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.


1992

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

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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.


1996

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


2005

Hollywood Slots Hotel & Raceway opens in Bangor, Maine

Hollywood Casino, Bangor Maine

Hollywood Casino, Bangor Maine


2007

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

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2008

MGM joins Foxwoods with additional hotel / casino

MGM Tower at Foxwoods - Right side.

MGM Tower at Foxwoods – Right side.


The Expansion begins

2011

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


2012

Oxford Casino opens in Oxford, Maine

Oxford Casino, Maine

Oxford Casino, Maine


2013

MGM pulls out of it’s Foxwoods partnership

MGM Ends Agreement with Foxwoods

MGM Ends Agreement with Foxwoods


2015

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

Plainridge Park Casino

Plainridge Park Casino in Massachusetts


2018

     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


2019

Encore Boston Harbor to open in the fall

Encore Boston Harbor rendition, courtesy of Encore Boston Harbor pressroom


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13 Essential Gambling Websites

Rated #37 in 2017

By the way, NETimeGambling was recognized last year as the one of the top 75 Gambling Blogs, rated at #37. Our following has doubled every year, and in September of 2017, we were added to the TravelZork Team with a monthly post about New England Casino News, Events, Promotions and more.

Mark Gruetze of the Tribune-Review, or Trib-Live, posted an article last year about websites for Gambling fans.  It’s a great list, with some additions from your favorite Northeast gambling blog.

Many gambling websites cater to either beginners, AP’s (Advantage Players) or a special place.  There is a plethora of Las Vegas websites, for example, and caution is suggested since many Vegas websites are driven by entertainment and dining sales.

One thing is for sure, if you like swapping gambling stories, or gambling strategy, there are plenty of sites out there to help you.

Mark lists his favorites below.  You will also see NETimeGambling’s suggestions added as well.

General Las Vegas

Welcome to Las Vegas Sign

“An original: Las Vegas Advisor, the brainchild of Blackjack Hall of Fame member Anthony Curtis, started in 1983 as a monthly newsletter, focusing on all things Vegas for people looking to get the most from Sin City through smart gambling and cut-rate deals. The recently updated website, www.lasvegasadvisor.com, features an encyclopedic guide to any type of Las Vegas offering, including 27 restaurant categories plus details on casino buffets; a rundown of shows and concerts; and blogs by gambling experts including Jean Scott, James Grosjean and Bob Dancer. A subscription, which costs $37 or $50 a year, gets you the monthly newsletter either online or hard copy, plus an annual Las Vegas coupon book that can easily cover the subscription cost and access to online forums.”

TravelZork – Complete with Vegas news, travel reports, loyalty program & hotel reviews.  A Vegas travel site within an up-and-coming travel site.

VitalVegas.com – owned and operated by Scott Roeben, who happens to be the Interactive Marketing Manager for the Freemont Street experience.

EatingLV.com – run by John Curtas, this is one of the quintessential blogs for foodies visiting Las Vegas and features numerous reviews and write ups of everything food.

Cheapo Vegas  – Around for years, it’s your guide to Las Vegas on the cheap.

The Vegas Solo! This is THE website for solo travelers headed to Las Vegas. What you’ll find on this website are pages of information to help you plan your solo trip to Vegas.

Las Vegas Advisor, For nearly 30 years, Anthony Curtis and his team have provided hundreds of thousands of visitors with all the information they need to get more out of Vegas than it gets out of them.

Playing strategy and advice

Blackjack Strategy Card

www.wizardofodds.com, started in 1997 by current adjunct professor of casino math Michael Shackleford. Shackleford sold his site in 2014 but remains the main content supplier. WizardOfOdds offers the best strategies for virtually every casino game…. The free site includes odds calculators that account for rule variations in blackjack and other games.

www.888casino.com/blog, operated by the world’s largest online gaming venue.  The 888 blog, also free to all, is relatively new but boasts an impressive lineup, including Henry Tamburin’s “Ultimate Blackjack Guide” and the AP Heat blog by gambling mathematician Eliot Jacobson, which analyzes ways that advantage players can attack a variety of games. The content gets updated frequently.”

GamblingSites, a trusted guide to help ensure safe online gambling and betting, they also rovide an abundance of gambling-related advice and information, written by experienced and knowledgeable experts. We cover sports betting, casino gaming, poker, bingo, daily fantasy sports and more.

Poker News, PokerNews.com is the world’s leading poker website. Among other things, visitors will find a daily dose of articles with the latest poker news, live reporting from tournaments, exclusive videos, podcasts and so much more.

Casino City Times – Gaming Gurus like Frank Scoblete, John Grochowski, Jerry Stickman, and John Robinson (only to name a few) have hundreds of posts for game strategy, facts & suggestions for all games and all players.  Their archives are listed as well, which include a wealth of information.

Casino news

www.cdcgamingreports.com provides news stories and analysis by its own writers and aggregates reports from publications throughout the United States. For a scholarly approach, check it out.

The Center for Gaming Research site, gaming.unlv.edu, fathered by Dr. David Schwartz at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas is a fantastic source for “casino math…..casino revenue figures from across the country, [&] offers podcasts and publishes research papers such as “Of the Rat Pack, Ashtrays, Cocktail Napkins and Grateful Losers: The Making of the Las Vegas Experience as a Historical Process in the 20th Century” and “Elvis Who? Understanding, Attracting and Retaining the Next Generation of Las Vegas Customers.”  Dr. Dave also has publishes some of the most amazing historical resources of the recent decade with  Roll the Bones: The History of GamblingSuburban Xanadu: The Casino Resort on the Las Vegas Strip and Beyond, Cutting the Wire: Gaming Prohibition and the Internet, and Grandissimo: The First Emperor of Las Vegas.

Dr. Dave Scwartz, Professor at UNLV

World Casino News – As well as great content, it includes information concerning casinos from all over the world.  Just ignore the onlinje commercials if that’s your thing.

Casino.Org – Latest Gambling & Casino News. Discover the important stories from around the world since 1995.

There are many specialty gaming sites on the net, and Mark lists a few in those areas. However, there are many sites for newbies and AP’s for all games – table, carnival, slots & video poker.  It would be a good idea to check out forums in each area you are interested in and ask for the preferred sites.  Let the experts in the forums lead you to the best advice on a particular game.

For the entire article by Mark Gruetze, just click on the title below. It’s a great article.

“Gambling fans should bookmark these websites”

That post should keep you busy for a while!

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