Vegas gaming giants look to Bay State for opportunities

LAS VEGAS – Battles for limited casino licenses are high-stakes propositions.Depending on tax rates, population and the amount of nearby competition, intense competition for the licenses can make sense.For example, Macau license winners have been greatly enriched, while losers have had to pay hundreds of millions to license holders for subconcessions to gain entry or stay on the outside looking in at the world’s most lucrative market.We’ve seen domestic battles in Detroit, Pennsylvania and Missouri as well as tough overseas competition in Singapore.With Massachusetts deciding whether to allow two or three casinos as a way to reduce a state budget deficit and to limit the outflow of gambling money to Connecticut tribal casinos and Rhode Island video lottery terminals, a battle among at least three Las Vegas gaming companies for Bay State licenses is looking likely.Interestingly, all three Las Vegas operators have Massachusetts connections.Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman Sheldon Adelson, who grew up in Dorchester,, and Harrah’s Entertainment Chairman Gary Loveman, a former Harvard Business School professor who still lives in Massachusetts, appeared at a December hearing to support Gov. Deval Patrick’s call for casinos.And Wynn Resorts Chairman Steve Wynn told me two weeks ago that he’d be interested in taking the Wynn brand to the Boston area.Wynn said his parents are both from Revere, and that he spent a lot of his youth there, near the ocean just north of Boston.”We’ll see what the governor does,” Wynn said. “I’m interested, depending on what the tax rate will be and what the business will be. I think the Wynn brand would work well on a resort near the water.”Without irony, the resort developer, whose vision suffers from the deteriorating effects of retinitis pigmentosa, said he’d be right at home in Revere.”I could find my way around there blindfolded,” Wynn said.

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