Casino Gambling in New England 2020 – Part 2

It’s February already. What is in store for New England’s casinos?  Lots! Part 1of Casino Gambling in New England 2020 has already wet your whistle. That’s why today we finish looking at Casino Gambling in New England 2020 – Part 2 with Connecticut, Rhode Island and, yes, even Vermont.

Vermont

Rarely do you read a sentence with “Vermont” and a reference to anything gambling. They have had a lottery since 1978, but have resisted any form of commercial, tribal, or charitable casino gaming. Some parimutuel betting is allowed, but Vermont seems to have no appetite for anything else – until the rise of sports betting.

Sports betting could become a reality in Vermont following the introduction of three separate bills in 2019. The latest bill would legalize statewide sports betting online and in person at locations described as “sports wagering lounges”. With plenty of work still to do to bring the bill to law, legal sports betting will not make it to Vermont until 2020 at the earliest, and even that’s a stretch.

Casino Gambling in New England 2020, Part 2 – Rhode Island Twin River Casino Hotel

Twin River Casino Hotel – New Hotel in on the left.

Gaming in Rhode Island reminds me of that duck on the water.  It’s seemingly quiet on the surface, but it’s legs are paddling like crazy to get somewhere.  And in Rhode Island, that somewhere is expansion of the brand.

By now, most gamblers know Rhode Island has casinos and sports betting. But Twin River Worldwide Holdings has more in the portfolio than meets the eye. The fact is it owns and operates eight casino and racetrack properties in Colorado, Delaware, Mississippi, and Rhode Island. In 2015, Twin River purchased Rhode Island’s only other casino, the Newport Grand, and moved its operations to the new facility in Tiverton, Rhode Island. Twin River Worldwide Holdings owns the only two casinos in Rhode Island, and also all sports betting and mobile sports betting in the state.  More on Tiverton Casino & Hotel in a minute.

Related Post – Rhode Island Casino Specs and History

Expansion of the Brand

Recently, Twin River Worldwide Holdings has been on a roll. In March 2019, Twin River Worldwide Holdings completed a reverse merger with Dover Downs Gaming & Entertainment, making the company  a public company traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Delaware had already approved sports betting, and owning & operating Dover Downs Hotel & Casino was a good match. In July 2019, Twin River Worldwide Holdings agreed to buy two casinos in Missouri and Mississippi, Isle of Capri Casino Kansas City and Lady Luck Casino Vicksburg, from Eldorado Resorts. Eldorado Purchased Caesars Entertainment in June of 2019.  In January 2020, they purchased three casinos in Black Hawk, Colorado (the Golden Gates, Golden Gulch, and Mardi Gras) from Affinity Gaming for $51 million.

Twin River Worldwide Holdings – Holding Their Ground

IGT and Twin River Worldwide Holdings, Inc. recently unveiled a proposal to maximize economic development. The agreement, after a  and keep IGT’s 1,100 jobs, increase investment in Rhode Island through new construction at Twin River Casino Hotel in Lincoln, ensure that the gaming floor and its slot machines continue to drive over $300 million a year to the State, minimize the risk of systems and technology conversions and overall, enhance Rhode Island’s gaming competitiveness with Massachusetts and Connecticut.

And the Casinos in Rhode Island?  Twin River Casino & Hotel continues to take a big hit from the opening of Encore Boston Harbor. Now, things seem to be settling down. With the help of Dover Downs performing better than expected, Twin River Worldwide Holdings saw revenue rise 19.8%. Both Twin River Casino Hotel and Tiverton Casino Hotel combined for an estimated $306.3m in revenue, up 1.2% year-on-year. Twin River continues to revamp the casino floor with the newest slots and will be introducing Pai Gow Tiles to its table game list. While the hotel is a great addition, and Plainridge Park Casino and Raceway doesn’t pose much competition, Twin River Casino & Hotel still face an uphill climb, smack dab in between Encore Boston Harbor and the Connecticut Tribal Casinos.

Tiverton Casino Hotel.
Tiverton Casino Hotel.

Tiverton Casino has floated along, making more revenue than the previous Newport Grand, but still is yet to figure out its niche as a local casino in that area. Both casinos monopoly on sports betting and mobile sports betting in New England continues to be the one bringing a steady stream of bettors through doors. With New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts (especially), that advantage may not be seen for long.

Casino Gambling in New England 2020, Part 2 – Connecticut 

We finish this two part series with the Constitution State – Connecticut. Since 1995, both the Mashantucket Pequots and the Mohegan tribes have watched the expansion of gambling in New England. Foxwoods CEO Rodney Butler has admitted that casino saturation in the northeast is real. How it affects both tribes may be more different than the same.

Foxwoods

“The Wonder of It All” – Foxwoods Resort Casino   – has been hurt the worst of the two tribal casinos. Long gone are the extravagant days when money seemed to fall out of trees. Foxwoods Resort Casino is dealing with competition on all fronts. The Pequots have seen disappointing revenue the last few years. Once the largest resort casino in North America, it has downsized from five casinos to four. It has also lowered its slot inventory to 3500 slot machines instead of the over 5000 ten years ago. It took five years after the 2009 default to restructure the complicated debt, which now stands at $1.9 billion. Competition has grown, and profits have shrunk.

Foxwoods Resort - a two mile walk end to end.
Foxwoods Resort – a two mile walk end to end.

The non-gaming amenities, thrill rides, a new arcade, luxury bowling, etc, are important for the future of Foxwoods Resort Casino to continue as an all-in-one family casino resort. Other future ventures include additional projects, such as a 448-unit residential complex in Philadelphia. Foxwoods first tried to build a casino in this is waterfront area years ago, but the community voted against it.

This massive complex depends on Connecticut’s future gambling plans. They do have the best Bingo on the east coast, the most hotel space on one property (4 hotels), and it’s own mall. The gambling choices are endless. Fifty-five dining options in twelve locations provide every possible dining experience.  Fourteen bars and clubs, including one of the best at Shrine, provide great entertainment to accompany their two great performance venues.

The problem is how to manage this mega-complex while under fire from four large competitors in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. That will be the challenge Foxwoods Resort Casino will face in 2020.

Mohegan Sun

The other Connecticut gaming behemoth continues to push on. Mohegan Sun Resort Casino is not waiting around to see what happens in New England. The Mohegans have a much more global approach to their future.  Mohegan Sun Resort Casino moves forward and fast, on the reservation and off.

Inside the casino, big changes continue with a 10,000 square-foot, 300-seat Pan-Asian restaurant to open at Mohegan Sun in 2020 in the space  formerly occupied by Bobby Flay’s Bar Amercain. In the fall of 2019, novelle was introduced, an upscale experience with craft cocktails and an eclectic menu of small plates. A true VIP experience is available with bottle service tables are available with a private cocktail server on our dance floor or mezzanine sections. Not only that, it includes gaming tables – both public and private rooms for reservations.

While not in a revenue spiral like Foxwoods, MGM Springfield and Twin River Casinos, Mohegan Sun has also seen declining revenue over many years.  The difference? – the Mohegan tribe is looking elsewhere to expand.

Mohegan Sun Resort Casino Global Plans

Besides a long-term project across the river where the former Norwich Hospital site in Preston CT, “[will be made] into a dozen amenities, including an indoor water park, a senior living center and a sports complex. This huge plan also includes outdoor and indoor entertainment attractions, in addition to a large performing venue. Also included are time share units, retail, an RV park and marina, restaurant space, a convenience store and gas station.”

Related Post – MOHEGAN SUN FUTURE PLANS – NORWICH HOSPITAL SITE AND MOHEGAN EXPO CENTER

Other moves already in progress include:

  • Mohegan is looking to build INSPIRE Athens, in partnership with GEK TERNA in Greece. The resort consists of a luxury hotel, entertainment venues, convention center, shopping, dining, casino, and a comprehensive mix of premium amenities. The development will help launch a new era of tourism growth and economic prosperity for all of Greece and the entire region.
  • In partnership with Virgin Group LTD. has entered into a multi-year agreement with JC Hospitality to operate the 60,000-square foot gaming space at the soon to be Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, previously known as the Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
  • The service provider for the Niagara Gaming Bundle in Canada and will have the responsibility for the day-to-day gaming operations of Fallsview Casino Resort and Casino Niagara and future operation of the future Niagara Falls Entertainment Centre.
  • Mohegan will have exclusive rights to develop the planned world-class Korean integrated resort project to full-scale, Inspire, a first-of-its-kind integrated resort. Inspire is slated to open in 2020.

    Casino Resort near Airport. Project is licensed in Korea.
    Casino Resort near Airport. Project is licensed in Korea.

Connecticut and the Conundrum of Sports Betting

Connecticut is mired in numerous gambling dilemmas, many hingeing on sports betting. The joint casino Tribal Winds slated for East Windsor, will be run by both the Pequots and Mohegans. Both tribes are insisting on a monopoly of all gaming. The lottery is the lone exception according to the original gaming pact with the State of Connecticut in the 90’s.

Two bills are now on the table. The first, and supported by the tribes, gives them the right to operate sports betting alone, along with an additional gambling facility in Bridgeport. A second proposal is for a competitive process with the in-state gaming operators (such as OTB) that are already licensed here in the state able to host sports betting as well. The Mashantucket tribal chairman, Rodney Butler, said Tuesday that once the state cuts a deal with the tribes, (proposal #1) the “Sportech” facilities could be negotiated in. Even if a proposal was approved, it is expected that sports betting would not open in Connecticut until fall of 2020.

Casino Gambling in New England 2020, Part 2 – Finale

Casino Gambling in New England 2020 will interesting to watch due to the many changes within competing casinos. Whether it be gambling, promotions, hotels, dining or entertainment, NETimeGambling will have you covered with the latest news. Sign up to receive these posts through email, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Until next time – “Embrace the Math, not the Myth in Gambling.”

Binbin

 

 

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