Wynn Passes Muster with Massachusetts Commission Suitability Check
Steve Wynn is one step closer to having his Everett, Massachusetts casino at last (Image: ABC News)
The long and winding road that causes an Everett casino for Steve Wynn is getting nearer to the finish line: the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s madly demanding investigative bureau has finally given the go-ahead from the suitability point of view for the casino mogul to open his first-ever Bay State property.
Cleared for Takeoff
The recommendation was made early final week during a commission meeting, and followed a four-member sign-off on a revised deal for the planned casino a few times earlier in the day.
Needless to express, Steve Wynn has to be breathing a sigh of relief. With his typical colorful and cut-to-the-chase wording, he summed up his feelings on having made it this far and being this near the end of the regulatory hurdles altogether.
‘ This is a big investment for us here in Boston,’ Wynn noted. ‘This isn’t box of slots. This is a ‘wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am’ fancy hotel.’
Of course, there’s no free lunch with this commission; an organization that has turned out to be finicky to a degree which has driven a lot of the proposed casinos’ professionals to distraction. To that end, the Commission’s Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement is still demanding that some conditions be met, such as for instance showing the outfit that Wynn’s interactions in his Macau casinos fall suitably within what the BIE considers ‘responsible business practices.’
Wynn has hardly been the only subject of extreme scrutiny by the Commission; nor has it all been going in a single direction. Caesars Entertainment who was essentially rejected as a business that is appropriate for Suffolk Downs’ East-Boston-now-Revere casino project recently filed a lawsuit against the Commission’s Chairman, Stephen Crosby, claiming that Crosby had neglected to adequately reveal a possible conflict of great interest relating to Wynn. Crosby had a prior business relationship with a part owner of the land on which Everett is to be built a former Mansanto chemical plant which could at least give the appearance of some favoritism being shown to Wynn’s casino project there.
Caesars reported a shortage of ‘objectivity and fairness’on Crosby’s part into the matter, even going up to now as to mean that Crosby deliberately wanted to derail Suffolk Downs’ casino application. Caesars via that Suffolk Downs partnership, which is now dissolved was at the running for the exact same eastern Massachusetts casino license as competitor Wynn. Suffolk Downs has since regrouped and is now intending for a Revere casino with new partner Mohegan Sun.
But Crosby has not taken some of these allegations lying down, and notes he will not intend to recuse himself from voting on the Wynn casino project. In reality, he says the process to date has indeed been ‘incredibly transparent.’
And for his part, Wynn is backing up Crosby, saying the commissioner’s reputation and actions to date have been ‘unblemished.’
‘I think reasonable and people that are reasonable see that and realize that i have fulfilled my obligations of disclosure,’ Crosby added.
Wynn also fired back at Caesars, with an ‘I’m-nicer-than-you-are’-style retort. The casino magnate noted that he raised no protests to the commission vis-à-vis its Suffolk that is allowing Downs now progress with their Revere-only casino plans after being rejected by East Boston voters in November.
Unsavory Shadows Hangover Everett Land Deal
Yes, he’s now received approval that is regulatory the Massachusetts Commission, but is everything really on the up-and-up with Wynn’s Everett land deal? Not according to convicted felon Charles Lightbody, who claims he is making money on Wynn’s land purchase, one way or another, even though Commission sees things differently.
Lightbody even bragged to a still-incarcerated mob enforcer friend about it on tape.
‘It’s gonna be a real home run if we are able to get the permits through,’ Lightbody told Daren Bufalino, who is in state prison, doing time for attempted extortion and conspiracy. ‘ You’ll own half the [expletive] city,’ Lightbody told Bufalino in Aug. 2012, implying that the convict may benefit too.
Lightbody was referring to Wynn’s deal with the Everett land owners to fork over $75 million for his Massachusetts casino project, on spec.
In a reaction to that, the Commission unanimously approved a revised submitted land deal plan from Wynn, which lowered the parcel that is 29-acre cost down to $35 million, essentially eliminating the possibility for Lightbody benefitting from the land deal. Although Lightbody’s name had never shown up on any documents, he was reportedly element of that original sellers group a group who paid simply $8 million four years ago for the same parcel.
Wynn had to swear to the Commission that solely the owners that are principal make any profits from the deal beneath the revised agreement.
Lightbody’s taped jail conversations with Bufalino had been subpoenaed by the commission investigators. Inside them, the ex-felon makes clear he intends to benefit from the land deal, no matter whether he gets squeezed down or perhaps not. Lightbody also indicated within the conversation he knew how to full cover up his part-ownership from any regulatory scrutiny. Moreover, two of this Everett property owners say Lightbody purchased an option for a strip that is nearby, a choice which he will exercise should the casino come to fruition.
‘The other thing around the corner that goes with a casino I own,’ Lightbody is heard Bufalino that is telling during of their exchanges.’It’s the thing that is best you can have with a casino. There’s only two things, females and booze, right round the part. [Expletive] locked it. Locked up tight as a drum.’
Throughout the course of their investigations, the payment investigators determined that Bufalino had, in reality, received prison canteen money from Lightbody, and that the two men had been friends.
With Board Chairman Stephen Crosby recused due to his conflict of interest, the remainder of the Massachusetts Commission gave a thumbs-up to the revised land agreement, despite investigators discovering that the selling principals had perhaps not disclosed Lightbody’s original 12.5 percent ownership share, and had even falsified documents so so it appeared the ex-con had exited from the deal before he actually had.
Big Brother’s Endemol Invests $13 Million in Social Casino Start-Up
Endemol winner room casino puebla producers of TV’s ‘Big Brother’ show has invested heavily in social casino games start-up Plumbee
Endemol has announced an investment of $13 million in London-based social casino games start-up Plumbee and before you ask, ‘Who the heck is Endemol?’ they’re the creators of the perplexingly popular ‘Big Brother’ television franchise, as well as multiplatform entertainment producers and according with their own site, at least the world’s largest separate production company, with 90 organizations stretched down across 30 nations.
Marketing Wizardry Meets Social Games
Now the massive production conglomerate is geared up to exert effort alongside Plumbee to generate premium social games, making use of their entertainment and tv brands to improve business and build on the worldwide user base that Plumbee has developed since its inception just over two years ago.
The round of financing during which the production and distribution group fronted the investment also included investor that is previous Partners, which brought the business to a valuation of $40 million.
Endemol is currently seeking to invest in digital services also, after recently releasing a venture that is new create a network of connected digital networks which required a multi-million Euro investment.
Plumbee, which was birthed in October 2011 with an injection from Idinvest Partners, is a young contender in the gaming industry, but has already developed an international reputation for creating, running and marketing free-to-play online and mobile games for social networks.
Making Money the Old-Fashioned Way: Charging for Every Thing
Social system video gaming is quick becoming a popular medium which many companies are looking towards as a way to build and grip a strong client base, with hopes that they’ll go over to the real-money gaming side of things, or at minimum, be susceptible to extra cash on the social sites.
Playing the games is initially free for the users, they receive the chance to buy virtual credits which may be used to unlock more features, upgrades, gifts and bonuses, by which the company’s profits clearly lie.
Much of Plumbee’s recent growth and success comes from the popular Mirrorball Slots game which ended up being launched on Apple’s iOS platform during the summertime and is shortly due to launch on Android os devices also. Mirrorball Slots is currently one of the highest-grossing games found on Facebook, and is the flagship item of the company.
But Endemol is not the very first big business partner to join forces with Plumbee. The social casino start-up already boasts a joint venture called Bonza Gaming, with online gambling company Unibet . This joint venture is the creative power behind Bonza Casino and Bonza Slots, which pioneered the industry as one of the very first real-money casinos available through Facebook.
‘Joining forces with a world-leading content creator like Endemol preferably positions us to develop a brand new generation of premium social games,’ announced chief executive officer of Plumbee, Raf Keustermans. ‘Endemol will become a shareholder that is strategic this will enable us to leverage the business’s worldwide network and globally recognized brands.
‘This will significantly raise the development of our worldwide user base, as we create gaming experiences that stand out from the competition,’ added the executive that is chief.
‘Social casino video gaming is a fast-emerging market and Plumbee is one of the many revolutionary and dynamic operators in this space,’ noted Lucas Church, chair of Endemol Group’s commercial board. ‘ This partnership that is new enable us to accelerate the growth of Endemol’s electronic gaming business round the world, whilst capturing more of the value created by our entertainment brands.’