Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Gambler said to be willing to pay $1.2 M debt to Mohegan Sun By Brian Hallenbeck Publication: The Day Published 03/24/2011 12:00 AM Jerome Powers, the cable TV executive who allegedly owes Mohegan Sun $1.2 million in gambling debts, reportedly plans to pay up. The New York Post, quoting an unnamed spokesman for Plum TV, the New York-based cable network Powers co-chairs, reported Wednesday that Powers "is currently in settlement discussions with Mohegan Sun to drop his appeal and pay his gambling obligations in full." Attempts to confirm the report with Plum TV and attorneys involved in a lawsuit Mohegan Sun brought against Powers in New London Superior Court were unsuccessful. A call to the network's corporate offices was referred to network President Rob Gregory, who was out of town and did not answer a message. Thor Holth, the New London attorney representing Powers, was unavailable to comment, and Andrew Houlding of Rome McGuigan, the casino's attorney, indicated that he could not comment. Powers, 64, of Miami Beach, Fla., has appealed a Superior Court ruling that gave Mohegan Sun permission to attach $1.2 million worth of Powers' assets pending the outcome of the case. Holth filed the appeal with the state Appellate Court last week. Mohegan Sun filed suit against Powers in December 2009, alleging he made out six checks to the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority on May 23, 2009, all of which a bank returned unpaid when the casino deposited them. According to court records, payment was stopped on one of the checks, for $465,000, while the other five, ranging from $60,500 to $300,000, were returned because the accounts on which they were written had been closed. In a separate count, the suit alleges Powers "over-drafted" his Mohegan Sun Player's Card account by more than $55,000, of which he repaid $25,000. The suit says Powers signed a Casino Credit Agreement that authorized the authority to collect debts in the Mohegan Gaming Disputes Court "and courts of the state of Connecticut." Powers is identified on the credit agreement as the owner of Ocean Drive magazine, a publication he reportedly sold for more than $33 million in late 2007. Powers later became co-chairman and chief executive officer of Plum TV, a lifestyle network "that targets the most active, influential, and educated audience in the world," according to its website. The network is available on cable systems in Miami Beach; The Hamptons on Long Island; Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts; Aspen, Telluride and Vail, Colo.; and Sun Valley, Idaho. Plum also publishes a glossy Miami, Fla., magazine. b.hallenbeck@theday.com EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Who allowed the casino to take these checks? Doesn't anyone know how a check cashing service works? Who did this? Do you know? What do you think?

Friday, March 25, 2011


Shinnecock Nation looks to better relationship with local police
Thursday, March 24, 2011Filed

Leaders of the newly recognized Shinnecock Nation are hoping to improve their relationship with local police, calling a recent pursuit onto the reservation disrespectful to the tribe.

The Shinnecock Warrior Society was holding a gathering on Friday, March 4, when a police car from Southampton Village showed up. An officer had been pursuing a man who fled onto the reservation and the situation caused a disturbance.

"We are damn upset about it," trustee Lance Gumbs, who was called to the scene, told The Southampton Press.

Four tribal members, including Gumbs' son, were later arrested in connection with the incident. "If anything, the Village Police obstructed a tribal meeting that was going on up here," Gumbs told the paper.

A few days later, village police abandoned a pursuit of a different man on the reservation. "Going forward, there definitely has to be more dialogue between the Nation and various entities so we can get on the same page," Gordell Wright, another trustee, told the paper.

The tribe gained federal recognition last year but its reservation is not held in trust. The state recognizes the reservation but exercises criminal and civil jurisdiction on it.

STORY TAKEN FROM http://www.indianz.com/

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Connecticut's highway system budget, isn't finishing the end of Route 11 into the New London and Waterford area. It would be a good short cut from Route 2 and save people time, going from New London to Hartford.

The State of Connecticut did put on the budget, the expanding of lanes going across the Route 2 A bridge (Mohegan Pequot Bridge). How will the construction affect gambling at the Mohegan Sun? Will the buses that travel up I-395 to Foxwoods, over the bridge, go another way? Will this effect business at the Mohegan Sun Casino? What will management at the Mohegan Sun do to combat this possible loss of business? What do you think?

Monday, March 21, 2011


Cowlitz casino lawsuit is first test of Supreme Court decision
Monday, March 21, 2011 Filed

Indian Country is paying close attention to a new lawsuit aimed at stopping the Cowlitz Tribe of Washington from building a casino.

The tribe gained federal recognition in 2000. But in a record of decision, the Bureau of Indian Affairs said the tribe was "under federal jurisdiction" in 1934.

The finding is significant because it's first time the BIA addressed issues raised by the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Carcieri v. Salazar. The Cowlitz are now a "poster child" for the case, Chairman William Iyall said.

“There are a lot of other tribes in the United States that will be relying on this issue,” Iyall told The Columbian.

The case is expected to take at least two years to resolve. Opponents of the casino hope it ends up before the Supreme Court.

“This case has all the ingredients of a case that the Supreme Court would take, and that’s about all any lawyer could say,” Guy Martin, an attorney for one of the plaintiffs, told the paper.

STORY TAKEN FROM www.indianz.com

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Loss of Seneca Nation casino revenue felt in local communities
Wednesday, March 16, 2011 Filed

Local communities are laying off employees and cutting budgets due to an ongoing gaming dispute between the Seneca Nation and the state of New York.

The tribe has withheld $228 million from the state, citing an expansion of non-Indian gaming. A big chunk of that money -- about $57.2 million -- would have gone to local governments.

"The New York State-Seneca relationship is killing us," Salamanca Mayor Jeffery Pond told The Buffalo news. The city has laid off 49 workers and reduced the police force in half because it hasn't received its share of gaming funds.

Since December 2002, the tribe has shared $471.4 million to the state. Of that amount, about $118 million went to the three communities that host casinos.

STORY TAKEN FROM www.indianz.com Could this happen in Connecticut? What do you think?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Connecticut tribes report even month for slot machine revenues
Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Connecticut's two federally recognized tribes reported little change in their slot machine revenues for February 2010.

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation reported a win of $51.1 million. That was only nine-tenths of a percent lower than the win from February 2009.

The Mohegan Tribe reported a win of $58 million. That was up less than one tenth of a percent from a year earlier.

February was a better month for the tribes than January, when slot win fell 12 percent for the Mohegans and nearly 6 percent for the Pequots.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Tax man eyes Indian tobacco sales
By Tom Precious
Published:March 8, 2011, 3:39 PM
ALBANY -- The state's top tax collector said the state is ready to quickly end tax-free cigarette sales by Indian retailers to non-Indian customers.

New York State is awaiting a ruling from a federal appeals court on the long-simmering tobacco tax issue, said Thomas Mattox, who was confirmed Tuesday by the State Senate to the tax commissioner's post.

"We're prepared to enforce immediately," Mattox said after being unanimously backed by the Senate Finance Committee for the tax post.

Mattox said the agency is prepared to issue tax-free coupons to members of Indian tribes and collect the tax on non-Indian customers "as soon as we are [allowed] to do so by the courts."
Is he concerned about possible confrontations as occurred the last time the state tried to collect the tax in 1997?

"I don't have the expertise on that. I think that's really a question for law enforcement," he said. "Our focus has been on the tax laws and our requirements under them, and we are prepared to enforce them."

Seneca Nation President Robert Odawi Porter issued a statement following Mattox's comments.
"There's nothing new here," Porter said. "The Nation prefers dialogue to confrontation. When the state wants to discuss this issue, we'll be open to those discussions. As always, we will defend our treaty rights vigorously."

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is counting on $130 million in revenue by ending the tax-free Indian tobacco sales. The state wants to collect the tax "upstream" at the tobacco wholesale level so that the taxes already would have been paid to Albany by the time cigarettes reach Indian retailers.
The state wants to collect its $4.35-per-pack excise tax, which is not being charged to smokers who buy from Indian retailers.

The Senate Nation, whose private tobacco retailers are considered the biggest Native American cigarette suppliers, is fighting the Cuomo effort in court and before the Legislature. They argue that the tax-free sales are protected by treaty rights and that they will not be party to a tax collection effort by Albany.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: How many times will the rights of tribal governments be challenged by state governments? Could these kind of things happen here in Connecticut? What do you think?

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Scaled-back casino plan prepared by Mohegan Sun
Thursday, March 03, 2011
Business writer

SPRINGFIELD - The issue of expanded gaming is expected to come before the state Legislature soon, and when it does, the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority will push for a scaled-down version of their earlier proposed resort-style casino in Palmer.

Plans for that $600 million casino have shrunken in four years since it was first proposed from 3,000 slot machines to 2,500 slot machines in the plans today and from a theater with seating for up to 5,000 to a multi-use ballroom of 1,000 to 1,500 square feet, said Paul I. Brody vice president of Mohegan Gaming Advisors, during an editorial board meeting with The Republican Wednesday.

"This isn't a build-it-and-they-will-come business model anymore," Brody said.

"It is a very tightly-margined business and you have to watch how much you spend."
A law allowing casino gambling in Massachusetts failed in the waning days of the last legislative session. That bill included a resort-style casino - one with table games, a hotel and other amenities in addition to slot machines - for Western Massachusetts.

But Gov. Deval L. Patrick rejected last year's bill because it would not provide for competitive bidding for slot machines at race tracks. House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, D-Winthrop, has such tracks in his district and has pushed hard to establish slots-only gambling at those tracks.

In Western Massachusetts, another entity has proposed a casino for the Wyckoff Country Club in Holyoke.

The recession has changed the gambling industry, said Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority President and Chief Executive Officer Mitchell Grossinger Etess.

"Gaming is discretionary income," he said during the meeting.

The authority will look for investors if it gets permission to site a casino in Palmer.
"It is a different financial climate than 2004 and 2005," Brody said. "I don't think a lot of companies are financing projects off their balance sheet. I don't think that is a bad thing."
Etess said the Mohegans are being courted by potential investors in the Palmer project.

They said the organization is financially sound with its flagship casino in Uncasville, Conn., a facility in northeastern Pennsylvania and a deal in the works with an American Indian tribe in Washington state.

The company reported a 2.3 percent increase in earnings from $59.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2009 to $60.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2010. But much of that improvement came from cost cutting, according to a Mohegan news release. Gaming revenues fell from $309 million in the fourth quarter of 2009 to $307 million in the fourth quarter of 2010.

The company laid off 475 workers in Uncasville last year.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Those are the facts, look how much the casino has dropped in business over the years? Who is responsible? Could it be the present Mohegan Tribal Council? What do you think?