Friday, April 30, 2010


Mohegan Sun officials hope to break ground this year on a 300-room hotel - in Plains Township, Pa., site of Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.

Speaking Wednesday at a function in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Bobby Soper, president and chief executive officer of the Pennsylvania racetrack casino, told business leaders the facility has signed an agreement with a hotel developer who would finance and build the $60 million hotel, which Mohegan Sun would manage and lease. Under the agreement, Mohegan Sun would have the right to purchase the hotel from the developer at some point in the future.

Soper, in a phone interview later in the day, downplayed the significance of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between the casino and the developer, whom he declined to identify.

"The MOU is less important than having them obtain the financing," he said. "We've been working with the developer for some time and we do have an MOU in place. But the reality is that it (only) ensures the developer has to procure financing.

"Until then, we can't determine when we can break ground," he said. "But we're hoping to break ground this year."

Soper said plans call for the hotel to bear the Mohegan Sun name. "As of now, it would be under our brand," he said.

Mohegan Sun also hopes to build a hotel at its Uncasville casino, where it had planned to erect a 39-story hotel tower as part of a major expansion suspended in 2008. Casino officials, who have indicated they are looking to pursue the hotel portion of the project with a partner, have yet to reach any agreement, Jeffrey Hartmann, Mohegan Sun's executive vice president and chief operating officer, said.

"We're not close to signing anything," Hartmann said. "We haven't even presented anything to the board." The Mohegan Tribal Council serves as the management board of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, which operates the casinos.

Hartmann said he could provide no details about the Uncasville hotel project, which is expected to be substantially larger than the one proposed for Pocono Downs.

Plans submitted last year for the Pocono Downs project called for a nine-story hotel and a 25,000-square-foot conference center. Since then, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs and some of Pennsylvania's other "racinos" and slot parlors have begun installing table games, which the state legalized in January.

Soper, in fact, discussed the impact of table games in his presentation to business leaders Wednesday, saying the expansion of gambling would spur investment in the area. He cited the Pocono Downs hotel project as an example of such investment.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: This article was taken from the New London Day. I am not in a position to know the details of this deal, however it doesn't sound that promising. What the MTGA should do is lease the land, have someone build the hotel and operate it, and pay rent and a percentage of the profits to the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Until the developer gets the financing in place, this a not a deal. What do you think?

Thursday, April 29, 2010


New York liquor board considers alcohol at Oneida casino Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The New York State Liquor Authority is considering a liquor sales arrangement at the Oneida Nation casino.

The tribe entered into a partnership with the owners of the Beeches Restaurant. The tribe will lease space at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino to CD Food & Beverage, which applied for the state permits.

The liquor board in the past has denied permits to the tribe due to legal issues, mostly concerning taxation. The new partnership would appear to address some of those concerns because CD Food would pay local taxes.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: If you go to Emerald City (Yonkers Raceway) a trotter horse track with slot machines and go to the Turning Stone Resort Casino (Oneida Tribes casino) you will notice a big difference. The difference is that Emerald City serves alcohol and Turning Stone doesn't. Why was Emerald City given a liquor license and Turning Stone wasn't. It doesn't seem fair. Can anyone explain? What do you think?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Poll: New Bedford supports a casino
By Richard Asinof Contributing Writer

DARTMOUTH – A new poll shows increased public support among residents of New Bedford to build a new gambling casino there, according to results released Monday by the Center for Policy Analysis at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

The survey, which sampled 603 New Bedford residents, found that 63 percent of New Bedford residents favor locating a casino there, and with 58 percent favoring locating a casino in the Hicks-Logan area of the city, at the intersection of Interstate 195 and Route 18.

Clyde W. Barrow, director of the Center for Public Analysis, who supervised the polling, said that it showed support for the casino has definitely increased during the last two years. In July 2008, the center conducted an identical poll which found that 53 percent of New Bedford residents favored hosting a resort casino, while 51 percent favored locating such a casino in the Hicks-Logan area of the city, according to Barrow.

The 2010 research was commissioned and paid for by Citizens for a Hicks-Logan Casino. The 2008 research was commissioned and paid for by the Northeast Resorts Group in East Longmeadow, Mass., which has the options for the land in the Hicks-Logan area. “We used the same questions for accurate and valid comparisons to track changes,” Barrow said.

“A resort casino in the city of New Bedford would be well positioned to recapture the more than $200 million that leaves Southeastern Massachusetts annually for Rhode Island’s slot parlors and to compete for the additional $230 million that Rhode Islanders currently spend at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun,” Barrow said. These figures were taken from the center’s New England Casino Gaming Update, he said, which was released in late March.

The 2010 results to the question, “Do you support or oppose locating a resort casino in New Bedford, or are you undecided?” were 63 percent in support, 16 percent opposed, and 21 percent undecided.

The 2010 results to the question, “Do you support or oppose locating a resort casino in the Hicks-Logan area of New Bedford, or are you undecided?” were 58 percent in support, 21 percent opposed, and 21 percent undecided.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.


Mangano in Talks to Bring Casino to Nassau Coliseum
Proposes site as possible location for Shinnecock Nation gaming facility
By Timothy Bolger on Apr 27th, 2010

Two of Long Island’s most-debated plans—a casino and a multi-billion dollar mixed-use development in Uniondale—might join forces, it was announced Tuesday.

The latest possible destination for a casino, should a Southampton-based Native American tribe achieve the prerequisite federal recognition to establish one, could be at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum—if negotiations spearheaded by Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano are successful.

Insert casino here: An artists rendering of the proposed Lighthouse Project

“My administration has been in discussion with the Shinnecock Indian Nation with respect to Nassau Coliseum being listed as a site for an entertainment destination center and casino,”

Mangano said Tuesday. “Serious consideration must be given to this economic development opportunity that would create jobs, expand the tax base, build a new Nassau Coliseum and retain the Islanders.”

The aging coliseum has been the center of debate over how best to redevelop the arena and the surrounding 77 acres. New York Islanders owner Charles Wang wants to build The Lighthouse Project, a $3.7 billion development that has languished in the planning stages for years. He has threatened to move the team if the plan does not get approved.

The Shinnecocks are expecting final approval this spring for federal recognition. The nation has been considering various locations on and off Long Island as possible locations for a casino.
Mangano emphasized the talks are in the earliest stages.

The tribe said it would work with all parties to find suitable sites. A Wang spokeswoman did not immediately comment

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Taking the old Nassau Coliseum and making it into a casino is a novel idea. It seems like both Nassau and Suffolk Counties, in New York, are trying to get the Shinnecocks casino in their counties. What do you think?



Oneida Nation wins on appeal, Madison and Cayuga counties can't foreclose on land to collect taxes
By Glenn Coin / The Post-Standard
April 27, 2010, 1:31PM

The Oneida Indian Nation scored a major legal victory today when a federal appeals court ruled that Oneida and Madison counties cannot foreclose on nation land to collect taxes.

The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Oneida nation is immune from lawsuit. A tribe can't be taken to court unless Congress specifically allows it, the appeals court said.

The 31-page decision concedes that the U.S. Supreme Court in 2005 found that the Oneidas cannot claim sovereignty on land they have bought in the past few decades. Appeals judges noted, however, that the sovereignty a tribe has over its land and its sovereignty against being taken to court are two different things.

The ruling leaves the counties without their ultimate means of enforcing tax collection.Lawyers argued the case in 2006.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Aquinnah Tribe says it is prepared to sue if Cape Wind is approved
Posted by Beth Daley April 26, 2010 02:49 PM

As US Interior Secretary Ken Salazar prepares a final decision on the proposed 130-turbine offshore wind project this week, the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe on Martha’s Vineyard issued a statement today saying they are prepared to sue if he approves it.

The tribe says it has retained a lawyer experienced in tribal historic preservation efforts to “fully prepare for administrative and judicial relief should the project move forward.” The tribe identified over 14 legal shortcomings by the Minerals Management Service under the National Historic Preservation Act and may sue under other federal laws.

Two Wampanoag tribes say that the proposed 400 plus foot tall turbines would disturb spiritual sun greetings and possibly ancestral artifacts on the seabed that was once exposed land.

Chairwoman Cheryl Andrews-Maltais says the tribe is in favor of renewable energy, but not in Nantucket Sound.

She says the lawsuit would help their tribe, but also help avoid future devastation to tribal historic sites throughout the Country.

. “We view the Interior’s actions regarding the project to be the litmus test for the promises National Historic Preservation Act and may sue under other federal laws.

Two Wampanoag tribes say that the proposed 400 plus foot tall turbines would disturb spiritual sun greetings and possibly ancestral artifacts on the seabed that was once exposed land. Chairwoman Cheryl Andrews-Maltais says the tribe is in favor of renewable energy, but not in Nantucket Sound.

She says the lawsuit would help their tribe, but also help avoid future devastation to tribal historic sites throughout the Country.

. “We view the Interior’s actions regarding the project to be the litmus test for the promises made by President Obama to Tribes – to respect and honor the government-to-government relationship between the Federal Government and the First Nations of these lands,” Chairwoman Andrews-Maltais stated.

The statement said the tribe “has not ruled out” its option to help the federal government properly site an alternative location for the property.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Why aren't other First People (Native Americans) helping and supporting the Wampanoags in this fight?

Native Americans need to ban together and help each other in the various fights that are going on nationwide. UNITY IS STRENGTH.

Look what happened with tobacco sales in New York? Look at the legislation that Obama signed ..... . Should tribes have stood together on that issue? What about standing up on this issue?

What are the Mohegans doing about this? What do you think?


Without Foxwoods, Philadelphia may have to revise budget
Monday, April 26th, 2010 By: Shai
Foxwoods casino officials could be in hot water this week when they appear before the state Gaming Control Board. The project's chief investor, Steve Wynn, pulled out earlier this month, leaving the operators' finances in disarray
If Foxwoods' license is rescinded, Philadelphia may need to submit a revised five-year plan to reflect a drop in tax revenue expected from the casino. That's because the city is counting on $43 million in tax revenue from Foxwoods starting in 2012.

Philadelphia Finance Director Rob Dubow says he has met with officials from PICA, the state board that oversees the city's finances.

“Well, first we'd have to see exactly what the gaming board does and what it means in terms of the likelihood that there would be a second casino in Philadelphia,” says Dubow. “So I think we really have to see what they do before deciding whether we would want to make any changes to the plan.”

PICA chairman Jim Eisenhower says he'd advocate for a completely new five-year plan if the license were rejected.

“$43 million is not a negligible amount of money,” says Eisenhower. “It would be something that I think the city would have to address. Now, having said that, it is over a number of years, but it's not a negligible amount.”

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: It seems governments get caught up in spending all the money they receive. Philadelphia is planning on spending casino taxes before the casinos are even up and running.

Governments spend every dime they can get their hands on. Some governments are borrowing money to make up the short falls in government operating expenses.


Monday, April 26, 2010


Salazar expected to make wind farm decision by Friday
Monday, April 26, 2010

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is expected to announce a decision on a controversial wind farm in Massachusetts by Friday.

The Cape Wind has generated significant controversy. Litigation is expected no matter which way Salazar goes.

The Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe and the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe say 440-foot turbines that are part of the project will block their view of the sun and disrupt burial grounds and archaeological sites at Nantucket Sound. The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation supported the tribes in recommending the rejection of Cape Wind.

Several state governors support the project but some members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation oppose it.

Friday, April 23, 2010


Iowa Tribe celebrates Earth Day with bald eagle releaseFriday, April 23, 2010Filed Under: Environment The Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma celebrated Earth Day with the release of a bald eagle into the wild.

The eagle was found earlier this month with an injured wing. It was brought back to health at the tribe's eagle rehabilitation program.

"The eagle, when it flies, is closer to the creator," elder Joyce Big Soldier, a member of the eagle clan, said at the release ceremony, The Tulsa World reported. "By taking care of him, we can send our prayers with him up to the creator."

The tribe has rehabilitated and released four bald eagles. The tribe also cares for 17 nonreleasable eagles.


Petition seeks to oust Southern Ute chairman from officeThursday, April 22, 2010Filed Under: Politics Members of the Southern Ute Tribe of Colorado are gathering signatures for a recall petition against Chairman Matthew Box.

James Jefferson said in a statement to The Durango Herald that Box has shown "gross negligence" and a "serious lack of leadership." Jefferson said Box has given too much discretion to managers of Southern Ute Indian Tribe Growth Fund.

Jefferson ran for chairman in 2008 but didn't get enough votes to advance past a primary. Box won the general election. Box is in Washington, D.C., to testify at a Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing on Indian energy.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Here is an example of how important PETITIONING RIGHTS are to Native Americans.

It looks like the Mohegan Tribal Government is trying, under the new proposed Petition Rights section of the Mohegan Constitution, to curtail members of the Mohegan Tribe from petitioning.

Although it doesn't deal with recall votes, it does change the numbers needed to do petitions. Should a government be made more accountable or less? This proposal would make the Mohegan Tribal Government less accountable to its members.

According to an insider, it looks like the Council of Elders will send out their Petition Amendment soon. This is an amendment that the majority of people (the Mohegan Tribe), that I have talked to, don't seem to want.

Is the Mohegan Tribal Government doing the will of the Mohegan People? Is this one more right that the government is trying to take away from the Mohegan Tribe? If so, WHY?


If the Mohegan Tribal Government sends this amendment out for a vote, VOTE NO. What do you think?



Thursday, April 22, 2010


Harold Monteau: Young Indian lawyers and sovereignty Thursday, April 22, 2010

"I still can’t believe that Indian Country let the PACT (Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act) slip by and I still can’t believe that the President signed it without even a mediocre scream from Indian Country.

I’m not just talking about it’s impact on the Indian Tobacco Sales but about it’s impact as “precedent” by restricting yet another facet of Indian Commerce.

What will be the next area of Indian Commerce that the Congress will decide to restrict? When will Congress stop taking away avenues of Commerce on the reservations simply because tribes choose to not tax at the level of the state?

Congress is “de facto” taxing Indian Commerce into oblivion? Do any of the next generation of Indian Attorneys care?

The day after the President signed PACT into law, I sent a message out to the Young Indian Attorneys (YIPs) on the Indian Facebook Network. The message essentially asked how this could happen ‘on their watch’. I said “ I didn’t train Indian Attorneys for the last twenty years to let stuff like this happen”. Well, I didn’t say “stuff”. The message was the same to my contemporaries.

Where were the Indian Attorneys and Indian Law Attorneys when this aberration was making its way through Congress? It seems like only the Seneca Nation of New York was the only one fighting the battle. I’m sure that there were some other tribe’s that tried to fight it and I’m sure that NCAI may have tried to derail it.

However, the attitude seemed to be that “it’s only cigarettes”. Some people also saw it as a “health issue” and therefore would be good for Indian Country because it would discourage Indians from smoking.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Native Americans need to stand up united, to protect the rights of other Native Americans. What will the United States (Federal) Government take next? Tribes should have a right to govern themselves. IT IS CALLED SOVEREIGNTY. They should be allowed to have businesses to generate income for their tribes. When will it stop? What do you think?


Norwich woman charged with stealing from Foxwoods slots

Norwich Bulletin
Posted Apr 21, 2010 @ 01:52 PM

Mashantucket, Conn. —
State police have arrested a Norwich woman suspected of using a technician’s card to play free at MGM Grand casino slot machines.

Rosario Guzman, 47, of 99 Cedar St., Norwich, was charged with fourth-degree larceny at the outcome of an investigation by the state police casino unit and Foxwoods Office of the Inspector General, Surveillance and Gaming Services.

Police said during routine testing of slot machines it was determined Guzman had been using a duplicate MGM slot technician’s card during numerous visits between August and September.

The card allowed her to play for free, police said. Guzman is due to appear today in New London Superior Court.
Copyright 2010 Norwich Bulletin.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: The Accused is considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.


City might repeal resolution against Cowlitz casino plan
Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The city council in La Center, Washington, might repeal a resolution against the proposed Cowlitz Tribe casino.

But Mayor Jim Irish said repealing the resolution doesn't mean the city supports the Cowlitz Casino Resort. He wants to make sure the city doesn't stand in the way of other economic development projects in the gaming site area.

“This decision was made to enhance the business atmosphere around the I-5 junction, La Center’s junction, for economic diversification and development,” Irish told The Columbian. “It wasn’t a subversive effort to give BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) some favorable decision.”

In May 2008, the Bureau of Indian Affairs published a final environmental impact statement in favor of taking land into trust for the casino. But the Bush administration never took final action on the project.

The acquisition now faces questions under the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Carcieri v. Salazar because the tribe didn't gain formal federal recognition until 2000.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Isn't this the tribe, the Mohegan Tribe tried to help get a casino? What happened to this project? Did the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority walk away from this project? If so, why? What do you think?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Casino talks to resume in Middleboro
By Alice C. Elwell
Enterprise Correspondent
Posted Apr 20, 2010 @ 07:49 PM

The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe is planning to renew discussion with the town on a proposed $1 billion resort casino.

Attorneys for both parties plan to meet today. Middleboro selectman Alfred P. Rullo said the tribe either wants to renegotiate its deal with the town or cancel it altogether – a move he said would result in litigation.

Cedric Cromwell, the tribal council’s chairman, declined comment.

In a letter to town officials sent earlier this month and made public today, Cromwell said the tribe is “in a position to speak with the town to discuss the tribe’s gaming plans.”

That letter came in response to the selectmen’s request in February for clarification on the tribe’s intentions. Middleboro officials have wondered about the tribe’s intentions since learning that its leaders had discussed similar plans with officials in Fall River.

But those talks appear to have produced few if any results, as Fall River is now considering a partnership with the Aquinnah tribe of Martha’s Vineyard.

Middleboro residents could know what is in the works as early as tomorrow during the selectmen’s meeting.

“I hope we can discuss it in open meeting,” Rullo said.

Townspeople voted overwhelmingly to host the casino in July 2007. Approximately 3,700 residents attended the historic outdoor town meeting.

Copyright 2010 The Patriot Ledger.


City Council votes to refer casino talks to committee
By Deborah Allard
Herald News Staff Reporter
Posted Apr 20, 2010 @ 11:47 PM

The City Council at its Tuesday meeting voted to refer talks with the Aquinnah Indian tribe about locating a gaming casino in the city to the Economic Development and Tourism Committee.

The Aquinnah tribe of Gayhead has expressed interest in the city, but councilors agreed that all tribes, as well as private developers, be given the chance to take part in the casino talks.The decision was also based on a letter received from the Pocasset Tribe voicing its concerns about a gaming casino.

The Pocassets moved to the North Watuppa area in 1709 and were deeded 97 acres in Fall River and 227 acres in Freetown. The Pocassets do not want to see a casino on the reservation and would like the land to remain as pristine as possible for future generations.City Council Vice President Linda Pereira and Councilor Brad.

Kilby initially proposed the talks in light of the Aquinnah tribe’s interest and the recent vote by the state House of Representatives to approve expanded gaming in the state.

“This is a major thing for our city whether you agree or disagree,” said Councilor Brian Bigelow, who also is chairman of the Economic Development and Tourism Committee.

The City Council was also set to vote on a Community Development Agency five-year plan and One-Year Annual Action Plan, but tabled that vote until the May 10 City Council meeting.Michael Dion, newly appointed executive director/CFO of the Community Development Agency, presented the plans, which came under fire.

Some council members had concerns about the amount of new low-income housing that may receive funding. Councilor Michael Lund said the city has been a “dumping ground” for this type of housing for years.

He said residents “don’t want more. They want less. There’s too much here.

“A vote supports this concept,” Lund continued. He said the 500-page book that outlines the Community Development Agency funding plans for Housing and Urban Development, Community Development Block grants, Emergency Shelter Grants and Home Investment Partnership Programs, was just received by the Council on Friday.

“I’m supposed to vote this tonight?” Lund asked.All of the councilors commended Dion on his work with the Community Development Agency for the last 13 years and welcomed him to his position.

They said tabling the vote was not a reflection on his hard work.Dion said he was simply following past practices of giving the plans to the City Council the week before the meeting.

The plans have been at the public library for viewing. Public hearings about the plan were held in January and March.

The action plan details activities for the year starting July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011. The plan must be submitted by Mayor Will Flanagan by May 15 to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Dion said if the plans are not submitted in time, funding could be lost.


Village battles BIA over Oneida Nation's land-into-trust
Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The village of Hobart, Wisconsin, is fighting a decision by the Bureau of Indian Affairs to place land into trust for the Oneida Nation.

The village says the BIA violated internal procedures when it approved the tribe's land-into-trust application. “We filed objections to these parcels and they were ignored,” Elaine Willman, the village's director of community development and tribal affairs, told The Green Bay Press-Gazette.

Willman said the BIA agreed to take about 133 parcels totaling 2,600 acres into trust. The village filed an appeal with the Interior Board of Indian Appeals over six of the parcels.

The village has fought the tribe on land-into-trust, taxation, sovereignty and other issues. Willman is a former leader of an anti-Indian group.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


City wants casino talk with Aquinnah Wampanoag TribeTuesday, April 20, 2010

The city council in Fall River, Massachusetts, wants to meet with the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe to discuss gaming.

The tribe has reportedly scouted sites in the city. The idea would be to pursue a license for a commercial casino.

“It is necessary for Fall River to be on the forefront of this issue since a casino development would benefit the overall economy of the city,” a resolution that will considered tonight states, The Fall River Herald News reported.

The tribe has a reservation on the island of Martha's Vineyard but won't build a casino there for legal and other reasons.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: With both Wampanoag tribes trying to get casinos, how are the Mohegans going to build a casino in Palmer, Massachusetts? Is building a casino in Palmer a long shot? Is the MTGA doing the wrong thing again? What do you think?

Saturday, April 17, 2010


The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe's plans to build a casino received a boost when the House overwhelmingly approved gambling legislation, but the tribe is still facing a number of federal roadblocks.AP

By George Brennan
April 16, 2010

Wednesday's vote by the House approving two resort casinos and up to 3,000 slot machines at state racetracks is a step toward the Mashpee Wampanoag's goal of building an Indian casino.

But if that was a step on a ladder, it would be closer to the bottom rung than the rooftop. While a change in state law is essential for the tribe, there are a host of federal steps hampering its pursuit of gambling riches.

Related Links
Mashpee Wampanoag tribe's quest for a casino

In February 2008, one month before Gov. Deval Patrick's three-casino plan went up in flames, a U.S. Supreme Court decision in Carcieri v. Salazar called into question all land-into-trust applications for tribes recognized after 1934.

That decision stalled work on the Wampanoag application for an initial reservation that includes 539 acres in Middleboro and 140 acres in Mashpee. The Mashpee tribe was federally recognized in 2007.

While tribes predicted a quick fix to the Carcieri ruling, legislation has languished.

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, a Democrat who represents Middleboro, says the Senate bill isn't likely to come to the House for a vote anytime soon.

"Should that occur, however, I will not be supportive of passage," Frank wrote in an e-mail obtained by the Times. "As a member of the U.S. Congress, I will not support House passage of a measure that would entitle the Mashpee Wampanoag to override local laws in that regard."
A spokesman for Frank said the e-mail accurately reflects his views on the issue.

Some expert observers concur. Matthew Fletcher, a Michigan State University assistant professor who studies tribe issues and is a member of the federally recognized Grand Traverse Band in Michigan, said the outlook is bleak to overturn the high-court ruling.

"My sense is that the Carcieri fix legislatively is a non-starter," he said. "That doesn't mean it can't show up in an appropriations bill, but on its own, it's going no where."

Mark Belanger, an outspoken critic of the tribe's plans in Middleboro, said even if federal officials were inclined to change the law, the state has shown zero interest in working with the tribe. The tribe's own agreement with the town, which calls for $250 million in water, sewer and road upgrades, also provides a financial hurdle.

"The odds against a tribal casino in Middleboro are still extremely long," Belanger said.
Tribe officials did not respond to requests for interviews yesterday, but have generally applauded the state's move toward expanded gambling.

As the House bill now moves to the state Senate, it faces scrutiny from Senate President Therese Murray, D-Plymouth, who opposes slots at the tracks in favor of resort-style casinos that offer more than just gambling. "As she has said in the past, we need to make sure we have proper regulations and oversight in place first, and we also need to look at the best ways to optimize revenues and create permanent jobs," a spokeswoman said.

The Senate is expected to take on the question after it debates the state budget next month, she said.

State Sen. Robert O'Leary, D-Barnstable, a casino opponent, says he expects a gambling bill to pass the Senate.

"I think it's a mistake for us to head in this direction," he added. "There's a lot of talk about how much revenue it will generate. They exaggerate what will come in and don't calculate the administrative costs and the social costs."

Gov. Deval Patrick, though he supports casinos, opposes so-called racinos. Much has been made of House Speaker Robert DeLeo getting a veto-proof vote of 120-37.

Not so fast, says Rep. Jeffrey Perry, R-Sandwich. Though he supported DeLeo's casino bill, Perry tried to introduce an amendment that would put the racino licenses out to competitive bid. Like him, other legislators were not fully satisfied with the final bill.

"There was a lot of: 'This is better than nothing,' " Perry said. "...I'd like to see it improved."
DeLeo wants his casino bill passed and Murray is pushing an economic development consolidation that recently passed the Senate.

"They're going to look at each other and say, 'I'll scratch your back and you scratch
mine,' " said Richard McGowan, an economics professor at Boston College who studies gambling issues. He said he doesn't expect the Senate will change much, but Murray may ask for fewer slots at the tracks.

Ultimately, it will be the Wampanoag on the outside looking in as Massachusetts zooms ahead while they're still climbing the ladder.

"They're the ones who are really getting it in the chin," McGowan said. "Who is going to go to Middleboro?"

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Are the Mashapee Wampanoags going to be left out? Is that fair? Is it going to end up being four (4) racinos and two (2) resort casinos?

Is the Mohegan proposal of a casino in Palmer a long shot? Do the legislators in Massachusetts have any idea of what they are doing? What do you think?

Friday, April 16, 2010


Editorial: Chickasaw Nation leads way with smoking banThursday, April 15, 2010

"The Chickasaw Nation’s decision to ban smoking in almost all its properties can be a model for all tribes to follow.

Tribes collect a lot of money from their smoke shops.

And this could have a very negative effect on revenue for any tribe that would copy the ban. But, it is something that needs to be done.

Native Americans have a high rate of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and other health issues.

It is in the best interest of all tribes to get their citizens to stop smoking and curtail the effects of second-hand smoke."

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Second hand smoke isn't good for anyone. Neither is first hand smoke. The health problems associated with smoking are horrendous. However, smoking is a part of Native American culture. Is smoking a God given right? Can't a reasonable solution be found?

The next Chief of the Mohegan Tribe, allegedly won't even give tobacco as a gift. She allegedly reused to give out tobacco to the Nonners and Sagamores of the tribe, when it was announced by the Council of Elders of her appointment as Chief. Her reason allegedly was health reasons. She allegedly gave corn instead. What do you think?


Coffee consumption reduced risk of diabetes for Indians
Thursday, April 15, 2010

American Indians who drank more than 12 cups of coffee a day reduced their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by nearly 70 percent, according to researchers at the University of Oklahoma.

But researchers don't think its wise to start drinking more coffee, which can lead to heart problems. They want to try to find out why coffee produced such an effect.

The study was published online in the Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases. It was conducted as part of the Strong Heart Study.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: So does drinking more coffee, cut down diabetes? Does drinking more coffee lead to heart problems? What do you think?

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Snoqualmie Tribe holds election after leadership disputeWednesday, April 14, 2010

It looks like a long-running leadership dispute within the Snoqualmie Tribe of Washington is coming to an end.

Tribal members chose a new chairwoman, a council member and two alternates on Monday. Chairwoman Shelley Burch said she hopes to heal the rifts that resulted in the banishment of several tribal members, including her predecessor.

"My goal is to try to heal this tribe and bring it back together as a group, instead of fractions here and there," Burch told The Seattle Times"They never should have been banished in the first place."

The tribal members who were banished won a lawsuit in federal court last year. The tribe hasn't officially reinstated the group but one of them said she was happy with Burch's election.

"We are very happy that we have an honorable chair and we are hopeful that this is the beginning of change to unite the Snoqualmie Tribe," Carolyn Lubenau told the Times.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs provided $10,000 to the tribe to pay for a consulting firm to conduct Monday's election.


The Associated Press
Posted Apr 14, 2010 @ 01:09 PM

House lawmakers are set to continue debating a bill to license two resort-style casinos in Massachusetts and allow up to 3,000 slot machines at the state's four race tracks.

The bill was filed by Democratic Speaker Robert DeLeo, who is trying to persuade House lawmakers to support the plan. Just two years ago, the House voted overwhelmingly to defeat a bill filed by Gov. Deval Patrick to license three resort-style casinos.

On Tuesday, lawmakers spent 11 hours debating some of the more than 200 proposed amendments, beating back one proposal calling for a public hearing on the bill.

DeLeo is hoping for a two-thirds vote on the bill to withstand a potential veto by Patrick, who opposes slot machines at the race tracks.

Patrick has not said whether he would veto the bill.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Gambling casinos and racinos are coming to Massachusetts. The question, that should concern Mohegans, is will there be two or three resort casinos?

It looks like there will only be two resort casinos. In Brokenwing's opinion, one will be in the Boston area. That leaves one resort casino. Do you you put one in the southeest part of the state with a larger population, or put in the northwest part of the state which for the most part is very rural.

The facts are after Worcester (west of the city) there isn't a large enough population to justigy building a resort hotel casino.


Could this be another bad bet by the MTGA (Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority)? Is putting a casino in Palmer, Massachusetts a long shot?

Is the MTGA spending more good money on a bad proposal, that may never happen? Should the MTGA give up on Palmer now? What do you think?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Permit could lead to liquor sales at Oneida Nation casinoWednesday, April 14, 2010 Business

The Oneida Nation of New York has formed a partnership with a restaurant to serve and sell liquor at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino.

The tribe entered into an agreement with CD Food & Beverage, a new company created by the Beeches Restaurant. The tribe will lease restaurant and hospitality space to the company in order to get around limitations in state law that apply to gaming facilities.

The partnership frees Beeches from having to obtain special, one-time permits to serve and sell liquor at the casino. The new company will pay state liquor taxes, an issue of local concern.

The New York State Liquor Authority could review the permit at its meeting today.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Accident involving Cowlitz casino developer tied to drugsTuesday, April 13, 2010

An accident that seriously injured David Barnett, a member of the Cowlitz Tribe of Washington who is helping his tribe develop a gaming facility, was linked to drug use, The Columbian reports.

Barnett, 49, was injured when he was ejected from his pickup truck on November 16, 2009. The incident occurred just a few blocks from his home.

The driver of the truck was Sarah S. Rutyne, 36, Barnett's girlfriend at the time. She was arrested on suspicion of vehicular assault but has not been charged.

Police reports obtained by the paper said Rutyne admitted to using crack cocaine and methamphetamine with Barnett prior to the accident. Rutyne also said she had been using prescription drugs.

Barnettt bought the land where the tribe wants to build the Cowlitz Casino Resort. He owns a percentage of the partnership that will operate the casino.

Barnett is the son of the late John Barnett, who led the tribe for more than 20 years. John Barnett died in 2008.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Subscriber Services

Posted on Mon, Apr. 12, 2010
Editorial: Another busted hand

Steve Wynn's abrupt decision to drop his bid to save the foundering Foxwoods Casino project is just the latest setback in the state's misguided adventure into legalized gambling.

Recall that the unbuilt project Wynn walked away from began as a slots parlor. The concept has since expanded into a full-blown casino with table games. Now there is talk in Harrisburg of legalizing betting on sports games in all of the casinos.

All this and the two Philadelphia casinos aren't even built. Talk about addicted. The politicians in Harrisburg - starting with Gov. Rendell - may need to call Gamblers Anonymous.

Clearly, lawmakers are enjoying the windfall in tax revenues pouring into the state coffers.
But where will the gambling arms race end?

Like Pennsylvania, New Jersey is also looking to legalize sports betting, in Atlantic City. Delaware wants to expand its sports betting. The pro sports leagues oppose any efforts to legalize betting on games - as they should.

Making it easier and legal to bet on sports will only create more problem gamblers. It could also undermine the credibility of the games. (See the Chicago Black Sox and other betting scandals involving athletes.)

Other states are also doubling down on gambling. Most elected officials continue to ignore the social costs of gambling, including increases in personal bankruptcy, crime, divorce, and alcoholism.

Not to mention, there are signs that gamblers are getting tapped out. Profits in Atlantic City continue to plummet. A slots parlor that opened in Bethlehem last May has been a disappointment.

And now the Foxwoods project is in doubt. Wynn folded his hand in Philadelphia faster than some of the poker players he's used to seeing in his casinos. He wasn't at the table long enough here to get a free drink.

Wynn's departure leaves Foxwoods scrambling for a new sugar daddy. It has been four years since the state awarded Foxwoods its license. That bad decision has been compounded by a comedy of errors.

The location in South Philadelphia remains an insurmountable hurdle. A proposal to move to the Gallery on Market Street was just as flawed and eventually scuttled.

The recession further undermined the finances of the Indian tribe that owns a Connecticut casino and was supposed to operate Foxwoods. (Never mind that the head of the Indian tribe was convicted in 1988 of dealing drugs and spent 18 months in prison.)

At this point, the only thing Foxwoods has going for it is that three local investors - developer Ron Rubin, New Jersey entrepreneur Lewis Katz, and Comcast-Spectacor chairman Ed Snider - have been big campaign contributors to Rendell, Pennsylvania's godfather of gambling.

But even that inside straight may not be enough to save Foxwoods. Since January, the state has been fining Foxwoods $2,000 a day and threatening to revoke its license if it doesn't get its building plans in order.

After getting an extension, Foxwoods now has until December 2012 to open. But with Wynn gone, Foxwoods is running out of cards to play.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Lawmakers betting bill for casinos will pass House

BOSTON — House lawmakers are set to hold marathon three-day debates this week over a bill that would make Massachusetts one of the top gambling centers on the East Coast, with two half-billion-dollar casinos and slot parlors at four existing racetracks.

The debate comes at a time when broad opposition to a casino culture that blocked expanded gaming proposals two years ago appears to have given way to the allure of a mid-recession job and state revenue bonanza.

House Speaker Robert E. DeLeo, D-Winthrop, has scheduled the debate on the bill and 216 proposed amendments to begin Tuesday, with a vote expected on Thursday. After a joint Republican-Democratic caucus behind closed doors last week, Mr. DeLeo, who has two racetracks in his district, said he is confident of House passage of the bill.

He expects it to produce up to 15,000 temporary and permanent jobs and more than $300 million in new state revenue annually. Gambling opponents, who prevailed in stopping Gov. Deval L. Patrick’s plan for three casinos and no slot parlors at tracks in 2008, have been frustrated by the fast-track push behind the 172-page bill filed 10 days ago.

Still, groups such as the Massachusetts Family Institute, and United to Stop Slots in Massachusetts are appealing to the public to oppose the plan. MFI President Kristian M. Mineau continued warning last week of the dangers and complaining about a rushed and closed process that produced the legislation.

“Once again with its secretive crafting of the predatory gambling bill, Beacon Hill is showing that it caters to well-funded special interest groups to the detriment of hard-working families,” Mr. Mineau said.

“Many people rightly talk about the organized criminal corruption that comes with legalized predatory gaming” he said. “A far more silent problem is the corruption of the family,” with gambling often contributing to home foreclosures, divorce, domestic abuse and suicide, he argued.

Unlike the governor’s plan that would have put casinos in three regions of the state, the House plan would allow casinos to be proposed in a competitive bidding process without restrictions on where the developments, valued at a minimum of $500 million each, would be sited.

While no developers have so far indicated sites in the immediate Worcester area as possible locations for a casino, proposals are expected for Boston, Palmer, Marlboro, Middleboro, Milford and possibly New Bedford. State Rep. Paul K. Frost, R-Auburn, said a proposal for a casino in the Worcester area is not out of the question once the planned bidding process begins.

Even without a local proposal in Worcester, passage of the bill could result in casino operations built in nearby Palmer along Route 20 and the Massachusetts Turnpike, or at sites being considered along Interstate 495 in Milford and in the Marlboro area.

Jeffrey E. Hartmann is chief operating officer of Mohegan Sun Tribal Gaming Authority, which operates the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut and wants to build a casino in Palmer with direct access from a Turnpike exit. He said the Worcester area would be impacted by a Palmer resort operation.

The development, he said, would include a 600-room hotel, retail shops and restaurants under the Mohegan Sun brand. “Number one, you will have to reach out to area residents for jobs,” he said of local hiring prospects, while the casino would also become a major new customer for local paper, beverage, food and other products and services. “The economic benefit will definitely touch areas like Worcester,”

Mr. Hartmann said. With the extended recession, prospects of new track and casino jobs and $300 million to $600 million in new state revenues have proven enough to turn around scores of House votes.

Those votes include many from Central Massachusetts that opposed casinos when the House rejected the three casino plan on a 108-46 vote two years ago. State Rep. Vincent A. Pedone, who was among those who voted to keep out the casino culture then, said last week he has changed his mind.

“I’m flipping,” the Worcester Democrat acknowledged after the caucus Thursday, saying the economic times and shift in gambling availability are among his reasons to support the racino/casino plan now.

He said Mr. DeLeo’s projections for new jobs and state revenues “are conservative” and while there are clearly negative impacts from gaming, he believes they can be mitigated with funding to treat gambling addictions and incentives in the legislation to force casino operators to limit casino impacts on local restaurants and theaters.

Moreover, he said, gambling is more available than ever, not only from nearby Connecticut casinos, but also in the form of online poker and other games. “Every home with a computer can be a mini-casino,” he said. Online gambling can also be done on a cell phone.

Meanwhile he said, “People stand in lines at the Honey Farms now, scratching tickets.” State Rep. James J. O’Day, D-West Boylston, said he is backing the plan even though he sees social harm in its wake. “I don’t think we can turn up our nose at the number of jobs it is going to generate,” he said. With so many jobless across the state many lawmakers are taking a different stance this time around, he said. “It is a totally different scenario,” Mr. O’Day said.

House leaders are pushing for a two-thirds majority to overcome any possible veto of slots at the tracks by the governor, he said. “It strengthens their hand. I think leadership would feel a lot more comfortable knowing that they had that kind of support behind the bill.” He said he is pushing for assurances that adequate funds will be set aside to treat gambling addictions.

Mr. Frost said while there may be concern that a large resort casino in Palmer could draw on the local customer base for restaurants and entertainment, it could also provide opportunities for cross marketing with area attractions and hotels to bring more visitors to places such as Auburn and Sturbridge.

After some initial confusion about the potential state revenues, House leaders said last week they estimate all the racinos and casinos would produce in excess of $300 million in new state revenue each year.

House Economic Development and Emerging Technology Chairman Brian S. Dempsey, D-Haverhill, said at a press conference last week that it would bring in between $1.4 billion and $1.9 billion annually in new revenues for the commonwealth.

While that statement went uncorrected at the press conference, Mr. Dempsey said when questioned later that he was referring to the gross gambling revenue that would go to the casinos.

The state would tax slot machines at the tracks at a 40 percent rate and gambling revenue at the casinos for slots and table games at a rate of 25 percent.

Mr. Hartmann said that compares favorably for the state to casino taxes in Connecticut, which taxes slot revenues at 25 percent, and imposes no tax on revenues from table games at the tribal casinos.

He said the Palmer location would give his company the chance to draw customers from Massachusetts as well as Vermont, New Hampshire and New York.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTES: Is Hartmann right? Can a casino in Palmer make the Mohegan Tribe money? Is it another Pocono Downs? The casino would only be 55 miles from the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut. Who is really taking the risk of Palmer, the Mohegan Tribe (represented by the MTGA) or the executives in charge of gaming at the Mohegan Sun? How much could this cost the Mohegan Tribe? Where will the MTGA get the funds for a casino in Palmer? Will the MTGA look for a partner in the Palmer project? What do you think?


Engineering union launches bid to represent Foxwoods workers
By Brian Hallenbeck
Publication: The Day
Published 04/10/2010 12:00 AM

A labor union that represents the engineering trades has launched a second bid to represent Foxwoods Resort Casino employees.

Local 30 of the International Union of Operating Engineers filed a petition Friday with the National Labor Relations Board in Hartford, asking that the NLRB conduct a union election, John Cotter, deputy director of the board's regional office, said.

"We have notified the company and have set a hearing for April 19," Cotter said. "We expect Foxwoods will challenge our jurisdiction."

Indeed, Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council, expressed disappointment with the union's decision to petition the NLRB rather than pursue union affiliation under tribal law. The Mashantuckets own Foxwoods.

"It is the longstanding policy of the United States to encourage and support tribal self-government," Butler said in a statement Friday night. "Recent events here at Mashantucket have demonstrated that the Mashantucket Pequot Labor Relations Law provides a fair process for employees to select union representation if they so desire."

Butler noted that the tribe has negotiated a contract under tribal law with UAW at Foxwoods, the union for some 2,500 table-games dealers, and is currently negotiating under tribal law with the Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association of Connecticut, which represents members of the Mashantucket Pequot Fire Department.

"We continue to believe that tribal law should apply in these matters, and will vigorously oppose any attempted further erosion of our sovereignty," Butler said. "We invite Local 30 instead to take this opportunity to show respect for Native American governments by following the appropriate processes in its organizing effort."

Engineering employees at Foxwoods rejected Local 30's first organizing attempt on May 1, 2008, voting 215 to 67 against representation. Employees who voted then worked in the casino's engineering, facilities, projects, engineering apprenticeship and interior landscape departments.

Prior to an election, the parties would have to agree on who would be eligible to vote, according to Cotter. He said there are about 300 workers in Foxwoods engineering departments and that it could be "either clear or not clear" which ones would be eligible for union representation.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTES; When companies are perceived as not doing what is in the best interest of the workers, unions will step in. If workers are happy, and the benefits, wages, etc. are better from the companies, then there is no need for a union. THINK ABOUT IT. What do you think?

Friday, April 9, 2010


Posted on Fri, Apr. 9, 2010
Wynn Resorts shocks city by terminating casino project
By Jennifer Lin
Inquirer Staff Writer

A news release from Wynn Resorts Ltd. in Las Vegas on Thursday afternoon sent seismic waves through Philadelphia: Gambling magnate Steve Wynn had changed his mind and did not want to build a casino on the Delaware River waterfront after all.

A lawyer for the original investors in the Foxwoods Casino project said he was "amazed."

Mayor Nutter, who had just met Wynn on Monday to review drawings of the proposed gaming hall, was "stunned."

And Gov. Rendell was uncharacteristically silent, issuing an official "No comment."

In a two-paragraph statement, Wynn Resorts said it had "terminated all agreements and negotiations."

"We are fascinated by the legalization of full gaming in Pennsylvania and stimulated by the opportunity that it presents for Wynn Resorts. But this particular project did not, in the end, present an opportunity that was appropriate for our company."

"I'm in a state of shock," said Stephen A. Cozen, a lawyer for the Foxwoods investor group.

Cozen said he heard the news at the same time as the public. "We're trying to find out what the reasons are for this and determine what, if anything, can be done about it," he said. "That's the only comment I can make."

Nutter offered only a hint of an explanation. He said Wynn Resorts general counsel Kim Sinatra reassured him "very directly and clearly that their decision had nothing to do with the city . . . and had to do with the actual transaction."

It was on Monday that Wynn had visited Nutter at City Hall to personally explain his vision for a riverfront casino in South Philadelphia on Columbus Boulevard between Tasker and Reed Streets.

"I've never seen anything like this before," said Nutter, speaking Thursday evening to reporters at 30th Street Station after returning from a trip to Washington.

The mayor said he had "a great meeting" with Wynn that lasted 75 minutes.

"I've never seen someone more enthusiastic about a project," Nutter said. "There was not one doubt in my mind after our meeting" that the casino project was moving forward.

The same day as his City Hall meeting, Wynn submitted detailed drawings of his project to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board in Harrisburg - three weeks before the state deadline.

A week earlier, he had turned over details of how he would pay for the project and how control would shift from the original group - called Philadelphia Entertainment & Development Partners (PEDP) - to Wynn Resorts.

Regulators, too, were caught off guard. "We certainly were made aware of [the termination of talks] taking place, but we don't have any details," said Richard McGarvey, a spokesman for the gaming board.

Industry observers said the announcement might be a negotiating ploy to get a better deal from the Foxwoods investor group. Or, they said, it could be a signal that Wynn had decided the project was too hard or too expensive to finish.

An analyst who did not want to be named speculated that a sticking point might have been the amount of debt Wynn was willing to assume. The investor group has more than $127 million in existing debt, more than half of which is the price of the land.

On Monday, Wynn had said the overall value of the project - taking on the debt and building the casino - would range from "$500 million to $600 million."

Analysts cited another possibility for his change of heart: Wynn may be interested in taking over the partially built Revel Casino, which needs a cash infusion of $1 billion. Wynn had traveled to Atlantic City on Tuesday. He had been one of the first casino operators in Atlantic City, but his company currently has no property there.

In an interview with The Inquirer on Monday, Wynn was eager to get moving on the Philadelphia property, which he said would be "Wynn top to bottom."

He said he had signed a "final term sheet" with the original investors, but indicated that time was an issue.

"We have to be on the ground by September to do it," Wynn said after meeting with Nutter. "The gaming board needs to do its investigation, the city has to do planning, and I have to go before community groups."

On March 3, when Wynn testified for the first time before the gaming board, he said the deal was conditioned on Wynn Resorts' getting an extension from state regulators to finish the project by the end of 2012, approval for a license, and all necessary city permits.

State Rep. Michael O'Brien, a Democrat who opposes using waterfront property for big-box casinos, said Wynn, after doing due diligence on the project, may have realized that there wasn't enough time to finish the project.

He said Foxwoods needed at least a dozen city, state, and federal permits, and, if there are riparian lands, state legislation to allow construction.

Wynn's decision, he said, was "proof conclusive of what we've been saying over the last four years - that this is simply not a developable site."

For that, "we all owe Mr. Wynn a great debt," said O'Brien, whose district includes communities directly across from the proposed site. His constituents have feared congestion along the commercial corridor of Columbus Boulevard.

Since last fall, the lead local investors in the Foxwoods project - Center City developer Ron Rubin, Comcast/Spectacor chairman Ed Snider, and New Jersey entrepreneur Lewis Katz - have been courting Wynn.

They needed to find a replacement for the Mashantucket Pequot tribe of Connecticut, which is facing financial problems of its own due to the recession.

Under the deal that went away, Wynn Resorts would have taken over 51 percent of the original PEDP partnership. According to sources, Wynn wanted to eventually buy out the others.

Wynn told The Inquirer earlier that he was offering to give PEDP investors shares of Wynn Resorts in exchange for their stakes in the project.

"They have a choice," he said. With his offer, "they can own stock and receive dividends, as well as have liquidity, which gives them something they don't have at the present time."

The Wynn deal is just the latest setback for the star-crossed project. From the get-go, the development faced intense community and political opposition.

In September 2008, the Foxwoods investors agreed to move the project to Center City, only to be ordered back to the waterfront by the state gaming board last August.

Wynn's pullout may doom the project.

"It's over," said City Councilman Frank DiCicco.

He said the state would either have to put up the license for bidding again, "or maybe they just do one [casino] for now."

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE; Is Wynn a smart business man? Is the deal in Philadelphia a bad deal? How much is the casino going to pay off the top to the State of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia? Will it be over 55% plus? Is paying out between $600 Million plus too much to build a casino? Is this a negotiating tool?

How much did the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs cost? Was it an estimated $600 Million plus? Has Pocono Downs ever made a profit? Is Pocono Downs a money pit? A dark hole? When or if will the casino make money? Could it be that the only one making money at Pocono Downs, is the State of Pennsylvania and the local communities in the form of taxes? Should the MTGA find a way to get out of Pocono Downs?

Is Wynn right not doing the deal in Pennsylvania? Could the Mohegan Tribe learn from observing Wynn? What about the Mashantucket Pequots? What do you think?


Shinnecock Nation leader plans to resume push for casino Thursday, April 8, 2010

Members of the Shinnecock Nation of New York put Lance Gumbs, a gaming supporter, back on the tribe's board of trustees.

Gumbs wants the tribe to open a casino near its reservation in Long Island. But in the past year, another trustee, Fred Bess, started looking at options closer to New York City.

Bess lost his bid for re-election this week. Gumbs said he expects Bess to continue playing a role in gaming issues.

"We still have a lot of work to do, and we’ll all be working together,” Gumbs told he Southampton Press. “Fred is an integral part of our community. He and I have worked together for the last 20 years on this, and it’s not something he’s going to walk away from, just like I didn’t last year.”

The tribe's bid for federal recognition is expected to be finalized this summer.
Get the Story:Gumbs returned to Shinnecock Nation leadership role by vote (The Southampton Press 4/7)

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Once again, we see a Native American tribe working together for the good of the tribe.

Personalities don't seem to get in the way amongst the Shinnecocks. Wanting to do what is in the best interest of tribe comes first. Could the Mohegan Tribe learn from the Shinnecocks?

The Mohegan Tribal Council and other members of the Mohegan Tribal Government, don't seem to like criticism. The leaders of the Mohegan Tribe only want praise. Is there fractions inside the Mohegan Tribe? Do the leaders lash out at anyone who doesn't agree with them?

Are the leaders of the Mohegan Tribe doing a good job? Is their job performance an indication of their success or failures? Could the Mohegan Tribe learn from the example in the Shinnecock article? What do you think?

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Part 1 Of A Series: Fundraising Drive Contemplated For Mohegan Flag To Fly At Elders Fort Hill Property

Feather News Drive by the Elder's housing complex on the Mohegan Reservation and you will not see our Mohegan flag flying. Our Mohegan flag has been missing for some two years, according to some estimates.A United States flag is flying there 24 hours and is illuminated at night but not a Mohegan flag.

It has been said that a durable flag would cost about $500 which apparently is the obstacle to buying one.Tribal members, think about the importance of our flag flying on that parcel of our Reservation and consider making a commitment of, say $10, toward the purchase of a flag if the situation is not rectified.

Two years is too long.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: This story was taken from the Feather News.

Is it true, that the Mohegan Tribes flag is not flying at the Fort Hill Elder Housing?

Doesn't the Mohegan Flag fly, along with the American Flag in front of the Mohegan Tribal Government building and the front of the Mohegan Sun Casino?

Isn't Fort Hill Elder Housing Building, the Mohegan Tribal Government Building and the Mohegan Sun Casino on the Mohegan Reservation? So, how come the Mohegan Flag flies at two locations and not at Fort Hill?

Does not flying the Mohegan Flag at Fort Hill Elder Housing show disrespect to the Mohegan Tribe, it's flag and the men and women who have served and continue to serve in the Armed Services?

I don't believe that the Mohegan Tribal Government doesn't have the money to purchase and provide a Mohegan Flag for the Mohegan Tribe at Fort Hill. Should this situation be addressed by the Mohegan Tribal Council? What do you think?


Mashantucket leader predicts years until casino recoversWednesday, April 7, 2010

The new chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation of Connecticut believes it could take years before the economy recovers.

Rodney Butler, 33, said the tribe's gaming enterprise took a bit hit when the economy collapsed. Patrons at Foxwoods Resort Casino and MGM Grand at Foxwoods are spending less than they used to, he said.

The tribe has stopped big gaming projects as a result. Some smaller ones are going through in hopes of keeping people coming to the reservations.

"I don’t see it recovering quickly," Butler told Indian Country Today of the economy. "It’s a fragile foundation where things can go worse.”

The tribe is still in negotiations with lenders over $2 billion in gaming-related debt. But Butler said the tribe is not trying to test the reach of federal bankruptcy laws in Indian Country.

“We could have taken a stance – and there were some indications early on – that we’re just going to hide behind the vagueness of the law and say, ‘You know what? Forget everybody, we’re just going to walk away,’” Butler told ICT. “It’s a long process; I can’t predict how long it will take. But at the end of the day, the sole purpose for this facility being here is for the benefit and sustainability of the tribe, and that always has to be in everyone’s mind through these discussions."

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Does the economic situation that is affecting the Mashantucket Pequots also affect the Mohegan Tribe? You bet it does.

How much is the Mohegan Tribe's debt? What can the tribes do? Have the tribal leaders failed their members? What do you think?


Navy turns down bid to transfer land to Narragansett Tribe Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The U.S. Navy says it won't turn over surplus federal property to the Narragansett Tribe of Rhode Island.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs asked for the 260 acres on Aquidneck Island on behalf of the tribe. But the Navy said it could not transfer the land for free or waive the costs of an environmental cleanup.

The tribe could still try to acquire the land through a public conveyance process, the Navy said.
Under the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Carcieri v. Salazar, the tribe cannot follow the land-into-trust process because it wasn't "under federal jurisdiction" in 1934. The tribe didn't gain formal recognition

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Massachusetts bill limits state to one tribal casino compactTuesday, April 6, 2010

A bill that would legalize gaming in Massachusetts attempts to limit the state to one Class III gaming compact in the first 15 years.

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe are both interested in casinos. But the bill says the state can only negotiate one compact in the first 15 years.

The bill authorizes two resort casinos and slot machines at four racetracks.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Will the Mohegan Tribe go to Massachusetts as a casino business, and not as a Native American Tribe? Will Palmer, Massachusetts, be one of the two resort casinos? Is Palmer a long shot? Is the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority (the Mohegan Tribal Council) wasting more money on the venture? Should the MTGA be looking to go Palmer? Is it a mistake? What do you think?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Years ago, when I was a boy, my parents took me to the Vanderbilt estate (mansion), in Centerport, New York, In my adult life, I have visited mansions through out the United States.

With that in mind, I recently visited the Elms, 367 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, Rhode Island. The mansion was built between 1899 and 1901. The architect was Horace Trumbauer.

The mansion was built for coal baron, Edward Julius Berwind, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Berwind was considered one of the 59 most influential Americans at the time.

The house is Classical Revival design and was built during the Guilded Age at a cost of $1.5 Million ($1,500,000.00). It was one of the first houses to be fully built that was totally electrified at the time. Like all mansions built in Newport, it was considered by the wealthy as a "Summer Cottage." It would normally be occupied for about eight (8) weeks every summer (the social season).

During the week, Mr. Berwind would spend his time at his company headquarters in New York City.. His wife Mrs. Sarah "Minnie" Berwind would stay at the mansion. Mr. Berwind would visit the Elms on weekends. The couple had no children.

When you enter through the main entrance (3 pairs of double doors) you see two marble spiral staircases leading to the second level. On the first floor is a conservatory (room made like a garden on the southwest corner). On one of the interior walls has arched mirrored doors, that match the arched doors leading out of the room to the outside of the house. A great idea, it reflects light and makes the room look larger.

On the second floor, is the family room, a family dining room and the bedrooms for the mansions occupants (Mr. Berwind, Mrs. Berwind and Julia Bewind (Mr. Berwind's sister). Julia's (the sister's) bedroom was on the south east corner. Mrs. Sarah Berwind's bedroom was on the South west corner of the house, with Mr. Berwind's bedroom connected to Mrs. Berwinds bedroom on the west side of the mansion.

On the other end of the second floor were other bedrooms for other members of their families.

Quests of the Berwinds, stayed in three (3) quest houses across the street. The quest houses had no kitchens or dining rooms, as the quests were expected to eat at the mansion.

In 1922, Sarah "Minnie" Berwind died. Mr. Berwind, invited his sister Julia Berwind to stay at the mansion, so the family could be represented during the summer social scene. In 1936, Mr. Edward Berwind died, leaving the estate to his sister, Ms. Julia Berwind. Ms. Julia Berwind died in 1961 leaving the mansion to her nephew. At the time of Ms. Berwind's death, the mansion had a staff of 40 people. The mansion never had an electric washing machine or electric clothes dryer installed.

Outside the mansion, was a carriage house, which later on was used for a garage for automobiles. Inside the garage house, is a turntable to turn the cars around. There are also two (2) magnificent gazebos.

The nephew and the family auctioned off the contents of the mansion and sold the mansion to a company, that planned to tear down the mansion and put something else up. The Preservation Society of Newport County was able to purchase and preserve the building.

Brokenwing, what about the GREEN TABLE? It seems that the green table, which is at the top of the winding stairs on the second floor, was made out a solid slab of green marble. It is about five (5) feet wide and about ten (10) feet long. It weighs about 5,000 pounds. It was auctioned off, but it couldn't be moved. How did it get there? It was lifted into place with a crane before the third floor (servants quarters) was put on. On the second floor is a painting that was secured to the ceiling. It too, was sold at auction, and couldn't be removed from the building.

The point of the story, is that a great deal of planning went into the building of this mansion. The furniture was built for the mansion, in fact some interior pieces were taken from other mansions in Europe. Putting the green marble table in place took a great deal of planning. Funds were put in place to secure that the building would be completed.

Could you imagine the Mohegan Tribal Government ever attempting such a project? Would the MTGA have built the mansion and forget to install the Green marble table ? Would they have figured it out? What about the ceiling painting?

Can they build a casino inside a budget? Didn't the Sky Casino and hotel cost $1.2 Billion when in the beginning the projected cost was $800 Million? HOW MANY MILLIONS OF DOLLARS HAS THE PRESENT AND PAST TRIBAL COUNCILS SPENT TO PRODUCE NEGATIVE RESULTS?

What about the "WHITE ELEPHANT" (the Mohegan Tribal Government Community Center), that no one seems to want? Were the funds secured for the construction of the government community center? What about Pocono Downs? What about a projected casino in Palmer, Massachusetts? What about the projects in Wisconsin and the State of Washington?


EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: If you get the chance, visit the Elms and see the Green Marble Table. What do you think?