Twin Rivers finally files for bankruptcy.
The filing reflects a consensual structured bankruptcy agreement hammered out in round-the-clock negotiations in recent days between the state, the lenders group led by Merrill Lynch Capital and the consortium that owns the sprawling Lincoln gambling hall that is home to 4,751 video-slots and a greyhound racetrack.
It says: "As successful as [Twin River's] operations have been, their revenues cannot support the substantial demands imposed by the state tax rate and the debtors' debt services obligations'' on $589 million in loans.
The interesting thing about this is, if you or I go to a casino and get in over our heads in debt - it's entertainment! But no, there will be no collection agencies or finger breakers for Twin Rivers. It's a tragedy. Quick - someone get them a bailout!
Twin Rivers may have been the State of Rhode Island's third largest source of income, but for me it will always be the place where one Middleboro man lost his money, then hope, committed suicide and left his pregnant wife to raise their son alone.
But stories like those get lost, don't they?
So, what does Rhode Island learn from this? That gambling revenue didn't pave the roads with gold? That they shouldn't put so many of their eggs in one basket? That casino interests won't hesitate to manipulate State leadership in order to gain concessions in their favor?
I don't know but I'm certain that the Massachusetts pro-slots lobby will use this bankruptcy to claim there is now LESS competition for Massachusetts dollars. Whoo Hoo! Stay tuned.
Splendor in the Bluegrass...
Following in the footsteps of New Hampshire, Kentucky votes down slots at the tracks.
The Senate budget committee rejected a controversial bill Monday night that would have allowed slot machines at racetracks as a way to shore up Kentucky's beleaguered racing industry.
The 10-5 vote against sending the bill to the full Senate appears to kill the bill for the special session.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo, the bill's sponsor, said the issue could surface in a conference committee, "but I don't think it's likely." And Senate President David Williams ruled that possibility out.
Folks, I'm not sure, but if horse racing in Kentucky isn't making it these days, I think this industry is going the way of Betamax and whale bone corsets. It happens.
Let's just be honest, OK. Slots are ultimately meant to replace, not shore up the animal racing industry.
Reading Between the Lines...
Today, as required by Section 2710 of the IGRA, the National Indian Gaming Commission published it's list of 301 tribes with "Approved Class II and III Tribal Gaming Ordinances".
It's a long list so let's just skip to the good part, shall we?
135. Mashantucket Pequot Tribe of ConnecticutNope. No Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. No Massachusetts tribes. No class II. No class III. Nada. As in Nadathing about gambling.
136. Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Potawatomi Indians of Michigan
But don't just take my word for it...