N.E.Time Gambling

Your Complete Resource for the Recreational Gambler in New England and Beyond!

BRIEF NEW ENGLAND CASINO HISTORY

I love history.  I love to see how one thing begat another, which begat another.

"Roll the Bones" by Dr. David Schwartz
“Roll the Bones” by Dr. David Schwartz

One of my favorite books in “Roll the Bones” which, according to author Dr. David Schwartz, “explains how the human predilection for a wager shaped human history from the Ice Age to the Information Age. People spend nearly one trillion dollars worldwide on gambling a year–wouldn’t you like to learn a little about how we got there?”  To read my review, click here.  If I was interested in the history of gambling before I read the book, I was hooked after reading Dr. Dave’s fantastic resource

Which brings me to my interest in New England and the history of gambling in the northeast.  According to the California State Library, English settlers differed from their Puritanical neighbors in New England in many ways, but one influenced the early colonies to continue traditional styles of living in a new world , which included gambling, considering as a “harmless diversion, a popular and accepted activity. Lotteries were used to bail out the Early Colonies when financial backers of the colonies began to see gambling as the solution to diminishing finances needed for the war effort. All 13 original colonies established lotteries, usually more than one, to raise revenue.  Lotteries continue to be a main source of revenue for all six New England states – even Vermont & New Hampshire, states without casinos.

Well, Once Upon a time….

The Pequot War of 1637 set the stage for the separation of Pequot & Mohegan Tribes. Over 350 years after, both tribes started the New England Casino expansion we see today.
The Pequot War of 1637 set the stage for the separation of Pequot & Mohegan Tribes. Over 350 years after, both tribes started the New England Casino expansion we see today.

The Pequot and Mohegan Tribes were one tribe, but war with colonists, differences with other tribes, and different tribal and colonial alliances caused a split that continues to this day.  Over 250 years later, a bingo hall in 1985 began the history of gaming in New England.

A quick little history lesson:

Foxwoods Started it all with Bingo. This picture is the expanded Bingo Hall before Casino Expansion
Foxwoods Started it all with Bingo. This picture is the expanded Bingo Hall before Casino Expansion in 1992.

1992 – first New England Casino as Foxwoods opens its doors in Mashentucket, CT

The Rainmaker at Foxwoods Resort Casino - part of the original casino before many expansions.
The Rainmaker at Foxwoods Resort Casino – part of the original casino before many expansions.

1992 – Rhode Island approves VLT gaming machines (classII) at Lincoln Greyhound Park & Newport Jai Alai Originally built for greyhound racing, Twin River Casino is now a full casino.

1996 – the Mohegan Tribe opens the second NE casino in Uncasville, CT

A Dollar Coin from Mohegan Sun Opening
A Dollar Coin from Mohegan Sun Opening

2005 – Hollywood Slots Hotel & Raceway opens in Bangor, Maine

Hollywood Casino, Bangor Maine
Hollywood Casino, Bangor Maine

2007 – Lincoln Greyhound Park turns into Twin River Casino with class III gaming; Newport Grand soon follows, redesigning without Jai-Alai

Twin River as Lincoln Park before Major Expansion
Twin River as Lincoln Park before Major Expansion

2008 – MGM joins Foxwoods with additional hotel / casino

MGM Tower at Foxwoods - Right side.
MGM Tower at Foxwoods – Right side.

2011 – MA legislature approves Expanded Gaming Act allowing construction of 3 Resort casinos & one “slot’s only casino”

Oxford Casino, Maine
Oxford Casino, Maine

2012 – Oxford Casino opens in Oxford, Maine

MGM Ends Agreement with Foxwoods
MGM Ends Agreement with Foxwoods

2013 – MGM pulls out of it’s Foxwoods partnership

Plainridge Park Casino
Plainridge Park Casino in Massachusetts

2015 – Plainridge Park Casino Opens at Plainridge Raceway as the first Massachusetts casino (slots-only)

Expected propsals:

2016 – Oxford Casino opens Hampton Inn across street

2017 -Connecticut adds joint venture Mohegan/Pequot casino in Hartford area. & Twin River Casino adds Hotel, making it the third full Resort Casino in New England

2018 – Massachusetts Region A & B Casino apoprovals Wynn Everett & MGM Springfield open.

Final Note – I should mention that casino gambling found a home in the 1800’s in Newport, Rhode Island, not to mention the numerous greyhound & horse tracks, parimutuel parlors, and Jai alai frontons in Milford & Hartford CT, and Newport, RI. However, in the past ten years, the horse-racing industry has seen a major decrease in raceway operations, Jai-Alai has moved out of the state, and parimutuel parlors continue to diminish in popularity.