Foxwoods Development partners online gambling site
Foxwoods Development Co., the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe's St. Louis-based development arm, plans to develop an Internet gambling site in Europe in a partnership with Goodson Gaming, whose president, Jonathan Goodson, produced such hit television game shows as "The Price is Right" and "Family Feud."
"We're going to pursue a license or licenses in those jurisdictions where Internet gaming is fully legal, regulated and taxed," Gary Armentrout, Foxwoods Development's president, said Thursday. "We're proposing a unique business model combining a live TV game show with an Internet gaming site, and cross-promoting both to drive customers to the TV show as well as to the gaming site."
Armentrout said Foxwoods Development would operate the Internet site as "a viable, licensed site" featuring casino-type games. He said online gamblers would be able to go to the site independent of the game show, but that "the connection to the game show is what makes this (venture) unique."
The partnership, called Velocity Gaming, is negotiating a deal in a European country that Armentrout declined to identify.
"This venture will in no way operate in the United States," he said.
Foxwoods Development, an equity owner of the venture along with Goodson Gaming, is making no up-front capital investment in it, according to Armentrout.
"We are contributing our expertise in casino operations, games management and marketing in the same way Goodson is contributing expertise in television game show production," he said.
Goodson Gaming comprises Goodson and Gaming Solutions International, which has been involved in the lottery industry for more than 25 years. The partnership has developed dozens of successful lottery television productions around the world, including in the United States and South Africa.
GSI's Mark Hutchinson, president of Velocity Gaming, said Goodson has provided most of the financial backing for the venture. He said Goodson asked him to put together the elements of the Velocity project.
"I'm the lottery game guy," Hutchinson said. "My partner, Goodson, is the TV guy and Foxwoods Development is the land-based casino operator."
Hutchinson pioneered live lottery television shows, first in Kansas, Illinois and other states. Such shows, in which contestants were chosen from among lottery ticket-buyers, were credited with significantly boosting lottery sales.
Goodson, the son of game-show legend Mark Goodson, produced the Illinois lottery show, "Illinois Instant Riches" and later "Illinois' Luckiest," from 1994 to 2000.
Foxwoods Development, a partner in a long-stalled casino project in Philadelphia, recently entered into an agreement with Apollo Management to bring Harrah's Entertainment into that deal. Armentrout said the company also has a number of other projects in the pipeline, "none of which I'm at liberty to talk about."
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