So much has happened this past week. I felt a post with related links might be in order. Accordingly, here are some news snippets in “New England Casino News You Might Have Missed.”
Plainridge Racing at the Mercy of Mass Legislators
They did it last year, and they’re doing it again. Who? Massachusetts state lawmakers are bringing horse racing to the brink of extinction once again. According to Colin A. Young in the Lowell Sun, “If the legal authority for racing and simulcasting is not extended before Thursday, all racing and simulcasting must stop. Subsequently, meaning it must be enacted by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Charlie Baker. Plainridge Park Casino, the only remaining host of live horse racing in Massachusetts, is planning to hold races until then.”
Live racing has come under attack in New England in recent years. Unfortunately, Suffolk Downs, the last thoroughbred racing in Massachusetts and New England, closed in July. Maine still has races at Scarborough and Bangor (connected to Hollywood casino block away) with parimutuel betting. The summer fair season in Maine has horse racing, which helps the Maine horse breeding market.
CT Lawmakers Announce Comprehensive Casino/Sports Betting Plan
A bipartisan group of Connecticut lawmakers announced a wide-ranging bill they hope could lead to legalized sports betting. Furthermore, it also hints at the addition of a Bridgeport casino and completing the combined tribal venture in East Windsor. The tribes must spend a minimum of $100 million on an entertainment and gambling facility in Bridgeport. Consequently, the tribes will receive authorization to conduct sports wagering at Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun. Also, sports wagering through mobile applications, online and other locations in the state would be approved. The original tribal compact will stay intact, with 25% slot revenue going to the state from the two current tribal casinos. Besides, the tribes would contribute 10% of their table games revenues generated. Only at both the proposed Bridgeport casino and East Windsor casino would add this to its tourism marketing fund.
Rhode Island Sports Betting is up
Rhode Island’s two regulated sports betting operators, Twin River and Tiverton Casino, recorded a combined book revenue of $2.15m in June. Presently, that is a record high for the Ocean state. As a matter of fact, the total sports betting profit for the fiscal year is nearly $6.9 million. Rhode Island became the eighth state to offer sports betting in 2018, months after the Supreme Court struck down PASPA.
Rhode Island Problems Include Deal with IGT
To begin with, the agreement would start in 2023. Through IGT’s $6.4 billion mergers with Rhode Island-based GTech Holdings in 2015, the company already controls 84 percent of the slot floors at the Twin River and Tiverton casinos. Scientific Games has 12 percent of the remaining slot space, and Everi Holdings has the other 4 percent. In fact, Governor Raimondo and top lawmakers announced they had reached a tentative deal with IGT to extend its Lottery contract. In exchange, the company will keep 1,100 workers in the state employed. Although this is true, a major concern is the monopoly of gaming machines by IGT. Besides, there would be an absence of popular brands found in other casinos across New England and the country by Aristocrat, Konami, and IT.
Related Post – Rhode Island Casino Specs and History
Finally, Maine’s Casinos Had a Record Year
Robert F. Bukaty of the AP reported that Maine’s two casinos raked in close to $144 million last year, setting a state gambling record. The recent rise is considered tied to Oxford’s hotel addition and expanded gaming floor. But Milt Champion, executive director of Maine’s gambling control unit, doesn’t expect the windfall to last due to increased competition across the board. According to a report from the American Gaming Association, Maine is one of 12 states with record casino gambling last year, released Tuesday. Nationwide, gamblers spent almost $42.7 billion in two dozen states with legal casinos, the association said.
Meanwhile, Maine’s positive path towards sports betting has skidded to an unexpected halt. Gov. Janet Mills decided not to sign the bill that would legalize sports betting in her state due to concerns over expanded gambling. At this point, the bill is going nowhere fast and could stay that way forever.
That was the week’s news. Wonder what this week brings?