Massachusetts Casino Specs and History

BRIEF Massachusetts Gambling History

Massachusetts Casino Specs and History is an updated graph of property facts. Today, we also look back at how the Pilgrim state got to this point. Encore Boston Harbor has opened. MGM Springfield will be celebrating one year at the end of  with the summer.  By the way, Plainridge Park Casino is celebrating its 4th year of operation. So, how did the Commonwealth get here?

Plainnridge Park Casino & Raceway Entrance Entrance

What a difference from 400  years ago. Those new settlers who appeared on Plymouth Rock were not looking for the nearest casino.  Most Puritans disapproved of the numerous lotteries they in England, or any type of gambling.

According to GamblingSites.com,  “As an original colony, Massachusetts has a long history with gaming, going back to the days before it was a state.” Lottery and raffle revenue at least partially built Harvard University, the Massachusetts State House, and that famous memorial to Plymouth Rock.

In 2011, Governor Deval Patrick signed the Expanded Gaming Act into law. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission would oversee the new law which would add 3 casinos and a slots parlor. “Through the establishment of new gaming facilities, the Expanded Gaming Act will create new jobs,. In addition, it will generate new revenue for the Commonwealth, and contribute to the economic growth of the local economy.”

Current Legal Types Of Gambling

Casino Gaming is now complete with three casinos. But more casinos were planned.  Massachusetts Sen. Michael Brady asked the MGC to reconsider a proposed casino in Brockton, a project it rejected three years ago. Brockton, like Springfield, is desperate for jobs and revenue.

In May, Channel 10 News out of Providence reported some movement on the Wampanoag casino “First Light.” For more information, check out House approves bill to aid Taunton casino bid by Mashpee Wampanoag tribe.

First Light

First Light Resort Casino, Wampanoag Tribe, Taunton

Wampanoag Community Center and Future Bingo Hall gets new life.

Similarly, the Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe on Martha’s Vineyard started construction on a small class II casino. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up a legal challenge from the state and town. Subsequently, work on the Aquinnah Cliffs Casino began in February. However, the latest recent dispute by residents in May halted construction.

Related Posts – Martha’s Vineyard Decision Reversed

Online Casinos / Sports Betting. Pari-mutuel (pooled) betting on Horses is allowed, though greyhound racing was banned back in 2009. Massachusetts lawmakers are debating whether to allow sports betting.  Gov. Charlie Baker favors legalization that would allow adults over 21 to bet on professional sports teams. This may be a long way away. History tells us that concerning gambling, Massachusetts always wants to “get it right.”

Lottery Betting: The Commonwealth established The Massachusetts State Lottery in 1971. It was in response to the need for revenues for the 351 cities and towns of the commonwealth.  Over the last 45 years, Massachusetts has grown to become one of the most successful lotteries in the nation.

Mass Lottery – a mainstay in Massachusetts Gambling

Bingo Games: Yes, it is available under charitable gaming. Bingo type games are known as ‘Beano’ in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Casino Specs

Below, you will find a comparison of all three Massachusetts casinos properties. We hope you enjoy our Massachusetts Casino Specs and History.

Mass Casino Specs

 

 

 

Plainridge Park Casino – A Mini Trip Report

I hadn’t visited Plainridge Park Casino & Raceway in a while, and there had Irish dining specials, so the NETG crew set out to Plainville to get our “green” on.

Plainridge first opened to the public on June 24, 2015 as the first Massachusetts casino as approved by the Expanded Gaming Act on November 22, 2011, signed by Governor Deval Patrick. It was to be a “slots-only” property. Penn National Gaming won the license and became the only company to own two casinos in New England – Hollywood Bangor in Maine being the second. Recently there has been a push for the addition of table games to improve pending competition with Encore Boston Harbor, Tiverton Casino & Hotel & their neighbor Twin River Casino & Hotel, just ten minutes away.

First Take

We arrived at 1:30, ahead of our 2:00 reservation at Slack’s Oyster house and Grill for their advertised “Corned Beef & Cabbage Special,” (more on that later).  As we walked around the casino on a very busy day due to additional slot play offered and it was St. Patrick’s Day on a Sunday, we noticed a few changes.

  • The High Limit Slot area had been moved to where the it’s essentials store was. A wall now separated the area from the rest of the casino as you walk in the main entrance, giving the entrance a certain claustrophobic feel across from the Marquee Rewards (going to be myChoice Rewards soon). However, the High Limit room is nicely done, and the rest of the casino flows more without it inserted inside the lower denomination slots.
  • The essentials store has now been moved further towards the raceway side of the property.
  • Electronic craps was taken out, and only two electronic roulette multi-seat games remain.

    Electronic Table Games - No dealers, no fun.

    Electronic Roulette Games at Plainridge

  • Dunkin Donuts is now the coffee vendor of choice, and Smashburger has been added.

Second Take – Dining Snafu

Plainridge says it wants you to experience “hometown hospitality.”  But it’s not very hospitable  to changing specials and not admit it.

When we arrived at Slack’s Oyster house and Grill, our waitress (who was wonderfully understanding, BTW) told us the special was Irish Beef Stew and the Corned Beef Special was the day before. She did tell us that it was being served at Fluties 22, their sports bar. With little wait, we sat down to a delicious Irish meal, Irish bread and all, for $10 less!  While it worked out well, NETG has always found Penn National’s websites for both New England casinos underwhelming, inaccurate, and late in terms of changing their monthly promotions.

The Gambling

We all had a little free slot play, and I brought a measly $40 as well.  Off I went to find the best bang for the buck with a small bankroll. As all of you can attest, sometimes the best decision is not made – but the outcome is beyond any of your expectations. 

I decided to play electronic 3 Card Poker.  I don’t usually play this table game with real dealers, so why this with a virtual dealer? At $5 minimum, I certainly wouldn’t suggest it, but I sat down anyway. As the luck of the Irish would have it, the Irish eyes were smiling down on me that day.

After a few lucky hands holding even at the minimum bet of $5, I decided to play the sucker bet.  The Pair Plus bonus was also $5 minimum. After hitting five flushes, four straights, and a straight flush, I walked away 30 minutes later with $500.  Just like that, my opinion of virtual dealers and electronic / stadium games changed!  Seriously, I do realize that this result is not the norm, but it sure made my day……heck ,my month!

We left having had fun, enjoyed a great meal, and some of us (c’est moi!) even made money. We did enjoy the trip and would recommend it. Elvis even entertained on the Revolution Stage.

Did Elvis have the luck of the Irish? The singer’s great-great-great-great-grandfather was Irish (true fact!).

Fact is, you don’t need the luck of the Irish to enjoy a visit to Plainridge Park Casino & Raceway.

Binbin – Embrace the Math, not the Myth!

Will Plainridge Park Casino Survive Without Table Games?

Table Games Anyone?

With all the attention on MGM Springfield, the Connecticut casinos and the Wynn – oops – I mean Encore Boston Harbor, the first casino in Massachusetts is getting a little forgotten in the mix.

Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, the state’s first (and for almost three years only) legal gambling establishment, wants to expand and offer table games as well as the slot machines they currently feature.  The last three years have been progressively better until the past months when most of New England’s casinos saw a decrease in revenue from a year ago.

All the negative expectations have been proven wrong to this point, especially the fear it would have a negative impact on Plainville and neighboring communities and it would attract an “undesirable element.” Many claimed it would not provide the expected revenue. Instead, Plainridge has been a great neighbor, large employer and good corporation to work with the MGC and the State of Massachusetts.

Penn National, owner of Hollywood Bangor Casino Hotel in Maine, as well as many casinos and racinos across the country, knew being first with a slots-only establishment would have a major drawback – not having real blackjack, craps, roulette and other table games. To this point they have successful at every turn. It is greatly supported by locals and others in 20 mile radius that prefer a smokeless casino with only electronic versions of tables games.

Here Come the Big Guys

MGM Springfield opened with a bang – but it is over an hour and a half away, so not much of threat to Plainridge. The Rhode Island casinos continue to be a threat to Plainridge Park Casino, now with the addition of sports betting. But the real menace over the hill is in Everett – Encore Boston Harbor.

New casinos in Springfield and soon in Boston will fight any such move for tables games at Plainridge vehemently. They invested in this process understanding the rules. And they didn’t put their millions or billions of dollars up with the idea that competition beyond what they were promised would be allowed.

Any expansion to table games by Plainridge would need state legislative approval. Getting the Massachusetts Legislature to do virtually anything is a monumental task. And this area is not exactly known for its political influence. Town officials in Plainville, North Attleboro and Wrentham have come out in favor.

Entrance To Plainville’s Good Neightbor

Jim Hand of the Sun Chronicle reported “In letters to the state Gaming Commission, Plainville, Wrentham, North Attleboro and Franklin officials said they would support allowing table games and more slot machines at Plainridge, terming the changes “a modest expansion……The expansion at Plainridge would require a legislative change, as it is designated as only a slots parlor and not a full-blown casino under state law.”

State Rep. Shawn Dooley, R-Norfolk, who represents Plainville, said he is on board with the request. “We have an ongoing venture that is working extremely well with virtually no negative impact on the community,” he said. “The community wants it. And the addition of other games will help us compete against Rhode Island which just built another casino on our border.”

Recently, Plainridge Park has seen a dip in revenue, as most of the eight New England casinos. Clyde Barrow, a casino researcher at the University of Texas Rio Grand Valley, said, “A drop in revenue is to be expected, just as Plainridge cut into the take at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I.  I anticipated a 1 percent to 5 percent drop in Plainridge revenues as a result of the Tiverton casino, so I would say the lower September revenues are directly attributable to the new competition,” he said.  However, such a small loss suggests that Plainridge remains competitive and doesn’t have much to fear from Tiverton Twin River Casino.”

A Quiet Acquisition

Penn National Gaming, Owner of Plainridge Park Casino and Raceway

Penn National Gaming, Owner of Plainridge Park Casino and Raceway

As reported by Marc Meltzer from PlayUsa, “Penn National Gaming acquired Pinnacle GamingThe massive $2.8 billion deal makes Penn National Gaming one of the largest casino corporations in the country. The new Penn National Gaming may not have the largest casinos in the country. However, the new deal means that they will operate more casinos and racetracks than any other company in the US. After the acquisition, Penn National Gaming will operate more than 40 properties in 15 states.”

Mr. Meltzer also comments about the rewards club change due to the buy out. “While Penn National Gaming will be the owner of the properties, they will actually be using the loyalty club from Pinnacle Entertainment instead of their own Marquee Rewards. In 2019, the Marquee Rewards program will be migrated over to the mychoice players club.”

For more information provided in Marc’s post, go to PlayUSA or click here on PENN NATIONAL GAMING PLAYERS CLUB MOVING TO PINNACLE’S MYCHOICE CARD

The Draw

Plainridge has done well for itself and has built a nice locals clientele. But it’s future may be bleak and for Massachusetts’ expected revenue if it continues as a slot-only property.  I’m sure we will hear more as we turn the page to 2019.

Binbin