Plainridge Park Casino say they are targeting Connecticut gamblers. “The Hanging Shad” goes so far as to call it the “Plainridge Park Resort and Casino.”
RESORT? – Really? Where’s the hotel(s), where’s the pool? Where are the club venues, the top chef dining venues? To call Plainridge a “resort” is like calling McDonald’s a gourmet restaurant.
Has it been a success? More than any Massachusetts politician could have imagined, giving them visions of dollar signs dancing in their heads. July alone brought in rather huge amount of revenue to the Bay State and surrounding communities. The new facility in Plainville, Mass. brought in $6.1 million in its first week of opening in June—a sort of “honeymoon” period, and $18 million in its first full month of operation.
Plainridge’s operators have made no secret of the fact they are targeting gamblers who would otherwise flock to Mohegan Sun or Foxwoods in Connecticut or Twin River Casino in Rhode Island. But, like Darelle Revis playing with the New England Patriots for a Superbowl ring and then returning to his beloved J-E-T Jets, many gamblers will still return to CT & RI after the initial trial. The question is, can the little slot parlor that could in Plainville continue to single-handedly hold the fort for Massachusetts until 2018 when Wynn & MGM Springfield are up and running
Gamblers are a fickle and superstitious bunch, if you haven’t noticed. Building loyalty depends on many things, but I think it depends on three:
#3 – Proximity. In these days of a casino around every corner, spending money without driving or flying is a key factor, and probably Plainridge’s most valuable asset at this time for all those gaming starved Massachusetts folks.
#2 – Amenities & Rewards. This is where Plainridge needs to “promo” the hell out of everyone who walks through their doors. Giving them reason to let rewards go in CT & RI. Unfortunately, rewards are tied up into amenities as well. Rewards of entertainment, food, and special events in CT & RI’s numerous dining venues and spacious entertainment, club & conference areas will still lure many the slot parlor’s new patrons back, after the first few months.
#1 – AND THIS IS MOST IMPORTANT – Where gamblers win and lose.
Recreational gamblers are incredibly ignorant of the science of slots. If slot players win, then “they” (meaning the casino) must have loosened the payouts. If slot players lose, then “they” must has changed the machines, making them harder to win, or tighter. The truth is – the casino buys slots or leases slots at a long-term payout % and leave as is. You see, it involves too many people such as techs and suits, the oversight of the gaming commission, and the purchasing and installing of a new chip that is watched and verified – All that for ONE machine! It’s a waste of time and money to alter a penny slot machine that already has a Random Number Generator (RNG) programmed to pay between 80%-89% in the long term. It will make money for the casino no matter what!
So, here’s what to watch while the gambling industry praises Massachusetts’s first casino, Plainridge Park – the pros and cons:
- Location, Location, Location
- New on the scene!
- Connection to other casinos in an already successful and expanding gaming company – Penn National.
- NOT a RESORT! – no Hotel, limited dining, and a small entertainment venue that doubles as bar, club, live entertainment, trivia, and karaoke.
- Pulling away loyal patrons of over 15 years from CT & RI casinos is difficult.
- The little things – no alcohol on the casino floor. Completely non-smoking (pro +con). No table games (yeah, sure, electronic included. Funny, I never hear the same group fun at those compared to tables with live dealers.)
That’s all for now. Personally, I hope it continues to grow. Competition is healthy. And when casinos close together compete, the biggest winner is the gambler.
That’s all for now.