Thursday, November 25, 2010


Opinion: Thanksgiving is America's way of ignoring the genocide
Friday, November 19, 2010

"Spare me the school-assembly version of Thanksgiving.

Since I was in grammar school, I've seen these misleading re-enactments. The Thanksgiving plays and celebrations glamorize the relationship between the Pilgrims and American Indians. They falsely portray the Pilgrims as the ones who allowed the indians to sup with them, rather than vice versa.

And they erase the genocide against Indians that followed.

The way we celebrate Thanksgiving in this country is - to say the very least - inappropriate.

Few people can even recall the name of the tribe that held Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims. We remember the Pilgrims, not the Wampanoag.

The Thanksgiving story subliminally invites us to believe that indigenous Americans have been offered a place at the table.

Thanksgiving is America's guilty holiday, a kind of camouflage, a symbolic excuse to ignore the elimination of whole populations of indigenous Americans by disease or war."


Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Etess to relinquish CEO post at Mohegan Sun
By Brian Hallenbeck


Published 11/23/2010 12:00

Mohegan — Mitchell Etess will relinquish the top management post at Mohegan Sun to concentrate on developing business opportunities for the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, he announced today during a conference call with investors and analysts.

Etess has been Mohegan Sun's president and CEO as well as the authority's CEO for the past 4½ years. The authority, an instrumentality of the Mohegan Tribe, operates Mohegan Sun and Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Jeffrey Hartmann, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Mohegan Sun as well as the authority's chief operating officer, will succeed Etess as Mohegan Sun's chief executive.

The changes are effective Jan. 1.

The authority reported today that its adjusted EBITDA — earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization — for the quarter ending Sept. 30 was down 10.7 percent over the same quarter in 2009. The decline reflects the impact of a $5.7 million credit in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009 resulting from an agreement with the state of Connecticut regarding Mohegan Sun's free-play slots program. The credit had the effect of reducing operating costs and expenses, and increasing adjusted EBITDA in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009.

The authority said net revenues were down 2.4 percent for the quarter. Overall, the authority's gaming revenues were up 1.7 percent while nongaming revenues were up 9.5 percent.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE; Did the MTGA (Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, the Mohegan Tribal Council) ask for Mr. Etess's resignation or had he have enough? Is it too little, too late? How will this affect the benefits, the Mohegan Tribe receives? What do you think?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Narragansett chief on Capitol Hill to lobby for land-into-trust fix
Friday, November 19, 2010

Chief Matthew Thomas of the Narragansett Tribe of Rhode Island is making one final push for a fix to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Carcieri v. Salazar.

The case began more than a decade ago when the tribe won approval for a land-into-trust application. But state and local officials fought the tribe in court.

After several victories, the Supreme Court in January 2009 ruled that the tribe can't follow the land-into-trust process because it wasn't under "federal jurisdiction" in 1934. The tribe gained formal federal recognition in 1983.

The Obama administration and key members of Congress support a fix to ensure that all tribes, regardless of the date of their recognition, can follow the process. But a standalone bill failed to pass either the House or the Senate.

Supporters are now looking for other ways to pass the fix. It's been included in the House version of the Interior appropriations bill but concerns about a gaming-related proposal from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) have threatened progress in the Senate.


Monday, November 22, 2010


Mashantucket Tribe to fight decision on union election at casino
Friday, November 19, 2010

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation of Connecticut will continue to fight the imposition of federal labor law on the reservation.

Engineering employees at Foxwoods Resort Casino recently voted to join the International Union of Operating Engineers. The tribe challenged the election but it was upheld by the National Labor Relations Board.

The tribe wants labor unions to follow tribal law rather than federal law.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Connecticut tribes report some growth in slot machine revenues
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Connecticut's two federally recognized tribes appear to be slowly recovering from their lengthy slump in gaming revenues.

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation reported $57.2 million in slot machine revenue for October. That's up from 2 percent in September and up 4.5 percent from October 2009.

The Mohegan Tribe reported $60.3 million in slot revenue. That's up 4.7 percent from September but still down 4 percent from October 2009.

"We're pleased with October's results, but given that the economy as a whole still appears to be relatively weak, we remain vigilant and focused on providing the best entertainment value for our customers," a Mashantucket gaming executive said in a statement, The New London Day reported.


Monday, November 15, 2010


Mashantucket Tribe vows big changes with new casino executive
Friday, November 12, 2010

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation of Connecticut has hired a "turnaround artist" as its new gaming executive.

Scott Butera will serve as president and chief executive officer of Foxwoods Resort Casino. He's helped two gaming operations emerge from bankruptcy.

"His track record speaks for itself," Chairman Rodney Butler said at a press conference, The New London Day reported. "He'll help lead us to the sea."

Butera promised big changes at the casino though didn't give specifics. But he said the tribe anticipates entering the online gaming industry in the U.S.

"Ultimately there will be online gaming in the United States," Butera said at the press conference, the Day reported.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Is it also time for a change at the Mohegan Sun Casino? What do you think?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe starts college prep program with grant
Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of Massachusetts received a $1.2 million grant from the Department of Education.

The tribe will use the money to start Native Tribal Scholars, a college preparatory program that will include a focus on tribal history and culture. The program will be open to all Indian students in the state.

"We are thrilled to receive this grant and increase the resources available as we prepare our youth for college," Chairman Cedric Cromwell said in a statement, The Cape Cod Times reported. "This collaborative effort will provide many young people an opportunity to pursue their education and focus on leading successful adult lives."

The Institute for New England Native American Studies at UMass-Boston and the North American Indian Center of Boston are working with the tribe on the program.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Foxwoods' Malaysian investors gamble on New York casino
By David Collins

Publication: The Day

Published 11/07/2010 12:00

Who would have imagined, for instance, that the South Africans who helped the Mohegans get into the gambling business would have allied with the Mashpee Wampanoag Indians in nearby Massachusetts, set to compete with Mohegan Sun?

And then last year, the wealthy Malaysians who first backed the Mashantucket Pequots pushed aside the South Africans the Wampanoag partners, ready to compete with their own stepchild, Foxwoods.

And now the Malaysians, under the name Genting New York LLC, have moved into New York City. They broke ground last month on a new casino at the Aqueduct Race Track in Queens, preparing to soon open a Resorts World Casino there with 4,525 slot machines.

Both Connecticut casinos will certainly suffer when a casino with that many slot machines opens alongside the New York City subway system.

Curiously, the new president of Genting New York is none other than Michael Speller, the last president of Foxwoods, who resigned here in June.

It is indeed a small gaming world.

It is also interesting to note that while the Mashantucket Pequots may soon lose some of their gambling business to Genting New York, they are still paying the Malaysians some 9.9 percent of gross Foxwoods income, part of the deal in which they borrowed $58million to build the first casino here. The payments are meant to continue until 2016

The Mohegans, on the other hand, may be through paying their original partners, the South Africans, 5 percent of gross revenues in 2014.

Genting Chairman K.T. Lim, appearing at the Aqueduct casino groundbreaking last month, called the event one of the company's "proudest days."

Genting paid out $380 million for the right to develop the casino in Queens, which is expected to contribute another $300 million annually in tax revenues.

Presumably it was prouder than the day the Genting-backed Foxwoods debuted, or the openings of Genting-backed casinos in Niagara Falls and in Monticello, N.Y.

Foxwoods was the first foray into the U.S. gambling market for the wealthy Lim family, which made its gambling fortune on a casino monopoly in Malaysia, a giant resort called Genting Highlands.

More recently, in addition to the New York projects, Genting has built one of only two huge casinos in Singapore, sharing a $6-billion-a-year market there.

In addition to the big casinos in Malaysia and Singapore, the company also controls large plantations and the Norwegian Cruise lines.

"It's real important for us to make (Aqueduct) a showcase event for the company," Speller told the Wall Street Journal, in a story that ran in late August.

Genting officials have said they eventually intend to spend $1.3 billion on the casino resort in Queens.

The initial phase, in addition to the slot machines, is scheduled to have several restaurants, a parking garage and an outdoor terrace that will connect the casino and racetrack.

There are plans to build three hotels, shops, a spa and other resort facilities.

One might presume that the New York City gambling resort, surely to become a formidable competitor to Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, will be fully operational by the time the Malaysians finish collecting all those many millions on their smart startup investment on the Mashantucket Pequots.

It's a small gambling world after all, and it seems that everyone here in the Northeast will soon be chasing the same player dollars.

This is the opinion of David Collins.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Mayor to fight ruling blocking sale to Mashpee Wampanaog Tribe
Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The city of Fall River, Massachusetts, plans to fight a decision that blocked the sale of land to the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, Mayor Will Flanagan said.

Flanagan said the city's legal team discussed the case with attorneys for the tribe and the tribe's investor. “We’ve come up with a game plan,” Flanagan told The Fall River Herald News.

As part of its casino plan, the tribe agreed to buy 45 acres for $4.5 million. The tribe secured options on another 255 acres for $16.3 million.

The tribe has already included the entire 300-acre site in its land-into-trust application.

Story from

Monday, November 1, 2010


Seneca Nation singles out lawmakers as 'foes' in election mailing
Friday, October 29, 2010

The Seneca Nation identified two state lawmakers as "foes" of the tribe in a mailer to over 100,000 citizens in New York.

Assembly Member Sam Hoyt and Sen. Antoine Thompson are Democrats who are expected to win re-election. But the tribe characterized their votes on recent bills and the record on sovereignty and treaties as "reckless."

The mailer also names several "friends" of the tribe. "The Seneca Nation has a $1 billion impact in Western New York and employs 3,600 people," the document states. "Protecting that investment should be the priority of every elected official in New York State.

EDTIORIAL FOOTNOTE: This story was taken from The Senecas are excerzing their rights and letting their position be known to the voters in New York. How come other tribes aren't also doing the same thing. What do you think?