack and the Beatles is opening as the SLS Las Vegas after a complete transformation. The property will officially welcome the public at the stroke of midnight, after a party Friday night.
A 12.4 percent jump in July winnings at Louisiana’s land casino kept the 21-casino total about even with July 2013. Casinos took in about $213 million statewide, the land casino’s winnings rose from $25.4 million to $28.5 million.
NFL Previews | This is the 13th of 32 pro football preseason previews leading up to the NFL football season opener Thursday, September 4. Today: Washington Redskins. Next up: Green Bay Packers.
A long-planned initiative to create bigger jackpots by linking casino slot machines in New Jersey and Nevada is up and running. The progressive slots system links 100 machines in Atlantic City with 600 in Nevada.
The Southern 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race could be headed back to its original Labor Day weekend date. NASCAR will move Darlington’s race to the Sunday night of Labor Day weekend in 2015.
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