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

You can find this post as a permanent menu item in our header above.


New England Casinos by the Numbers – A Numeric Assessment of Each Property

Four New England States have casinos.

With every new casino expansion, there is work to do on our New England Casinos by the Numbers  Encore property specs are now in.  All nine casinos / resorts are together for your comparison. Tell us what you think on the NETimeGambling Facebook group.  Also, consider joining our Facebook Community “New England Casinos.”

Related Post – New England Casino Gambling History – Updated

Below our New England Casinos by the Numbers, you will find some some additional facts about New England’s gambling scene.

But first, enjoy comparing all nine of our casinos. At the bottom, you can click on the arrows for the other pages. It’s just the facts, Jack.

NE Property Facts Rev 2


How about some facts about our own New England Casinos you may, or may not know.

  • Mohegan Sun actually has three hotels – Aspire is a hotel within a hotel on the top of Sky Tower.
  • One state has sports betting and mobile betting – Rhode Island. Next state that will soon have sports betting – Maine.
  • Foxwoods has a new CEO. John J. James. He will take the role beginning Aug. 12. He has worked in the Native American resort and gaming industry for more than 25 years.
  • Mohegan Sun has a new CEO – Related Post – New CEO Of Mohegan Sun Touts Company’s Expansion …
  • While parking is paid and expensive at Encore, when you earn points Players Club Red Card, it only costs $1 off your card points.
  • There is one casino Maine that was omitted – Penobscot High Stakes Bingo – considered Class II gaming.
  • There are three New England tribal casinos somewhere in the process of being built:
  1. In Massachusetts, the Aquinnah Cliffs Casino is finally under construction.  Built on tribal land on Martha’s Vineyard, it will be a Class II casino.
  2. First Light Resort, in Taunton, built by the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe. However, it seems hopelessly stuck in litigation with Taunton residents.
  3. Tribal Winds Casino, a joint venture between the Mohegan & Pequot tribes in CT, has been approved, but has not been started due to numerous gambling considerations, especially sports betting.
  • The state with the most poker rooms is New Hampshire with twelve. Many offer other table games and all legal under the Charitable Gaming Law.
  • Most slots? – Mohegan Sun.  Most Hotel rooms? – Foxwoods. Fully non-smoking casinos? – all in Maine and Massachusetts.


That’s just the tip of the iceberg, as they say.  Enjoy.

Bin, Bert & Miguel


This Week in New England Casinos

Back Again! This Week in New England Casinos!

Every Monday, NETG will take a look atThis Week in New England Casinos.” News, promotions, concerts and tips for your week at the casinos.  Want to see a show?  Want to know which promotion might spark a casino visit? Well, every week we’ll start it off for you. The possibilities might just be endless! So, as you sit down, read the paper and plan your week. Consider NETimeGambling as your go-to casino resource. 


In Massachusetts

A. Richard Schuster presented Encore Boston Harbor with a class-action suit for cheating last week. However, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission disagreed. Consequently, a preliminary investigation found that Encore Boston Harbor’s casino operations were compliant with state gambling laws. According to CasinoNewsDaily,  “Schuster said that while playing blackjack at the recently opened casino, he expected to be paid out at 3-2 odds. But, he was eventually paid out at 6-5 odds. Usually, traditional blackjack pays players out at 3-2. However, under Massachusetts’ gaming laws local casinos are allowed to pay players at 6-5 odds as long as they fulfill certain other regulatory requirements.”

In Connecticut

John J. James has been named the new President and CEO of Foxwoods Resort Casino. James currently serves as Chief Operating Officer for Morongo Casino Resort & Spa located in Cabazon, California.  He will be taking the helm at Foxwoods beginning August 12. James succeeds Felix D. Rappaport, whose untimely death in June of 2018 left Foxwoods without a CEO.  As a result, Chairman Rodney Butler took over as the resort’s interim CEO shortly thereafter. James has over 25 years of highly successful Native American gaming resort operations experience.  Thus, James is uniquely positioned to lead Foxwoods into its next evolution.

Related Post – Visionary Felix Rappaport Was a Star Wherever He Went

Promotions This Week in New England Casinos

FoxwoodsFoxwoods 301 Giveaway –  Earn Entries • June 1 – 29; Weekly Drawings • Thursdays, 7:00 PM. Grand Prize Drawing • June 30, 7:00 PM, $1,000,000 Slot Tournament PLAY YOUR WAY TO LAS VEGAS. Daily Winners • July 1 – August 20 • 12pm – 6pm. Grand Finale • September 1 • 4pm – 6pm. Spin Zone in Great Cedar Casino,  Adam Levine Slot Promotion, JULY 17 • 4PM – 6PM • GREAT CEDAR CASINO 

Hollywood Bangor –  Early Bird, August 3. Earn Free SlotPlay based on your tier.  Special Hotel DEALS & DISCOUNTS

MGM SpringfieldMGM Millions – May 27 to July 27Tier Credit Multiplier Tuesday in July, Spin & Win – Wednesdays in July, Summer Celebration Swipe & WinThursdays in July, Over Under – Fridays in July


Related Post – Mohegan Sun Summer Entertainment Continues to Push the Competition

Oxford Hotel & CasinoEarn Free Dinner Buffet – Tuesdays, Thursdays, & Saturday, SATURDAY – Super 6,  TUESDAY – 15X Multiplier,  WEDNESDAY – 15X Multiplier & Seniors Day,  THURSDAY – Score 4, FRIDAY –  Mega High 5 

Plainridge Park Casino – MYCHOICE® GOLD – Wednesdays, SUNDAY SLOTPLAY DRAWINGS – JULY 28; P of Diamonds Fridays

Tiverton Casino & Hotel, Tiverton, RI – $80,000 Sizzling Slot Tournament Saturdays 

EVENTS & Concerts

July 24 – CT Sun  vs NY Liberty, Mohegan Sun Arena 11:30PM

July 23The Sunshine Tour: Pablo Cruise, Orleans & Firefall at Twin River Event Center, 8:00pm

July 25Motor City Live at Twin River Event Center, 7:00pm

July 26Godsmack at Mohegan Sun Arena, 8:00PM; Everclear at Wolf Den, Mohegan Sun Arena, 8:00PM (free)

July 26 & 27Reba McEntire at the Grand Theater, Foxwoods, 8:00PM

July 27Big Bad Voodoo Daddy at Wolf Den, Mohegan Sun Arena, 8:00PM (free)

July 28Jeffrey Osborne Celebrity Classic All Star Comedy Explosion – at Twin River Event Center, 8:00pm; Ben Folds and the Violent Femmes at Mohegan Sun Arena, 7:30PM; Aaron Lewis: State I’m In Tour at the Grand Theater, Foxwoods, 7:00PM

July 30 – CT Sun  vs Chicago Sky, Mohegan Sun Arena 7:00PM


Have a great week!