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Major debt payment facing Foxwoods Resort July 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."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.

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Pennsylvania casinos are reporting a slight increase in revenue from table games. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board said Wednesday that revenue from table games totaled $67.9 million last month, up nearly 1 percent from a year ago.

Rampart Casino will officially open the doors to its long-awaited Bingo Room on Saturday, April 19, in conjunction with its 15-year anniversary and “15 Years of Fun” initiative.

The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa is reimbursing players in a poker tournament that was suspended after counterfeit chips were discovered. The Borgata enhanced security and introduced more intricate chips for its poker tournament last week.

Foxwoods Resort Casino and the Mohegan Sun, Connecticut’s Indian-run casinos, say slot machine revenue fell sharply in March. Foxwoods Resort Casino cited an “ultra-competitive” market.

Getting Rich with Saber | Over 110 years ago, Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas opened for business and they all came. They came for the gambling and natural hot springs bath houses. And they kept coming to this historical spot.

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