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NYT and WSJ leave out key facts about an Atlantic City casino announceme  

2007-10-23 00:50:45|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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NYT and WSJ leave out key facts about an Atlantic City casino announceme - liblog - Liblog 第九传媒
NYT and WSJ leave out key facts about an Atlantic City casino announceme - liblog - Liblog 第九传媒NYT and WSJ leave out key facts about an Atlantic City casino announceme - liblog - Liblog 第九传媒

MGM Mirage Envisions New $5 BillionResort

By Tamara Audi and Peter Sanders
Word Count: 312  |  CompaniesFeatured in This Article: MGM Mirage, Boyd Gaming

In a move to expand its burgeoning MGM Grand-brandedcasino-resorts, MGM Mirage announced today a roughly $5 billionproject for a new resort in Atlantic City, N.J.

Once completed in 2012, the new MGM Grand Atlantic City willjoin a family of casino-resorts with locations in Las Vegas,Detroit, Macau, China and at the Foxwoods complex in Connecticut.The move comes after nearly ...


NYT and WSJ leave out key facts about an Atlantic City casino announceme - liblog - Liblog 第九传媒

NYT and WSJ leave out key facts about an Atlantic City casino announceme - liblog - Liblog 第九传媒

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

MGM Plans Casino Resort To Rival Best of Las Vegas

By GARY RIVLIN
Published: October 11, 2007

An otherwise dismal year for the Atlantic City casino industryturned a bit brighter yesterday when MGM Mirage, the gamblinggiant, announced plans to build a huge resort hotel that would rankamong the most expensive casino projects in history.


The casino hotel, to be called the MGM Grand Atlantic City, willcost $4.5 billion to $5 billion, according to the company. In LasVegas, the current record holder is Wynn Las Vegas, which cost $2.7billion and opened in 2005, though there are several casino hotelprojects on the drawing boards in the $4 billion to $5 billionrange.


The MGM announcement comes at a time of declining gamblingrevenue as Atlantic City faces increased competition from slotparlors that have recently opened in Pennsylvania and New York.Through the first nine months of 2007, the city's casinos won acombined $3.8 billion, a 5 percent drop compared with figures inthe period a year earlier, according to the New Jersey CasinoControl Commission.


''What this says is that, like us, MGM sees this decline as atemporary phenomenon,'' said Michael Pollock, publisher of TheGaming Industry Observer, a trade journal based in Atlantic City.''What they're saying with this proposal is that they see thelong-term growth potential for Atlantic City as very real.''


Gordon Absher, an MGM spokesman, said the company did not lookat the overall performance of Atlantic City's 11 casinos butinstead focused on the experience of a single property: theBorgata, the first billion-dollar casino in a market that stillranks as the second-largest in the United States.


Despite new competition from nearby markets, at the Borgata,which opened in 2003, revenue from slot machines and table gameshas risen modestly in the first nine months of 2007. MGM owns 50percent of the Borgata.


''The Borgata has changed the paradigm for Atlantic City,'' Mr.Absher said. ''The Borgata shows that if you provide people withthe right product, Atlantic City can attract the customer who hasan appetite for the Las Vegas experience but doesn't want to flyacross the country to have that experience.''


The project, expected to be completed by 2012, includes threedistinct hotel towers. One is expected to have a ''morecontemporary feel,'' Mr. Absher said, while a second will be moreupscale. A third, he said, will be an all-suites tower ''for highrollers or those who are willing to pay to be treated like highrollers.''


The property will also include a 1,500-seat theater, a spa, aconvention center and up to 500,000 square feet of retailspace.


MGM is only the most recent company to wager large sums thatAtlantic City can transform itself from a low-rent gambling factoryon the Jersey Shore into a world-class entertainment destination.In that view, Atlantic City would become a kind of Las Vegas Eastthat lures younger tourists who spend as much money on fine food,big-name performers, expensive hotel rooms and other amenities asthey do gambling.


Harrah's, for instance, has spent hundreds of millions ofdollars in Atlantic City over the last couple of years to improveits four properties there. And Pinnacle Entertainment, whichoperates six casinos across the country, announced plans last yearto build a $1.5 billion casino hotel in place of the Sands, whichclosed last year.


''For those casino companies willing to make the investment,''Mr. Pollock said, ''the upside in this market is enormous.''



The New YorkTimes and The Wall Street Journalboth rolledsnake-eyesin coveringMGMMirage’s announcement earlier this month that it planned to builda massive casino-resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The MGM GrandAtlantic City would cost some $5 billion, “making it one of themost expensive casino projects in history,” according tothe Times. The Journalincluded the announcement in its“What’s News” section on the front page. This proposal is a bigdeal, especially for Atlantic City, where casinos have been losinggamblers to out-of-state competition.

The Times presentsthe story as a boon to Atlantic City, telling us in the lede thatan “otherwise dismal year for the Atlantic City casino industryturned a bit brighter” with the announcement. Brighter, yes. Weare not arguing with the idea that a $5-billion infusion could doAtlantic City a lot of good. But a look around at other presscoverage indicates that this announcement is not as simple as itseems. A cloud still hangs over the deal—a state probe intowhether an MGM Mirage Chinese partnership is tied to organizedcrime—and neither the Times nor the Journal chose toinclude the information.

In 2005, the New JerseyDivision of Gaming Enforcement opened an
investigation into MGM Mirage’s plans for a casino in Macau,
the Chinese gambling hub, looking into the company’s
partnership with Pansy Ho, daughter of Hong Kong billionaire
Stanley Ho, who is suspected of ties to organized crime—and ofpossible involvement in his daughter’s business deals.

New Jersey and otherstates have veto power over the Macau venture because MGM Mirageoperates casinos in the United States. Mississippi regulators gavea go-ahead to the partnership in 2005 and Nevada did the sameearlier this year. But New Jersey is stricter about such things,and its verdict is still out.

If Jersey rejects theMacau deal, MGM Mirage would likely pull out of the New Jerseyproject rather than give up Macau. Indeed, it’s possible that MGMMirage released its Macau plans now to force the Jersey authoritiesto make a decision.

Other news outlets pickedup on this idea.
“MGM Makes Well-Timed Move,” announces an article by Nicholas Yulico on The Street.com, whichsays:

MGM Mirage’s(MGM) announcement of a $5 billion casino development in AtlanticCity just happens to come as the company is in a standoff with thecity over licenses in Macau… Some industry watchers are wonderingwhether the timing of the announcement is designed to pressure NewJersey state regulators to speed up the much-delayed approval ofthe company’s license to operate a casino in Macau.

The Press of AtlanticCity takes a similar approach in a smart story by
Donald Wittkowski headlined “MGM awaits findings of New Jerseyinvestigation into Macau casino partnership.”

The Star-Ledgernotes (1) that “the announcement comes at a peculiar time,” thesame day the state released a report on September casino profits inAtlantic City, and the news was not good. Reporter Judy DeHavenalso quotes Yvonne Maher, acting director of the New JerseyDivision of Gaming Enforcement, who reassures the public that herMacau probe won’t be affected by MGM’s $5-billion offer to investin Jersey. “Our investigation,” said Maher, “isindependent.”

Interestingly, a storyfrom the Dow Jones wire service, the Journal’s sisterorganization, also picks up on the Macau-Jersey tension.

The Las Vegas Sunpointed out that Atlantic City “famously denied” a gaming licenseto Hilton Hotels Corporation in 1985 over possible links toorganized crime, a move that “stalled casino investments inAtlantic City for years.” Reporter Liz Benston closes her articlewith the observation that the newly announced MGM plans “make fora helpful bargaining chip while the Pansy Ho investigation hangs inthe balance.”

The Journal and theTimes are elite papers, but in this case they either didn’tdo the reporting or chose to ignore important information.

 
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