Visiting New England’s Casinos?
Curious about casino expansion in our region? Then there’s only one place to go – visit us at NETimeGambling! For specific casino details, visit the websites of all seven casinos: Connecticut – Foxwoods Resort/Casino & Mohegan Sun Resort/Casino; Rhode Island – Newport Grand & Twin River Hotel/Casino; Massachusetts – Plainridge Park Casino & Raceway, MGM Springfield & Wynn Boston Harbor; Maine – Oxford Casino & Hollywood Bangor Hotel, Casino & Raceway.
Sports Betting Coming to New England
Two New England states were listed in an article by Abby Messick of CasinoCityTimes.com as two of the “Top 10 US states to legalize sports betting.” Massachusetts and Connecticut were listed as 7th and 2nd respectively behind New Jersey to be the soonest to offer sports betting. Now that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (A.K.A. PASPA), has been considered unconstitutional, both states are now maneuvering to add sports betting. “Massachusetts has no sports-betting-specific bills right now, but key lawmakers are generating interest. Plainridge Park, [Encore] Boston Harbor and MGM Springfield are ready to throw their support behind sports betting. Connecticut already has the Connecticut Lottery Corporation moving to be “ready to operate sports betting.” Director of IT Steve Wager commented that sports betting is particularly suited to the lottery scene, and it would “just be another option.” [The latest bill] will allow casinos, horse racing tracks and off-track betting facilities to offer sports betting, in addition to language that allows for internet wagering and online lottery sales. But, Connecticut’s tribes are looking to complete control of sports betting, citing it’s gambling pact with the state would be violated and end the 25% slot contribution to the state’s coffers.
MGM Buying Yonkers VLT Parlor & Raceway
MGM Resorts International came at Connecticut from another angle Tuesday, announcing it’s buying Empire City Casino, a Yonkers, N.Y., racetrack casino, for $850 million while remaining committed to its plan to build a Bridgeport casino if the state authorizes one. Brian Hallenbeck of the the New London Day reported that MGM stated it is “…still committed to Bridgeport, where it unveiled plans for a $675 million resort casino last September, announcing it intended to push for the Connecticut legislature to establish a competitive-bidding process for a commercial casino license.” But Clyde Barrow, a gaming expert who has done some consulting work for the tribes, said that while MGM Resorts’ purchase of Empire City “makes perfect sense,” its continuing interest in a Bridgeport casino “would make no sense. “They’re being disingenuous when they say they’re still committed to building in Bridgeport when they’re going to be 17 miles from the Connecticut border” in Yonkers, N.Y., Barrow said. “They’ll be in a position to bid on table games when New York state’s moratorium on them expires in a few years.”
As it stands, Empire City boasts the sixth largest gaming floor in the country with 5,222 video lottery terminals. In 2006, the machines were added after a $225 million renovation. Then, there were only 1,800 terminals until that December, when a 120,000-square-foot addition allowed for 2,200 more. It was huge news for the southeast Yonkers business that has been owned by the Rooney family — the same people who own the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers — for nearly 50 years and finds itself having to fight for relevancy against competition further upstate and in Connecticut and New Jersey. The two sides have agreed, but the state still needs to approve. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019, because the state Gaming Commission needs to review the sale and license MGM to run the facility.
Tiverton Casino & Hotel (Replacing Newport Grand Casino)
Opening Moved Back to September 1st
Robert Mann of GamingToday.com reported that the projected opening of a new casino in Tiverton, Rhode Island has been moved forward from Oct. 1. to Sept. 1. The 100,000-square-foot space will feature 1,000 slot machines, 32 table games and five dining options. The property also includes a parking garage and an 84-room hotel. “John E. Taylor Jr., chairman of Twin River Management Group, said in a news release late last week that construction crews made quick progress over the winter months, allowing the company to open earlier than anticipated.” The 100,000-square-foot space will feature 1,000 slot machines, 32 table games and five dining options. The property also includes a parking garage and an 84-room hotel. Newport Grand in Newport, RI, will close this summer to make way for the new Tiverton Casino.
Mohegan Sun Has Made Uncasville, CT “Convention Central”
Mohegan Sun reported the celebration and ribbon cutting of the Earth Expo & Convention Center, the property’s $80 million-dollar expansion on Wednesday, May 30th. The state-of-the-art Earth Expo & Convention Center at Mohegan Sun makes Mohegan Sun, already know for its convention and event space, now home to one of the largest and most attractive exposition sites in the Northeast, with over 275,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space. The new Earth Expo & Convention Center is located next to the property’s Winter Parking Garage, adjacent to the Earth Tower guest rooms. The first major event held in Earth Expo will be the third annual Barrett-Jackson Northeast Auction of collector cars from June 20-23, 2018. Brian Hallenbeck of the Day writes, “Half of it is big enough to accommodate four football fields — 125,000 square feet of unfettered, column-free convention space. The other half features a 20,000-square-foot ballroom that can be divided into two; 15 meeting rooms; an executive boardroom and outdoor space with a terrace.” All 7,100 Mohegan Sun employees were invited to the unveiling, with meals served throughout the day for each of the three employee shifts. Kevin Brown, chairman of the Mohegan Tribe, cast the Expo Center as the latest sign of the tribe’s commitment to the state, which, in exchange for granting the Mohegans and the Mashantucket Pequots the exclusive right to operate casino gaming in the state, gets a cut of the tribal casinos’ slot-machine revenues.
Tomorrow is Promotion, Events, and Specials for the month of June. Check in with us tomorrow.