MGM Resorts has reached an agreement with the Boston Red Sox to become the baseball team’s “official and exclusive resort casino.”
A press release reveals that the partnership is a multi-year arrangement that will allow the casino operator to have a strong presence in and around the Red Sox MLB franchise.
MGM says it “will have visible messaging behind home plate, Red Sox radio, and other team-controlled media outlets.” The company will additionally have exclusive access to “one-of-a-kind fan experiences at Fenway Park.”
MGM Resorts opened its $960 million integrated casino resort in Springfield, Massachusetts, last August. On a good traffic day, the property is around a 90-minute drive from the historic ballpark.
Game Within Game
Boston’s Fenway Park has displayed other gaming-related branding in the past.
Fenway’s iconic Green Monster – the 37-foot tall left field wall – adorned a Foxwoods Resort Casino logo last season. The gaming property is owned by the Mashantucket Pequot Native American tribe in neighboring Connecticut.
MGM’s decision to partner with the Red Sox and Fenway highlights the importance of casino operators obtaining the largest market share possible in the expanding gaming region.
Connecticut lawmakers approved its two Native American groups – the Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegan tribes – to build a $300 million satellite casino in East Windsor, which is just 13 miles south of MGM Springfield. However, the Las Vegas-based casino company said Connecticut should have instead held a competitive bidding process, and subsequently presented a $675 million integrated resort proposal for Bridgeport, CT.
The East Windsor casino was greatly delayed by the US Department of the Interior refusing to approve the state’s amended gaming compacts with the tribes. That was a condition needed under the law former Governor Dannel Malloy (D) signed in 2017.
A federal investigation is ongoing to determine if former DOI Secretary Ryan Zinke acted inappropriately in deciding not to act on Connecticut’s request.
MGM Resorts will be advertising its Springfield resort at Fenway, but a casino will soon be located much closer to the ballpark. A little more than five miles north, Wynn Resorts is finishing its $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor across the Mystic River in Everton.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) will soon determine whether Wynn remains a qualified casino operator for licensure within the state. Specifically, the state regulators want to know whether the company purposely concealed knowledge of Steve Wynn’s alleged sexual misconduct.
The billionaire – who resigned from the company and sold off his entire stake – continues to deny he ever acted inappropriately. However, the Nevada Gaming Control Board concluded in its own probe that on at least seven occasions Wynn managers or executives became aware of the allegations, and did little to nothing in response.
The Nevada Gaming Commission handed Wynn Resorts a record $20 million fine, but allowed the company to maintain its gaming licenses. If MGC takes a harsher route and decides to revoke Encore Boston’s $85 million operating permit, the property would need a new owner.
MGM CEO Jim Murren said last fall it would be unlikely that his company would move to acquire the resort.
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MGM Resorts Named Official Casino Partner of Boston Red SoxMarch 10, 2019