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Evening News

Some day you'll be able to walk from one end of Connecticut to the other completely indoors, through casinos and skywalks.

Evening News

Good evening.

Turning to the casino industry news this evening, how good an idea is this more-casinos-in-Connecticut thing?

A bill in the state legislature in Connecticut would create three new casinos in the state. According to the measure, they would be three “smaller casinos”—which, in a state already hosting two of the largest casinos in the world, is a fairly relative term.

Not even considering that those two current casinos, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, are coming off fairly rough periods, three new casinos in a state the size of Connecticut would make five—theoretically employing every man, woman and child in the state.

OK, Connecticut’s not that small, but still, to me, five casinos in Connecticut just doesn’t really sound like a good idea right now. Not when casinos across the Northeast are attacking each other’s markets like ravenous wolves.

Maybe it’s just me. I’m sure some day, you’ll be able to walk from one end of Connecticut to the other completely indoors, through casinos and skywalks.

Another funny thing about this story: I read it in the online version of the Hartford Courant, and all through the story on the site flashed the other big headlines of that day, evidently a slow news day in New England:

“Burger King Drops Soft Drinks from Kids’ Meals.”

“Mom Shot TV Because Kids Were Watching Too Much.”

“Carpenter Fired After Releasing Trapped Raccoon.”

Yes, I remember seeing a piece about that trapped raccoon on Dateline.

In other news, Indiana Governor Mike Pence says allowing “live dealers” (human, presumably) at Hoosier Park would qualify as an unconstitutional “expansion of gambling.” Asked how he defined such an expansion, Pence did not offer an answer. An aide assured reporters that cock fighting and rat racing are off the table in any event.

No, an aide did not say that. I made it up. It’s a joke.

Sorry, but it never hurts to insert a disclaimer.

In still other news, they’re trying to legalize big integrated gaming resorts in Florida, in a bill that would require investors to build resorts costing at least $2 billion. The legislation would also allow slot machines at dog tracks in Palm Beach and Lee counties, presumably some distance away from the actual dogs.

I’m still waiting to hear from Mickey Mouse on this one.

If you recall, the last time this was proposed, Walt Disney Company fired up its lobbying corps (is it corps?) to oppose it, because it would tarnish the image of the Sunshine State. Whether it would have or not didn’t really matter. What mattered was that when it comes to lobbyists and lawyers, the Magic Kingdom is the Happiest Place on Earth.

(Again, a joke. Disney is great. I give them wheelbarrows full of money every time I go.)

Next, it has become evident to me, through a story about Alice in Chains and Pixies appearing at the Horseshoe Cincinnati, that the Cincinnati Enquirer refers to the casino as “The Shoe.”

Just saying.

In Baltimore, the Horseshoe Casino is known alternatively as “The Shoehorn” and “The Shirt.”

I’m going to stand by that one. I have it on solid information from a confidential source, who requested anonymity.

Now, in a breaking news story, a current casino company official and a current slot-manufacturing executive both actually went on the record commenting on the subject of raising slot hold percentages (see page 18), marking, I believe, the first time since Benny Binion was alive that anyone has commented publicly on the subject.

Thanks to all who helped on that story, by the way. Hopefully, the next time I do a story like that, even more people will resist the urge to clam up like a mobster at a Senate hearing. (Sheesh!)

And finally, as of this writing, they are still planning to get what they’re calling the “Bet Beat Band” together at Planet Hollywood for the reception at the iGaming North America show on April 18. The plan is a rock combo made up of people who work in and around the gaming industry. I’m supposed to play bass for this outfit, and as of this writing, I’m hoping my pals Mick Roemer and Jason Stage end up in the band.

In case you guys haven’t decided yet, don’t let this shame you into it or anything.

Oh, yes, I do the “rock thing,” as the hipsters say.

I also dance, juggle and do assorted parlor tricks. Available for birthday parties, bar mitzvahs and smokers. Rates reasonable.

And that’s the news this April. Good night, and good luck.

Frank Legato is editor of Global Gaming Business magazine. He has been writing on gaming topics since 1984, when he launched and served as editor of Casino Gaming magazine. Legato, a nationally recognized expert on slot machines, has served as editor and reporter for a variety of gaming publications, including Public Gaming, IGWB, Casino Journal, Casino Player, Strictly Slots and Atlantic City Insider. He has an B.A. in journalism and an M.A. in communications from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. He is the author of the books, How To Win Millions Playing Slot Machines... Or Lose Trying, and Atlantic City: In Living Color.