CASINO

MGM helped out by Asia; Senecas unhappy at NY; Adelson heading for Spanish sun

TAGs: MGM Resorts, Seneca Nation, sheldon adelson, spain

MGM GrandMGM Resorts International had the gaming industry biggest location to thank for an uplift in the company’s revenues. Overall revenue was up 42% to $2.23billion on the third quarter with operating income lifted out of the red to $112m from last year’s ($205m). Most of this was down to their Asian cash cow MGM China, where revenues jumped from $362m to $623m. This included an increase in VIP table game revenues of 83% showing that sector is far-from being affected by any reported downturn in the Chinese economy. Who knows next year we could be talking about the threesome between Pwin, MGM and Boyd finally climbing into bed together.

Seneca Nation leaders are claiming that New York state officials are acting in bad faith as they attempt to resolve a long dispute.  The casino funds dispute between has been going on for two years and shows no sign of reaching a resolution. The Senecas stopped payments claiming that the state had reneged on an agreement to give them exclusivity in certain regions. In return, they give back 25% of earnings and this is the money they’re withholding. Seneca President Robert Odawi Porter is angry that the state has yet to respond to any of their correspondence, and said: “The Nation and the local host communities have waited long enough for this problem to be negotiated by the governor’s office the last two years.”

Porter has stated they offered to begin direct payments back in February and that no formal response was received. By now with steam clearly eminating from his ears he said: “The [Seneca] Council and I are frustrated. We don’t want to see the local governments continue to be used for a pawn and hung out to dry for a problem they didn’t create.

The current impass is unlikely to be remedied by the opening of Genting New York’s cavalcade of video slot machines last week and New York’s general attitude of “we don’t care what you we’re pressing on with gambling industry expansion regardless.”

Sheldon Adelson is in “very advanced” talks with the Spanish region of Madrid to create a “mini Vegas” in the country. Vice president of Madrid, Ignacio Gonzalez confirmed that discussions are ongoing and negotiations over the feasibility of the project are ongoing. It has also been reported “regulatory changes to accommodate the planning requirements” before anything is set in stone.

The CEO of Las Vegas Sands has been looking at Spain for some time with a 20,000-room resort with a lot of casino business space likely to set him back €10-15bn whilst at the same time create around 180k jobs. Before he can become the next king of Spain he must master the art of spin and convince Madrid that they need the venue.

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