The Weekly Gaming Business Wrap Up
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Here’s a look at the headlines for this week in the gaming business world.
Philadelphia’s second and final casino license is in the hands of the state legislature. The license had been awarded to a group of investors including Foxwoods, but was revoked in December of 2010. The state could award it to the highest bidder, but a state spokesman has said that the Supreme Court is leaning towards not awarding it altogether.
Trenton, New Jersey policy makers will advocate an initiative to expand casino gaming to the Meadowlands at public hearings later this month, straining an existing pact between Gov. Chris Christie and Atlantic City casinos who are currently free of in-state competition. The expansion would further protect the horse-racing industry and create jobs in the Meadowlands.
The Rhode Island Senate will now vote on a Newport casino referendum after it was passed by the House. The Newport Grand slot parlor will be able to officially offer Las Vegas-style gaming if the Senate approves and voters agree this fall.
One week after MGM Resorts International pulled out of a potential casino resort in Brimfield, Massachusetts, Ameristar Casinos has announced their intention to continue with a project in Springfield. The Las Vegas-based casino company paid $16 million in January for 41 acres in Springfield with the hope of building a 650-room, 4,000 slot machine hotel and casino.
The committee for More Michigan Jobs could get approval from the State Board of Canvassers to start a campaign to push state voters to allow investors to build casinos as the site of the former Lansing Factory Outlet Mall. There are a total of eight casinos projects that have been proposed and proponents are touting 16,000 new jobs and $300 million in tax revenue as reasons for their approval.
When slots and table game revenues are combined, Pennsylvania has surpassed New Jersey and grown into the second-largest casino market in the country behind Nevada. The two gaming destinations traded places last July and, by January, Pennsylvania had grown into a $3.66 billion market, compared to a $3.3 billion market for New Jersey.
State legislation that would allow a full-fledged casino in Prince George’s County ran into major resistance Tuesday as members of a House panel questioned whether the bill would generate enough money for state education programs. Several provisions in the bill are intended to compensate owners of the state’s five slots venues for business they would likely lose to a Prince George’s facility.
A proposed resort casino in Hilton Head Lakes, South Carolina could create upwards of 4,000 jobs, but the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act requires approval from Gov. Nikki Haley, who is a staunch opponent of bringing casinos to the state. The Governor’s spokesman has said that there are better ways to bring jobs to South Carolina.
Pennsylvania’s 11th casino is open for business. The $150 million Valley Forge Casino Resort opened early Saturday at a conference center just outside Valley Forge National Historical Park. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board gave the casino the final sign off after two test nights.
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