Making the News

Norwich Bulletin

Originally Published:Sunday, July 26, 2009

Foxwoods will host gambling summit
2010 event to focus on New England

By William Sokolic
Norwich Bulletin

For years, Mohegan Sun President and CEO Mitchell Etess has participated in the East Coast Gaming Congress in Atlantic City, N.J.

Held each May, the conference brings industry leaders, analysts from Wall Street and others together to talk about the state of gaming along the Eastern Seaboard. Starting next fall, Etess can stay closer to home to attend the conference when the New England Gaming Summit debuts at Foxwoods Resort Casino. 

Slated for Sept. 13-14, 2010, it will bring together gaming people from Connecticut, Rhode Island and Maine, which have casinos, and from Massachusetts and New Hampshire, where gaming may become a reality. The event, presented by Spectrum Gaming Group and BNP Media, will draw a broad mix of policymakers, industry leaders, analysts and others interested in this market.

Spectrum and BNP Media already partner to produce the Florida Gaming Summit, now in its fifth year. The suggestion for the New England version came during the recent New York Gaming Summit, produced by BNP. 

Role of casinos

"This conference will assist public- and private-sector leaders in understanding the role casinos can play, and have played, in local economies," said Michael Pollock, managing director of Spectrum Gaming Group, which recently produced comprehensive studies in Massachusetts and Connecticut. "We intend to provide a blueprint for existing and emerging gaming states, to improve their understanding and to foster a dialogue."

Time is right

The region is ready to explore gaming's existing impact and future potential in a dedicated conference environment, said Charles Anderer, group publisher, gaming, for BNP Media. 

"The East Coast is a big-tent event which deals with gaming from Maine to Florida and looks at national and global issues," Pollock said. Besides Etess, speakers included Jim Allen, who oversees the Hard Rock casinos in Florida; Kevin DeSanctis, owner of Revel Entertainment, building a resort on the Atlantic City Boardwalk; and executives from West Virginia and Delaware.

"The New England Summit will be from a more precise perspective, with very specific issues relevant to New England. We'll create a forum where all the relevant concerns and plans and goals are discussed wherever they may be at that time," Pollock said.

Foxwoods chose not to comment at this time, but the Mohegan Tribal Council looks forward to participating in the summit, said Chuck Bunnell, council chief of staff. 

Good role model

"We always believe in the philosophy you can learn something new every day," he said. "We believe that we are a role model in how a tribe or business entity can integrate itself in a community." 

Spectrum Gaming Group is a gaming research and professional services firm that provides economic and feasibility studies, impact analyses, regulatory services, investigations and due diligence, restructurings and acquisition services, customer-service audits and operational assistance for private- and public-sector clients on five continents. Spectrum publishes the award-winning Gaming Industry Observer newsletter and also produces the East Coast Gaming Congress and Pennsylvania Gaming Congress.

BNP produces or co-produces BingoWorld, Southern Gaming Summit, Gaming Technology Summit, New York Gaming Summit and Casino Marketing Conference. The company is one of the largest gaming industry media resource and producer of trade magazines, specialized conferences and expos, Web sites, e-newsletters and targeted specialty publications serving the gaming industry worldwide. BNP also publishes Casino Journal and Slot Manager.

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