NETimeGambling Looks Back & Forward from 2014

“All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.” ~Ellen Glasgow

Two years ago in New England.

Four years ago in New England.

A Look Back to 2014

I was looking back at old NETimeGambling posts from 2014 & 2015. So many changes have take place in New England’s Casino Industry.  It’s hard to remember some of the proposals that failed compared to those that have materialized. A few years ago, New England was simply an area with a few casinos. Let me remind you what was happening back then:

“Connecticut Casinos are on the verge of losses beyond recovery. (Instead, by 2017, both Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun have made many additions and changes, and have diversified their interests into other revenue generating areas, making their relevancy in New England stronger and ready for the New England’s casino expansion.)

”Massachusetts is still in a mess concerning it’s third full casino license in the Southeastern area.” (Eventually, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission passed the New Bedford waterfront and chose Rush Gaming’s proposal in Brockton – but when the Wampanoag tribal casino looked to generate more for the state, the southeast region license was denied to Brockton.  At this time, “First Light Resort of the Wampanoag tribe is stuck in a lawsuit with the townspeople of Taunton.)

Remember when there were two other bidders besides Penn National Gaming for the Slots-only casino? Raynham Park, a former dog-racing track; and Cordish Bros., which had proposed building a slots parlor in Leominster were the other two.

Mohegan Sun was denied not one proposal, but two – in Palmer to MGM Springfield, and Revere’s Suffolk Downs to Steve Wynn’s casino in Everett.

By the way, Mohegan Sun was Suffolk Down’s second suitor. Caesars Entertainment had to withdraw from a connection with Suffolk Downs in 2013 due to alleged ties to Russian organized crime.

A Look Forward From 2015

Southeastern New England’s expansion possibilities in 2015

In 2015, I suggested that the peak number of prospective casinos in New England (prospective, but not probable) totaled at 20! Yes I know, as Tevye from “Fiddeler on the Roof said, “crazy, no!”

Here’s what I posted in 2015. These were my insane expansion numbers of casinos in New England: (for laughs and giggles)

CONNECTICUT – 2 tribal resorts, and 3 tribal “satellite” casinos = Total of 5
RHODE ISLAND – 2 casinos, both under the name of Twin River Casino, Hotel & Resort = Total of 2
MASSACHUSETTS – 3 casino resorts, 1 slots-only parlor, 1 tribal (Wampanoags) = total of 5
NEW HAMPSHIRE – 2 casinos = (don’t count on it, although I expect it brought to legislature at least two more times in the next ten years) = Total of  2
VERMONT – yes, even Vermont has been questioning keeping its revenue in the state, since threatened by MA & NY = Total of  1
MAINE – 3 casinos, all expanded to small resorts and 2 tribal (Maliseets & Passamaquaddys) = Total of 5

Some say the Northeast is already saturated. Can you imagine if all this did come true?

Main Street, Red Rose Pizza in the far left corner. In between is Howard Street to the Cinema, Bowling, and Event area

I can’t wait to see what really happens before my eyes. And it all starts next year with MGM Springfield. Remember, “all change is not growth.”  But change is on the horizon.

Make it so!

That’s all for now.

Binbin

New England Casinos – 5 Top Stories of 2017

2017 was the year that we finally started to see the future of casino gaming in the northeast. Pennsylvania is adding more casinos. New York will complete it’s 24th casino with Resorts World Catskills in 2018. Atlantic City is showing signs of recovery with the addition of Hard Rock Casino in the former Trump Taj – and just maybe Revel will be bought, renovated and opened. And, New Jersey continues to lead the fight in the world of online gaming legislature and country-wide sports betting.

In New England, things have certainly ramped up. Only one word comes to my mind when someone mentions casinos in New England – Expansion. Expansion in Massachusetts with two new casinos by 2019, expansion in Rhode Island with a new hotel and casino in Tiverton, new expansion in Connecticut, however, at this time we still don’t know exactly how much.

So, here’s a look back at 2017 in New England – casino style.

1. MGM SPRINGFIELD

The City of Springfield, MA is preparing for a renaissance in jobs, revenue and entertainment with the opening of MGM Springfield. It’s going to be a different brick-and-mortar casino than previous MGM projects. It could be the single most important project in Springfield history, raising the Rose City up from the ashes.

MGM Springfield Casino Entrance

MGM Springfield Casino Entrance, Main Street to the left,

 

MGM Springfield – What City Improvements Can We Really Expect?

MGM Springfield – An “Urban” Casino

MGM Springfield Releases New Details with Local Flavor

MGMSpringfield Resort Success is Crucial For Springfield

 

2. MOHEGAN SUN CONTINUES TO DIVERSIFY AND EXPAND

 

Kathleen McWilliams, a reporter for the Hartford Courant, reported the Mohegan Tribe’s plan for the former Norwich Hospital site in Preston CT, (just across the river from the casino), would be made into a dozen amenities, including an indoor water park, a senior living center and a sports complex. This huge plan also includes include outdoor and indoor entertainment attractions, a large performing venue, time share units, retail, an RV park and marina. The plan includes restaurant space, a convenience store and gas station. A large project such as this is completely opposite from the trend in casino projects in size and dynamics. Not essentially connected to the casino part of the Tribe’s operations, it will be an overwhelming list for the town of Preston, CT.  In addition, on the casino campus, Mohegan Sun is again expending, this time in conference space.

Mohegan Expo Center, with Earth Hotel upper left.

 

Mohegan Sun News – Plans for Norwich Hospital Site and Mohegan Expo Center

3. FOXWOODS 25th ANNIVERSARY

Foxwoods celebrated it’s 25th Anniversary.  For 25 years, starting with a small bingo hall and the help of then Governor Weicker, Foxwoods has continued to be a country-wide phenomena. It is the largest casino property by square feet, it is the second largest casino area, and it includes the only covered, indoor Tanger outlet in the country. Gaming renovations have included two stadium gaming areas, offering $1 blackjack (3/2), and the continuation of one of the best poker rooms in the country. A more comprehensive move towards non-gaming amenities have included the addition of thrill rides, a zip line and race track for 2018, new restaurants, and additional night-club options. The celebration has gone on most of the year, with many giveaways and events. Here is coverage of New England’s first casino in 2017.

Foxwoods 25th Anniversary – Part 1- The Path To The Top

Foxwoods 25th Anniversary – Part 2 – The Celebration

4. MAINE’S THIRD CASINO PROPOSAL FAILS

Once again, Maine had supporters for a third casino in York County.  Once again, it was defeated. Maybe it was the fact that it seemed like a legislative scam, or that the backers could not be trusted. It started in February and continued along a sleazy path until it’s defeat in November.

Maine’s Third Casino – The Ultimate Scam Allowed by No Legislative Policy

Today’s the Day – The Vote for a Third Maine Casino

5. MGM / CT – THE BATTLE GOES ON

Shall we really re-kindle all of the MGM vs. MMCT news?  Well, it did monopolize much of the gaming news in both Massachusetts and Connecticut.  I guess I have to compare it to our country’s political climate – just nasty. Then there is the possibility (little to none) of a Bridgeport Casino by MGM?  or  MMCT?  or anyone else – as long as the CT agreement with the Pequots & Mohegans  is nullified. Whoo-wee, here are the top posts concerning the I-91 Battle of the Border.

The Old Showcase Cinemas, East Hartford, CT

The Old Showcase Cinemas, East Hartford, CT

East Windsor is Chosen By MMCT for CT Casino

MGM, Massachusetts, Provide Answers to Connecticut’s Casino Mess

MGM Has Mastered the Art of the Stunt – David Collins

Casino.org says, “Although Connecticut’s two tribal operators believe it’s part of a very elaborate bluff, an artist’s rendering of the proposed MGM Bridgeport casino, which the gaming operator says will bring 2,000 permanent jobs and a tax revenue stream of $316 million per year, has been created and presented to the state’s power brokers. (Image: MGM Resorts International)

MGM Bridgeport Casino – All The Angles

Other news included:

New Hampshire once again considered a casino, and looked into internet gaming, but nothing has yet to come of it.

Twin River Management Group finally made its plans for Rhode Island.  After Tiverton’s approval of a new TRMG Casino/Hotel in it’s town, and after they had already purchased Newport Grand, TRMG will move it’s Newport operastion to Tiverton.  They will also build a hotel at it’s flagship property in Lincoln, RI.

New England Casinos will be Increasing the number of casino Hotel Rooms By Over 30% by 2019.

Plainridge Park Casino & Raceway, a slots-only casino, continued to make progress in attracting guests and increasing revenue.

MGM Springfield is ahead of schedule for its 2018 opening. 2017 showed major progress in Springfield’s best hope for economic success.

Wynn Boston Harbor broke ground and in progressing towards a 2019 opening with great anticipation throughout the region.

Oxford Casino in Oxford Maine, finished their hotel on the premises and added another dining option – the Ox Pub.

WOW, WHAT A YEAR!

Living in such a small part of the country with such a vibrant casino industry that is gettiing on it’s feet again after the 2007 recession certainly makes my job easy.  Next year? – more expansion, more excitement, and more bickering from the Connecticut shoreline to downeast Maine.  Happy New Year everybody.

Gambling Saturation Still A Concern In New England

At least two to three times each year, someone brings up the “S” word concerning casino gambling in the northeast:

SATURATION

“Casino Saturation” is a concern everywhere in the U.S.  Between the Lottery, Tribal & Commercial Casinos, 43 states have casino legalized gambling. As the debate about online and fantasy gambling continues to be battled out, it seems more gambling instead of less is America’s yearning.

When Oxford Casino in Maine was built, saturation was mentioned since there was already a casino in Maine – Hollywood, in Bangor.  It was feared that the two would financially cannibalize each other without enough gamblers for two casinos. But, both continue to survive.  Within the past two years, one study suggested that Maine could withstand another casino, but was dismissed twice by the Maine Legislature.

New Hampshire continues to visit the casino option, but has had it defeated 4 times mostly due to the possible competition with Massachusetts gambling properties.

Massachusetts excluded the Brockton Southeast Gaming License due to the Wampanoag Casino in Taunton and the many stages of flux it was in.  Two large casinos in Southeastern Mass. was considered too much by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

Rhode Island continues to move casinos around and is building a hotel for Twin River to compete with Massachusetts and Connecticut.

ALL BECAUSE OF THE FEAR OF CASINO SATURATION!

Connecticut studies, ironically made by MGM, suggested another casino in southwestern CT would be a plausible candidate for casino expansion, as Mohegan & Pequot tribes start plans for their joint casino near the border of MGMSpringfield.

In his articleGrowing Gambling Facilities In The Northeast U.S.: Is There A Market For Them All?, Elliott R. Morss provides tables of gaming progression in select casinos, including Wynn & MGM. The article implies that the survival of both Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods is in jeopardy.  Why:

The old casino model of 80/20 – that’s 80% from gambling revenue and 20% from entertainment, dining, etc., – is changing to a more “integrated resort development” in new casinos.  Both Wynn & MGM are building newer casinos in New England with that in mind. For a related post, click on our article MGM Springfield Casino Will Be an “Urban” Casino.

However, as we started, isn’t this the same worry we’ve heard for years?  While the CT casinos have felt the pinch and haven’t fully recovered from the 2007 Recession, they continue to diversify and look to additional interests in the “integrated resort” concept.  And both have cut gambling machines and tables down to more manageable numbers.

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

Mohegan Sun continues it’s quest for a casino in Korea, and developing a large swath of land across the river from its casino that will include retail, housing and more.  Foxwoods has added more thrill rides and continues to re-invent itself.  CT Casino #3, the  MMCT third casino in East Windsor still has big old MGM worried, or they wouldn’t be still trying to stop it through the courts.

So, I say gambling is increasing – in New England, in the east, all over the country.  There isn’t a finite number of gamblers.  The pie just gets larger.  With the soon-to-be-changed law on sports betting, more opportunities will be available for CT, MA, RI & the rest of the northeast.

Wynn, MGM, Tiverton will all serve different purposes and different players. Let’s see what the future of gaming in New England holds before we once again think the sky is falling!

Binbin

 

 

 

 

Blackjack Side Bets in New England Casinos

According to John Grochowski, side bets in Blackjack are offered for two basic reasons, “….to add a little excitement for players who want more out of the game than trying to grind out a profit one bet at a time, and to increase action to generate more profit for the house.”

What are the side bets offered in New England’s Casinos for Blackjack?  And are they worth playing?

We will list the side bets, explain a little about them, and give John Grochowsk’s take on if it’s worth it.  Keep in mind some side bet paytables differ even with the same game.  My suggestions is to check out the Wizard of Odds for more on side bets variance for blackjack.

Match The Dealer

In New England’s casinos, there are a variety of side bets.  The most popular is Match the Dealer, which can be found at Mohegan Sun, Foxwoods and Twin River in Rhode Island.  

The Match the Dealer side bet pays when either of the player’s first two cards match the dealer’s up card. According to Traditional blackjack, the payouts are as follows:

  • 1 non-suited match pays 4 to 1;
  • 2 non-suited matches pay 8 to 1;
  • One suited match pays 11 to 1;
  • One suited match and one non-suited match pay 15 to 1;
  • 2 suited matches pay 22 to 1.

According to many players, this side bet has a fixed house advantage that is fairly high, several times higher than blackjack. Not a good bet.

Lucky Ladies

Lucky Ladies side bet c an be found at the HOLLYWOOD Casino, Hotel & Raceway in Bangor, ME. LUCKY LADIES™ BONUS BET is a side bet based on the player’s first two cards and the dealer’s up card. As far as I know, it is the first side bet to be based on the player’s first two cards and the dealer’s up card. Since it came out, there have been many imitators.  Lucky Ladies is also known as, “The 20 Point Bonus Wager” point count of their first 2 cards equals 20.

PAYOUT SCHEDULE – First two cards: Queen of Hearts Pair (with Dealer Blackjack) = 1,000 to 1; Queen of Hearts Pair = 125 to 1; Matched 20 = 19 to 1, Suited 20 = 9 to 1;  Any 20 = 4 to 1

JG – Lucky Ladies: There’s the possibility of huge wins here, with a 1,000-1 bonanza if the player is dealt two queens of hearts while the dealer has a blackjack, or 125-1 on a pair of heart ladies regardless of the dealer hand. In the version I’ve seen, there’s also a 19-1 payoff on a 20 if both cards are the same rank and suit, 9-1 on a suited 20 on cards of different ranks, such as jack-king, or 4-1 on an unsuited 20.
That’s an attraction, to be sure, but at a 24.71 percent house edge, the cost is high. Average loss per hour is a whopping $14.83 of the $60 at risk. That dwarfs the average blackjack loss for a $10-a-hand basic strategy player, and is even higher than the loss for an average player.
Think about it: That extra $1 per hand more than doubles the average loss for a $10 blackjack bettor who is just an average player.
For those who don’t limit the side bets to a buck, just multiply by your bets. Make the side bets equal to your $10 blackjack bets, and average losses shoot up to about $20 an hour in 21 + 3, $40 in Royal Match, and $148 in Lucky Ladies.

“21+3”

This side bet, found at Oxford Casino, in Oxford,ME., pays based on the player’s first two cards and the dealer’s up card. If the three cards equal a flush, straight, straight flush, or three of a kind the side bet pays 9 to 1.  It does come in various versions according to the number of decks.

JG – “21 + 3: At mostly full tables, the $1 side bets mean a risk of $60 per hour. The 3.24 percent house edge means a few pennies shy of $2 extra in the house coffers. For basic strategy players, that’s just $1 less than the losses from betting 10 times as much on the main game.
Average players who are losing $12 an hour might find that extra two bucks palatable for the chance at 9-1 payoffs if their two cards plus the dealer’s up card form a flush, straight or three of a kind. It’s a much smaller leap from their regular loss rate of $1.20 per $60 wagered.

“In BETween”

This blackjack side bet has been seen a few places here and there, and in New England, it’s found found at Oxford Casino. According to Mike Shackelford, the “Wizard of Odds” himself, “The goal is for one card to fall between two others in rank. In this case, the primary goal is the dealer’s up card to fall between the player’s initial two cards.”

Progressives

The “Super Four” side bet in Mohegan Sun is the only location to offer it in New England.  Here’s more on the bet:

  • The side bet is $5 and $5 only.
  • The circle will be to the left of the blackjack bet as Match The Dealer will be retained in it’s usual place.
  • Super 4 is a progressive blackjack side bet based on the four cards consisting of the player’s and dealer’s initial two cards.
  • In both, the player wins on a dealer blackjack. The amount of the win depends on the poker value of all four cards.

One gentleman walked away feeling very lucky on July 12th after hitting the Super 4 Diamonds bonus jackpot totaling $347,456.

At Foxwoods, Blackjack Match Progressive is offered. Here’s more on the bet:

  • Blackjack Match is a side bet that wins if the player and/or the dealer have a blackjack.
  • The value of the win is maximized if the blackjacks are suited and match.
  • Unlike most other progressive side bets, this one costs $5 instead of $1 and are on a “for one” basis, meaning the original wager is not returned on a win.
  • On the top two awards, there is an “Envy Bonus,” which means a win for every other player at the table who made the side bet.

 

We visited all 7 New England Casinos this summer.  This is part of what we found.  More comparisons and info will be presented throughout the fall.

That’s all for now.

 

New England Blackjack Report by Joe Freda

Last year we were happy to announce a new friend of the NETimeGambling group.  It’s time to post his report and add it to our “Games & Strategy” Menu. Enjoy.

Joe Freda has frequented casinos throughout New England during the past two decades, while also writing for the popular gambling sites of Blackjack Insider (bjinsider.com) and Don Best Sports(donbest.com). Freda can be reached at joe_freda@yahoo.com or through Twitter (@ReloadSports).

New England Blackjack Report

by Joe “Reload” Freda

After making the rounds up and down I-95 over the past few months, I have had my share of blackjack adventures to report on for NETime Gambling. As we await the gambling ‘shuffle’ in Massachusetts to be dealt out, five major casinos in the region stand tall with their share of different conditions.

Foxwoods Resort Casino

Foxwoods Resort Casino

Foxwoods Resort Casino

The main floors in Mashantucket deal eight deck shoes with the house hitting soft 17’s, while high-limit rooms in Fox Tower, Club Newport, and Stargazer feature six decks and the more favorable “S17” rules. Surrender is offered throughout, and penetration runs a deep 75-85 percent. Pits have turned up the ‘heat’ a bit in recent times to protect the bottom line, which has unfortunately left me unable to bet beyond any table’s minimum since last year. You will still find friendly dealers and staff throughout the property, making this a top pick for blackjack and other games of choice.

Mohegan Sun

Mohegan Sun

Mohegan Sun Casino

Penetration runs a tighter 65-70 percent in Uncasville, but you will find six decks and “S17” through nearly all pits. Splitting 10’s is uniquely not allowed, and surrender is offered on all tables. The “Super Four” side bet in Mohegan Sun’s blackjack has remained popular, giving you a chance at big payoffs for risking an additional $5 wager. Comp points per hour are rather sparse, but occasional “Triple Status” days give you a chance to rise up. Unlike Foxwoods limiting players to three spots of blackjack at a time, Mohegan allows you to play all six if you want to high roll with a black chip on each.

Oxford Casino

Oxford Casino

Oxford Casino

Oxford deals eight decks throughout its casino, with penetration averaging a deep 80 percent. The house hits the soft 17 and surrender is not offered. One higher-limit table ($50 minimum) is tucked away in back of the main floor, but no different rules are used. Auto-shufflers take care of the cards between shoes, keeping the action fast and moving. While all drinks have to be paid for, you can request a food comp for the restaurant. The pit crew and dealers here are some of the friendliest you will find in all of New England, including the hard-working mother/daughter team of Dianna and Nicki.

Hollywood Casino, Bangor Maine

Hollywood Casino, Bangor Maine

Hollywood Casino

The table game setup in downtown Bangor has a smaller feel to it than Oxford, with maximum bets also on the lower side ($300-500). Blackjack rules and conditions are similar to its Maine competitor (including deep penetration), with a small added advantage that Aces can be resplit. Multiple spots can be played, but you must bet double the minimum (also the case in Oxford). One table on the floor was paying blackjacks at 6/5 and was usually at the lowest minimum from the others. Also note that Hollywood is not a 24/7 casino, closing at 3 am and reopening at 8 am.

Twin River Casino

Twin River Casino

Twin River Casino

Blackjack has its share of high and low stakes in Lincoln, while nearly all tables have the house staying on soft 17. Penetration is a deep 75-80 percent through most of the main floor’s eight-deck games, while the higher-limit felt uses six decks and a more dealer-dependent cut (65-75 percent). Surrender is offered throughout all pits, but beware that showing your sharpness can book you a one-way trip to the parking lot. I have been banned from the whole property since last year despite losing five figures under its roof. If you must take the plunge here, stick to small bets and avoid being skimmed by “Skim River.”

Ocean Gaming, Hampton Beach, NH

Ocean Gaming, Hampton Beach, NH

Honorable Mention – Ocean Gaming (Hampton Beach, NH)

New Hampshire has its handful of “charity casinos” with low stakes blackjack at a $4 maximum. I have played at Rockingham Park (Salem), River Casino (Milford), and Manchester Poker Room (Manchester). My favorite spot in the “Granite State” is Ocean Gaming at Hampton Beach. The house hits the soft 17, while surrender is available. Penetration of the casino’s eight-deck shoes is deep at 75-85 percent, with tables having side bets like “Over-Under” for some added excitement. Ocean Gaming is run by Anthony Fusco, who made the rounds regularly as a Foxwoods pit manager, years ago.

————————

Thanks to Joe, who seems to be a wealth of info.  Hopefully this will be the first of other posts by Joe.  Don’t forget to follow him at at joe_freda@yahoo.com or through Twitter (@ReloadSports).

Binbin

7 N.E.Time Gambling’s Favorite Posts & Pages From 2016

downloadThe following were the your favorites posts in the past year.  Our many thanks for a great year. Enjoy the posts & pages for the first time, or compare to the latest news – I’m sure we will be updating all seven nect year.  Things change quickly in the gaming business

Momentum @ Mohegan Sun: New England Casino Rewards Clubs Part 1

Mohegan Sun's Momentum Players Club

Mohegan Sun’s Momentum Players Club

Three Suggestions to Slot Machine Players

Massachusetts More Worried, Not Mohegan Sun, About New England’s Casino Share

southern New England

Location, Location, Location

Your Blackjack Do’s and Dont’s – No Myths Here!

Blackjack

Blackjack

Casino Comps & Your “Average Daily Theoretical”

Dining Review: Tom’s Urban at Mohegan Sun

The scene looking from the back to the front of the restaurant.

Tom’s Urban.  The scene looking from the back to the front of the restaurant.

ALL ABOUT NEW ENGLAND CASINOS – The Facts & Numbers of All Seven Casinos

What will be in the news next year?  How about:

  • Millennial gaming – the constant concern how to change gambling to get them to spend their money at brick-and-mortar casinos.
  • MGM Springfield & Wynn Boston Harbor – the rush to completion
  • Connecticut’s third joint venture (Pequot & Mohegan tribes) casino – will it ever get started?
  • Will the Mashpee Wampanog’s project “First Light” get out of litigation and get started again?
  • What will the Massachusetts Gaming Commission do with the Southeast Gaming License?
  • Rising resort fees.  Will parking continue to be free in New England?
  • Rhode Island news – Tiverton breaking ground, Twin River ever getting its hotel?
  • Maine – a third casino?

As you can see, NETG is looking forward to another exciting year as we say good-bye to 2016. We hope you continue to join us for the ride!

Bin, Bert, & Miguel

 

FanDuel vs. DraftKings

Daily Fantasy Sports – New England, State by State

NFL Opener“DO YOU WANT TO WATCH SOME FOOTBALL?”

Draft Kings and Fan Duel both hope you do.  The NFL is when both Daily Fantasy Sports companies, who happen to control 95% of the DFS action in the United States, gear up for their busiest season.  Whether it is considered gambling or skill-based, daily fantasy sports and football together are extremely popular, to the point that most TV & radio sports stations include scheduled segments for each week’s analysis and picks.

FanDuel vs. DraftKings

FanDuel and DraftKings represent today’s online gaming options.

Not every state where DraftKings or FanDuel operate has expressly said daily fantasy sports contests are legal, and not every state where they’ve chosen not to operate has said it is illegal. In states where they don’t take paid entries, the companies still allow free entries (contests with no monetary prize), but that doesn’t interest many users.

NewEnglandFINALIn New England, all six states allow both Boston-based Draft Kings and New York-based FanDuel to operate.  And recently, daily fantasy sports became fully legal in the state of New York. An expensive process in the NY state legislature turned out positive for the two DFS giants. Now  both will be back online in time for the new NFL season, their most lucrative and crucial time of year.

Let’s look at DFS state by state in New England and how each state is approaching the legality of operation and regulation.  Much of the following information is from LegalSportsReport.com, a website covering global DAILY FANTASY SPORTS & SPORTS BETTING SITES INDUSTRY, edited by Dustin Gouker:

connecticut-welcome-sign-750

CONNECTICUT

A bill to give the authority to regulate the DFS industry to the Commissioner of Consumer Protection was introduced in February. The effort got a new wrinkle when it was added to a tax package for the state budget; the proposal would tax entry fees — not revenue.  The effort died after Attorney General George Jepsen said that the bill would jeopardize state revenue coming from tribal gaming. The legislature is now adjourned.

Rhode Island signRHODE ISLAND

In February, Rhode Island’s attorney general offered an opinion that daily fantasy sports is legal in the state while calling on the legislature to regulate the industry. However, the Rhode Island Lottery is now joining the legal debate over online fantasy sports, saying bills that would regulate the sites could prove to be unconstitutional.

Massachusetts signMASSACHUSETTS

Massachusetts is in many ways the epicenter of the DFS question, thanks in part to the fact that DraftKings is headquartered in Boston. That was confirmed when attorney general Maura Healey laid out regulations that will govern the DFS industry from a consumer protection standpoint, which she finalized in March. It seems unlikely that Healey’s regulations will entirely stop a legislative effort, as key lawmakers have expressed interest in licensing and taxing DFS operators, things that Healey’s regulations do not do.

downloadVERMONT

As a state not mentioned much on NETimeGambling due to its opposition to gambling, continued down that path when an official in the attorney general’s office said publicly that DFS amounts to illegal gambling in the state. Just before that, a regulatory bill was introduced. That bill passed the Senate but was not passed before the legislature adjourned.  It would seem that DFS in Vermont is teetering toward not operating in Vermont if the state follows previous policies.

New HampshireNEW HAMPSHIRE

The Granite State has had a history the past ten years of on-again, off-again casino interest. DFS operators have apparantly pulled out of New Hampshire, as well as Florida, Texas & Virginia, but no all for the same reasons. But according to RYAN RODENBERG’S article Daily fantasy sports state-by-state trackerNew Hampshire follows a “predominance test” in which the relative levels of skill and chance are measured to determine if the contest is permissible. No DFS legislative bill appears pending.

Maine signMAINE

According to a legal opinion letter released in the New York litigation, gambling in Maine requires a “bet or wager.” No legislative bill about fantasy sports appears pending. However, all, or almost all, DFS operators are active in the state.

The future seems to show gaining support in some areas, while major states like Nevada and New Jersey continue to categorize DFS as gambling, which both DraftKings & FanDuel vehemently deny. It seems the federal government is leaving it up to each state to decide what to do with fantasy sports.

Football Fantasy Leagues

Football Loves Daily Fantasy Leagues

To improve it’s image and stand on skill-based gaming (see our previous post Daily Fantasy Sports – Where did It Come From? Where Is It Going? ) DFS services have implemented changes to improve the fairness and transparency of their contests, including entry limits, banning off-site scripts, identifying veteran-level players, allowing users to block players they do not wish to compete against, and adding beginner-level contests intended for new users.

While we ramp up for the NFL season, NETG will continue to look at DFS. Tomorrow, we borrow suggestions by New England’s own Dan Podheiser.

Get those picks ready.  The NFL “Show” is about to start.

Binbin

 

 

 

 

 

 

New England Gamblers & Their Personality Traits – Are You A True New Englander?

imagesEvery wonder what New Englanders are like?  Well, maybe not like this guy above. I’m talking about all those people who in the casino who drove from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine to annoy you at the slot, the tables, the restaurants, the night clubs, the shows…….

New England Map

New England

I had to list them above because it seems some people who live in New England don’t know the 6 states in New England.  Recently on the Sports Talk station WVEI in Boston, tweets and callers were still debating if Rhode Island, or only parts of CT were actually in New England.

 

Well, Jeff Foxworthy, famous for his “you might be a Red-Neck” jokes also set his sights to New England.  See if you fit any (or ALL) of these characteristics of New England inhabitants.  As Jeff says, after reading this, you’ll know if you are one.  You may end up saying “Eh-ut, I are one.”

Characteristics of New Englanders

Jeff Foxworthy

Jeff Foxworthy

Source: Jeff Foxworthy on New England

If you consider it a sport to gather your food by drilling through 36 inches of ice and sitting there all day hoping that the food will swim by, you might live in New England.

If you’re proud that your region makes the national news 96 nights each year because Mt. Washington is the coldest spot in the nation, and Boston gets more snow than any other major city in the US, you might live in New England.

Closed for the Season!

Closed for the Season!

If your local Dairy Queen is closed from September through May, you might live in New England

 

If you instinctively walk like a penguin for six months out of the year, you might live in New England.

If someone in a Home Depot store offers you assistance, and they don’t work there, you might live in New England.

If your dad’s suntan stops at a line curving around the middle of his forehead, you might live in New England.

download (3)If you have worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you might live in New England.

If your town has more bars than churches, you might live in New England.

If you have had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number, you might live in New England.

YOU KNOW YOU ARE A TRUE NEW ENGLANDER WHEN:

  1. Vacation means going South past New York City for the weekend.
  2. You measure distance in hours.
  3. You know several people who have hit a deer more than once.
  4. You often switch from “heat” to “A/C” in the same day and back again.
  5. You can drive 65 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard, without flinching.images (1)
  6. You see people wearing camouflage at social events (including weddings).
  7. You install security lights on your house and garage and leave both unlocked.
  8. You carry jumper cables in your car and your girlfriend / wife knows how to use them.
  9. You design your kid’s Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.download (6)
  10. Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with. snow.
  11. You know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road. construction.
  12. You can identify a southern or eastern accent.
  13. Your idea of creative landscaping is a statue of a deer next to your blue-spruce.
  14. You were unaware that there is a legal drinking age.
  15. Down South to you means Philadelphia.
  16. Brat is something you eat.
  17. Your neighbor throws a party to celebrate his new shed.
  18. You go out for a fish fry every Friday.download
  19. Your 4th of July picnic was moved indoors due to frost.
  20. You have more miles on your snow blower than your car.
  21. You find 10 degrees “a little chilly.”.
  22. You actually understand these jokes, and you forward them to all your New England friends.

Sad….but true!!!.

A fun site to check out is Go To Quiz.  They desdcribe themselves as “Create your own online quizzes for your online profile, Twitter, blog, forum, or web site. You do not need to know the technical aspects behind the quizzes–our system takes care of it. Just go through our step-by-step wizard to easily create you own”

So here is an interesting quiz for all you New Englanders.  It’s also good for all of you who think you know what we are like. Take this Quiz “Are You A True New Englander?”

Have fun

Binb

Voting with Your Dollar at Our Casinos – Do It Really Have Any Influence?

vote-with-your-dollarVoting with your dollar in the Casino Industry Doesn’t have an effect anymore due to patron self-indulgence, historical awareness, and stupid money management.

There – I said it.  And I feel better.  Tim Dressen, of “Five-Hundy by Midnight” taught me a very valuable thing – it’s my blog and I can express my feelings how, when, and to the extreme i want to.  Thank you Tim!  Here goes…..

How we spend our money is an important factor in where we gamble, stay, eat and be entertained. Where we spend our money and actually win is probably more important to us. You supposedly VOTE with your dollar by choosing to spend, or not to spend, your hard-earned money where it gives you the best experience, thus giving management input on change or status quo. But the issue of “Voting with your dollar” to influence the gambling industry to me is like attending a meeting for input without having an actual influence or “vote” at all.

FYI – great article the blog  “Why ‘voting with your dollar’ doesn’t work” in life, in general.  Click on the title to read it.

Put the whole casino experience together and it comes down to one thing – we are seeking best value for your dollar – or, in my opinion we should be.  The dollar, the money, the moolah…..voting with it by spending it on the best value.    Do you REALLY believe that individual financial vote with YOUR money makes a difference?

Do you believe this, or are we at the point that it's plain old Bull#$%$ when it involves the Casino Industry.

Do you believe this, or are we at the point that it’s plain old Bull#$%$ when it involves the Casino Industry.

Let’s look at a gambling trip.  If you are against poor video poker tables, then you gamble at places with better pay tables. Best table games odds should be looked for and slot play should last longer than other casinos. Then you play at those casinos that statistically can give you a better and longer play, thus a better and more financially pleasing experience. Easy, right?

Remember the days of casino trips with coupon books?

Remember the days of casino trips with coupon books?

Do we do it?  NO – or not nearly enough as a large economically committed group to influence the casino industry.  Gamblers are growing by the thousands with each additional casino built from coast to coast.

Do you really think you have any power in your wallet when it comes to the casino industry?  I’m an eternal pessimist on this issue, not because the casino industry doesn’t watch & listen, but because too many gamblers don’t care – especially new gamblers in their 20’s and 30’s. They just don’t get it.  If the millennials were concerned about their debts (as statistics show us), then why are they visiting casinos spending tons of money on poor odds table games and inflated-pricing on cocktail service in clubs?

Jim Murren and MGM Resorts

Jim Murren & MGM Resorts

Twenty, or even ten years ago, there were great odds provided by casinos with great offers in the forms of coupon books, free this and free that.  Not anymore. Spearheaded by casino giants like MGM with their Profit Growth Plan, casinos are looking to squeeze everything they can out of their patrons.  Is it their fault for being greedy, or running their business in a manner to maximize profits?  Smart business associates would say the latter.

The fact is, we did this to ourselves. Yes, it’s true.  In this capitalistic society, you’d think the “almighty buck” would be an instrument of change, but it isn’t.  Why does your dollar has the economic weight of a feather in casinos these days? Lack of awareness, lack of perseverance, and lack of money management.  Because when it comes to gambling, there are too many stupid people (that’s right financially irresponsibly stupid) making stupid economic decisions that casino bean-counters are depending on.  The casinos actually think we want to pay higher prices, get less comps, and play decreased odds – because that’s what patron’s “voting with your dollar”  keeps telling them.  Do YOU –

YES YOU,

I’m talking to each and everyone of YOU who gambles or visits a casino for some leisure experience – do you enjoy the following changes we’ve seen:

  • PAID PARKING at MGM LAS VEGAS PROPERTIESdownload (1)
  • RESORT FEES
  • 6/5 BLACKJACKth
  • LESS AMENITIES IN HOTEL BATHROOMS
  • LESS AMENITIES IN HOTEL ROOMS
  • SMOKE SCREENS ABOUT WHAT RESORT FEES PAY FOR – who makes local call these days?resort fees
  • PAYING TO USE THE POOL & GYM
  • PARTY PITS – LOWEST TABLE GAME ODDS FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT
  • PAYING $4 – $6 for a BOTTLE OF WATER or paying $9 FOR A DRAFT BEER AT AN ARENA EVENT
  • PAYING FOR DRINKS WHILE PLAYING
  • DRINK PRICES SKYROCKET BECAUSE THE BARTENDER CAN JUGGLE BOTTLESdownload (2)
  • GAMBLING ODDS LOWERED ACROSS THE BOARD, FROM TABLE GAMES to SLOTS & VIDEO POKER

    Wynn Las Vegas recently reduced their craps odds from 3x-4x-5x to 2x.

    Wynn Las Vegas recently reduced their craps odds from 3x-4x-5x to 2x.

  • DIMINISHING REWARDS CLUB BENEFITS BY CHANGING THE CLUB TIERS, BENEFITS AT EACH TIER, AND INCREASING THE DIFFICULTY TO KEEP YOUR STATUS

So, what’s the solution?  Maybe as patrons in all forms of gaming and entertainment we should diligently start looking at VALUE we get for our dollar. When visitation and revenue decrease, the bean-counters notice.  The good news about the vast casino expansion in the U.S. is that for most of us, there is a casino close enough – go where you are treated well and spend your money where the value is.  If you’re not getting the best possible gambling offered to you in odds, comps, and hospitality, MOVE YOUR OPERATION ELSEWHERE.tumblr_m230837DmJ1rrimczo1_1280

We’re losing the battle.  OUR DOLLAR DOESN’T MATTER UNLESS WE START ASSESSING WHERE IT SHOULD GO AND WHOM IT SHOULD GO TO!

In New England, by 2020 there will be at least TEN casinos in operation.  Visit all close enough to you and give the casinos that give the best value for you.  It may not be the closest one to you.  VOTE WITH YOUR DOLLAR.

Vote with your dollar.  But realize, the battle and the war may is in the process of being lost. By 2020, we will see how value-driven we New England residents can be.  Or we will join the rest of the country in letting the casino industry dictate what what the future of casinos will be.

Binbin

 

 

 

 

A New England Casino Quiz – Identify the Slogan

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As the New England Casino frontier starts to expand and change, I thought it would be fun to connect the slogan with the casino – at least the seven we know so far.  Let’s see if you can connect the slogan to the New England Casino, and I’m including Plainridge Park Casino.  Seven slogans, seven casinos.  Match the casino to the slogan – good luck!

ANSWER KEY

1. Foxwoods Resort Casino,      2. Mohegan Sun Resort Casino,      3. Newport Grand Slots Casino,      4. Twin River Casino,

5. Plainridge Park Casino & Raceway,             6. Oxford Casino,                7. Hollywood Casino Casino, Hotel, & Raceway

 

A. “Wicked Good Times”

B. “So Much, So Close”

C. “The Wonder of It All”

D. “Isn’t Life Grand”

E. “Wicked Good Fun”

F. “Where Every Player Is A Star”

G. “A World At Play”

 
How’d you do? Here are the answers: 1-C, 2-G, 3-D, 4-B, 5-A, 6-E, 7-F

That’s all for now.

Binbin

Baccarat Revenue a Concern for Las Vegas Strip & New England Casinos?

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Previously, Connecticut casinos CEOs commented on the horrible winter in the northeast as the reason for declining revenue in the Nutmeg state’s casinos.  With our tunnel-vision of the impending  “Saturation Nation” here in New England, most of us were not aware of the decline in revenue in the American mecca of gambling – Las Vegas.

In Las Vegas, the tide is turned not by the weather, but seemingly by one game – baccarat. According to Howard Stutz, of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “analysts looked to make sense out of February’s gaming revenue results in Nevada where Strip casinos declined 4.4 percent and every reporting market in the state saw either a gaming revenue increase or flat results.”

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