Foxwoods Launches Online Gaming Venture

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Foxwoods, one of the largest land-based casino operators in the United States, is broadening its horizons.  The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe’s development arm, Foxwoods Development Company LLC, revealed plans to partner with television and entertainment firm Goodson Gaming to develop an international online gaming presence.  The joint venture has been dubbed Velocity Gaming.

In a statement, Foxwoods Development said, “Velocity Gaming brings together industry leaders in casino gaming, television game show production, and global lotteries in order to produce an unparalleled combination that will generate product awareness, drive incremental game play, and create new and exciting customer experiences in the interactive gaming world.”

Gary Armentrout, Foxwoods Development’s President, told the local newspaper The Day on 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.”

Goodson Gaming is comprised of Jonathan Goodson, producer of such game shows as “Double Dare” and “Card Sharks,” and Gaming Solutions International (GSI), which produces lottery shows like “Make Me Rich,” a program hosted by Christopher Knight of “The Brady Bunch” fame for the Michigan Lottery.  The show is broadcast quarterly on a number of television stations in Michigan and offers a select number of Michigan Lottery Instant Game players the opportunity to compete for millions of dollars.  Home viewers can also win one of five $1,000 prizes by texting in during the show.

One of Goodson’s state-based lottery game shows, “Illinois Instant Riches” (which was renamed “Illinois’ Luckiest”), was actually broadcast nationally, as it was shown on Chicago’s WGN Superstation.  Airing at 6:30pm Central Time, it was WGN’s highest rated Saturday program, but was cancelled in 2000.

Goodson is the son of legendary game show producer Mark Goodson.  The elder Goodson produced dozens of game shows, including “The Price is Right,” “Family Feud,” “Match Game,” and “What’s My Line?”  After Mark Goodson passed away in 1992, Jonathan took over Goodson-Todman Productions until selling it to All American Television in 1995.

Velocity Gaming will be a true joint venture combing three sets of expertise.  Said GSI’s Mark Hutchinson, who will head the new company, “I’m the lottery game guy.  My partner, Goodson, is the TV guy, and Foxwoods Development is the land-based casino operator.”

As was the case when Harrah’s created Harrah’s Interactive Entertainment, speculation will begin as to whether this means Foxwoods is anticipating legalized and regulated online gambling in the United States in the near future.  “This venture will in no way operate in the United States,” Armentrout told The Day.  “We’re going to pursue a license or licenses in those jurisdictions where internet gaming is fully legal, regulated, and taxed.”

Foxwoods Resort Casino is one of the largest casinos in the world, with over 400,000 square feet devoted to gaming.  The entire resort, which includes 1,416 hotel rooms, numerous restaurants, and the MGM Grand at Foxwoods, covers 4,700,000 square feet of space.

Foxwoods boasts the largest poker room on the East Coast of the United States, housing more than 100 tables, and serves as host of a number of major poker tournaments, including the World Poker Tour’s Foxwoods World Poker Finals.  Poker News Daily Guest Columnist Bernard Lee serves as Foxwood’s Poker Room Spokesperson.

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