New England Casinos – Past, Present, and Future

Happy 5th AnniversaryWhen I first started NETimeGambling, I hoped that New England would have become the Biloxi-Gulfport, Mississippi of the northeast, an extended area of casinos offering gamblers the variety and quality to go along with the area’s historical and cultural tourism.

How naive could I be? The casino industry couldn’t responsibly help New England’s Tourism industry – it’s all business to them.

This month marks our fifth year anniversary of NETimeGambling.com. So much of our casino landscape has changed and continues to evolve. Let’s look at the beginning of NETimeGambling and see what we were writing about in 2012.

CHRISTMAS PAST – 2012

The finished 3600 seat Bingo Hall was the keystone that the World's largest casino would be built around

The finished 3600 seat Bingo Hall was the keystone that the World’s largest casino would be built around

CT casinos had continued to drop in revenue due to the recession of 2007, NY racinos and slot parlors.
RI had seen a slight increase with hopes to get its table games up and running to take away from CT’s two Mega-casinos and before MA casinos were to be built.
Massachusetts intended to add three, if not four, casinos within three years to take back the revenue lost RI & CT,
NH wanted to keep their citizens at home as well, so they considered legalizing gambling.
ME had two casinos in 2012, one with a hotel and one considering hotel expansion.
And lest we forget that AC was still reeling from the recession and their own denial and completion from the likes of PA, NY and DEL, and recently New Jersey’s own consideration of statewide gaming. Atlantic City was already down to 9 Casinos, soon to be 7.

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 2017

Connecticut casinos have stabilized a bit, with positive revenue months becoming more frequent. After cutbacks in jobs, machines and management, both Foxwoods & Mohegan Sun have adapted its approach to be more competitive inside New England and beyond. An additional project projected for East Windson, CT will feature a Foxwoods/Mohegan joint casino venture known as CCMT.

mohegansun earthtower

Mohegan Sun seems to be the most motivated, adding another hotel and beginning a huge convention space addition.

Rhode Island’s dependence on gaming revenue continues. With the addition of table games, Twin River Casino in Rhode Island stepped up the battle for casino patrons with Massachusetts. Twin River Management Group 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. Twin River started building a hotel, but both TR and the Tiverton project are stalled at this time.

Massachusetts continues to add drama to casino expansion in New England. Penn National opened Plainridge Park Casino, a slots-only casino that has continued to build its own loyal customers. Two other Massachusetts Wynn Boston Harbor & MGM Springfield. Both are on schedule to open in 2018 & 2019 respectively.

Wynn Boston Harbor on the river.

The Mashpee Wampanoag’s casino in Taunton, MA, has been stalled by political red tape and still doesn’t look like a finished deal.  It’s “Firts Light” project would be another formidable casino, if it ever gets the approval to continue past breaking ground.

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 Granite 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. A third casino in Maine was introduced again for the York County area in a referendum for only one suitor, but, once again crashed and burned.

Outside of New England, Casino Changes Continue

New York State added more casinos, Atlantic City’s Casino is now down to seven, but has shown life in the past year. MGM now in full control of Borgata. Revel is rumored to be sold, and Hard Rock is moving into the Taj. This could be AC’s summer of growth.

Online gaming is on the tongues of legislators of New England States.  Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Connecticut has eyes on online revenue.

CHRISTMAS FUTURE……2020

Eleven casinos in four states. Online gambling in MA, RI, NH,  & CT.

Springfield, Massachusetts is experiencing a renaissance, Wynn Boston Harbor entices people from all over the U.S.

Connecticut casinos continue to diversify.  Foxwoods becomes an amusement destination as well as a casino resort. Mohegan Sun opens its huge project across the river of retail, housing, and wellness.

The Norwich hospital site in Preston, to be developed by Sun. In the far top, Mohegan Sun sits.

Convenience casinos continue to thrive in Tiverton, RI; Plainville, MA; Oxford, ME.

And with the growth of the casino industry, casinos find ways to help the homeless, help the addicted, and raise the quality of life in its communities.

Conclusion

Will there ever be a vision of prosperity for casinos, with good gambling rules, free parking, more casino hotels, and patrons that are welcomed with smiling aces, appreciated and rewarded sincerely?

For the sake of New England recreational gamblers and New England Tourism, we once again ask,

“CAN WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?!!”

Binbin