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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Massachusetts Casino Specs and History

BRIEF Massachusetts Gambling History

Massachusetts Casino Specs and History is an updated graph of property facts. Today, we also look back at how the Pilgrim state got to this point. Encore Boston Harbor has opened. MGM Springfield will be celebrating one year at the end of  with the summer.  By the way, Plainridge Park Casino is celebrating its 4th year of operation. So, how did the Commonwealth get here?

Plainnridge Park Casino & Raceway Entrance Entrance

What a difference from 400  years ago. Those new settlers who appeared on Plymouth Rock were not looking for the nearest casino.  Most Puritans disapproved of the numerous lotteries they in England, or any type of gambling.

According to GamblingSites.com,  “As an original colony, Massachusetts has a long history with gaming, going back to the days before it was a state.” Lottery and raffle revenue at least partially built Harvard University, the Massachusetts State House, and that famous memorial to Plymouth Rock.

In 2011, Governor Deval Patrick signed the Expanded Gaming Act into law. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission would oversee the new law which would add 3 casinos and a slots parlor. “Through the establishment of new gaming facilities, the Expanded Gaming Act will create new jobs,. In addition, it will generate new revenue for the Commonwealth, and contribute to the economic growth of the local economy.”

Current Legal Types Of Gambling

Casino Gaming is now complete with three casinos. But more casinos were planned.  Massachusetts Sen. Michael Brady asked the MGC to reconsider a proposed casino in Brockton, a project it rejected three years ago. Brockton, like Springfield, is desperate for jobs and revenue.

In May, Channel 10 News out of Providence reported some movement on the Wampanoag casino “First Light.” For more information, check out House approves bill to aid Taunton casino bid by Mashpee Wampanoag tribe.

First Light

First Light Resort Casino, Wampanoag Tribe, Taunton

Wampanoag Community Center and Future Bingo Hall gets new life.

Similarly, the Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe on Martha’s Vineyard started construction on a small class II casino. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up a legal challenge from the state and town. Subsequently, work on the Aquinnah Cliffs Casino began in February. However, the latest recent dispute by residents in May halted construction.

Related Posts – Martha’s Vineyard Decision Reversed

Online Casinos / Sports Betting. Pari-mutuel (pooled) betting on Horses is allowed, though greyhound racing was banned back in 2009. Massachusetts lawmakers are debating whether to allow sports betting.  Gov. Charlie Baker favors legalization that would allow adults over 21 to bet on professional sports teams. This may be a long way away. History tells us that concerning gambling, Massachusetts always wants to “get it right.”

Lottery Betting: The Commonwealth established The Massachusetts State Lottery in 1971. It was in response to the need for revenues for the 351 cities and towns of the commonwealth.  Over the last 45 years, Massachusetts has grown to become one of the most successful lotteries in the nation.

Mass Lottery – a mainstay in Massachusetts Gambling

Bingo Games: Yes, it is available under charitable gaming. Bingo type games are known as ‘Beano’ in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Casino Specs

Below, you will find a comparison of all three Massachusetts casinos properties. We hope you enjoy our Massachusetts Casino Specs and History.

Mass Casino Specs

 

 

 

Has Encore Boston Harbor Met Expectations?

View From Harbor Walk

Has Encore Boston Harbor Met Expectations? In this revised post, a teaser if you will, of more tome, I will try to superficially answer that question. After my two day visit recently, I would like to check my expectations.  Let’s see how Encore Boston Harbor met out expectations.  For the prequel post, go to Encore Boston Harbor – What Can We Expect?

Encore Boston Harbor raises the bar far above the rest in many ways.  I will give an expectation from that article, then give our NETimeGambling take on it.

Wynn Resorts hopes their new Boston resort will boost their own sluggish first quarter, both in Las Vegas & overseas. NETG – This resort is what the region has been waiting for. I believe it will exceed revenue expectations.

The “WOW” Factor

Wynn resorts has always had a passion to “wow” guests by designing incredible resorts. The vision is to offer amazing amenities, fine dining, premium retail offerings, and incredible entertainment.  NETG – This place is amazing. Let’s take one of these at a time.

Amenities – elements of comfort and convenience, provided in addition to the usual hotel/casino. From the completely remote-controlled  hotel rooms, to the transportation possibilities, Encore is Amenites with a capital “A.” Expectation met.

Sinatra – Dining

Fine Dining – Sinatra, Rare, and the Buffet are all above and beyond what has been seen in New England. Expectation met.

Retail – Shopping options were cut back, but the shops included are pure high end. Still, the amount of retail options is a far cry from the The Wynn and Encore Esplanades in Las Vegas.  Expectation not met.

Exquisite Buffet – Inside and out, from the entrance to the food, to the presentation, the Buffet is amazing. So is the price. But would you expect anything different? Price matches the experience. Expectation met, indeed.

Entertainment – This is to be seen. However, the nightclub options are top notch. Expectation? Let’s check back later in the year.  If anything like the opening fireworks, I’d say expectations will be met.

Encore Boston Deluxe King Room

Encore Boston Harbor Hotel

A 27-floor hotel with 671 rooms, including 104 luxury suites. Reports are that the hotel rooms are exactly the quality expected. While the rooms are beige-themed, there is nothing beige about what the rooms offer. State-of-the-art conveniences such as voice-activated lights, curtains, heating,  air-conditioning, and privacy settings brings it all to your fingertips.  The rooms exude the highest quality.  Expectation met?  Are you kidding?, it’s Wynn we’re talking about here!

UNEXPECTED GEMS

Ok, it has a Dunkin Donuts.  We’ve all been to DD, but nothing like this.  It’s the only Dunkin to have a marble floor!  ‘Nuff said.

Gambling – Lots of playable video poker, even at the quarter level. Table minimums are high, but are better in the morning and early afternoon.  $15 Craps, $15 Pai Gow & $25 Bac. Not bad for mid to high rollers.

Clientele – The people visiting Encore are as varied as grains of sand.  Every race and creed, every level of bettor, locals, national and global were attracted to this place. And I see no reason for it to stop.

State-of-the-art convention and meeting space

This part of the resort is beautiful. As you walk down the hallway of fine dining, you come upon Popeye, exquisite art, and a well planned all-purpose meeting area. walk past the Picasso Ballroom and you look upon the South Lawn and the Harbor Walk. It’s truly stunning. Expectation met again.

Harborwalk, Park & Shuttles, oh My

View from South Lawn

The intention from the beginning was to offer “Boston’s most magnificent outdoor gathering spot.” So not to spoil future reports, let’s just say you must visit it to appreciate all the planning of this area.  Expectations beyond meeting.

Casino

1/2 of Casino from Floor 2

Elegance is the word most used for Wynn & Encore Las Vegas casinos, and the same magnificent gaming floor is present in Everett. The two spacious sections, with wonderfully high ceilings, have hand-assembled red Murano glass chandeliers. They are transplanted from their original home at Encore at Wynn Las Vegas and each costs $150,000 each. Just one example of the spacious and beautiful casino – a casino to rival any in the country. But not just visually, but auditory as well. The speaker system attached to the columns in the casino is loud, clear and provides amazing sound all day.  Expectation? Double-check.

The Star of the Show

The real star of the show at Encore Boston Harbor is the property in its entirety.  Without walking around the halls, the casino, and the vast Harbor Walk, you are denying yourself the true unique and awesome flavor that is Encore Boston Harbor. No can truly appreciate this project without taking it ALL in at least once.

Enjoy our slideshow below of Encore Boston Harbor to see what you are missing. Stay tuned here and at TravelZork for more coverage of the Resort Gem of New England, Encore Boston Harbor.

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