The planned $600 million casino in the
Catskill Mountains took a major step toward reality after receiving the backing
of the Laborers International Union of North America.
The New York State legislature several
months ago approved three casinos for the Catskills. The St. Regis Mohawk/Park
Place Entertainment casino at Kutsher’s Sports Academy, requires union labor
Estimates are that the work will
require 3,500 workers. Besides construction, more than 15,000 employees will
have to staff the giant casinos.
Union leaders expect about 80 percent
of the workers to migrate to the Catskills from upstate New York cities
Binghamton, Ithaca and Albany. Those cities have experienced a slowdown in
construction during the recession.
The St. Regis Mohawk tribe agreed not
to oppose efforts by hotel and restaurant employees to unionize.
The approval was confirmed last week in
Uncasville, Conn., by Todd DiOrio, representing the Laborers’ International
Union of North America. ÂÃ‚ÂDiOrio was the same developer who built the Mohegan
Sun casino in Uncasville.
Magna Entertainment’s planned
purchase of Laurel and Pimlico race tracks have drawn opposition from several
members of the Maryland Racing Commission.
“We would never approve it, I’ll
tell you that,” said Terry Saxon, the commission’s chairman. “I personally
would look long and hard after the experience at Gulfstream. Why would Maryland
approve an operator that runs a premium racetrack into the ground?
Last month, Maryland Jockey Club
officials reportedly rejected an offer from Churchill Downs, Magna’s main
rival, to purchase the two tracks. Pimlico and Laurel are still operated by the
Conn could profit
five Connecticut towns surrounding the Foxwoods Resort and Mohegan Sun could
receive as much as $175 million more in casino impact aid than they received
this year if a proposed state budget is passed.
The Legislature’s Appropriations
Committee approved a budget last Tuesday that allowed for host towns to receive
only $175,000. That figure was less than what the towns received this year.
Speaker of the House Moira Lyons said that this was a mistake.
“We are intent in ensuring that we do
the best we can for the casino host towns because of the added expenses they
incur for public safety, traffic control and other town services,” she said.
Lyons said the intent was to increase
the impact aid, not provide less.
Cornyn not done
State Attorney General John Cornyn, who
successfully shut down an El Paso tribal casino is now after another gaming site
in east Texas.
Cornyn says the Alabama-Coushatta tribe
is breaking a 1986 pledge and federal and state law by operating poker and
blackjack tables as well as slot machines.
Scott David Crowell, an attorney for
the tribe, stated that the state’s decision in 1991 to allow the state-run
lottery opened the door for the tribe to permit gaming.
Wisc may upgrade
Several Wisconsin tribes would like to
see longer compacts and more games statewide.
United Tribes of Wisconsin, citing a recently released study on the economic
impact of Indian gaming, proposed that blackjack tables stay open 24 hours a
day, that both slot machines and blackjack games boost limits to $200, and that
roulette and craps be added.
gaming is currently responsible for 34,870 jobs in Wisconsin.
high on river
gambling in Kentucky received another boost when the Covington Riverfront West
said that such a venture could be part of future development.
Bill Butler was in favor of the proposal, but noted that the plan “wouldn’t
be more than 15 percent of the scope of the project ÂÃ‚Âin terms of the area used
Butler said he is working strictly as a developer and that has taken no position on gambling legislation under consideration in Kentucky. His plan is for a casino complex that includes retail, restaurants and a village, with the possibility of hotels to follow.
Trump 29 upgrading in Cal
The Trump 29 Casino in the Coachella
Valley introduced the California site to a blackjack table enhanced with
electronic games and a Monopoly-themed bonus round.
The feature is part of a new wave of
traditional table games designed to create more excitement for regular card
players and attract people who had played the game in the past.
The game plays like traditional
blackjack with an added twist, according to Mark Lefever, the casino’s general
manager. When players place their original bets, the dealer asks if they would
like to place a side bet of $1 to $5. The dealer then dishes cards until a player hits blackjack and enters the bonus round. The player can
take a chance and win up to 125 times the original bet.
Mikohn Gaming Corporation introduced the game to the public two years ago in Las Vegas, but only six casinos have installed the tables. Those casinos, according to Mikohn spokesmen, have seen a hold increase of “several percentage points.”