Steve Wynn is one step closer to having his Everett, Massachusetts casino at last (Image: ABC News)
The long and winding road that leads to an Everett casino for Steve Wynn is getting nearer to the finish line: the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s madly demanding investigative bureau has finally offered the go-ahead from a suitability viewpoint for the casino mogul to open his first-ever Bay State property.
Cleared for Takeoff
The recommendation was made early last week during a commission conference, and followed a four-member sign-off on a revised deal for the prepared casino a few days early in the day.
Needless to say, 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 to the end of the regulatory hurdles entirely.
‘ This will be a investment that is big us here in Boston,’ Wynn noted. ‘This isn’t box of slots. This is a ‘wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am’ fancy hotel.’
Needless to say, there is no free meal with this commission; a group that has turned out to be finicky to a degree that has driven a lot of the proposed casinos’ professionals to distraction. To that end, the Commission’s Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement remains demanding that some conditions be met, such as for example showing the outfit that Wynn’s interactions in his Macau gambling enterprises 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 one 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 winner of grand mondial casino Crosby had did not adequately reveal a possible conflict of interest relating to Wynn. Crosby had a prior company relationship with a component owner of the land on which Everett will be built a former Mansanto chemical plant which could at the least provide the appearance of some favoritism being proven to Wynn’s casino project here.
Caesars reported a shortage of ‘objectivity and fairness’on Crosby’s part in the matter, even going thus far as to imply that Crosby intentionally wanted to derail Suffolk Downs’ casino application. Caesars via that Suffolk Downs partnership, which is now dissolved was in the running for the same Massachusetts that is eastern casino 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 does not intend to recuse himself from voting on the Wynn casino project. In fact, he states the process to date has indeed been ‘incredibly transparent.’
And for his part, Wynn is supporting up Crosby, saying the commissioner’s reputation and actions to date have been ‘unblemished.’
‘I think reasonable and reasonable individuals will see that and realize that i have fulfilled my obligations of disclosure,’ Crosby added.
Wynn also fired straight back at Caesars, with an ‘I’m-nicer-than-you-are’-style retort. The casino magnate noted that he raised no protests to your commission vis-à-vis its allowing Suffolk Downs to now move forward 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 regulatory approval from the Massachusetts Commission, but is everything really on the up-and-up with Wynn’s Everett land deal? Maybe Not according to felon that is convicted Lightbody, who claims he is making cash on Wynn’s land purchase, one way or another, even though the Commission sees things differently.
Lightbody even bragged to a still-incarcerated mob enforcer friend about it on tape.
‘It’s gonna be described as a home that is real if we could get the licenses through,’ Lightbody told Daren Bufalino, that 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 might benefit also.
Lightbody had been referring to Wynn’s cope with the Everett land owners to fork over $75 million for his Massachusetts casino project, on spec.
In response 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 risk of 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 whom paid simply $8 million four years ago for the same parcel.
Wynn had to swear to the Commission that solely the principal owners would make any profits from the deal underneath the revised agreement.
Lightbody’s taped prison conversations with Bufalino were subpoenaed by the commission investigators. If he gets squeezed out or not in them, the ex-felon makes clear he intends to profit from the land deal, no matter. Lightbody also indicated into the conversation that he knew how to full cover up his part-ownership from any regulatory scrutiny. Moreover, two regarding the Everett property owners say Lightbody purchased an option on a strip that is nearby, an option 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, ladies and booze, right round the corner. [Expletive] locked it up. Locked up tight as a drum.’
The commission investigators determined that Bufalino had, in fact, received prison canteen money from Lightbody, and that the two men were friends during the course of their investigations.
With Board Chairman Stephen Crosby recused due to their conflict of interest, the sleep of the Massachusetts Commission provided a thumbs-up to the revised land contract, despite detectives discovering that the selling principals had not disclosed Lightbody’s initial 12.5 percent ownership share, and had even falsified documents so that it showed up the ex-con had exited through the deal before he actually had.
Big Brother’s Endemol Invests $13 Million in Social Casino Start-Up
Endemol producers of television’s ‘Big Brother’ show has spent greatly in social casino games start-up Plumbee
Endemol has established 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, along with multiplatform entertainment producers and according for their own web site, at least the world’s largest separate production business, with 90 organizations stretched away across 30 countries.
Marketing Wizardry Meets Social Games
Now the massive production conglomerate is geared up to operate alongside Plumbee to generate premium social games, using their entertainment and tv brands to improve business and build on the worldwide user base that Plumbee has produced since its inception just over two years ago.
The round of financing during that your 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 purchase digital services also, after recently introducing a new venture to create a network of connected electronic 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 a worldwide reputation for creating, operating and advertising free-to-play online and mobile games for social networks.
Making Cash the Old-Fashioned Way: Charging for Everything
Social network gaming is quick becoming a popular medium which numerous companies are looking towards in order to build and grip a strong client base, with hopes that they can move over to the real-money gaming side of things, or at minimum, be susceptible to spending cash in the social sites.
While playing the games is initially free for the users, they get the opportunity to purchase credits that are virtual may be used to unlock more features, upgrades, gifts and bonuses, by which the business’s profits demonstrably lie.
Much of Plumbee’s recent growth and success comes from the popular Mirrorball Slots game which had been launched on Apple’s iOS platform during the summertime and is shortly due to launch on Android devices also. Mirrorball Slots is currently one of the games that are highest-grossing on Facebook, and is the flagship item regarding the company.
But Endemol is not the initial business that is big to join forces with Plumbee. The social casino start-up already boasts a joint endeavor 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 new generation of premium social games,’ announced chief executive officer of Plumbee, Raf Keustermans. ‘Endemol will become a strategic shareholder and this will enable us to leverage the company’s worldwide network and globally recognized brands.
‘This will significantly increase the growth of our worldwide individual base, as we create gaming experiences that stand out from the competition,’ added the leader.
‘Social casino video gaming is really a market that is fast-emerging Plumbee is amongst the many revolutionary and powerful 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 digital gaming business around the globe, whilst capturing a lot more of the value produced by our entertainment brands.’