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MGM Acquires Yonkers Casino, Bridgeport Still In Play

May 29th, 2018 · 11 Comments · Development and Zoning, News and Events, State Politics

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.”

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11 Comments so far ↓

  • Grin Ripper

    “Krafted!”

  • Bob Walsh

    What the f is the Ripper talking about???

  • Jimfox

    Robert Kraft bringing the Pat’s to Hartford scam, MGM could be Scamiing Bridgeport. It’s a little like Joe Ganim’s Main St. North project he just has to keep the story in play long enough to scam the public while he runs for Governor.

  • charlie

    They only have slots at Yonkers, as of now. When they get table games, and they will, those two casinos out in the woods will suffer huge losses. Between Springfield and Westchester county, the writing is on the wall. Malloy and the professional politicians have sent this state to the bottom. At least when we go down so will those damn tribes.

    • Grin Ripper

      They have electronic table games and will soon have sports betting. Bridgeport still presents itself as a good gaming opportunity depending on what the % of gross gaming revenue tax will be implemented. Mass has a 50% GGR tax rate.

  • Jeff Kohut

    The Tribes and MGM are behaving as normal, capitalist, business entities — they are trying to capture market share and derail the “competition.” They are “playing poker” with all of the “players” in the game — bluffing in order to keep the other players off-balance as they try to win the whole plot…

    It could seem to be a “Krafty” game, in regard to Bridgeport, but Bridgeport has all of the other locations involved beat “hands-down” in every way… Our $location$ and water access makes Yonkers and Springfield look like boring, backwater locations — which they are, compared to Bridgeport… MGM, per their identity as a gaming business trying to secure market share/the most lucrative markets, logically must have direct access to our prime, waterfront location in their cross-hairs… But with bought-off politicians working for the Tribes and/or Gold Coast obstructionists, they know that they should have a PLAN B to scoop up some of the regional market share that they would get from a Bridgeport casino location… Hence, Yonkers…

    In any event, not much meaningful discussion of Bridgeport among the gubernatorial candidates… And as far as casinos go, that silence is deafening…

    • charlie

      I have to disagree with you. Yonkers is right next to the NY thruway, and the connection from the west side highway. It is in an ideal location for a real casino. The two tribes have caused this to happen because of their greed and lack of foresight. MGM has done a perfect end around. Between Springfield and Yonkers they will cause these two tribes to really hurt financially. I can’t leave out the corrupt politicians.

  • Stringfellow

    Despite the key ingredients Bridgeport has, water, rail, I-95 and route 25, none of it has been capilizized on. Bridgeport Harbor has not be dredged that can has been kicked down the road for decades.

    I have mentioned here what is the Plan-B should the casino fail to materialize? Not all the eggs should be put in one basket.

    There should be a secondary plan for Steel Pointe just in case.

    If not it will sit empty for another twenty years or so, a real shame.

    • Frank Gyure

      I think some of the original plans by the Christoph’s were some hocus pocus. The theaters quickly disappeared. The hotels disappeared. There was one retail that had been announced(Busters???) and that disappeared. If it was not for MGM’s plan/ploy there would be no news whatsoever and Ganim could show a mostly empty lot with the two retail spots accomplished by his predecessor,Bill Finch. Big Empty Lots would not look good for a gubernatorial campaign.

  • Frank Gyure

    I’m really starting to think that the MGM/Bridgeport “plan” is a ploy and a sham. MGM is playing it for the Springfield/East Windsor situation and Gamim helped out because it gave Ganim some PR.

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