According to Kevin P. O’Connor of the Herald, “Big casinos are starting to look like dinosaurs: Their size will make them extinct, experts say.”
In yesterday’s blog, I outlined the differences in Destination Resort Casinos and Convenience Locals Casinos.
Where does Twin River fit in? Twin River Management Group, O’Connor says, believes that is the future is smaller joints, like the one they have eyes on in Tiverton.
Twin River Management Group operates Twin River Casino in Lincoln as well as the Hard Rock Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. However, they have eyes on buying the gambling license in Newport, and move Newport Grand to Tiverton on the Mass RI border.
It would house over 1000 slots, and the owners would also propose putting in 30-40 table games (which will take up a lot of space). It would be about 1/4 the size of Twin River. To move into Tiverton, the casino must be approved by voters in the state and in Tiverton in the general election. The next general election is in November of 2016.
The feeling from Twin River Management Group is small is better. They also feel big casinos in Brockton or New Bedford, Massachusetts two remaining bettors for the Region C southeastern license, is a mistake. I can’t disagree more.
Remember, in yesterday’s blog, I pointed out the two differences between casinos attract different patrons. I think Tiverton is a good idea, but they need that hotel at Twin River fast – really fast.
Rhode Island casinos already have some advantage over their northern counterparts – mainly, smoking is allowed in the Ocean State on the gaming floor, but not in Massachusetts. And table game players will have Twin River until 2017 at least to gamble at. However, without the hotel, they are too big to entice Mass patrons away from Plainridge, and not a destination to continue to compete with CT, and Wynn, and MGM, and later New Bedford – who I think will get the last license.
Both Lincoln & Tiverton (and if they’re smart, Biloxi) casinos should fly under one rewards program – just like it would be a good move for Foxwoods to connect New Bedford to it’s rewards club.
This all might seem a little bit rambling, but when you put it all together, I truly feel Twin River should be made into a Resort Destination as it’s Flagship, with a four star Hotel and more upscale dining options, and Tiverton as it’s little sister for locals – both offering real (not virtual) table games. That combo will give Rhode the best shot at competing with the big boys surrounding them by 2020 – Foxwoods & Mohegan to the west, and First Light, Wynn Everett and Plainridge to the north.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.