New England Casino News

Visiting New England’s Casinos?

New England

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 IslandNewport Grand & Twin River Hotel/Casino; MassachusettsPlainridge Park Casino & Raceway, MGM Springfield & Wynn Boston Harbor; Maine –  Oxford Casino & Hollywood Bangor Hotel, Casino & Raceway.


NEWS

Plainridge Harness Racing, with renovated racebook, could be looking to add sports-betting.

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.

Empire City Casino, Yonkers, NY

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.

Proposed Tiverton Casino

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.

Binbin

Farewell, Newport Grand – A Look Back

Yes, it’s small and it doesn’t take long to look around each floor.

Yes, the outside looks more like a warehouse than a casino, but renovations over the years tried to keep the vision of a classy casino in Newport was kept alive.

Before Twin River Management bought it over a year ago, it was a family operation – owned and managed by CEO Diane Hurley.

Quiet morning at Newport Grand

The building now known as Newport Grand has struggled to be more relevant in a city that never really wanted it there.

Thirty years ago, the 3,000 seat Newport Grand Jai Alai fronton was packed with fans who came to wager on the legendary Saez and other players.  Then, VLT’s were added to make it part casino, but the games were nothing like those you’d see in casinos now.

I remember those days.  I would visit greyhound racing in Plainfield, CT as well as Hartford and Newport Jai Alai. The game of Jai Alai was impressive to watch with the pelota being hurled at the three-sided wall at over 130 MPH. But betting on humans always made me leery.

Inside the fronton, team matches underway.

It’s recent past disappointments included:

  • The addition of tables games voted down by the city of Newport (at the time under Hurley ownership) while  Lincoln RI approved tables games for Twin River casino.
  • The renovation and expansion of Newport Grand, with table games denied by Newport.
  • Mayor Paolino led a push for voter approval of table games at Newport Grand last year leading up to the November election. Newport voters rejected two ballot questions that would have paved the way for the slot parlor to evolve into a full-fledged casino, converting the existing building into a luxury, Monte Carlo-esque high end resort with entertainment.
  • Finally, TRM bought Newport with the intentions of moving operations to Tiverton as a new full casino with hotel to compete with Massachusetts casino expansion, namely Plainridge Park Racino just over the border in Plainville, MA.

So, we will be bidding adieu to this warehouse-like building, some say by the end of June.  It is expected to be flattened.  But, I will remember it fondly, even though it was never all it could been. Adios.

Binbin

Valentines Day Specials at MA, ME & RI Casinos

February is for Lovers.  Here is Part 2 of all the opportunities for you and that special someone in Massachusetts, Maine & Rhode Island

Valentine’s Day At Plainridge Park Casino Plainville, MA.

FEEL THE LOVE FREEPLAY – 6PM-10PM – Win your share of $65,000 Free SlotPlay Saturday, February 3,10,17 from 6pm-10pm. 5 winners every hour can win up to $2,000 Free SlotPlay. Prizes valid for Free SlotPlay only, must be playing on Marquee Rewards card to be eligible.

RUSSELL STOVER GIVEAWAY – 11AM-4PM – Earn 500 points on Sunday, February 11th on your Marquee Rewards card the same day of the promotion to claim a box of Russell Stover Chocolates. May vary from picture. While supplies last. One per account.

Slack’s Oyster House & Grill FEBRUARY 14, 2018 DINNER SPECIALS FROM 5PM-10PM – Choose from a Prix Fixe Menu, $50 PP Complimentary glass of Roederer Estate Sparkling wine.  Click HERE for the MENU.


Valentine’s Day At Hollywood Hotel, Casino & Raceway, Bangor, ME

SWEETHEARTS’ GAMING PACKAGE – includes deluxe room accommodations for two, a bottle of champagne, a half dozen fresh roses, chocolate covered strawberries and an Epic Buffet dinner for two. Packages start at $271 per night. Package available Friday and Saturday night only.


Valentine’s Day At Oxford Casino, Oxford, ME

Valentine’s Buffet, Wednesday, February 14, 2018 – 5:00pm – 9:30pm; $32.95 per person – Featuring carved prime rib, lobster tail, peel and eat shrimp, and decadent desserts. Limited space available. Reservations recommended. Call 207-539-6705.


Valentine’s Day At Twin River Casino, Lincoln, RI

Fred & Steve’s Steakhouse February 14th –  SWEETHEART SPECIALS MENU

Wicked Good Bar & Grill February 14th – VALENTINE’S DAY MENU

Shipyard Brewpub at Twin River February 14th – VALENTINE’S DAY SPECIALS

 

Mohegan Sun, Twin River Casinos Participate in Restaurant Weeks

Two outstanding restaurant weeks are coming up, so why not start planning now?

Providence Winter Restaurant Weeks – January 14–27, 2018

Fred & Steve’s Steakhouse, Twin River Casino

Providence’s red-hot culinary scene warms up the cold weather during Providence Winter Restaurant Weeks, January 14–27, 2018.  Whether you want to try out new restaurants or visit old favorites, enjoy a great meal at a great price. Choose from mouthwatering menus at nearly 100 restaurants. Enjoy three-course lunches at $16.95 and three-course dinners at $29.95 or $34.95, as well as two-for-one specials. Keep checking the site as restaurants are added daily.

Three Twin River Casino restaurants will be on the list of dining options:

WickedGood Bar & Grill –  Shipyard at Twin River are participating in the 2 for 1 for Dinner option with the price of $34.95.

Fred & Steve’s Steakhouse – popular for its Steak and Seafood cuisine, is participating in the three-course Dinner Special of $34.95 per person.

Restaurant Week at Mohegan Sun, January 21st – 25th.

Sink your teeth into exclusive dining offers at many of our premier restaurants and eateries. Plus learn tips and tricks from culinary masters during live cooking demonstrations in The Shops concourse by Todd English and Sun Wine & Food Fest chef Michele Ragussis.

The CHEF DEMO SCHEDULE at The Shops at Mohegan Sun includes

January 21st at Noon: Todd English (Todd English’s Tuscany)
January 25th at 6:00pm: Michele Ragussis (SWFF Celebrity Chef)

Specials include a 20% discount at Seasons Buffet, Bobby’s Burger Palace, Todd English’s Tuscanyand Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain.

Other specials can be found at BALLO Italian Restaurant, Hash House A Go Go, The Lansdowne Irish Pub & Music House

& many more. For the entire list of specials, click on Restaurant Week at Mohegan Sun

Bon appetit!

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.

Rhode Island Casinos Gamble on Delays

 

An artists rendering of the Tiverton Casino/ Hotel.

Rhode Island Has two casinos at this time, Twin River Casino in Lincoln and Newport Grand in Newport, RI.

It has always seemed that both Rhode Island casinos have flown under the radar in New England – TR without a hotel, and Newport with a seemingly death sentence in a year. To combat the competition from three sides in two states, Twin River Management group decided to improve it’s status in the region.

A BRIEF LOOK BACK

Originally built for greyhound racing, Twin River Casino is now a full casino.

Originally built for greyhound racing, Twin River Casino is now a full casino.

Lincoln Downs opened on July 7, 1947 – a dog racing track, accommodated 5,800 spectators in the grandstand, plus 2,000 more in the clubhouse and turf club.  Off-track parimutuel betting was approved, only to be diminished by the opening of Foxwoods in CT, 1992.  From that point, this property has fought for relevancy.  In 2007, after being bought by BBL Investors, (and being ignored by large casino industry reps MGM Mirage & Kerzner International) casino expansion included more gaming space, new amenities, and an Event Center, making the casino one of the top 5 largest casinos in the nation. Finding the battle with the CT casinos a tough climb, table games were approved by the legislature in 2012.  (Newport Grand was not approved for table games by the locals).

Which now all leads up to the latest news.

After the construction of Plainridge Park in Massachusetts as their first Mass. Casino two years ago, Twin River saw a slight dip in revenue and gamblers, but nothing to worry the present ownership, Twin River Management Group (TRMG). After all, they had plans of their own.

Here was the battle plan:

  • Buy Newport Grand – providing for future plans
  • Build a hotel – to attract gamblers to stay on property, attracting more out-of-state patrons.
  • Relocate Newport Grand to a new Hotel/Casino in Tiverton, RI. – offering a quick gambling option for southeast MA & RI.

HOTEL DELAY

Construction of a steel structure has begun on a parking garage, as well as the main casino building and hotel.  The casino and hotel are both now expected to be ready by Oct. 1, 2018.

DOUBLE THE COST

The estimated cost could reach $140 million, which almost double the original estimate of $75 million. The increase in cost is attributed to excavating the challenging topography in the area and changing plans to add an underground parking structure and making the casino floor 10,000 square feet larger.Chloe Leshner of ABC6 News, “The Twin River Management group says they had to nearly double their budget with plans to now invest $140 million into the hotel and casino that will replace the Newport Grand Casino. Obstacles with the land forcing project managers to change some of the plans, like building a parking garage instead of a flat lot. They say these adjustments address the environmental concerns many citizens had about the casino originally.” All of these changes are driving up the final price tag.  “The cost of this is born entirely by twin river management group, we received no state subsidies and no tax payer dollars are being used,” says John Taylor with Twin River Management Group.

 

WINDOW CLOSING?

NETG predicts they need to pursue an earlier opening, like Spring of 2018, if they want to also compete with MGM Springfield’s expected opening.  Plainridge is already showing signs of increasing a base of loyal gamblers, with the connection to Marquee Rewards of Penn National Gaming, providing more opportunities across the country.  TRMG only has the two properties in RI connected and lack a national appeal.  MGM Springfield large presence in New England provides even more opportunities for national visits through its MLife Rewards. Time is of the essence.  Rhode Island needs to blast through these setbacks if they tryly want a piece of the New England Gambling Pie, or only crumbs will be left.Binbin

7 New England Casinos by the Numbers

NewEnglandFINALEver ask the questions:

Which New England Casino has the largest casino?

What tables games are offered at X, Y, & Z casinos?

How many dining facilities are there at “such-and-such” casino?

Does “such-and-such” casino have non-smoking areas? Where are they?

These and more answers to your questions about New England Casinos are now at your finger tips.  One click and a link to your favorite New England Casino(s) will give you the numbers of whatever you’re looking for.
Hotel, Gambling, Dining, Entertainment and Retail Facts of All New England Casinos are provided here to answer questions pertaining to all seven casinos.
Click on each Link below to see the statistics of each casino, or click on the summary of all seven for an instant comparison.

Connecticut Casino Facts (Mohegan Sun & Foxwoods)

Rhode Island Casino Facts (Twin River & Newport Grand)

Massachusetts Casino Stats (Plainridge Park)

Maine Casino Facts (Oxford & Hollywood Bangor)

All NE Casino Facts

As in all pages of information such as this, numbers may vary slightly or even change as time passes.

Your help is needed!  If you find added table games, dining info, or changes of any kind in any of this information, say hello and send us a comment.  Let us know!

Your NETG Staff – Bin, Miguel, & Bert.

10 Casinos in New England by 2020 – An Update

Everyone likes to speculate about the future – at least I do when it comes to the future of gaming in New England. It’s time to bring out my inner Zoltar and look ahead.

The stage has been set for the opening of full blown casino gambling expansion in New England by 2020. While there may be changes along the way – there always seem to be – the final New England Casino Portfolio should look like this:

Maine – 2 Casinos:

Hollywood Casino, Hotel & Raceway in Bangor, ME. Owner – Penn National
Oxford Casino, Oxford ME. Owner – Churchill Downs LLC.Hampton Inn at

New Hampton Inn across the street from Oxford Casino.

The Oxford casino will see expansion with Hampton Inn on Route 26 across from the entrance and it’s own hotel and expanded dining & gaming by the summer of 2018.  The treacherous cross over RT 26 from the Hampton Inn is also getting altered for safety reasons.

Massachusetts – 3 Casinos:

Plainridge Casino (Slots only) & Raceway, Plainville, MA. Owner – Penn National
Wynn Boston Harbor, Everett, MA. Owner – Wynn Resorts

rendering of entranc at Wynn Boston Harbor

Rendering of entrance at Wynn Boston Harbor

MGM Springfield, Springfield, MA. Owner – MGM Resorts International

A possible 4th Massachusetts Casino was slated for Taunton, MA.  First Light Resort, Taunton, MA. Owner – Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal NationTribal Council. The First Light casino, hotel and entertainment complex was to be built on a 151-acre industrial park that’s part of the Cape Cod-based tribe’s recently designated federal reservation. First Light at this time is being weighted down in a lawsuit brought on by a group of Taunton residents wanting to overturn the U.S. Department of Interior’s decision to declare land in trust for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, which it plans to use to build the $500 million casino in the city. At this time, NETG believes it will not be completed any time soon. With the delay, First Light is hopelessly behind Wynn & MGM Springfield.

First Light

First Light Resort Casino, Wampanoag Tribe, Taunton May never see completion.

Rhode Island – 2 Casinos:

Twin River Casino (with expanded Hotel), Lincoln, RI. Owner – Twin River Management Group
Newport Grand, Newport, RI Closed for new Tiverton Resort, Tiverton, RI. (Move to Tiverton is expected by 2020) Owner – Twin River Management Group.

Proposed Tiverton Casino

Connecticut – 3 Tribal Casinos:

Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashatucket, CT. Owner – The Mashentucket Pequot Tribal Nation
Mohegan Sun Resort Casino, Uncasville, CT. Owner – The Mohegan Tribe of CT
MMCT Pequot & Mohegan Casino Venture, East Windsor, CT.

Proposed MMCT joint venture casino between CT’s Mohegan & Pequot tribes

The third casino in CT, by MMCT, is held up by the Bureau of Indian Affairs concerning a casino off tribal lands. It will be built, however.

A 4th Casino is being pushed on Bridgeport, CT by MGM.  It’s future is dim at best.

 

Zoltar is tired and I’ve run out of nickels.  Time to sit back and let the future unfold.

Binbin

New England Casinos Offer Whiskey & Beer Fests

Get your drinking buds together and get ready for some great festivals featuring whiskey & beer.

Twin River Casino’s 4th Annual New England Whiskey Festival

NETG’s Miguel & Bin went to check it out last year, and it was amazing. Whiskey enthusiasts should really look forward to this event, as well as whiskey newbies to taste some incredible new brands and flavors.  The finest companies in the hospitality industry will gather at Rhode Island’s premiere entertainment facility to show off the latest whiskey products, trends and innovations.  Discover the hottest beverage trends, along with great food, samplings and entertainment. 21+ only.

DATE: Saturday, September 30, 2017 2:00pm. Event starts at 2pm to 5pm, Ticket prices are $40 plus


MOHEGAN SUN presents Sun BrewFest

Brewfest at Mohegan Sun

Brewfest at Mohegan Sun

Returning to Mohegan Sun on Saturday, October 7th with an array of craft beers for your tasting pleasure. Pair your favorite brew with a bite or two as local restaurants feature food for purchase.

  • GRAND TASTING in Uncasville Ballroom
Main Session: 1:00pm-4:00pm for $30 per person/ticket  VIP Preview & Main Session: 12:30pm-4:00pm for $50 per person/ticket
  • HALFTIME HOPS PRESENTED BY AROOGA’S in Upper Lobby of Uncas Ballroom
Details: 6:00pm-9:00pm for $50 per person/ticket with unlimited beer and food samples. It’s all about the game, the bites and the brews at Halftime Hops! Presented by Arooga’s, Halftime Hops will be sporting the best brews for sports enthusiasts to sample while viewing the hottest games in baseball and college football in the Convention Center.

————–

Foxwood’s On Tap Craft Beer Fest

On November 11, at 4:00PM ,The 2nd annual Foxwoods On Tap Craft Beer Festival returns and they’re upping the ante after last year’s inaugural event sold out. Enjoy live music from Foxwoods’ Battle of the Bands 2017 winner –  THE NOBLE IMPOVERISHED – while sampling more than 120 craft beers from 70+ of America’s best craft breweries.  Want to feel like a high roller?  Purchase a VIP Ticket for an additional hour of sampling starting at 3PM, plus a commemorative hat and food voucher.

Must be 21 years+

PRICES
General Admission $30
G.A. Group of 10 $240 (Save $60)
VIP $50
VIP Group of 10 $400 (Save $100)

Twin River Casino Hotel Adds to New England Status

Twin River Casino, Lincoln, RI

With all the talk about casino expansion and saturation, one management group seems to be under the radar – Twin River Management Group.

Maybe it’s because it isn’t as accessible to media, or maybe because of its seemingly clandestine way it does business, concerning player rewards, revenue reports, and promotions.

If you were to go to their website, you may think Twin River’s Social Gaming website it the biggest thing going for it.  But, things are beginning to ramp up for TRMG.

The final approval came from The Planning Board in Tiverton in May, 2017. The 7,500-square-foot gaming facility is expected to open next year, after Rhode Island voters approved a ballot referendum three years ago to expand commercial gambling in the state.

The area design for Tiverton Hotel & Casino. expected roundabout in upper right corner.

The Newport Grand slots parlor will be closed as the Tiverton Casino project at William S. Canning Boulevard and Stafford Road. According to the plan, a traffic roundabout is required to be built before the casino and hotel can open in July 2018, easing traffic congestion at the busy intersection in east Tiverton, near the Fall River, Massachusetts, line. The Tiverton casino will boast 1,000 slot machines30 table games, and an 80-room hotel.

Steve Ruddock, friend of NETG, commented in July in his post TWIN RIVER OPENING A TWIN CASINO IN RHODE ISLAND”

on PlayMA.com, saying, “The casino industry in the region tends to overlook Twin River in Lincoln (RI). It shouldn’t be though. People should view the casino as a major force in the area. In recent years, the former dog track turned slots parlor added table games, including a poker room. It is also in the process of adding a hotel. And the company will become a two-headed threat next summer, once the Tiverton project opens its doors.”

The hotel that Steve alluded to has already started construction.  Thanks to our RI correspondent, Miguel, the pictures below show the beginnings of the hotel:

 

The hotel took years of convincing the RI legislature that it wouldn’t compromise the hotels in Providence the ability to house casino guests with access just 10 minutes away.  Finally, it is a reality.  Late to the party, but still increasing TR’s chances in the bigger scheme of casino competition.

Currently, TRMG manages 4 properties:

  • Twin River Casino – Lincoln, RI
    • Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Biloxi, MS
    • Arapahoe Park – Aurora, CO
    • Newport Grand Casino – Newport, RI (to be moved to Tiverton, RI.)

Different ownership from the Hard Rock group that bought the Taj in Atlantic City

They aren’t the kind of big player to make Steve Wynn tremble in Boston, MA., but they have made the CT casinos, Plainridge Park in Plainville, MA and even MGM Springfield take notice.  In recent years, making the second floor non-smoking, adding table games and a poker room, and upgrading its VIP Amenities room (the former “Fado” restaurant) has all made the region wonder how relavent they will be in the future New England casino landscape.

With a hotel and new presence in Tiverton, they may not be flying under the radar for long.

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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.

 

A Labor Day Request: Treat Casino Employees With Respect

labor-dayLike any workplace, casino workers can work under extreme circumstances . There are those that work under abusive conditions that include harassment, racism, sexual harassment, hostile work environments and more.  Between interactions with management and patrons, many days of working at a casino, and all its parts – bars, restaurants, hotels, entertainment venues – can be torturous at times, no matter how nice and hospitable they are. th (85)

Sure, every work place has its problems, but most don’t have to put up with drunk, entitled loud-mouths who expect more than they are willing to wager for. And through it all, so many give great service back with a smile.

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Beverage Attendants

 

personnel

Dealers

Today, let’s take a moment to treat all of New England’s Casino employees with a little more kindness, a little more consideration, and a lot more respect.  Then maybe we can all start a trend, whether in the casino, or our own workplace.

Here is a list of the numbers of employees in our New England Casino/Resorts, from the American Gambling Assoc. website.  Remember, a tip, a smile, a thank you – they all go along way to help anyone’s workday.  Start today – on America’s Labor Day – Honoring our great American workforce.

STATE                          # of CASINOS             #of EMPLOYEES

Maine…………………………….2………………………………1,458

Massachusetts………………..1…………………………………500+

Slot Attendants

Slot Attendants

Rhode Island………………….2……………………………….5085

Connecticut……………………2………………………………15,000+

It’s not just here in New England. AC, Vegas, and everywhere in America’s casinos – show appreciation for great service and help. Make some casino employee’s day a great one today.

Happy Labor Day, America.

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