When I first started this blog, I hoped that New England would have become the Biloxi-Gulfport area of the northeast – casinos offering gamblers the variety and quality to go along with the area’s historical and cultural tourism. But, how naive could I be – it’s business.
At that time, my love of jazz and fascination of the casino industry morphed into thoughts connected by the death of jazz piano great Dave Brubeck. You can check out part 1 & 2 by clicking on their titles:
While my intentions are the same today, the gambling landscape continues to transform. Expansion continues to be discussed.
Last month marked our four year anniversary of N.E.TimeGambling.com Let’s see where New England’s Casino Industry was in 2012, where it is now, and where it might be going.
In 2012, I wrote the following:
- CT casinos had seen a drop in revenue due to NY racinos and slot parlors.
- RI has seen a slight increase and hopes to get its table games up and running to get a larger base customer, taking away from CT as well, before MA casinos are built
- MA is adding three, if not four, casinos within three years to take MA customers going to RI & CT
- NH wants to keep their citizens at home so they are considering legalizing gambling
- ME has two casinos, one of which is considering hotel expansion
- And lest we forget that AC is still feeling the pull of customers from PA, NY and DEL, and recently New Jersey considered legalizing statewide gambling.
Now, at the end if 2016:
- CT casinos have stabilized a bit, but only after cutbacks in jobs, machines and management. Both mega-casinos (Foxwoods & Mohegan Sun) have adapted its approach to be more competitive.
Now, the State of CT and the joint tribes group known as CCMT are still seeking a third casino in the Hartford area to battle the competition from MGM Springfield. But, without a site chosen, it still seems stalled, giving MGM Springfield an advantage.
- With the addition of table games, Twin River stepped up its battle with Massachusetts. Twin River Management Group has purchased the Newport Grand Casino to move it to Tiverton – right on the Mass-RI border.
Tiverton Casino was approved which makes the Newport move to Tiverton inevitable. Rhode Island’s dependence on gaming revenue continues. Twin River plans for a hotel has not been revisited since approved. Future in RI looks like Two casinos, connected rewards clubs, both with hotels – but not until 2019, the earliest.
- Massachusetts continues to add drama to casino expansion in New England. Penn National building Plainridge Park Casino, slots-only remains the sole casino built, and so far, most feel the Plainville casino hasn’t met expectations. Truth be told, it was a decent first year for Penn National’s second casino in New England.
- Two other Massachusetts projects were chosen – Wynn Everett & MGM Springfield. MGM Springfield construction is on schedule and has been progressing to MGM’s and Springfield’s delight.
- The last license to be confirmed was supposed to be Brockton, but the Mashpee Wampanoag’s casino in Taunton, close to Brockton, was given the nod and Rush Gaming was sent packing. “First Light,” the Wampanoag casino project was then put on hold but a local law suit challenging the land acquisition in Taunton. The license for southeast Massachusetts continues in limbo.
- New Hampshire will never approve a Las Vegas style casino for itself, but it seems the Charitable Gambling Law is alive and well in the Granit state. Poker rooms, including other table games, are increasing in popularity.
- Maine’s two casinos are holding their own. Hollywood in Bangor received tax rebates from the city of Bangor to help it float financially. Oxford is expanding, adding meeting space and an attached hotel, with the Hampton Inn across the street now open. FYI, a failed third casino in Maine is being brought up again. Go figure…..
Outside of New England, Casino changes continue. New York State added more casinos, Atlantic City is down to nine casinos, with MGM now in full control of Borgata.
But who cares? We have our own competitive wars here. It just goes back to what I asked four years ago. For the sake of New England – “CAN WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?!!