Issue 196
June 14 - 20, 2004
Volume 4
page 2

New York and Cayugas reach casino-land accord
As reported by Reuters

NEW YORK - New York and the Cayuga Nation said on Thursday they had reached a preliminary pact that will let the tribe build a casino 90 miles from New York City.

The new nonbinding accord also gives the Cayugas $250 million in compensation for ancestral lands they say were wrongly taken from them.

Gov. George Pataki for years has been trying to use casinos as an economic tool to revive the Catskills, a once famous resort area that has lost hordes of customers to gambling meccas in Connecticut and Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The pact advances plans for a $500 million casino and resort located next to Monticello Raceway. The harness track is run by Empire Resorts, which also would build and manage the casino resort.

But similar pacts with New York's tribes have collapsed in the past, when out-of-state tribes objected, for example.

Calling the new accord "an important first step" toward a final accord, Pataki in a statement said the federal government as well as the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma and the counties of Seneca and Cayuga may join the accord.

Empire Resorts said it hoped to get all the necessary approvals, including state and federal legislation, by Sept. 30.

Under the new accord, the Cayugas, who 24 years ago began trying to recover thousands of acres they say were wrongly taken from them, would gain the right to buy 10,000 acres within a much bigger 64,015-acre tract.

That larger area was set aside for the tribe in a 1789 treaty, and the new accord aims to settle the outstanding land claims that have bedeviled homeowners.

The accord also aims to settle another thorny issue: reservation stores now sell gasoline and cigarettes at big discounts because they do not charge taxes.

New York and the Cayugas pledged to craft a "tax parity compact" for all such sales.




Memphis investors plan to open casino resort at Mhoon Landing
As reported by The Memphis Business Journal

A new casino is headed to Tunica. When it gets there is another matter.

Solid Gold Casino Hotel and Resort has been proposed by Memphis businessman Robert Carpenter and his wife, Patricia Shaw. They have invested $6.5 million initially in the venture, which eventually will include the casino, dining barge, a hotel and an entertainment facility. The $6.5 million includes $2.5 million of their personal funds.

Carpenter, who was previously senior vice president of Guaranteed Mortgage Bank, and Shaw, who has been with FedEx for 25 years, are in the final turn of a 10-year journey to make the casino a reality. The two are the sole owners of the proposed casino, but Carpenter says they are meeting with two additional investors for the planned hotel.

Solid Gold has acquired two barges from Harrah's, one for gaming and the other for dining, with plans for the hotel to be built soon.

Carpenter says that once the license is approved, a group of private investors has $23 million ready to invest in the project, but those funds will have to wait on the approval itself. Those investors would own 49% of the casino, while Shaw and Carpenter maintain ownership of 51%.

Shaw stands to be the first female casino owner in Mississippi and the second in the world. Shaw says the inspiration behind Solid Gold was simple -- no one has done it locally before.

"We decided to do it and we've spent the last 10 years working on the business plan and idea," she says. "We did it all ourselves. Once we made the decision to either build or buy, we decided to get the best on the market."


MGM Mirage Increases Offer for Mandalay

NEW YORK - Casino operator MGM Mirage on Monday said it raised its offer to buy Mandalay Resort Group to $71 a share from $68 a share, hoping to seal a deal that would build the world's largest casino empire.

The offer, which includes $600 million in convertible debentures and the assumption of about $2.5 billion in debt in addition to the $71 a share in cash, would immediately add to earnings per share, MGM said.

Mandalay on Friday had rejected MGM's $68 a share offer. The prior offer had also included the assumption of $2.8 billion in debt. In rejecting the bid, Mandalay had said MGM wanted it to shoulder the risk that regulators would not approve the deal.

A deal would combine MGM's high-end Las Vegas casinos like Bellagio and MGM Grand with lower-tier Mandalay holdings such as Excalibur and Luxor. It would create a company that would play in every sector of the gambling market, a dominance that might require divestitures to convince regulators to pass the deal.

A deal between MGM Mirage and Mandalay would create a formidable presence that would control nearly 50 percent of the hotel market on the Las Vegas Strip and about one-third of its casinos.

Both companies said their boards would meet on June 15 to consider the offer.

Mamma Mia!

Mandalay Bay : Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus' musical phenomenon is now playing at the Mandalay Bay, with 22 of ABBA's greatest hits ingeniously woven into a hilarious and enchanting story set on an idyllic Greek island, MAMMA MIA! has audiences singing and dancing with joy.

Date: Monday - Thursday, Saturday & Sunday

Price: from $53.00

Time: Monday - Thursday 7:00pm ; Saturday & Sunday 5:00 pm & 9:00 pm


For more information please call: (866) 266-5834

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