Time to take a look at Plainridge Park’s progress in almost two years of operation. It’s been in the news the last few months, and for many good reasons. Our previous check on Plainridge Park was back in May this year – Plainridge Park Casino Exceeding All Expectations
When it opened in 2015, it was supposed to take a bite out of Rhode Island’s gaming revenue being the first Casino in Massachusetts according to the Massachusetts Expanded Act in 2011. Plainridge & Twin River Casino in Lincoln, RI, only 10 miles away, were to compete for the southeastern New England gaming pie. Not much has changed, with Twin River acknowledging little influence from their “buddies” in Plainville, and Plainville continues to add customers to a growing loyalty base – seemingly co-existing. Twin River’s Hotel & the new Tiverton Hotel/Casino aren’t expecting completion until late 2018 or even 2019, which gives Plainridge more time to build its loyal guests.
For a complete list of hotel affiliates around Plainville, click on LOCAL PARTNERS IN PLAINVILLE.
The Bad News…..
This summer season didn’t start out so well for Plainridge Park Casino & Raceway in Plainville, Massachusetts. On June 1st, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission hit Plainridge Park Casino, the state’s sole slot parlor, with a $65,000 fine over security staffing issues. The commission said the gaming facility was repeatedly non-compliant with minimum security staffing requirements, leading to the civil penalty.
Now the Good News – Plainridge Park Casino enjoyed its best month since its opening in July!
After its best month in about a year and a half in March, Plainridge Park Casino raked in even more money in April, counting about $14.3 million in what was the slots parlor’s third best month on record, the Gaming Commission announced Monday. $15.4 million in revenue was taken in surpassing every month of its existence except for it’s first month opening. And except for June, when there was a slight dip, monthly revenue has been strong for the past several months compared to the past. Year-to-date revenue is also up.
Support for Horse Racing
While Thoroughbred racing is near its all-time low in Massachusetts, harness racing has experienced something of a revival, in part thanks to the track at Plainridge Park Casino. The standard-bred track at the slots parlor has seen a $10 million increase in its live handle since 2014 and another $3 million increase from simulcasting, according to the United States Trotting Association. On July 28, the track hosted the Spirit of Massachusetts open trot which was the richest race in Massachusetts standard-bred history. Together with Hollywood Hotel Casino & Raceway in Bangor, Maine and Plainridge, Penn National is a main contributor in raising the interest in New England’s Horse racing once again.
Plainridge Casino Takes a Pass on Alcohol Change
Two other casinos in Massachusetts are in the progress of construction – MGM Springfield and Wynn, Boston Harbor, who recently received permission to sell alcohol on the casino floor until 4:00am, longer than anyone in New England. (For more on this, go to Wynn Boston Harbor Drinking Hours Extended With Opposition) In Plainville, MA., and at Plainridge Park Casino, there doesn’t seem to be much interest in the change. Current laws allow casinos to serve until 2 a.m. Plainridge, the only casino currently in operation in the state, voluntarily cuts off service at 1 a.m.
Plainridge Study Suggests a Casino Can Lower Unemployment?
BusinessWest.com reported that “the UMass Donahue Institute released a compilation of results from two years of new employee questionnaires at Plainridge Park Casino. This report is the latest in a series of studies focused on the economic impacts of the gaming industry in the Commonwealth……The findings reveal several important characteristics of new hires at Plainridge Park Casino and the emergent casino workforce in Massachusetts:
- 50.1% of new hires worked part-time or were unemployed before obtaining their job at Plainridge Park Casino;
- Major reasons for seeking employment included career advancement, improved pay, and improved benefits;
- 40.1% of new hires said they needed work due to being unemployed, part-time, or underemployed. 86.2% had no gaming experience prior to their jobs at Plainridge Park Casino;
- 96.5% of new hires did not transfer from other Penn National Gaming locations, and 92.8% did not move to take their jobs at the casino. Of those who moved, one-quarter originated from cities or towns within Massachusetts; and
- Nearly three-quarters of respondents come to their job without pre-employment training for their position.
The vast majority of survey respondents are people who are new to the gaming industry and are now being hired for gaming and non-gaming positions at Plainridge Park Casino, including its food-court vendors. Very few workers (only 7%) moved to take their job at Plainridge Park Casino, and those who did were mostly from Massachusetts and Rhode Island. This suggests that most new employees live close enough to commute to their positions at Plainridge Park Casino.”
This is good news for Springfield as well. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission as well as the residents of Springfield are hoping MGM is offering a big answer to the high unemployment issue in their city. (see MGMSpringfield Resort Success is Crucial For Springfield)
Plainridge Park – Still On A Roll
After two years of business, Plainridge Park seems to be getting its “sea legs,” walking more sure of itself in New England. The the MGC’s plan of taking revenue from other states for the good of the Commonwealth, Plainville, Springfield & Boston seems on track.
It’s the next two years that all 10 casinos should be preparing for. But for now, kudos to Plainridge for continuing to make a name for itself.