The Pequot and Mohegan Tribes were one tribe, but war with colonists, differences with other tribes, and different tribal and colonial alliances caused a split that continues to this day. Over 250 years later, a bingo hall in 1985 began the history of gaming in New England.
A quick little history lesson:
1992 – first New England Casino as Foxwoods opens its doors in Mashentucket, CT
1992 – Rhode Island approves VLT gaming machines (class II) at Lincoln Greyhound Park & Newport Jai Alai
1996 – the Mohegan Tribe opens the second NE casino in Uncasville, CT
2005 – Hollywood Slots Hotel & Raceway opens in Bangor, Maine
2007 – Lincoln Greyhound Park turns into Twin River Casino with class III gaming; Newport soon follows
2008 – MGM joins Foxwoods with additional hotel / casino
2011 – MA legislature approves construction of 3 casinos
2012 – Oxford Casino opens in Oxford, Maine
2015 – MA to open first of three (4?) casinos in Plainville, Mass at Plainridge Park.
In 2016 / 2017 – MA opens two more casinos: Wynn Everett and MGM Springfield
I should mention that casino gambling found a home in the 1800’s in Newport, Rhode Island, not to mention the numerous greyhound, horse tracks and parimutuel parlors throughout New England. Jai Alai frontons in Milford & Hartford CT, and Newport, RI were also popular for a while in the 1970 – 90s until Foxwoods opened.
Now, the time machine takes us to 2015, a country filled with new casinos and gambling – and New England becoming “Saturation Station.” Two casinos in New England began a gaming journey that we might find in the future to include:
- Connecticut – 5 casinos – 3 additional satellites of Foxwoods/Mohegan Sun
- Rhode Island – 2 Twin River Casinos
- Massachusetts – 4 casinos, plus an additional Indian Casino in the Southeast
- New Hampshire – 2 Casinos, wherever?
- Maine – 2 casinos
- Total = 15 casinos in a combined area slightly larger than the state of Washington, which has 28 Indian casinos in operation.
Where am I going with this? To tell you the truth, I don’t know…..does anybody know? Let’s be honest, the news of an economic gambling war between New England States could go in many directions. Right now, the future is as murky as General Washington on the Delaware River.
That’s all for now – my head hurts.