Northeast Casino Saturation – Here We Go Again

“Northeast casino saturation looms in the background of MGM Springfield opening.”

That’s according to Howard Stutz, Executive Editor, CDC Gaming Reports. In his article on  August 21, 2018 he goes on to write, “See if this sounds familiar. At a gaming conference in Atlantic City, a panel debated the casino saturation point for the Northeast U.S. gaming market.  “There’s a finite amount of gaming revenue out there,” said one panelist. “We are in a very volatile time and we’re in a frenzy of gaming expansion. It needs to stop.”

“Those comments were made three years ago.”

We have heard this since Maine opened a second casino, and wanted a third.  It was said by opposition to the Massachusetts Casino Law.  The demise of 5 casinos in Atlantic City started saturation talk as Pennsylvania added numerous casinos.  The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is still considering keeping only three casinos instead of the original four, worried that the the additional southeast Mass. license would cannibalize Encore Boston Harbor and Plainridge Park patronage. Rhode Island’s legislators are also concerned about the impact on Rhode Island’s Twin River and Tiverton Casinos.

Stutz writes “MGM expects to draw business from Massachusetts communities – Springfield is 90 miles west of Boston. At the same time, the property will try and poach business from Connecticut’s two large Indian casinos, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. Springfield is just 26 miles north of Hartford, Connecticut, and roughly 70 miles from the two casinos……The whole Northeast has been on a casino development streak since long before Massachusetts passed its gaming legalization plan, with casinos opening in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Rhode Island.”

Since 2015, the following has happened:

MGM National Harbor

  • MGM National Harbor opened in Maryland
  • Resorts World Catskills opened (80 miles northwest of New York City.)
  • Plainridge Park Racetrack, & MGM Springfield opened
  • Oxford Casino, Maine opened its hotel with casino expansion
  • Twin River Casino will open its hotel and has already moved the Newport Grand operation to the MA/RI state border battle lines with their new Tiverton Casino & Hotel
  • Pennsylvania approved the addition of “mini-casinos” to the 12 brick-and-mortar casinos which are raking in record gaming revenue from their existing operations.
  • New York State has added three casinos, but have under-performed so far.\
  • Resurgence and growth in Atlantic City with Ocean Casino Resort & The Hard Rock Cafe Casino Resort opening in place of the closed Revel and Taj Mahal, respectively.

Will Encore Boston Harbor, a true destination resort, with table games and other expanded amenities, be considered the final straw in the New England Camel’s saturated back?

Connecticut’s two immense resorts, Mohegan Sun Resort Casino & Foxwoods Resort Casino, are expected to feel the brunt of all this expansion. Revenues dipped in September with the opening of MGM Springfield, but no where near what was expected. Michael Pollock, managing director of casino industry consultant Spectrum Gaming Group doesn’t believe Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun will succumb to the new competition.

“The existing properties [in CT] are not without their arsenal,” Pollock told the Hartford Courant. “Both … have made significant capital investments in their properties. They have their own databases covering a huge swath of New England. They are going to be leveraging that.”  After visiting and staying at MGM Springfield, I truly feel the MGM name and its vast MLife members will be what keeps it on the cusp of being called a “destination casino.”  Next year when MGM completes its acquisition of Empire Casino and Yonkers Raceway in New York – just 15 miles north of Times Square and the heart of Manhattan – we could be discussing the “S” word again.

And then there are always the improbable, but still breathing, additions of:

First Light

First Light Resort Casino, Wampanoag Tribe, Taunton

  • Mashpee First Light in Massachusetts (although it seems to be on it’s last leg)
  • The 4th SouthEast MGC casino license in MA (delayed by MGC)
  • The MMCT joint venture for an East Windsor casino by Mohegan & Foxwoods tribes (which received a huge blow by federal court)
  • THE MGM BRIDGEPORT RESORT (CT’s gambling laws would have to be rewritten, with the state losing all of its revenue from the tribes)

A related posts you might find interesting is

“CASINO SATURATION IN THE NORTHEAST 2017” by NETG  and

“Northeast’s casino landscape growing crowded” by

Brian Hallenbeck

In Martin Derbyshire’s fascinating post for PLAYUSA.com, entitled “ARE NORTHEAST CASINOS REACHING A TIPPING POINT?” he writes, “So many casinos have been built across the Northeast, market saturation looks like its right around the corner.”

After seeing 150,000 enter the MGM Springfield opening, I don’t see the corner yet.

Binbin – “Embrace the math in Gambling, not the myth!” 

Monday Link – The 10 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid in Las Vegas

Every Monday – The Monday Link

Today’s link looks west to the Mecca of Gambling, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Las Vegas has seen more and more visitors this year, but people aren’t spending as much in Sin City, especially when it comes to gambling.  Rumor has it MGM & Caesars Entertainment are looking at decreases in the 3rd and 4th quarters.  Gee, could “nickel & diming” their patrons be catching up with them? Let’s see, there are those resort fees, parking fees, CNF fees, fees, fees, fees?

The Las Vegas Strip

The Las Vegas Strip

Today’s link is especially for those Vegas visitors who haven’t visited in a while, or new to a Vegas vacation. But this list is good for all of us to review – even those Vegas nerds.

Enjoy our Monday Link, written by Melanie Curtsinger.

The 10 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid in Las Vegas

Best of Vegas is about all Vegas entertainment all the time. you will find the latest news on Vegas trends, shows, attractions, restaurants and hotels. There’s always something exciting happening on The Strip – and beyond – and depend on BestofVegas.com.

 

 

 

FARGO Poker is Back at Mohegan Sun

What IS Fargo Poker?

Fall Annual Recreational Gambling Outing (FARGO), founded in 1997 by Bill Alan Hafey, is a regional poker based event, loosely patterned after BARGE (an online community of poker enthusiasts that hosts an annual event (of the same name) in Las Vegas) and ATLARGE (a similar group in Atlantic City). “Regional” meaning FARGO takes place in the Northeast region, but people from anywhere on the planet are welcome. Originally, FARGO was held at Foxwoods Resort Casino and the F in FARGO stood for Foxwoods. In 2014, FARGO was moved to Mohegan Sun Resort Casino and the F was changed to Fall.

LAST YEAR’S EXPERIENCE

It was my first poker room experience. After years of video poker, blackjack, slots and home poker games, this was still a new and stressful experience – until I met the fine people of FARGO. Not only are these players of FARGO experienced, tough players – they are also amicable, kind to new players, and eager to help you feel as comfortable as possible.  They chat throughout the early play, zinging each other, and telling stories of events past.  Many are friends that meet up only for this event, or similar events in Atlantic City & Las Vegas.

They gave me so much advice that they didn’t need to – after all, I was another competitor at the table.  But these people had nothing to prove, they knew their strategy, they knew each other, and fun was always on the agenda.  While I was busted first from my table, I lasted two hours, thanks to so much help and reminders.

The dealers love Fargo, and Fargo members love the dealers at Mohegan Sun.  Their reputation for fun and great poker play precedes them now at Mohegan Sun.  I wouldn’t be surprised if dealers ask to be put on that shift and those tables.

SCHEDULE

FARGO 2018 Schedule – October 12-14, 2018 at Mohegan Sun Casino

Friday, October 12, 2018 – 12:00 pm – Bill Alan Hafey Memorial Pairs Event $200+$40 per team
Saturday, October 13, 2018 – 9:00 am – Group Breakfast at Season’s Buffet $15 per person
Saturday, October 13, 2018 – 11:00 am – NLHE with Bounty Event $100+$20
Saturday, October 13, 2018 – 8:00 pm – Early Bird Private $5 Craps game
Saturday, October 13, 2018 – 11:00 pm – Private $5 Craps game
Saturday, October 13, 2018 – 11:59 pm (MIDNIGHT) – Midnight Madness
Sunday, October 14, 2018 – 11:00 am – Stud/Stud8 Event $100+$20

FARGO2018 registration is now open and will close on October 8, 2018. Please click here or visit mikemiller.net/fargo to register.

COUSIN VITO

A shout-out to Cousin Vito and his podcast CousinVito’sCasinoPodcast for making his avid listeners, (such as “moi). aware of this event. For more info and a primer on FARGO and Tournament Poker, check out his podcast E:55 Poker Survival Tips for Beginners and FARGO Poker with Tracy.

HELPFUL POKER WEBSITES

There are websites for all levels of poker. Here are a few:

  • RedChipPoker.com is just that.  Forums, a great podcast, strategy articles to cover all levels, tools such as poker calculators & quizzes, and includes some great coaches for help.
  • Cardplayer.com & PokerNews.com have similar portfolios of poker help, including coverage and dates for national poker tournaments such as WSOP & WPT. They also follow the best poker players in the world, and legislation concerning online poker & online gaming, including DFS.
  • PokerListings.com
  • CardsChat.com
  • ThePokerBank.com

FARGO 2018 – don’t miss it!  As they say on their site, “Come Meet the Friends You Haven’t Met Yet…………………………………”