New Mexico Racinos Same Privileges as Tribal Casinos
A proposed draft law in New Mexico seeks to empower racetrack casinos and give them the same status as tribal casinos while at the same time making concessions to tribal operators. As per the Gaming Industry Recovery Act, which is the official name of the legislation, racinos would be able to serve alcohol on their gaming floors unless otherwise stated by health authorities in extraordinary circumstances such as the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.
More importantly, racinos would receive an approval to operate more types of games, including gaming machines. To make the decision acceptable to tribal casinos, which are the state’s primary destination for casino gaming, tribes have been allowed to keep all of their revenues, without contributing to the state’s coffers.
Rick Baugh from the Sunland Park Racetrack Casino General Manager is one of the proponents of the legislation and believes that the law would pass. It’s an opportunity to boost New Mexico’s tourism. Speaking to members of the press, Baugh had this to say:
“There’s so many different things that can, you know, benefit from this in tourism. We have the capability of turning the tide and creating the tourist destination, not only here but across all five race tracks and the tribal casinos.”
More importantly, the proposal could lead to a massive expansion in the gaming sector in terms of available products. Scott Scanland, a lobbyist supporting the proposal has said that New Mexico would have to think about its economy in the post-pandemic period, and boosting tourism and gaming are two verticals that can boost that recovery.
Should the Gaming Industry Recovery Act be passed successfully, tribal operators would no longer have to contribute $70 million to the state, but racinos would receive access to new products that should spark interest in their offering from both domestic as well as neighboring state’s residents.
Sheldon Adelson Delivers on a Promise to Back Trump’s Reeleciton Bid
A rumor swirled last week that Sheldon Adelson, the owner of Las Vegas Sands Corp. and one of the most prominent Republican donors, would contribute more to Trump’s reelection campaign after the pair reportedly had a heated conversation on the phone.
The rumor has been confirmed with Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam giving away $25 million to the Senate Leadership Fund, which is a super-PAC under the control of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Overall, the PAC was able to raise $37.4 million in August alone, according to a filing to the Federal Election Commission, which controls campaign contributions. Another casino mogul to donate to GOP was Steve Wynn, who was forced out of the casino industry in 2018 amid a sex scandal that saw him tossed out of the company he had helped build.
New Jersey’s Budget Committee Approves Casino Relief Plan
On Tuesday, September 22, the Assembly Budget Committee passed a new casino relief plan introducing temporary tax breaks on Atlantic City gaming properties. The bill, A4032/S2400, was voted on and passed on Thursday, looking to cushion the “catastrophic and unprecedented economic contraction” that has affected the entire city, and specifically the casino industry.
Casinos had to be shut down for 107 days and generated over $112 million in operating losses. The industry had to let go of 50% of its total workforce, inflicting another blow to the state’s job security. The legislation specifically had this to argue:
“The COVID-19 pandemic and consequent business closure has clearly not just reversed the consistent track of economic improvement that the Atlantic City casino industry had worked very hard to achieve over the last several years.”
The bill allows for casinos to benefit from a one-year reduction of taxes paid on gross gaming revenue as well as,
“a monthly deduction against gross gaming revenue equal to the amount of promotional gaming credits used by customers.”
However, the legislation removed tax breaks on other properties, such as hotel and parking fees. The casino industry plays an important role in the local economy. The funds raised through casino tax proceeds are used to fund rural transportation services and other state programs for seniors and disabled.
Foxwoods Resort Named Best Casino outside Las Vegas – USA Today
Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket has won the USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards for a second time, after previously landing the title in 2018. The property was named the best casino outside Las Vegas and competed against properties from other gaming hubs in the United States, including Tucson, Tampa, Temecula, California, Atlantic City and others.
Foxwoods interim CEO and SVP of Resort Operations Jason Guyot shared his enthusiasm and his company satisfaction with the distinction. He commented on the difficulties Foxwoods had faces, just like any other commercial casino in the United States due to the pandemic and lockdown. However, Foxwoods has been able to bring back estimated 2,000 employees back to work, since June when the casino was allowed to restart operations.
Nevada Fines Gambling Operators a Total of $435,000
Nevada’s gaming regulator confirmed on Thursday that it had issued fines to the tune of $435,000 responding to lack of regulation with state-mandated COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. The largest fine was issued to Boyd Gaming Corp. by the Nevada Gaming Commission.
Boyd agreed to settle a $300,000 claim, but interestingly, that one had nothing to do with the coronavirus safety measures. Instead, Boyd was fined over an incident that took place at the Las Vegas Fremont resort, owned by Boyd, in November 2019.
The casino staff had wrongfully detained a patron of the casino, suspecting him of theft. The incident was reported a month later at the initiative of Las Vegas Fremont and was considered by the Gaming Commission.
Following the commission hearing, Boyd Gaming spokesman David Strow acquiesced to the error of judgment and argued that it did not reflect the company’s values. This is what Strow had to add:
“It is not consistent with our company’s culture, our long reputation as an upstanding member of Nevada’s gaming industry, and our reputation in states across the country. It does not reflect our values, the way we do business, or the way we treat our guests. We fully understand the gravity of the situation, and we have taken comprehensive steps to ensure an incident like this does not happen again.”