MGM Resorts International has declared war against a proposed casino at Bradley International Airport, which will be a direct competitor to its $950 million Springfield, Massachusetts casino.
And for its opening salvo, MGM launched a new online advertisement attacking the Connecticut Airport Authority for making a “bad deal” to open a proposed casino at the airport.
The ad also issued a warning to residents that the casino project of airport authorities and the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes will “scam” taxpayers, according to WAMC Northeast Public Radio.
Casino industry expert Clyde Barrow says that MGM’s attacks on a would-be competition is not at all surprising in order to sustain its business interest in the area. He pointed out that MGM has to go all out to halt a third Connecticut casino since the casino operator made a big gamble in the Springfield project.
“In (MGM’s) application to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, their business plan relies on capturing $ 200-$300 million a year in gross gaming revenue from the state of Connecticut, so anything less than that makes the current business plan untenable,” Barrow told the radio program. “They are sort of in a bind. There is only so much (MGM) can do to make this project financially feasible.”
Early this month, MGM tried to compel both the airport authority and the tribal operators to divulge any discussions related to Potential Casino Development” and “Negotiating Strategy” by filing two complaints before the state Freedom of Information Commission.
MGM, in its complaint, questioned the propriety of the secret casino negotiations between the airport authority and tribal operators as it pointed out that significant effect on the region of a casino resort at Bradley Airport.
But to the disappointment of MGM, commission hearing officer Lisa Fein Siegel sees nothing wrong with the airport authority’s manner of conducting deals.
MGM, for its part, vowed to block the recommendation in Siegel’s report.
“MGM has said consistently that a fair, open, transparent and competitive process is in the public interest,” said Alan Feldman, executive vice president at MGM Resorts International, according to Hartford Courant. “We continue to firmly believe that is true, and will be asking the Freedom of Information Commission to discount the claim by the Connecticut Airport Authority that it can meet in secret, develop and discuss plans for Connecticut’s first commercial casino, and completely shut out the public, which plainly has an interest in what occurs at the state’s major airport.”