More Casinos in New England Still an “IFFY” Proposition


So the news is still not too healthy in the gambling industry up here in New England.  Like a lot of things this winter, buried under snow and ice are the hopes of existing casinos bouncing back before the onslaught from Massachusetts.  But, 2015 is not looking as rosy as the industry would like.  Here’s the “tale of the tape”  so far:

image(3)Hollywood Casino, Hotel & Raceway (Bangor Maine) – Coming out of 2014 with a slight drop in net revenue, they tried a 10-day experiment in which it kept its doors open around the clock. The test run didn’t yield the results casino officials hoped for, so the gambling facility has returned to its normal 19-hour day.

Hollywood Casino also brought in $54.44 million in net revenue in 2014, $46.4 million at the slots and just over $8 million at the tables. That net revenue total is down slightly — $220,000 — from 2013’s take.

image(6)Oxford Casino (Oxford, Maine) which has more table games and is an around-the-clock operation, brought in about $72.83 million in net revenue in 2014. That was up from about $71.61 million in net revenue in 2013 — the casino’s first full year of operation. However, New England casino developments — including several proposed in New Hampshire and Massachusetts — are likely to have an effect on Maine casinos, especially Oxford because it draws a higher proportion of its patronage from Southern Maine and other New England states.

Home to Newport Grand Slots

Home to Newport Grand Slots and Twin River Casino

Newport Grand (Newport, RI) – after a proposal to add table games at Newport Grand was defeated, state officials are wondering aloud how long the slots parlor will survive. Various locations of Massachusetts casinos would have negative consequences on state gambling revenue in RI – with Plainridge Park opening soon, and the southeastern Mass license about to be awarded within the next 6 months.

A new study has proposed the future decline of VLT revenue in both Rhode Island casinos – whether Massachusetts casinos were to be built or not.

Connecticut’s casinos continue to struggle.  The only difference is Mohegan Sun has posted modest jumps in monthly revenue.  Foxwoods continues its spiral down and may need to restructure debt.  When visiting these two mammoths, one can’t help notice the large numbers of slots being taken out, leaving huge spaces on the gaming floors.

In other words, maintaining or eve modest increases by the existing casinos may not be enough to stave off the competition of ten casinos in New England.  Some have suggested that in the next four years, a sort of “gaming cannibalism” will occur much like in Atlantic City – with only the strongest competitors remaining alive.  I guess we’ll wait and see.  However, it’s my guess that:

  • We won’t being seeing slots in OTB’s in Connecticut
  • We won’t see additional casinos in Maine
  • Newport Grand will close, and
  • MGM Springfield & Wynn Everett will become the center of the New England Gaming world.

That’s all for now



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