New England Casino Gambling History – Updated

The New England Casino Gambling History has been much like  a horse race. To begin with, it was a slow trot for New England to socially approve of  gambling. Soon, it changed to a full sprint. In fact, there is no finish line in sight. With the word “saturation” thrown around annually, casino expansion continues. The future looks to include sports betting, casinos in Bridgeport, CT., East Windsor, CT., and southeastern Massachusetts.

With the future uncertain, let’s look back to see how we got here. In any event, let’s look back at New England Gambling History.

My interest in gambling began with playing card games such as cribbage and Michigan Rummy. With visits to Hartford Jai-Alai and Plainfield Greyhound Racetrack during my twenties, my interest grew. In fact, visits to the Sands in Atlantic City, Foxwoods Bingo Hall and future CT casinos made me even more curious.

"Roll the Bones" by Dr. David Schwartz

“Roll the Bones” by Dr. David Schwartz

One of my favorite books is “Roll the Bones” by Dr. David Schwartz. In his book, Dr. Dave explains that “….the human predilection for a wager shaped human history from the Ice Age to the Information Age. People spend nearly one trillion dollars worldwide on gambling a year–wouldn’t you like to learn a little about how we got there?”  The fact is, I did!.

To read our NETG review of his book, click here.

The New England Influence

New England played a big part in the assertion of gambling in America. According to the California State Library, English settlers differed from their Puritanical neighbors in New England in many ways. Settlers influenced the early colonies to continue traditional styles of living in a new world.  Gambling was considered a “harmless diversion, a popular and accepted activity.” Lotteries were used to bail out the Early Colonies. Financial backers of the colonies began to see gambling as the solution to diminishing finances needed for the war effort. All 13 original colonies established lotteries, usually more than one, to raise revenue. Lotteries continue to be a main source of revenue for all six New England states.

Once Upon a time….

The Pequot War of 1637 set the stage for the separation of Pequot & Mohegan Tribes. Over 350 years after, both tribes started the New England Casino expansion we see today.

The Pequot War of 1637 set the stage for the separation of Pequot and Mohegan tribes.

The Pequot and Mohegan Tribes were once one tribe. Due to the Pequot War, both tribes ended up with differences with other tribes. On the whole, different tribal and colonial alliances caused a split that continues to this day.  Over 250 years later, a bingo hall in 1985 began the history of gaming in New England.

I should mention that gambling found a homes in New England with greyhound & horse tracks, parimutuel parlors, and Jai alai frontons in Milford & Hartford CT, and Newport, RI. However, in the past ten years, the horse-racing industry has seen a major decrease in raceway operations. In addition,Jai-Alai has moved out of those states, and parimutuel parlors continue to diminish in visitors. Conversely, with the future of sports betting, parimutuel parlors may rise in popularity again.

In essence, here is  NETG’s look back at the journey of legalized gambling in New England below.

New England Casino Gambling History Timeline

Foxwoods Started it all with Bingo. This picture is the expanded Bingo Hall before Casino Expansion

Foxwoods Started it all with Bingo.


The first New England Casino opens with Foxwoods opening its doors in Mashantucket, CT


The Rainmaker at Foxwoods

Rhode Island approves VLT gaming machines (classII) at Lincoln Greyhound Park & Newport Jai Alai Originally built for greyhound racing, Twin River Casino is now a full casino.


The Mohegan Tribe opens the second NE casino in Uncasville, CT

A Dollar Coin from Mohegan Sun Opening

A Dollar Coin from Mohegan Sun Opening


Hollywood Slots Hotel & Raceway opens in Bangor, Maine

Hollywood Casino, Bangor Maine

Hollywood Casino, Bangor Maine


Lincoln Greyhound Park turns into Twin River Casino with class III gaming. Similarly, Newport Grand soon follows, redesigning without Jai-Alai



MGM joins Foxwoods with additional hotel / casino

MGM Tower at Foxwoods - Right side.

MGM Tower at Foxwoods – Right side.

The Expansion begins


MA legislature approves Expanded Gaming Act allows construction of 3 Resort casinos & one “slot’s only casino”


Oxford Casino opens in Oxford, Maine

Oxford Casino, Maine

Oxford Casino, Maine


MGM pulls out of it’s Foxwoods partnership

MGM Ends Agreement with Foxwoods

MGM Ends Agreement with Foxwoods


Plainridge Park Casino Opens at Plainridge Raceway as the first Massachusetts casino (slots-only)

Plainridge Park Casino

Plainridge Park Casino in Massachusetts


     A Big Year for New England Casinos and Hotels 

Oxford Casino, Oxford ME, adds Hotel, expanded casino and Ox Pu

Oxford Hotel & Casino

MGM Springfield Resort Casino opens

MGM Springfield

Newport Grand Slots Casino closes

Newport Grand Slots, Newport, RI

Tiverton Casino & Hotel opens

Tiverton Casino/ Hotel.

Twin River Casino adds Hotel

Twin River Hotel Lobby

Mohegan Sun opens Earth Expo Center

Mohegan Expo Center

Rhode Island approves and opens the first Sports Betting in New England

Opening day of Phase I Sports Book at Twin River Casino


Encore Boston Harbor to open in the fall

Encore Boston Harbor rendition, courtesy of Encore Boston Harbor pressroom

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Thrill Rides and Family Entertainment at Foxwoods

You can Zipline 360 feet through the woods of Connecticut at over 60 mph. Or, you can try driving a European indoor go-cart.  How about the excitement of a 7-D multi-sensory immersive game?  Spend a day at Foxwoods and you can enjoy all and more, because, Foxwoods is the resort for thrill rides and family entertainment.

Related Post – Connecticut Casinos Add Non-Gaming Attractions

The summer is a great time to enjoy the wonderful outdoor activities that southeastern CT has to offer.  Foxwoods offer fabulous outdoor options for the whole family.  Let’s take a look.

OUTDOOR thrill rides and family entertainment.

HighFlyer Zipline

ZipLine FW

Miguel, of Rhode Island NETG fame, once cruised to Honduras and had an amazing forest zipline experience.  He absolutely loved it.  Now Foxwoods offers the HighFlyer Zipline through the woods of southeastern CT. It starts from the 330-foot-tall Fox Tower, 32 stories up. Then, the HighFlyer Zipline launches you along a 3,750 foot-long thrill ride that glides above the forest at 60-mile per hour. You are connected to the the beautiful Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center minutes away.

Complimentary shuttles service runs between the The Fox Tower and the Pequot Museum for riders and spectators. Prices are adults – $59; youths 15 & under – $39 ; and active military with ID – $49.  There are specials as well, which you see at the end of this post.

Pequot Trails

Beyond the excitement of the  casino resort, Foxwoods offers different trails of different levels. The fox paw prints in the Great Cedar Casino Lobby will guide you to your choice of trails. You can opt for the path that takes you to the outside exhibits of the Pequot Museum or try the scenic trail loop behind the Two Trees Inn. For those who enjoy a more vigorous walk, the Lantern Hill Trail takes you up nearly 500 feet above sea level to enjoy views that stretch as far as the waters of Block Island Sound.

INSIDE thrill rides

Monza World Class Karting

Foxwoods teamed up with Monza World Class Karting, a recognized leader in the karting industry, to offer guests one of the longest and fastest indoor kart runs ever constructed. Multi-level track features dramatic elevation changes, hairpin turns, and gas-powered, nine-horsepower karts provides an exciting thrill ride.

MONZA WORLD-CLASS KARTING at Foxwoods, courtesy Hartford Courant.

How exciting is it? The track was tested in July of 2018 by Joey Logano, Middletown’s own NASCAR driver, and two of his Team Penske teammates. After testing it, they gave the track a thumb’s-up.  Ages 8 and older, 48 inches or taller, can ride. Kids’ cars top out at 22 mph. Tickets are $30 for AGES 10 AND UP, MINIMUM HEIGHT 48″.

Hologate Virtual Reality

Foxwoods’ Hologate VR provides an award winning virtual reality attraction. When you put on the VR headset, you are immediately transported to a new world. You could be battling robots and dragons, having a snowball fight with your friends, or fighting off a hoard of oncoming zombies.  These exciting games are designed for gamers of all skills levels; they are easy to learn and difficult to master.
PRICING – Hologate VR Experience – $12; XD Dark Ride – $12; Combo Ticket – $20
DISCOUNTS – Foxwoods Rewards – 10%; Seniors & Military -15%


It’s not 3-D anymore friends, it’s 7-D – yes 7-D.  You’ll feel the seat move and the wind in your hair as you immerse yourselves in one of our amazing adventures. FEATURES include:

  • Interactive 7D makes it feel like you’re living in the game
  • Up to 8 people can play against each other
  • Movies for children, teens and adults so everyone can experience 7D
  • Award Winning technology.
  • Full motion theater approaches a true virtual experience you share with others.
  • The most popular feature is the Zombie experience where you see how many you can take down- it’s intense!
  • Realtime 3D stereoscopic graphics
  • Special effects for a multi sensory experience
  • Surround 360 sound environment
  • Scoring system allowing riders to play against in each other
  • Multiple interactive adventures
  • Curved screen for an immersive experience
  • World’s fastest targeting system

The cost is HD Dark Ride – $12;  Hologate Virtual Reality – $12; Combo Ticket – $20 . DISCOUNTS – Foxwoods Rewards – 10%; Seniors & Military -15%

Spellbound Escape Rooms and Adventure Games

Escape rooms are all the rage.  A group of friends finds out what kind of escape artists they really are.  This is now offered at Foxwoods. Spellbound Escape Rooms and Adventure Games. NOW PLAYING: THE TEMPLE OF THE LAUGHING GOD.  The games are a perfect match for anyone who loves the captivating stories of Hollywood movies and the rush of puzzle solving and RPG gaming. Spellbound even offers private events for birthdays, bachelorette parties, corporate team-building, and more. Price is $36 per person. Book a full room up to 8 players as a Private Booking and save $38.

Located conveniently in the Tanger Outlets

Escape rooms at Foxwoods

It is located conveniently in the Tanger Outlets connected to Foxwoods Resort.

Family Entertainment

After all the previously mentioned exciting thrill options, the typical family entertainment still remains as sound attractions.

Pequot Museum

Pequot Museum, FW

Pequot Museum, FW

The Pequot Museum is committed to transforming how indigenous culture and peoples are represented to accurately portray a next generation Native narrative that gives greater understanding to the evolution of a new Native voice. Tribally owned-and-operated since it opened on Aug. 11, 1998, the Museum brings to life the story of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. It serves as a major resource on the histories and cultures of Native Americans in the northeast and on the region’s rich natural history.

The Museum is a 308,000-square-foot complex, consisting of permanent exhibits, the Mashantucket Gallery (a gallery for temporary exhibits), classrooms, a 320-seat auditorium, a restaurant, a museum shop and administrative offices. The Research Center houses collections, archives, and archaeology and conservation laboratories where ongoing work from the field is evaluated and studied.

For Hours, Ticket Prices, Parking & Directions, CLICK HERE.

High Rollers Bowling

The High Rollers Luxury Lanes & Sports Lounge is not your Grampa’s bowling alley. The 20 lanes at High Rollers include 6 VIP lanes and a feature full food and beverage service. All lanes are PBA approved regulations size, and offer a range of bowling ball sizes for players of all skill levels. The seating areas at the top of each lane feature plush and oversized banquettes, enabling patrons to enjoy the sights and sounds of music videos and sporting events showcased on the oversized screens spanning each lane.

High Rollers Luxury Bowling – Foxwoods

They offer a creative menu of appetizers, sandwiches, salads and one-of-a-kind dishes. For laneside packages, CLICK HERE.

Top golf

Topgolf Swing Suite offers a variety of golf and non-golf games. Go from smashing a 7-iron to striking out a batter with a fastball in a matter of minutes. It’s all that and more when you step up to the big screen. Plus, you can leave the simulators behind and hit up the wide range of old-school arcade games, grab a drink, something to eat, and head for the lounge. Stay close to the casino action with slot machines conveniently located at the bar.  Topgolf Swing Suite is perfect for business and social gatherings, including birthday and bachelorette/bachelor parties.

Now accepting reservations now through January 14, 2020. Taxes and fees not included. CLICK HERE to make a reservation

Top Golf Foxwoods

Open at Foxwoods.

Tree House Arcade

What is a resort without an arcade? The Tree House Arcade has been in operation for years, first upstairs near the Fox Theater. Now it resides in the Great Cedar Hotel Lobby the same floor as High Rollers and David Burke Prime.

Specials for Thrill Rides and Family Entertainment at Foxwoods

For the latest Specials on rides and family entertainment. CLICK HERE

Foxwoods has tried to rebrand itself as not just a casino, but a destination for gamblers and families alike.




Do you feel safe in the casino?  If so, there are things you can do to feel safe in the casino. Today we offer this great article by Frank Scoblete, author and owner of Casino City Times  concerning Casino Visit Security Tips.

NETG ran a series last year on Mondays to bring you a Gambling Post from someone else. Generally speaking, it was to peak your interest casino and gambling topics. Some of posts included information on Cruise Casinos, Federal Tax reform and  even“US Presidents Who Played Poker” We called it, what else but “The Monday Link.”

Here’s a link to a Frank Scoblete post on  At GT, you can discover success secrets from professional gamblers.  Gambling Teachers’ Mission is to remain a free online learning Center, teach Learn to Win programs and lessons of value and retain our GT team of top gambling professionals. King Scobe as he is called, is all about casino gambling. His books include Beat the Craps out of the Casinos, Golden Touch Blackjack Revolution, and Beat the One-Armed Bandits and are staples for your gambling library. He has written and appeared in television documentaries as well as written numerous columns for gambling magazines and websites.  Equally important are Frank’s series of videotapes and DVDs, with most of his work being about craps and blackjack.

Casino Security Tips

Related Post Concerning Casino Visit Security Tips – Safety in Casino Parking Garages – 8 Suggestions