Well, it’s the All-Star break in Major League Baseball (MLB).
Phase One – PreSeason
The following players were listed at the start of the season:
West Division (Region B)
Penn National Gaming, Inc. (Springfield)
Hard Rock MA (West Springfield)
Mohegan Sun (Palmer)
Central Division (Region A)
Wynn, LLC (Everett)
Sterling Suffolk Racecourse / Caesars (East Boston)
Crossroads Massachusetts, LLC / Foxwoods (Milford)
Southeastern Division (Region C)
Mashpee Indian Tribe (Taunton)
Minor League (Class 2, Slots Only)
Raynham Park (Raynham)
Mass Gaming & Entertainment, LLC (Worcester)
PPE Casino Resorts / Maryland Alive! (Danvers)
Plainridge Racecourse (Plainville)
Season Begins – The first Hurdle: Community Agreement
MGM took the lead getting the first community agreement and got way ahead in Springfield in promoting their plan. Hard Rock also receive a Community Agreement. Mohegan Sun expects to have it done by July, and Penn dropped out of West Division (only to pop up somewhere else later!)
Other Agreements were made with Everett (Wynn), Raynham (Raynham Park) and Plainville (Plainridge). All others are still finishing up proposals and community approval.
First Half of Season:
The West (Region B)
MGM still continues to look like a strong favorite, although Mohegan Sun has raised the anti with its new proposal. Hard Rock has overcome community hurdles and seems to be surging at MGM. Traffic plans still seem to be big points to all three towns in this division.
The Southeastern (Region C)
Changes were made to MGC’s plan, due to Mashpee Wampanoag recognition snafus. Developers who are unsuccessful in their pursuit of casinos in the eastern or western regions of Massachusetts could compete in the newly opened southeastern region under a plan approved by the state’s gaming commission on Thursday. The decision follows the panel’s recent vote to open up southeastern Massachusetts to commercial casino bidders. The Mashpee Wampanaog tribe had previously enjoyed exclusivity in Region C while it pursued state and federal approvals for a proposed tribal casino in Taunton. The commission unanimously approved a request that could potentially give a second bite at the apple to companies that submitted initial applications but failed to negotiate host community agreements, or secured agreements that were later rejected by voters.
Wynn seems the team to beat in the Boston area. While Foxwoods continues to raise its proposal much like Mohegan Sun did, neither Foxwoods or Caesars have a community agreement yet. Still, the difference in offerings, and towns involved should get interesting once they do!
The Minors – Slot Parlors
This seems the most interesting battle. Competition for the state’s sole slot parlor license has become more intense, as two casino developers that applied to build a gambling business in Massachusetts confirmed their intentions.
Mass Gaming & Entertainment, announced a proposal for a $200 million slot parlor on one of “several sites” in Millbury, nixing its interest in Worcester. Then, the town of Salisbury turned down Mass Gaming & Entertainment.
Penn National plans to get into the casino fray and announced that it is proposing a $200 million slots-only facility in Tewksbury, close to the border of New Hampshire.
My Predictions – The Rest of the Season
Here are the winners, according to Binbin:
Region A – Wynn
Region B – MGM
Region C – Mashpee Wampanoags (the new changes in tribal recognition will allow the Mashpees to finally get their Casino)
Slots-Only – Raynham, with horse racing and community backing, it’ll edge out the rest. However, don’t sell Penn Gaming short with their late entry – Tewskbury will fortify Massachusetts’ northeastern boundry, giving New Hampshire another casino (without the revenue).
That’s the story so far and my predictions for the future, with a little help with my Magic 8 Ball.
That’s all for now.