Plainridge Park Casino – Still Chugging Along

plainridgeIt’s been over a year since the “little casino that could” opened it’s doors as the first Massachusetts casino.  The casino officially opened on June 24, 2015.  Amidst disappointed fingers pointing to lower-than-expected revenue throughout the year, Plainridge Casino continued it’s push forward.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) reported this recently that during the month of September Plainridge Park Casino generated $12,811,933.93 in gross gaming revenue (GGR).  Yes, that’s 12 million in revenue that Massachusetts didn’t have 15 months ago.


A general layout at it’s opening, June 2016. Missing is the higher lever restaurant “Slacks.” It is located to near Flutie’s.

But the bigger question is whether they can make a profit, particularly because of the 49 percent tax rate on gambling revenue.  That 49% is one of the largest amounts in the country – largest in New England.  According to Gintautas Dumcius of MassLive, Penn National hasn’t pushed for tax relief in Massachusetts, but they have been looking for some its Hollywood Casino in Bangor, Maine.

Plainridge, similar to all the future Massachusetts casinos,  is taxed on gross gaming revenue.  In Connecticut, the revenue paid to the state is only from the slot machine hold, different from revenue including table games in Massachusetts.

According to Heather Gillis of the Wicked Local in Plainville, MA., of that total amount 82 percent is paid to local aid and 18 percent goes to the race horse development fund.

Unfortunately, these could be the best years Penn National sees out Plainville’s slot parlor.  Soon, it has the possibility to be surrounded on all sides:

  • Wampanoags First Light in Taunton (tied up in litigation at this time)
  • Wynn Boston Harbor (scheduled to open 2019)
  • MGM Springfield (scheduled to open late 2018, but far west – probably not competition)
  • Another Slot parlor in Revere (approval pending on November vote)
  • Tiverton Hotel Casino In Rhode Island, moved from Newport, RI  (approval pending on November vote)
  • Twin River Casino (hotel still pending)

    Twin River Casino

    Twin River Casino, Plainridge Park’s biggest competitor.

Plainridge continues to be aggressive in promotions to get a loyal base to build upon.  Free play, vacations, cars & trucks are some of the offers for its patrons.  The entertainment in the Revolution Lounge has been  raised to a higher level of performers.  Fluties 22 Pub continues to be successful.  However, more day dining features are needed beside a small food court.

We hope Plainridge Casino continues to progress to relevancy in the next two years, but the road is steep.  Penn National stays positive.  “I think I can, I think I can….”



2 thoughts on “Plainridge Park Casino – Still Chugging Along

  1. binbin415 says:

    You’re correct! And they do. In a previous post, I checked all seven casinos bus connections. Plainridge offers casino shuttles from Revere, Fall River, Malden & Downtown Boston in Massachusetts as well as Warwick RI. Days and times vary from each city.

    Great point as usual, Monika. Have a great day.


  2. Monika M. Wahi, MPH, CPH says:

    Binbin, thank you for keeping us up-to-date on this.

    I’ve said this before, but I really think Plainridge could really increase their patronage if they had a bus from the city (South Station or Back Bay) to Plainridge and back that went at logical times – like leaving at 5pm and returning at 11pm on weekdays, or going for the days on weekends. People from Boston can’t get there easily unless they have a car. Bus service isn’t much to ask when we are talking the millions of dollars you mention in your post.

    Great post, as always!


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