Wynn: Make mine Manhattan; Votes for sale; Mega-Jottings

While New York Mets owner Steve Cohen and Las Vegas Sands continue to dither about how they might, maybe, possibly have something brewing in Flushing, other players—much lower-profile ones—have been making a move. A consortium of the Chickasaw Indians, Saratoga Casino Holdings, Thor Equities and Legends are pitching a “comprehensive casino, hotel, and entertainment proposal” for Coney Island. Which we think would be a logical spot for gaming and would drive more entertainment dollars to the Rockaway area, especially in cold-weather months. Now, this foursome doesn’t have the name-brand cachet of Caesars Entertainment or Wynn Resorts, both of whom have dibbed Manhattan, but the former is at war with the Theatre District and the latter is evincing cold feet about the whole thing.

Admittedly, the new deal is something of a patchwork. Thor would wield its hammer to finance the casino, management would be divided between the tribe and Saratoga, and Legends would be responsible for entertainment and other amenities. Also, parking would be at a premium and neighborhood opposition is already starting to boil. Said neighborhood activist Ida Sanoff, “the bottom line is, all of this benefits the developers who don’t live in the community, and the Coney community is famous for being very, very fractured and they just take advantage of this.” She likened the prospect of a Coney casino to Atlantic City‘s thin Boardwalk strip of prosperity and vast stretches of blight elsewhere. Thor boss Joe Sitt may have the money but MGM Empire City and Resorts World New York look like—and deserve to be—sure things and Caesars has the momentum for License #3 at this point. Good luck to him.

Since we scolded the New York Times yesterday, it’s only fair to praise it today for its investigative work on sexual harassment, depicted in the new film She Said, about the Gray Lady’s takedown of monstrous Harvey Weinstein. It’s not one of the great journalism films like The Insider or Spotlight but it is very, very good and extremely sobering (bordering on horrific, as when a tape of actual Weinstein sexual coercion is played). Be warned that the “ick” factor is high. But it makes for a gripping 129 minutes, the acting is uniformly excellent—especially Zoe Kazan as NYT reporter Jody Kantor—and veteran character actor Zach Grenier deserves one of Esquire‘s Five Minute Oscars for his vignette as Weinstein’s rebellious accountant. Somewhat freakily, this reporter used to know the brother of one of the Weinstein enablers (lawyer and novelist Linda Fairstein) depicted in the film. Spooky.

Auld lang syne.

Jottings: We’d hardly gotten used to Anthony Rodio having landed on his feet at Great Canadian Gaming when he’s leaving his CEO job to make room at the top for COO Matthew Anfinson. Like Rodio, Anfinsion is a survivor of the Caesars Entertainment shipwreck and seems tremendously overqualified to run Great Canadian. Since the latter is a province of Apollo Management, could Rodio be headed for Venelazzo? Sadly, no, he’s putting himself out to pasture … 15 companies have applied for Massachusetts sports-betting licenses, a big falloff from the 30 who showed interest. Logically, early entrants include BetMGM, WynnBet and Barstool Sports, plus surprise contenders Caesars Sportsbook (twinned with Wynn) and Fanatics. Each land-based casino gets two online skins, while seven more online licenses will be handed out, with favorite son DraftKings in contention, along with FanDuel, PointsBet and faltering BallyBet, among others. Two horse tracks also qualify for licenses … In a huge coup for Las Vegas, Sin City has landed the 2028 NCAA Final Four, which will be played in the friendly confines of Allegiant Stadium. Two other casino cities, Detroit and Indianapolis, will host the 2027 and 2029 tourneys respectively … It’s official: Say goodbye to the volcano at The Mirage. CEO Jim Allen of Hard Rock International pronounced a death sentence on the beloved attraction in an interview this week. Allen is going to invest over $1 billion in the eventual Hard Rock Las Vegas (no timeframe given) and former Mirage spokesman Alan Feldman was unsentimental about the volcano’s imminent demise, sighing, “it’s very important to remember that Las Vegas is a city that is built on change. And it has built its success on change and on reinventing itself.”

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Mike McNamara

Mike McNamara

A Las Vegas Realtor since 2008. Mike has a wide range of knowledge around all things Las Vegas.

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