It’s been a long time – a year, to be exact. But, New England’s casinos are reporting positive news of late. While they see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, there’s one thing for sure. It’s still a pretty long tunnel. But, the good news is that New England Casinos Are Showing Signs of Recovery.
The Reopening Continues
Massachusetts Making Moves
February could be called the “Boston “C” Party – the “C” representing Massachusetts casinos. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission reported that the gross gaming revenue from slots and table games was far from “gross.” Instead, February rose to $67.44 million from Plainridge Park Casino, MGM Springfield, and Encore Boston Harbor. That’s a 17% increase over January and the highest monthly gaming revenue since October 2020.
Operational hours of 24/7 have certainly helped. This also paved the way to reopen both Encore and MGM Springfield hotels. When March revenues are released in April, they are expected to reveal the impact of the commission’s recent decision to allow the casinos to reintroduce craps and to add a fourth seat at many table games.
Related Post – No Future For Region C Casino in Massachusetts
Connecticut Sports Betting Agreement Seems Eminent
Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun resort and casino operators announced Thursday a comprehensive deal with Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration for sports betting and online gambling, which was widely anticipated after the state reached a Mohegan-only agreement earlier this month.
The agreement’s key terms include an 18 percent tax rate for the first five years on new online commercial casino gaming. A 20 percent rate will follow that for at least the next five years. In addition, there would be a 13.75 percent tax rate on sports wagering.
Also, the Connecticut Lottery will have the right to operate 15 retail sports betting locations. If approved, people physically located in Connecticut would be able to bet on sports events online and at locations across the state and wager on other casino games online or on mobile apps. The roster of games would depend on the companies offering bets.
“Connecticut is on the cusp of providing a modern, technologically advanced gaming experience for our residents, which will be competitive with our neighboring states…we have achieved an agreement that is best for Connecticut residents and their respective tribal members.”Governor Ned Lamont, CT
Rhode Island and New Hampshire Ready For March Madness
Sports betting in Rhode Island and New Hampshire will reap the benefits of more visitors corresponding with March Madness. Due to the pandemic, the Rhode Island sportsbooks at Twin River and Tiverton casinos were quiet without the NCAA championships last year. Understandably, sports betting revenue will likely dip as soon as neighboring states start offering betting options closer to home. But for now, both states have cornered the market.
New Hampshire launched mobile sports betting via the DraftKings Sportsbook app in early 2020. Initial forecasts predict at least $11.25 million in New Hampshire sports betting annual state revenue beginning in 2021. All this is from a state that has rejected commercial casinos three times in eight years.
Related Post – Comparing Rhode Island and New Hampshire Sports Betting.
Maine Casinos Take a Major Step Forward
Oxford has been pretty much closed up for some time – no dining, no promotions, no hotel, and capacity limits of 25% in 4 “zones” of the casino. However, Oxford Casino, Hotel, and Event Center are moving towards normalcy with the new hotel reopening on March 26th. Reservations are now being taken. The hotel had only been open for six months before shutting down in March 2020.
More reopening highlights include:
- Upgrading to 50% Guest capacity (1382 on the Gaming floor)
- Raising the number of available Slot Machines ON and operational to 400, with additional slots coming in future weeks
- Adding more available table games to 11 with limited capacity at each table, with additional tables coming in future weeks
- The OX PUB closed in March 2020 and will be open from 11:00 AM-9:00 PM Sundays-Thursdays and 11:00 AM-11:00 PM on Fridays and Saturdays. Menu & Seating will be limited to the start. The Ox Pub will not accept reservations at this time.
- The OXFORD EXPRESS will now be open from 7:00 AM -Midnight daily with a limited menu to start.
Things are moving away from the dark side. Let’s keep the positive mojo going by using safety protocols, masking, and getting the vaccine. But we can’t let our guard down! Remember all those casino destinations we’ve all missed this past year. Persevere, and those destinations will become real if we stay the course.