Every month in New England, Newton’s hypothesis of influence on motion takes on expanded meaning in the casino industry. Newton’s First Law of Motion is that an object will stay at rest or remain in uniform motion (constant velocity) unless acted upon by a force. In New England and further west, it’s like one big game of “Casino Jenga” with new players and more players added to the game.
New Jersey lawmakers have reached a deal to put a statewide referendum on the November ballot asking voters whether to approve two new casinos in the northern part of the state. The new bill would give existing Atlantic City casino operators six months to propose projects in northern New Jersey that would cost at least $1 billion. If they fail to do so, then both new licenses would be thrown open to any interested company. The main area of consideration – the Meadow lands changing the motion of gamblers south from New York City and even Connecticut.
This new additional gambling influence and motion in the northeast is going change the gaming landscape forever.
Humor me here for a minute…..
…….Once upon a time, Connecticut introduced Class III, Vegas style gambling to New England. CT changed the arrogant CEO’s of Atlantic City’s Gambling hold (to their denial) – but then Pennsylvania introduced casinos, some an hour away from AC. AC’s motion still didn’t change, assured it could compete. CT & PA’s motion increased, and AC began to slow down, unable to keep up. New York influenced CT with with Empire City & Resorts World near the border, and Rhode Island introduced two casinos, with Twin River taking the lead to slow the acceleration of motion (revenue) in Connecticut to an all-time low. CT’s influence on the Pilgrim State’s gamblers set the Massachusetts Casino Law into motion – and on, and on……..until, now the gambling wars have now gone far beyond the borders of New England. The entire northeast (except for New Hampshire and Vermont) are out for a fixed amount of gamblers and their money. The END? Not even close……
Cannibalism at its worse, competition at its best.
The good news is that better competition should mean better offers for all of us. It might mean traveling an hour or two (or more), but within a radius of 90 miles from Pennsylvania (including Delaware) to Maine, anyone will be able to gamble, dine, see a show, or stay at one of at least 4 or 5 casinos by 2020.
But this good news comes at a high cost. Not all casinos will continue to be open, closing like Showboat, Hartford Jai-Alai, Revel, etc….. Others, becoming smaller like Foxwoods – from over 6000 slots to 4800 slots and casino areas converted for other purposes or boarded up away from casino traffic. And what is to be made of Slot joints like Plainridge Park in MA and Newport Grand in RI? Will they survive?
I predict the future Atlantic City consisting of the three Marina properties, and only Tropicana, Resorts and Caesars Palace on the boardwalk. Many people will be jobless and huge blighted buildings will litter the beautiful AC Boardwalk. Casinos all over the 10 state area in the northeast may close or become half the destination it was or was meant to be. Turning to increasing casino gambling will only make states realize that they couldn’t proper in this market as they thought they would by depending on gambling revenue for their state coffers.
Tim Dressen with his podcast “Five Hundy by Midnight” constantly repeats the dread of those stuck in Las Vegas Heartbreak – the tendency to feel that the “old days in Vegas were better.” (see NETG’s post about his book visiting Las Vegas, “The Outsiders’ Guide to Las Vegas” is All You Need to Visit Sin City”, or better yet, buy the book!) But the fact that Vegas is constantly changing – tearing down, rebuilding, renovating, adding on – is what makes it the best city in the world.
So, to ALL my northeast gamblers, I say to you to live in the moment, because soon what you once knew and expected for your gambling excitement, hotel stays, entertainment and dining will change.
For better or worse, Dylan said it best, “The times they are a-changin’ ”