Foxwoods in the news

Foxwoods has made a few significant moves recently, and neither has anything to do with the excellent cole slaw to be found in the buffet. Instead, this has to do with the blurring of the line between Indian gaming and commercial casino gaming. First, from the Boston Globe:

Two of the biggest names in the casino business — Foxwoods and MGM Grand — joined forces yesterday to develop gambling ventures around the globe and market a $700 million hotel-casino complex under construction in Connecticut.

The deal gives Las Vegas’s MGM Grand access to the Northeast market and Indian gaming, and provides an experienced partner for the Mashantucket Pequot tribe as it tries to diversify its operations in the face of rising competition here in New England.

Under terms released yesterday, the Pequots will license the MGM Grand name for the new resort the tribe is building adjacent to its existing facility in Connecticut. The complex, expected to feature a hotel, casino, 5,000-seat concert theater, spa, and nightclubs, is expected to open in 2008 and be operated by the tribe.

MGM Grand and Foxwoods also said they expect to jointly develop gaming and nongaming operations and share data for marketing purposes on the millions of gamblers who visit their respective properties. MGM Grand said it would provide a loan of up to $200 million to finance the gambling projects.

Foxwoods, MGM Grand to join in casino ventures – The Boston Globe

And this, from WLOX, which is Biloxi’s ABC affiliate and not an in-house radio station for a deli:

The Foxwoods Development Company wants to be the company that opens a casino at the Broadwater.

On Tuesday, the head of the Foxwoods group called WLOX News. And Gary Armentrout told us the plan being negotiated is to turn 15 acres of Broadwater property immediately north of Highway 90 into a land based casino.

“It’s an opportunity we’re looking forward to pursue,” Armentrout said.

Foxwoods Development is based in St. Louis. It’s trying to get on next month’s Mississippi Gaming Commission agenda so it can get the Broadwater site approved.

So you know, the Pequot tribe operates the Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut. However, Armentrout said the Broadwater project wouldn’t be run by the native american tribe. It would be run by Foxwoods Development. That way, Mississippi would have regulatory control over the Biloxi casino. And Foxwoods would pay the same taxes every other coast casino is required to pay.

You’ve got to like the shift between written English (the newspaper article) and spoken English (the TV piece). Of course, this doesn’t compare with “Casinos got so big!” as in-depth analysis.

The significance of all this? It’s not that Indian casinos are partnering with commercial casino companies–that’s been going on for several years, and there are a few Harrah’s-branded casinos, for example, on Indian reservations. I think it’s more important to note that Foxwoods is actively developing a casino of its own in a commercial market. Also, the MGM/Foxwoods deal is not described as a management deal, but as an equal partnership, in which each side gets something of value.

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