"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.
Penn National Gaming Inc. (PENN) fought a gallant battle to keep its Sioux City, Iowa, riverboat operating but in the end it was all for naught. The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled that the casino must close as of Wednesday of this week.
A Maryland casino is looking to hire some of the soon-to-be-jobless Atlantic City casino workers. Maryland Live! is holding job fairs next week at the Sheraton hotel across from the Atlantic City Convention Center.
Louisiana’s 21 casinos took in $203.5 million statewide in June, edging up one-half of a percentage point from a year earlier. State gambling revenues totaled $202.4 million in June 2013.
Giants made the deal with Boston for right-hander Jake Peavy with one thing in mind – beating the Dodgers. Peavy is having a horrible season at 1-9, but lifetime against LA is an incredible 14-2 with a 2.21 ERA.
Nevada officials say casino revenues shot up more than 14 percent in June thanks to a banner month on the Las Vegas Strip. The state Gaming Control Board reported that Nevada casinos brought in about $907 million in June.
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