Steve Wynn is not used to losing.
With two 5-star hotel-casinos in Vegas and two more in Macau, he has permanent street cred among the uber-rich in the world. He pretty much gets what he wants, usually with just a knowing nod or a snap of his fingers.
But Wynn is a beaten man today, turning over his king o0n the chess board after voters in Foxboro, Mass., peed all over his plan to put a resort casino across the street from Gillette Stadium. Voters elected two anti-casino selectmen in the town election, and Wynn decided to fold up his tent.
Here in Mass., no one is really sure exactly why the plan (Wynn would lease property owned by Patriots boss Bob Kraft) never got much traction. But Foxboro is a moderately wealthy community with low (4 percent) unemployment, so the promise of jobs didn't resonate as much as it might have. Not even the possibility of $15 million in casino tax money directly to the town was enough to turn the tide.
Wynn has a long history of bullying anyone who doesn't agree with him. Reporters, blackjack dealers, union organizers, business partners ... he doesn't discriminate, and he almost always gets his way.
Not this time.
Roger Clemens figured it would be easier than mowing down the 7-8-9 hitters. He'd schmooze a few senators, testify in Congress that he never took steroids, and eventually stroll into the Hall of Fame with his name cleared.
Instead, he's now looking at a possible prison term after the feds accused him of lying to Congress.
Jon Kyl also lied to Congress, but since he's a sitting senator, no biggie. His punishment is a $122,000-a-year pension and a probable job as a lobbyist for corporations. Nice work if you can get it.
Clemens, meanwhile, is hardly a deep thinker, but you have to wonder what's going through his mind during his perjury trial. The Texas no-apology tough-guy has gotten everything he wants for his entire life, and now this.
The Rocket will probably skate, though. Prosecutors are inept, and all it takes is one star-struck celebrity hound on the jury to make it all go away.
The truth hurts.
In Las Vegas, Cantor Gaming’s expansion continues unabated.
Cantor recently announced that the under-construction Race & Sports Book
at the Palms Hotel-Casino about a mile off the Strip will include a poker area
(8 tables) that will be run by (who else?) Cantor. It is expected to open in a
few weeks, probably early May.
In addition to expanding Cantor’s already-large profile in Vegas, the move
continues a trend in which properties allow third parties to operate certain
areas of their facilities. The movement started about a decade ago when many
casinos got out of the restaurant business and decided to lease space. Doing
something similar with sports books and poker rooms reduces the property’s
financial exposure and provides income certainty – important in an shaky, uncertain
Cantor deserves credit for striking while the iron is somewhat hot,
especially in being near the front of the line in offering online options in
During the construction process, Cantor is operating a sports book-only on
the main floor near the high roller area.
The NFL is about to take one in the solar plexus.
A source close to the New Jersey gambling scene has told Covers.com that the Philadelphia Inquirer is planning a story that will sharply criticize the NFL on its hypocrisy of allowing teams to accept in-stadium casino gambling advertisements while continuing to oppose sports betting.
The story will be published, said the source, as soon as the Giants and/or Jets confirm that they will be accepting gambling-related advertisements.
The NFL has been widely hammered for years for its stance on sports betting, and it's hardly a secret that the league encourages and benefits from gambling even as it opposes gambling publicly and (occasionally) in the courts.
Guess the NFL figures that the economic benefits of cozying up to casino ad money outweigh the criticism it receives for being hypocritical about the issue.
Once again Europe has shown that it is light years ahead of the United States in regulation of Internet gambling.
Plans are in the works in England to change the way wagering is taxed, and if things work out as planned it will help bring more jobs to Great Britain.
Online gambling companies have set up shop outside GB in order to take advantage of low tax rates elsewhere. But Britain is now putting together plans that would alter the tax policy and make it worthwhile for the companies to do business in England, providing needed jobs. Basically, taxes would be paid at what is called the “point of consumption”, in other words where the bettor is, rather than the point of supply, where the operator is. So a company based offshore would still be required to pay taxes to England, even if its operations are in Malta. And if there is less tax benefit to being in Malta, why not just set up shop in London? And hire British workers.
Obviously, all this is world-class level chess compared to the checkers now being played in the United States, where states are arguing about whether they can legally sell a lottery ticket online.