Despite purchasing the Empire City Casino in Yonkers, New York, officials of MGM, which has proposed a $675 million waterfront destination in Bridgeport, assert the “supply hasn’t changed” for the Fairfield County market, adding “We continue to believe that with its proximity to the New York City MSA and its excellent existing infrastructure, Bridgeport provides substantial opportunity to unlock real value for not only a casino developer, but for the people of Connecticut and the state itself. Just as other jurisdictions in the Northeastern region of the United States have modernized their gaming laws to take advantage of shifting market dynamics, we renew our call on Connecticut to do the same.”
MGM official Uri Clinton says MGM will be back for the state legislative session in January urging passage of an open, competitive process for a commercial casino in the state as a stronger economic jolt to the state’s gaming monopoly with the tribal nations.
From Dan Haar, CT Post:
Bottom line: The market will support both Bridgeport and Yonkers, MGM executives said. All along, MGM knew that somebody–whether MGM or another operator–would own and perhaps expand Empire City. The Bridgeport plan was designed and sized with that in mind.
“The supply hasn’t changed,” said Uri Clinton, MGM Resorts senior vice president and counsel, the face of the company in Connecticut.
… How about saturation of the market in the northeast? “I don’t think we’re anywhere near close,” D’Arrigo said. “There’s still more opportunity here to continue to introduce gaming.”
Full story here.
MGM news release:
“Today, MGM Resorts and MGM Growth Properties (MGP) announced the acquisition of Empire City Casino in Yonkers. The announcement, in conjunction with other recent investments in Maryland, New Jersey and Massachusetts, demonstrates MGM Resorts’ commitment to its strategy of seeking accretive growth opportunities in the northeastern United States.
We have repeatedly indicated that the New York market is an important strategic fit for our company. The New York City MSA, which extends into southwestern Connecticut, is home to over 20 million people, with substantial unmet demand for casino resort entertainment.
Our strategy for accessing the New York market is well documented. In March 2016, we made a substantial investment in New Jersey when we acquired full control of Atlantic City’s Borgata resort. In September 2017, we announced our intention to seek legislative approval from the State of Connecticut to make a major investment in Bridgeport and create thousands of new jobs. Today we announced that we have reached agreement to buy an existing gaming facility located in New York.
While we remain hopeful that Connecticut will build on this year’s legislative progress and ultimately authorize a competitive process for a commercial casino license, the state’s delay will not deter us from executing our company’s comprehensive growth strategy.
For years, MGM Resorts has been unwavering in its interest in Connecticut, and in Bridgeport in particular, but thus far Connecticut has rejected all attempts to have an open competitive process for a commercial casino license. We continue to believe that with its proximity to the New York City MSA and its excellent existing infrastructure, Bridgeport provides substantial opportunity to unlock real value for not only a casino developer, but for the people of Connecticut and the state itself. Just as other jurisdictions in the Northeastern region of the United States have modernized their gaming laws to take advantage of shifting market dynamics, we renew our call on Connecticut to do the same.
The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on sports betting opens significant new business opportunities for commercial gaming operators and states. MGM intends to be a major player in the sports betting market throughout the Northeast, and would welcome the opportunity to share our experience for the benefit of Connecticut.
MGM Resorts has been consistent in expressing our interest in making a substantial investment in Connecticut, and that has not changed. We remain just as committed today to a destination resort in Bridgeport as we were when detailed plans were announced last September. We look forward to continuing to work closely with elected officials in next year’s legislative session to further that objective.”