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Once again Conn.’s Paugussetts fail in BIA bid for recognition

Oct 26, 2004 7:17 AM

A decision of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs’ appeals board has lessened the chance of another Indian casino in Connecticut to join the world’s two most successful gaming establishments, Foxwoods Resort and Mohegan Sun.

The board rejected a request from the Golden Hill Paugussetts to reconsider the BIA’s previous decision to reject the tribe’s request for federal recognition. The decision was hailed by Connecticut’s Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal, as effectively ending the tribe’s efforts toward recognition.

That evaluation was denied by an attorney for the tribe who characterized the decision as a "neutral thing" since the appeals board lacked jurisdiction to make the definitive decision.

The State of Connecticut has granted recognition to the tribe and permitted it to set up a reservation on state-owned land in Colchester and Trumbull. But the BIA ruled that the Paugussetts had failed to satisfy four of the seven criteria needed for recognition.

The BIA first rejected the tribe’s petition in 1996 but that decision was overturned by the Interior Board of Indian Appeals which ordered another review.

Trump’s move

They said he wouldn’t reach into his own pocket to save his troubled gaming empire but Donald Trump proved them wrong last week when he made a deal with the bondholders of Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts (DJTC) to restructure their holdings.

Trump agreed to put up $71.4 million, of which $55 million would be in cash, if the bondholders agreed to swap their existing bonds for new ones that will lower the interest payments from about 12% to 8.5% over 10 years. Also, the bondholders would be given common stock for 65% ownership of the company as well as $74 million in cash.

The deal would keep Trump in his position as chairman and CEO but would reduce his ownership position to 27%.

Assuming all debt holders agree to the deal, Trump is expected to seek bankruptcy protection while the arrangements are completed. Left out in the cold are former DJT shareholders, although they will be given the opportunity to purchase shares in the new company.

THE INSIDER: Mikohn Gaming Corporation (MIKN) announced on Monday that it expects to earn between $0.05 and $0.07 per share during the third quarter.

Directors of Nevada Gold & Casinos Inc. (UWN) have increased the previously announced stock repurchase program by 500,000 shares of the company’s stock.

Boyd Gaming Corporation will report on its fiscal third quarter on Tuesday, Oct. 26, at l:30 p.m. PDT. Also the company announced its quarterly dividend of $0.085 per-share will be paid on Dec. 1 to shareholders of record on Nov. 12.

Autotote Enterprises Inc., a subsidiary of Scientific Games Corporation (SGMS) has named Eric Pullman as its new president. Also SGMS said it had been awarded a three-year contract for instant lottery tickets from the Louisiana Lottery.

Caesars Entertainment Inc. (CZR) has agreed to sell its Bally’s Casino New Orleans for about $24 million to Columbia Sussex, the Fort Mitchell, Ky., firm that operates the Westin Causarina in Las Vegas.

Analysts at Wells Fargo Securities have downgraded the shares of Caesars Entertainment Inc. (CZR) from "buy" to "neutral."

VendingData Corporation (VNX) said it expects a loss for the third quarter of about $1 million or between $0.09 and $0.11 per share.

Shuffle Master Inc. (SHFL) says it has entered into an option and exclusivity agreement with ENPAT Inc. for the purchase of two patents owned by ENPAT that relate to RFID technology for use in a casino.

WMS Gaming Inc. (WMS) reported that two casino goers have won progressive jackpots on the company’s MONOPOLY machines. A jackpot of $221,504 was won in Green Bay, Wisc., and a $218,522 jackpot in Mesquite, Nev.

Jacobs Entertainment Inc. has dropped plans to build a casino in D’Iberville, Miss.

The Yakama Indian Nation has suspended the five-member operating board of the Legends Casino in Toppenish, Wash., for overstepping their authority in certain expenditures.

An Indiana legislative panel will recommend to the General Assembly a plan that will permit the state’s racetracks to install 1,000 video lottery machines in their facilities.