Plainridge Park Casino – A Mini Trip Report

I hadn’t visited Plainridge Park Casino & Raceway in a while, and there had Irish dining specials, so the NETG crew set out to Plainville to get our “green” on.

Plainridge first opened to the public on June 24, 2015 as the first Massachusetts casino as approved by the Expanded Gaming Act on November 22, 2011, signed by Governor Deval Patrick. It was to be a “slots-only” property. Penn National Gaming won the license and became the only company to own two casinos in New England – Hollywood Bangor in Maine being the second. Recently there has been a push for the addition of table games to improve pending competition with Encore Boston Harbor, Tiverton Casino & Hotel & their neighbor Twin River Casino & Hotel, just ten minutes away.

First Take

We arrived at 1:30, ahead of our 2:00 reservation at Slack’s Oyster house and Grill for their advertised “Corned Beef & Cabbage Special,” (more on that later).  As we walked around the casino on a very busy day due to additional slot play offered and it was St. Patrick’s Day on a Sunday, we noticed a few changes.

  • The High Limit Slot area had been moved to where the it’s essentials store was. A wall now separated the area from the rest of the casino as you walk in the main entrance, giving the entrance a certain claustrophobic feel across from the Marquee Rewards (going to be myChoice Rewards soon). However, the High Limit room is nicely done, and the rest of the casino flows more without it inserted inside the lower denomination slots.
  • The essentials store has now been moved further towards the raceway side of the property.
  • Electronic craps was taken out, and only two electronic roulette multi-seat games remain.

    Electronic Table Games - No dealers, no fun.

    Electronic Roulette Games at Plainridge

  • Dunkin Donuts is now the coffee vendor of choice, and Smashburger has been added.

Second Take – Dining Snafu

Plainridge says it wants you to experience “hometown hospitality.”  But it’s not very hospitable  to changing specials and not admit it.

When we arrived at Slack’s Oyster house and Grill, our waitress (who was wonderfully understanding, BTW) told us the special was Irish Beef Stew and the Corned Beef Special was the day before. She did tell us that it was being served at Fluties 22, their sports bar. With little wait, we sat down to a delicious Irish meal, Irish bread and all, for $10 less!  While it worked out well, NETG has always found Penn National’s websites for both New England casinos underwhelming, inaccurate, and late in terms of changing their monthly promotions.

The Gambling

We all had a little free slot play, and I brought a measly $40 as well.  Off I went to find the best bang for the buck with a small bankroll. As all of you can attest, sometimes the best decision is not made – but the outcome is beyond any of your expectations. 

I decided to play electronic 3 Card Poker.  I don’t usually play this table game with real dealers, so why this with a virtual dealer? At $5 minimum, I certainly wouldn’t suggest it, but I sat down anyway. As the luck of the Irish would have it, the Irish eyes were smiling down on me that day.

After a few lucky hands holding even at the minimum bet of $5, I decided to play the sucker bet.  The Pair Plus bonus was also $5 minimum. After hitting five flushes, four straights, and a straight flush, I walked away 30 minutes later with $500.  Just like that, my opinion of virtual dealers and electronic / stadium games changed!  Seriously, I do realize that this result is not the norm, but it sure made my day……heck ,my month!

We left having had fun, enjoyed a great meal, and some of us (c’est moi!) even made money. We did enjoy the trip and would recommend it. Elvis even entertained on the Revolution Stage.

Did Elvis have the luck of the Irish? The singer’s great-great-great-great-grandfather was Irish (true fact!).

Fact is, you don’t need the luck of the Irish to enjoy a visit to Plainridge Park Casino & Raceway.

Binbin – Embrace the Math, not the Myth!

5 Reasons Plainridge Park Casino Could Be Turning the Corner on Revenue – A Trip Report

Plainridge Park Entrance, Plainville, MA

Plainridge Park Entrance, Plainville, MA

Plainridge Park Casino has been taking it’s lumps since opening. Declining revenue is mainly the reason of course since that’s its purpose in the eyes of Massachusetts legislators and the MGC.

Penn National Gaming, Owner of Plainridge Park Casino and Raceway

Penn National Gaming, Owner of Plainridge Park Casino and Raceway

While revenues at the facility have steadily declined from a July peak of $18.1 million. to $11.3 million in December, Timothy Wilmott, CEO of Penn National Gaming, has complained that media coverage of the slot parlor and harness racing track has been “overly negative” since its July opening.  Wilmot said such a decline is “quite common” in the casino industry following a “robust opening” and compared slot machines at Plainridge Park with the Pennsylvania-based company’s 27 other gambling locations, saying it has the “highest average revenue.”

Recently, the gross gaming revenue at the Plainridge Park Casino in January reported an increase to $12.5 million, according to Massachusetts Gaming Commission.  So NETime Gambling took a trip to Plainville, MA to check the difference between our last visit and now for reasons that might have triggered the increase.  For a look back at our previous trip, click on the title below:

Plainridge Park Casino Trip Report #1

When we arrived at 1:00, it was already packed. Here are NETG’s FIVE reasons for the increase in visitors and the increase in revenue: Continue reading

Plainridge Revenue Dips – Patriots to Blame?

Old & New Logo of the New England Patriots

Old & New Logo of the New England Patriots

Tom Brady & The New England Patriots have been blamed for everything this year it seems – this (   )gate and that(   ) gate.  You might as well fill in the blanks – I’m surprised Bob Kraft hasn’t been fined by the NFL for global warming!

Now, according to reports from Massachusetts’s only casino, the New England Patriots home games are having a negative impact on its business.  Plainridge Park Casino officials told state gambling regulators this week that the slot parlor and harness racing track in Plainville sees significantly fewer visitors on game days. The casino is located about five miles from Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.

Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots.

Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots.

You mean to tell me that a casino, the only one in Massachusetts – THE ONE THAT IS SUPPOSED TO QUICKLY THREATEN THE RHODE ISLAND CASINOS – can’t draw people to their casino on a weekend?  Damn those Patriots, 5 miles away in Foxboro!

Plainridge Park Entrance, Plainville, MA

Plainridge Park Entrance, Plainville, MA

Monthly revenue at Plainridge Park Casino has dipped slightly each month since its opening.  C’mon “Chicken Littles,” it’s to be expected after a terrific opening.  Even though Plainridge Park Casino generated $12.9 million in gross gambling revenues in October, down from over $18 million in July, let’s not panic.

Embrace the Patriots!  Sponsor sports talk pre-game shows on WEEI, or other radio that covers them.

Doug Flutie Statue in front of Flutie Pub 22

Doug Flutie Statue in front of Flutie Pub 22

By the way, Plainridge Park, have you done ANYTHING to connect to the big football game at Fenway today between Notre Dame and Boston College?  If you haven’t, Doug Flutie’s statue in front of his restaurant must be very disappointed.

(AS AN ASIDE – our thoughts go out to Doug Flutie and his family.  Mr. Flutie’s parents both died this week one day apart from each other.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you.)

NETimeGambling suggests the following to Penn National, owners of Plainridge and Hollywood Bangor:

  1. Massachusetts just approved regulation of Fantasy Sports.  Before it goes away altogether, take advantage with promotions tied to fantasy sports.
  2. Set up a HUGE TV MONITOR on the Revolution lounge stage, get permission to show the games, and treat each game to celebrate our fabulous Patriots.  Embrace the team and stop whining.

    Large Stage in the Revolution Lounge, Plainridge Park Casino

    Large Stage in the Revolution Lounge, Plainridge Park Casino

  3. Special promotions – multiplier days, hot seat days, ticket raffles with entries based on play – do SOMETHING that brings Patriot fans in to gamble and watch the game.
  4. Offer entries on Patriot game days to your Las Vegas Casinos – M Resort Or especially Tropicana on the strip.  Tropicana has just been connected to Marquee Rewards.  On remaining game days, have patrons earn entries for two free nights at the Trop!download (4)

Penn National is high up on the gaming industry ladder – they should know what to do.  These dips are to be expected.  If they continue into the spring, then Massachusetts may have deeper concerns on their plate than Patriot’s game days.

That’s all for now.  Tomorrow – Turkey Day Promotions as part of our weekly SUPER SEVEN Promotions

Binbin