Project Planning/Getting the License – First and Fast, or Later and Last

Competition for gaming licenses is fierce.  The gaming industry has witnessed licensing battles in Pennsylvania, and those gearing up in Massachusetts and Florida.  With licenses in limited supply, applicants must show why their project is the best.   They have to engage the public and turn public officials into vocal advocates.  Government officials increasingly focus not just on the potential gaming revenues of a project, but on the total impacts of a development on surrounding communities and the state as a whole.

productsNew06AUrban planners and local planning departments exist to review and mitigate these impacts.   Paying early attention to the local planning process can help to head off potential opposition, prevent costly mistakes, and give license applicants a leg up on the competition.  One significant aspect of effective front-end planning is thoughtful and complete review of the zoning and land use issues involved in the project.

(more…)

Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport Prevails in Challenge to Public Bid

Court Formally Recognizes TMG’s Knowledge and Experience in Victory for Client

Since 2001, TMG Consulting has administered and monitored the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (DBE) at the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport (BRMA). One of our responsibilities is to review the bid documents submitted on federal projects to ensure compliance to the DBE Program. In short, did the bidder meet the DBE project goal and/or make Good Faith Efforts (GFEs) to utilize DBE participation?

This month, TMG participated in a hearing on behalf of the BRMA.

BTRRecently, BRMA solicited sealed bid responses for Wildlife Hazard Mitigation Improvements, a drainage and infrastructure project to eliminate potential attractions to wildlife near the airfield. The apparent low bid was contested by another bidder for a number of reasons, including a DBE-related matter. The bidder filed a temporary restraining order and writ of mandamus on the project in Baton Rouge Civil District Court.

Specifically at question was whether the apparent low bidder made adequate Good Faith Efforts to include DBE participation on the bid.

The Judge ruled in favor of the Airport:

(1)   Rejecting the plaintiff’s claims to award the contract to the plaintiff (writ of mandamus); and

(2)   Deeming that the burden of proof required for a permanent restraining order trial was not met, thereby removing the temporary restraining order.

(more…)

TMG Partnership Wins Competitive Contract from Zachary Taylor Parkway Commission

TMG Consulting is proud to announce that the firm has been hired by the Zachary Taylor Parkway (ZTP) Commission to assist in updating the Commission’s Master Plan! TMG will serve as a sub-consultant to N-Y Associates, the prime firm on the contract. Urban Systems will also serve as a sub-consultant. The contract was awarded via a competitive public RFP (Request for Proposals) process, with the TMG team selected from over a half-dozen respondents!

ZTP 2As part of a comprehensive Master Plan Update for the Parkway, TMG’s primary responsibilities include gathering data on economic shifts, creating an economic development plan, developing a marketing and communications strategy, and conducting stakeholder and public outreach. N-Y Associates will create a Parkway “vision document,” gather data on demographic and policy shifts, and develop a Disaster Preparedness Plan, while also coordinating the drafting of the final report. Urban Systems will supply traffic and safety analysis to create a Corridor Management Plan. TMG is thrilled to serve the ZTP Commission with such capable partners.

The Zachary Taylor Parkway is a scenic highway that stretches from Alexandria, Louisiana to Poplarville, Mississippi, traversing eight Louisiana Parishes and one Mississippi County. Traveling through it, motorists encounter a diverse mix of small towns, scenic countryside, homegrown businesses, thriving agricultural areas, historic tourist attractions, and magnificent plantations. The team is confident that the Master Plan Update will provide a roadmap for the renewal and growth of this historic corridor.

Congratulations to the entire team, and stay tuned for updates on this exciting project!

The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use

Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport On Track to Exceed DBE Goals

Airport Reports Significant Increase in DBE Commitments

DBETMG Consulting assists the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport (BRMA) in drafting and administering its Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and Small Business Enterprise (SBE) programs.  The Airport’s DBE Program is mandated by the federal government under FAA grant assurances and aims to ensure that government grant funds are distributed equitably.

TMG is proud to report that projects awarded in FFY 2014 have a combined commitment of 17.11% to DBE firms.  A total of six (6) DBE subcontracts were awarded on four (4) projects during FFY 2014, for a value of $973,865 to DBE firms. During FFY 2013, BRMA committed 8.7% to DBE firms. BRMA’s overall DBE goal for FFYs 2013-2015 is 7.1%, so BRMA is on track to greatly exceed their original target.

logoBtr02TMG Consulting provides assistance to BRMA by setting DBE project goals, conducting compliance reviews of bids, monitoring ongoing DBE participation on projects, assisting interested Prime Contractors in finding qualified DBE’s and providing assistance to DBE’s interested in contracting at BRMA. TMG looks forward to working with these contractors to ensure maximum participation and realization of project benchmarks.

For more information on TMG’s DBE program management services, please visit our products page here.

If you have any questions, please call:

(504) 569-9239

Rachael Bauer ext. 24 or Bonnie Garrigan ext. 29

Contributed by:

Rachael C. Bauer, MURP
Associate, TMG Consulting

TMG Increases Engagement for DBEs and SBEs at Airport Event

On July 30th, 2014, TMG Consulting organized the 9th Annual Business Opportunities Workshop for the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport. This year featured a small business trade show, where small and disadvantaged businesses, along with resources agencies, tabled to showcase their talents. Attendance at this event topped over 120 small and disadvantaged business, prime contractors, resource agencies, and airport staff! The purpose of the Business Opportunities Workshop is multi-faceted:

  • to educate firms about the Airport’s Disadvantaged Enterprise (DBE) program and Small Business Enterprise (SBE) program;
  • to inform attendees about upcoming work opportunities at the Airport;
  • to facilitate networking among prime and potential subcontractor firms in order to create connections now, learn what businesses have to offer and prepare a qualified team when the next Baton Rouge Airport bid is released.
  • and to provide resources to help small businesses grow.

Small businesses are an integral aspect of the Baton Rouge Airport’s long-term vision and the airport has a history of actively engaging the DBE and small business communities on Airport contracts. The Airport DBE Program is mandated by the federal government under FAA grant assurances and aims to ensure that government grant funds are distributed equitably.

TMG Consulting has assisted the Baton Rouge Airport to draft and administer both DBE and SBE programs and regularly sets DBE project goals, conducts compliance reviews of bid, and monitors ongoing DBE participation on projects. Events such as these are hosted to help communicate the wide range of opportunities at an Airport for businesses and to demystify the DBE program for all contractors.

 

Contributed by:

Bonnie Garrigan
Manager of Economic Analysis
bonniegarrigan@tmg-consulting.net or 504.569.9239 ext.29

—–

 Disclaimer
The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.

 

 

Status of Internet Gaming in the United States

Since our last entry on Internet gaming (https://tmgconsulting.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/igaming-more-joint-ventures-strategic-alliances-and-mergers-acquisitions-than-you-can-shake-a-stick-at/), much has changed.  National-level legislation did not move as quickly as some had hoped, while individual states are considering legalization of online gaming on their own.  In service to our clients, TMG continually monitors the progress of Internet gaming in the United States.  This blog entry is a brief summary of some of the more relevant developments of late.

In 2009, New York and Illinois’ lotteries petitioned the Department of Justice (DOJ) for a legal opinion on their plans to sell lottery tickets online. In response, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a Memorandum Opinion[1] on December 23, 2011 which stated that Internet gaming transactions are legal between states were gambling is legal, effectively reversing its previous interpretation under the Federal Wire Act that implied it was illegal. The ramifications of the DOJ’s opinion are still developing throughout the country, with several states passing or attempting to pass new legislation to allow iGaming within their borders and reap the economic benefits.

As of June 2013, there were five states with some form of legalized iGaming and at least 18 other states that were exploring their options or working to pass enabling legislation. Only two states, Utah and Texas, have specifically prohibited iGaming, while the remainder of states in the U.S. have yet to publically take a stance.[2]  The types of games that are offered (or will be offered) in states with enabling legislation vary from online lottery tickets, online poker, online Vegas-style table games (e.g., blackjack), and online slots games.

Factions within the U.S. Congress have also introduced legislation on the federal level this year. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid submitted a bill that would set federal standards for online poker throughout the nation, while banning casino-style online games (e.g., blackjack, slot-style games, etc.). In a separate effort, Rep. Peter King introduced a bill that would also seek to set federal standards for online gaming, but would not ban casino-style online games. At least one other bill related to online poker is also expected to be introduced this summer.  Without more uniform agreement on whether or not casino-style games should be allowed online, it seems unlikely Congress will pass an online gaming bill in 2013.

States that have Taken Action

  • Delaware: Legislation has been passed allowing poker, slots, and table games to be played online within the state’s borders. The Delaware Lottery will oversee a centralized iGaming system which will be operated by the current land-based racetrack casino operators in the state. Delaware expects it will bring its iGaming online by September 30, 2013.[3]
  • Georgia: New legislation now allows an online lottery in the state. The Georgia Lottery controls this operation and offers lottery ticket sales on its website.[4]
  • Illinois: New legislation now allows an online lottery in the state. The Illinois Lottery controls this operation, which has already commenced.[5] Online poker was proposed in a recent gaming expansion bill that was vetoed by Governor Quinn.[6],[7]
  • Nevada: In February 2013, Nevada passed iGaming Legislation which allows online poker to be operated by companies that are already licensed to operate land-based casinos in the state. Existing operators must successfully apply for an iGaming permit with the Nevada Gaming Control Board. The first company in the US (Ultimate Poker) was awarded an online gaming license in April 2013 and is now active.[8] Additionally, in February 2013, Nevada’s Governor signed a bill authorizing the state to enter into interstate compacts allowing online poker.[9]
  • New Jersey: New legislation now allows online versions of all games currently offered at land-based casinos. The law has yet to be executed and awaits activation from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. Industry executives estimate online gaming may not be live in NJ until after mid-2013, possibly not until 2014.[10]

States Considering Online Gaming

  • California: Interested parties are pushing for online poker to be operated by the existing land-based casinos.[11]  Two bills are currently (June 2013) under consideration in the Senate.[12]
  • Connecticut: Facing pressure from Foxwoods casino to authorize Internet gaming. As of June 2013, it is unclear what route Connecticut will ultimately take with iGaming.[13]
  • Florida: As of June 2013 there are two bills, one in the House and one in the Senate, proposing online lottery ticket sales.[14]
  • Hawaii: Legislation was proposed in 2013 session, but failed to pass through the Legislature.[15]
  • Iowa: Proposed legislation for online gaming was rejected by the Iowa House of Representatives in 2013, for the second year in a row.[16]
  • Kentucky: The Kentucky Lottery Corporation approved the sale of online lottery tickets, which is expected to boost annual lottery proceeds to the state by $80 million per year. Online ticket sales are expected to begin in 2015.[17]
  • Louisiana: A resolution was passed by the State Legislation in June 2013 that authorizes a study for the impact of Internet gaming in Louisiana and to report its findings by March 2014.[18]
  • Maryland: Various bills were proposed in 2013.
  • Massachusetts: Various online gaming bills have been proposed.[19]
  • Michigan: Two forms of legislation prohibiting online lottery ticket sales in the state were proposed in April 2013.[20]
  • Mississippi: For the second year in a row, Mississippi failed to pass its intrastate online gambling bill.[21]
  • New York: The New York Senate has declared it supports authorizing online poker. A bill has yet to be introduced.[22]
  • Ohio:  Legislators are exploring the issue which may require a state constitutional amendment to allow online games.[23]
  • Oklahoma:  A bill was proposed in the State Senate to make playing of lottery games on VLTs and on the Internet illegal without first purchasing a paper lottery ticket at a lottery retail location.[24]
  • Pennsylvania: Legislators have indicated that there is pressure to enable online gaming in the state in order to keep up with Nevada and its neighbor New Jersey.[25]
  • Texas:  Multiple constitutional amendments were proposed in 2013 seeking to allow online poker.
  • Washington: Online poker bill failed in early 2013. Another attempt next year seems likely.[26]
  • Washington D.C.: A forerunner in last year’s race to enable iGaming, Washington D.C. came up short. Current legislative plans regarding online gaming are unknown.[27]

Revenue Potential

Of course, the question on everyone’s minds: how much $$$?  Some recent forecasts are shown below:

  • “The American Gaming Association says that roughly 85 countries have legalized online gambling and there is around $35 billion bet online each year. The Association believes that the US market will be worth $10 billion each year by 2017 and has the potential to grow far larger than that.”[24]
  • “…should online gaming be legalized, the U.S. market for online casinos and poker could be worth as much as US$12 billion, according to Goldman Sachs.”[25]
  • “…revenue from the United States earned from online gambling in 2012 was estimated at $17 to $19 billion.”[26]

Contributed by:

Nicholas Farrae

Senior Analyst, Economics & Gaming

nicholasfarrae@tmg-consulting.net or 504.569.9239 x 31

—–
 
Disclaimer
The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.

[1] Department of Justice. “Whether proposals by Illinois and New York to use the Internet and out-of-state transaction processors to sell lottery tickets to in-state adults violate the Wire Act, Opinions of the Office of Legal Counsel in Volume 35.” December 2011.

[2] iGaming Business North America. “State of the Union.” iGaming Business North America. Issue 05, February/March 2013.

[3] Stradbrooke, Steven. “PokerStars among bidders for Delaware Lottery contracts.” CalvinAyre.com March 2013.

<http://calvinayre.com/2013/03/20/business/pokerstars-among-delaware-lottery-bidders-optimal-payments-plots-us-return/&gt;

[5] iGaming Business North America. “State of the Union.” iGaming Business North America. Issue 05, February/March 2013.

[6] Vinicky, Amanda. “Quinn: Online Gambling Proposal ‘Problematic.’” NPR via WUISNews.org  March 2013.

<http://wuisnews.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/quinn-online-gambling-proposal-problematic/&gt;

[9] Collson, Brett. “Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval Signs Interstate Online Poker Bill.”  Poker News Global. February 2013. <http://www.pokernews.com/news/2013/02/interstate-online-poker-bill-moves-forward-in-nevada-14377.htm&gt;

[10] The Associated Press. “Opposition to Internet Gambling Lessening in N.J.” DailyFinance.com March 2013. < http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/03/20/Internet-gambling-opposition-lessening-nj-christie/&gt;

[11] iGaming Business North America. “State of the Union.” iGaming Business North America. Issue 05, February/March 2013.

[13] iGaming Business North America. “State of the Union.” iGaming Business North America. Issue 05, February/March 2013.

[25] iGaming Business North America. “State of the Union.” iGaming Business North America. Issue 05, February/March 2013.

[27] iGaming Business North America. “State of the Union.” iGaming Business North America. Issue 05, February/March 2013.

TMG Assists Baton Rouge Transit System as it Prepares for Big Change

In need of additional resources, the Baton Rouge Capital Area Transit System (CATS) turned to the voters of East Baton Rouge Parish to establish the agency’s first dedicated source of revenue.  Following an extensive outreach campaign that included a coalition of business, faith-based and other organizations, the Baton Rouge community in April 2012 approved a property tax measure which effectively doubled the agency’s budget in order to implement a number of significant improvements to service.  This ballot success was a big win for the future of transit in the Capital and an exceptional event for transit nationwide, representative of a larger trend of new attitudes toward transportation.

In late 2012, CATS retained TMG Consulting to analyze the current state and progress of the organization as it was preparing to implement its growth plans and to make recommendations on what management structure would best meet the agencies goals through transition.  TMG researched data from CATS and other relevant transit agencies of current and future size.  Using gap analysis, TMG was able to estimate what resources and staff capacity the organization was likely to need to meet its future goals.  After vetting a number of management alternatives that ranged from all in-house to fully contracted, or delegated, management, TMG recommended that CATS augment staff by contracting out selected management positions, an arrangement similar to transit agencies in El Paso, TX and Lexington, KY.  TMG also prepared a number of other recommendations, from the pace of introducing new service to technology investment, to enable the agency to stay on track to deliver its ballot goals and bring CATS to the next level.

The CATS Board and staff is currently reviewing TMG’s recommendations as it prepares for what will undoubtedly be a bright new future for transit in Baton Rouge.

Contributed by:

Dwight Norton, AICP

Senior Analyst, Planning

dwightnorton@tmg-consulting.net  

—–
 
Disclaimer
The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.

Superbowl 2013: New Orleans Welcomes Visitors with Improved and Modernized Airport

On January 15, 2013 New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu hosted the official opening of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport’s Terminal Interior and Exterior Improvements Airport Modernization Program.  This capital program, comprising more than $300 million of infrastructure improvements, was begun before the impact of Hurricane Katrina and successfully completed ahead of a make-or-break event for the city and the region: Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Super Dome on February 2.

“An expected 42,000 visitors to the city will be greeted and hosted in world-class style with Armstrong’s newly renovated terminal and concourse spaces, windows and lighting, fully reconstructed restrooms throughout the terminal, together with new information displays, baggage claim and security checkpoint upgrades, a new walk-to-rent consolidated rental car facility, rental car service centers and six new gates in a renovated and expanded Concourse D. The Jerome S. Glazer Access Road has just been renovated for a smooth ride direct to Interstate 10.  After their visit, on the way home, there are new landmark local gift and dining venues such as the Saints store and Dooky Chase’s – more than $6 million of improved concessions offerings.  What the visitors won’t see is just as important: a new airfield fire station, rehabilitated airfield pavement and lighting controls, a $30 million state-of-the-art security system and emergency operations center and security fencing.

As significant as all of these improvements are for the visitors, they are lasting investments made for the long term benefit of the community here in South East Louisiana.  And they were all done without taxpayer dollars, with user fees and self-generated airport funds.

TMG Consulting has been assisting the New Orleans Aviation Board in realizing their plans for more than twenty years.  We have been able to advise Armstrong on planning, programing and funding their capital investments.  And we’ve been able to help build our hometown while doing it.  We’re proud of our efforts and those of our partners at Armstrong and throughout the local consultant community.  We’re continuing in our service and excited by the future.  As satisfying as the Airport Modernization Program is, we believe the best is yet to come…

Contributed by:

Ross F. Chapman

Principal

rfc@tmg-consulting.net  

—–
 
Disclaimer
The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.

Jan Garbers Joins European Civil Protection Congress

This September, TMG’s Jan Garbers was invited to the 8th European Civil Protection Congress.

The European Civil Protection Congress is an international platform informing the national, European and international Experts and decision-makers of disaster management, civil protection and relief organizations about the latest developments in the field.

The congress intends to strengthen the dialogue between public authorities, associations, universities and experts. The annual conference attracts 800-1,000 participants from more than 20 nations.  This platform presents latest political decisions, enables networks and extents cooperation. Among the participants are the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance and the Federal Agency of Technical Relief advising the organizers content wise.

The close bonds with the European Commission and other relief organizations allow the participants to fortify and to enhance relations to other experts. 2011 the conference was supported by the European Commission and the United Nations. The European Civil Protection Congress is a set date in the agenda of national and international decision- makers.

The European Civil Protection Congress briefly:

  • International platform for the leadership levels of disaster management and civil protection,
  • High-ranking technical reports from Ministries of the Interior and the European Commission,
  • Meeting point for political decision-makers and disaster managers,
  • Conference program presents international very important persons of Politics, Administration and Disaster management,
  • Up to ten specialized Panel Sessions,
  • Accompanying exhibition of the prominent manufacturers of system solutions,

The European Civil Protection Congress is an annual conference that takes place in Bonn, Germany in September each year.

Uncertain Future for Transportation Funding

Who is going to pay for the next transportation reauthorization bill?  This was the big question posed at the APTA Expo 2011.  The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century authorized the Federal surface transportation programs for highways, highway safety, and transit for a six-year period that expired in 2003, and has since operated on short-term extensions. (more…)