Here a slot, there a slot, will everywhere in New England be a slot, slot?
All, a few, or none of these proposals may become reality, but just for fun, let’s count the number of gambling expansions being considered in the New England. I’ll give you hint – after it’s all listed, you may need fingers AND toes to count them!
1. Casino gambling was defeated in New Hampshire last year for three reasons – New Hampshire had no regulatory framework in place to govern casinos, the revenue would not appear for years, and the bill did not provide the state with a large enough take for the state. All three concerns have been addressed. The New Hampshire Senate Ways and Means Committee voted 4-1 on Jan. 28 to recommend passage of a bill that would allow the state to authorize two casinos.
Make that New Hampshire +2!
2. Massachusetts has one sure bet in Springfield with MGM. Both Wynn in Everett and Mohegan Sun in Reverre have been deemed suitable, so, one will be chosen for the Eastern Mass Casino License. Foxwoods is now back in the mix proposing a new $750 million resort in the city of Fall River, while the Masspee Wampanoags have been given the green light to continue. In the same Southeastern Region, there could be two additional casinos. (Are you still counting?) oh, and rember there is still that one “Slots-only License.” The bidders are Penn National Gaming, which hopes to operate a slots parlor at the Plainridge harness race track in Plainville; Raynham Park, a former dog-racing track; and Cordish Cos., which has proposed building a slots parlor in Leominster.
Make that Massachusetts +5!
3. Connecticut is seeking to battle other states on all borders by considering video slots added to three facilities.
A legislative task force appears poised to push for an expansion of video slot machines at three off-track betting facilities throughout the state. The idea would be to allow video slots — currently only permitted at the state’s tribal casinos — at Shoreline Star Greyhound Park in Bridgeport, the Sports Haven in New Haven, and the Bradley Tele-Theater in Windsor Locks. Any change would need to be negotiated with the Mohegan and Pequot tribes, who have slot revenue sharing agreements with the state.
That makes 2 mega-casinos + 3 slots only facilities = 5 in CT!
4. The Maine legislature has bills that would allow the Houlton Band of Malisetet Indians to open a casino in Houlton; the Passamaquoddy Tribe to operate slot machines in Washington County; and Scarborough Downs to open a casino next to the track there or another spot, pending local approval. Scarborough says without its expansion, the end of it racetrack will be this year, although there is a problem with it’s proximity to Oxford Casino and sharing the players in the same area. The Passamaquoddy insists their clientel will be 60% Canadian and won’t infringe on the two casinos in Oxford and Banger.
That makes 2 casinos +3 proposals = +5 in Maine!
5. Remember, Rhode Island has two casinos – one full at Twin River and one slots-only in Newport.
So let’s do the math. If all were to be passed (which is a long shot), 2+5+5+5+2 = 19! That’s right – 19 gambling facilities in New England. So you needed both feet and hands to count the number of proposals. That’s a lot of casinos. Good thing Vermont isn’t interested – you might have had to ask to borrow your neighbors appendages.That’s All For Now.