7 Recent & Popular Gambling Posts You Might Have Missed

It’s supposed to be cold here in the winter time – which is officially 6 weeks away. Some of my best memories is going to a casino in a snow storm, having the casino all to myself while the snow falls and cancels event after event. School snow days are the best.

So before winter settles in, let’s take you back a few weeks to the best received posts from the past two weeks. 

But first some gambling humor:

Wife:”My husband’s going to a casino in central Asia.”
Friend:”Tibet?”
Wife:”Of course, why else would he go!”

And now, the best of recent weeks. HERE’S WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED!

7 New England Casinos by the Numbers

a continuous fave on the hit parade – gambling stats include games, # of tables, # of slots, hotel accommodations, dining, entertainment……well complete coverage of all seven “by the numbers.”

 

 

Three posts to understand Maine’s third casino proposal in York County and it’s failure.

October 18th, 2017 – Referendum for Maine’s Third Casino Arriving Soon

November 7th, 2017 – Today’s the Day – The Vote for a Third Maine Casino

November 11th, 2017 – Maine’s Voters Respond – No Third Casino For You!

From the Archives, still popular this week:

Slot Machines – When to Play Max Bet  

……when should I hit that bet max button. Max Bet or Maximum Bet is the highest amount of coins or credits you can play in a single spin. The answer to the question depends on the machine being played…….

 

 

November 1st, 2017 – MGM Springfield Releases New Details with Local Flavor

It seems MGM has some very keen interest in our unique New England heritage.

October 29th – Cardless Casino Players Clubs

Will there ever be a time when the only players club card you need will be your smart phone?  Read on….

 

Have a great week!

Binbin

 

Maine’s Voters Respond – No Third Casino For You!

With about 90 percent of precincts reporting, Question 1 on the ballot was losing by a whopping 83 percent to 17 percent. Question 1 referred to the approval of a third casino in Maine somewhere in York County.

The question would have allowed only one company, Scott’s Capital Seven, to apply for a casino license that state officials estimated would be worth as much as $200 million. The ballot measure would have required Scott’s company to pay a $5 million licensing fee to the state.

Roy Lenardson, spokesman for A Bad Deal for Maine, a political action committee that opposed the casino, said in an interview that voters deserved credit for seeing through a flawed ballot question.

Progress For Maine backed casino, but was soundly rejected

“We’ve heard a lot lately about voters being tricked by ballot questions, but this is vindication of the Maine voter,” Lenardson said. “As much as I would like to take credit for this, it’s a case of democracy working. Everybody did their job, from the governor to the Legislature to the (Maine) ethics commission to the media, who dove into this story. Voters got the information they needed and they made a good decision.”

Is it really a surprise?  No to NETG.  Maine voters have disapproved a third casino before, and with the seemingly one-sided, under-handed plan by Shawn Scott & company, and the ethics committee getting involved, this was surely limping into the vote like “queen-seven of spades” at a Texas Holdem poker game.

Now Maine voters who are against additional gaming can revel in non-expansion.

Scott Thistle’s article in the Portland Press Herald quoted Denise Dionne, one of several South Portland residents who said they voted against the casino referendum. She thinks those voted against can be summed up to 3 reasons:

  1. they didn’t like the kind of jobs it would create
  2. they didn’t trust the project’s backers
  3. they just didn’t want another casino in Maine.

“I don’t want it,” said Dionne, 54, a home renovator. “Go somewhere else. Do they have to be everywhere?”

As far as Maine is concerned, no they don’t!

Binbin

Today’s the Day – The Vote for a Third Maine Casino

A rendering of the proposed York County Casino, courtesy of the Portland Press Herald

Well, today’s the day that Maine decides if York County will be the site for Maine’s third casino. The referendum is written to allow only one person, Shawn Scott, to apply for a permit to build a casino at an unspecified location in York County. Scott is an international gambling entrepreneur who won voter approval to add slot machines to Bangor’s struggling horse track in 2003. He then sold those rights to Penn National – which still operates what is now Hollywood Casino – for $51 million as regulators scrutinized his businesses and associates.  For a related articles, click on Maine’s Third Casino A Bad Bet  and Maine’s Third Casino – The Ultimate Scam Allowed by No Legislative Policy

Shawn Scott, on the right, with attorney Courtesy Herald Press

THE CRITICS

CRITIC #1 – A political action committee called A Bad Deal for Maine that opposes a ballot initiative asking voters to approve a casino in York County has spent just over $600,000 on its campaign, according to state election finance reports. The PAC’s expenditures were funded almost entirely by $700,000 in donations from Black Bear Development LLC, the business name for Oxford Casino, which is owned by the Kentucky-based Churchill Downs Inc., the Maine casino that could lose most from the competition.

CRITIC #2 – Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage is urging voters to oppose a ballot initiative to build a casino in York County, saying it was all about greed. LePage said. “It’s a stacked deck. Once again, Maine’s referendum process has been hijacked by big money, out-of-state interests hoping to pull the wool over your eyes.”

The Sockalexis Bingo Palace on Passamaquody reservation. BANGOR DAILY NEWS FILE PHOTO BY JOHN CLARK RUSS

CRITIC #3 – Leaders of the Passamaquoddy and Penobscot tribes spoke out Thursday against the proposed York County casino. “If approved, Question 1 would stand to directly injure the Passamaquoddy Tribe and the Penobscot Nation by significantly reducing financial support that the tribes currently receive under a voter-approved revenue sharing agreement with Oxford Casino,” said Penobscot Chief Kirk Francis, Passamaquoddy-Indian Township Chief William Nicholas and Passamaquoddy-Pleasant Point Chief Ralph Dana.

CRITIC #4 – We at NETG still think that a third casino closer to Wynn Boston Harbor (Oxford & Hollywood are more north) will not be able to compete with the Mega-Resort/Casino and will not do what the pro-casino group Progress for Maine expects.

 

PRO CASINO GROUPS

Progress For Maine wants casino legislation

PRO #1 – One of Maine’s four federally recognized Indian tribes, the Aroostook Band of Micmacs, endorsed Question 1 last month following negotiations between tribal leaders and Scott. Scott’s Progress for Maine campaign agreed to help “create new non-gaming economic development opportunities for the tribe” of roughly 1,200 members in northern Maine. In announcing their support for Question 1, the Micmac leaders pointed out that revenues from the Oxford Casino only flow to the Passamaquoddy and Penobscot tribes. The revenue “cascade” from Hollywood Casino in Bangor does not include any specific allocation to tribes.

 

 

 

PRO #2 – Progress For Maine launched a new Ad condemning Kentucky’s Churchill Downs for meddling in Maine election on Question 1.  Progress for Maine is dedicated to economic development and job growth in York County and across the entire state through the establishment of a new gaming and entertainment destination in the York County area. Progress for Maine supports a “Yes” vote on Question 1 on the statewide ballot in November. For more information visit www.ProgressforMaine.com

The full ad can be viewed here.

ETHICS REGULATORS TAKE ACTION

Maine ethics regulators on Friday levied $500,000 in fines against four political committees backing the York County casino referendum. The penalties were reduced from a sum of $4.6 million after considering mitigating factors.

VOTER TURNOUT?

According to  Scott Thistle of the Portland Press Herald, “a relatively small number of voters will decide whether to expand Medicaid and approve a casino in York County in November…..But if 2017 ends up looking anything like 2011 – the last year voters had no statewide races to decide except ballot questions on casinos – then less than half of the state’s registered voters will cast ballots.”  There is still a question whether the Pro Casino will get permission for absentee voting, and reeking havoc with the low voter turnout. Overall voter turnout in 2011 was 43 percent, as voters decided against two casino ballot questions for Lewiston and Biddeford.

As of this week, a poll shows 49% against, 40% for, (11% undecided), which is still close. A sudden surge of voters from either side could make a big difference in the turnout.

Here’s the rundown on how to vote:

Maine Question 1, the Casino or Slot Machines in York County Initiative, is on the ballot in Maine as a indirect initiated state statute on November 7, 2017.

“yes” vote supports this initiative to authorize the Maine Gambling Control Board to accept an application for a license to operate slot machines or a casino in York County, Maine.
“no” vote opposes this initiative to authorize the Maine Gambling Control Board to accept an application for a license to operate slot machines or a casino in York County, Maine.

Binbin

 

Referendum for Maine’s Third Casino Arriving Soon

A rendering of the proposed York County Casino, courtesy of the Portland Press Herald

According to  Scott Thistle of the Portland Press Herald, “a relatively small number of voters will decide whether to expand Medicaid and approve a casino in York County in November…..But if 2017 ends up looking anything like 2011 – the last year voters had no statewide races to decide except ballot questions on casinos – then less than half of the state’s registered voters will cast ballots.”  There is still a question whether the Pro Casino will get permission for absentee voting, and reeking havoc with the low voter turnout.

Overall voter turnout in 2011 was 43 percent, as voters decided against two casino ballot questions for Lewiston and Biddeford.

Shawn Scott, on the right, with attorney Courtesy Herald Press

It seems like the casino thing in Maine is like washing your hair – mix shampoo in hair, rinse out shampoo for clean hair, and repeat. However in Maine, they are always seemingly rinsing out the dirt from Shawn Scott & Co.

Economic experts continue to be skeptical about the York County casino bringing more than 2,000 jobs and $45 million in annual tax revenue to the area.  After all, the building of Oxford Casino included the prediction of $60 million in annual tax income, but has only produced about $32 million annually.

And then there is the referendum that is written to allow only one person, Shawn Scott, to apply for a permit to build a casino at an unspecified location in York County. Scott is an international gambling entrepreneur who won voter approval to add slot machines to Bangor’s struggling horse track in 2003. He then sold those rights to Penn National – which still operates what is now Hollywood Casino – for $51 million as regulators scrutinized his businesses and associates.  For a related articles, click on Maine’s Third Casino A Bad Bet  and Maine’s Third Casino – The Ultimate Scam Allowed by No Legislative Policy

Hollywood Casino, Bangor MaineThere are some who consider Hollywood Bangor a rousing success, and a great example of how casinos can help communities keep taxes down, create new jobs, spur tourism and economic development and generate additional funding for critical education, health care and agriculture priorities.  But, this is the same property that was asking for property assessment reduction in a dispute with the city of Bangor? The lower assessment that resulted from those talks stemmed largely from Hollywood Casino’s declining revenue since the opening of its main competitor, Oxford Casino. Rousing success?  Hollywood has had its slow times over the years.

Progress For Maine wants casino legislation

So, NETG still thinks that a third casino closer to Wynn Boston Harbor (Oxford & Hollywood are more north) will not be able to compete and will not do what the pro-casino group Progress for Maine wants.

Here’s the rundown on the vote:

Maine Question 1, the Casino or Slot Machines in York County Initiative, is on the ballot in Maine as a indirect initiated state statute on November 7, 2017.

“yes” vote supports this initiative to authorize the Maine Gambling Control Board to accept an application for a license to operate slot machines or a casino in York County, Maine.
“no” vote opposes this initiative to authorize the Maine Gambling Control Board to accept an application for a license to operate slot machines or a casino in York County, Maine.

The third casino’s window in Maine has closed. Another option for expanded gambling is needed to take the place of a full casino in southern Maine.

Binbin

 

Maine’s Third Casino A Bad Bet

Maine’s third try at a casino in York County will not be the charm.

York County, Maine om the Mass & NH borders where the third Casino in Maine is proposed

York County, Maine om the Mass & NH borders where the third Casino in Maine is proposed

I must admit, covering another casino proposal in Maine is much like covering the NFL’s Buffalo Bills – so much promise for the season, but a championship is just never going to happen.

In this episode of “As The Maine Casino Turns,” we find a growing optimistic sentiment that Maine can enjoy the profits of a third casino and keep revenue in the state from going south to Massachusetts.

Rebecca Foster’s OpEd in CentralMaine.com, “Casino success that benefited Bangor can happen in York County,” praises the presence of Maine’s first casino saying, “By virtually any measure, the Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway has been a tremendous success…..What has worked for Maine and Mainers for more than 10 years can work once again — this time, in southern Maine.”

Hollywood Casino, Bangor Maine

Hollywood Casino, Bangor Maine

According to Casino.org, “A study conducted by Florida-based consulting firm Evans, Carroll & Associates claims the casino would generate 2,767 construction jobs and 2,165 permanent employment opportunities, $6.1 million in lodging revenue in the first year, and at least $45 million in tax revenue.  The economic analysis was funded by lobbying organization Progress for Maine, the main supporters of the casino.” On Nov. 7, voters across the state will have the chance to weigh in and vote yes on Question 1 for a third Maine Casino.

Ethics Trouble Again?

However, in June, the Maine Ethics Commission voted unanimously to investigate the $4.3 million ballot initiative in support of building a casino in York County. Once again, Shawn Scott emerged as the fundamental party of this casino push. Refusing to give Mr. Scott and his sister Lisa Scott, being investigated by the ethics committee, more coverage than they deserve, I’ll lead you to Casino.org’s article Controversial Maine Casino Backer Finally Surfaces, Hires ‘Firm Behind Brexit’ if you are interested in more information.  However back to “As the Maine Casino Turns.”

Shawn Scott, on the right, with attorney Courtesy Herald Press

The casino is actually being touted as an entertainment center, more than just a casino with slot machines and gaming options. This will feature a concert venue, space to hold community events, and more.  I guess it will mimic those other “non-casino, entertainment” venues in New England, like Wynn Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, Foxwoods, and Mohegan Sun.

Recent History Says “No”

Do we need to remind “Mainiacs” of the previous history in York County, documented by NETimeGambling?

  • From 2016 – “Maine residents have already shown resistance to a third casino in their state – even after a study a few years ago concluded another casino in York County might be feasible.  But, much like we have seen in New Hampshire, a third Vegas-style casino in Maine has been an on-again, off-again proposition – mostly off.” – Maine Casino Proposal – Again?
  • From January, 2016 – “…are they (Maine) so naive to think that it isn’t too late to compete against Wynn Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield and New York States northern casinos? – Additional Maine Casino Gambling – Too Much, Too Little, Too Late
  • From 2015 – “Remember when Maine was thinking about more casinos two years ago with the immediate success of the Oxford Casino?” – Maine Casinos – Have They Lived Their Best Days Already?

The Bottom Line

Progress For Maine wants casino legislation

Maine deserves the benefits of another casino – more jobs, boosting neighboring economy, increased tourism, and increased state revenue. Trying to compete on the scale of Wynn Boston Harbor, only an hour away from York county, won’t do. Those wanting a resort/casino experience already drive down I-95 to Connecticut. This proposition by the “Progress For Maine” lobby group just seems shady, at best. Residents should back this proposed vote in November if the majority want it.  After the brief history of the previous years, and the slow progress of it’s two casinos, I’d say Maine is good with two casinos.

NETG Alternative Proposal

Plainridge Park Casino

Plainridge Park Casino, Plainville, MA

Instead of a large casino to compete with Wynn, NETG believes a convenience casino, similar to Plainridge Park Casino in Massachusetts, would get the benefits from gambling York County in looking for.  Table game players, VIP’s, will still frequent Wynn, but the low-to-mid rollers who prefer to stay closer will visit that venue – with or without the entertainment center and convention space.

If you want the gambling revenue, build something that will work in the long run, and don’t compete with the big boys. Just sayin’…..

Bin

 

 

NETime Gambling – Weekly Posts You Missed 4/9/17

Another Sunday Morning, and another Sunday edition of 

“Weekly Posts You Missed”  

But first………

 

“Easy like Sunday Morning….”   As you open the paper, check your email, and relax with your cup of “joe,” let your Sunday morning ritual include checking our past week’s posts.  SO, HERE’S WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED LAST WEEK!

Last Monday – Video Poker Players – Practice Before Your Visit

…..this post suggests resources to practice video poker.


Last Wednesday – Casinos and People Watching on a Saturday Night – “Oh the Humanity!”

….Remember the bar scene in the first Star Wars movie (Episode IV) and the infinitely different cast of characters in that lounge?……


Last Thursday – Maine Opposition To Tribal Gaming is Prejudicial


Last Friday – Martha’s Vineyard Decision Reversed 

Earlier, in July of 2015, Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head tribal officials announced that they planned to convert an unfinished community center on the island into a gambling venue…..


Saturday – Connecticut Casino Revenue Decline is a Sign For Action


GAMBLING HUMOR

Bet you didn’t know this…

Do Las Vegas churches accept gambling chips?

This may come as a surprise to those of you not living in Las Vegas ,
but there are more Catholic churches than casinos.
Not surprisingly, some worshipers at Sunday services will give casino chips rather than cash when the basket is passed.  Since they get chips from many different casinos, the churches have devised a method to collect the offerings.
The churches send all their collected chips to a nearby Franciscan monastery for sorting and then the chips are taken to the casinos of origin and cashed in.
This
is
done
by ……..
you
guessed
it………
the chip monks.
Gotcha.!
Thanks, Alice D. for the joke.  Always glad to hear from you!
Happy Easter to all those celebrating.  
Cya Next week.
Binbin

 

 

 

Maine Opposition To Tribal Gaming is Prejudicial

While Connecticut waits for a legislative decision to possibly allow a commercial casino to accompany the tribal casino monopoly, Maine has just been dealt with the opposite proposal – a tribal casino to be allowed in a state of commercial gaming casinos.

According to Focusgn.com, Maine’s state legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee discussed the possibility of legalizing a bill that would allow tribes to offer casino gaming in the state. Rep. Benjamin Collings, D-Portland, said that the tribes should be able to create an economic system that would bring benefits to the tribes.

300px-Wohngebiet_MaliseetSeveral other casinos proposals have been made over the years by multiple Indian tribes, but with little success.  The Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians tried to bring a casino into Aroostook County four years ago. In 2003, efforts by the Passamaquoddy tribe and Penobscot Nation to build a casino in Sanford were rejected in a statewide vote while the Hollywood Casino was approved on the same ballot. A Passamaquoddy owned and operated casino and race track facility in Washington County was also voted down in 2007. Similar efforts for another tribal racino in Washington County were also thrown out when the Maine Racino Initiative was rejected in 2011.

passam_crest2

Passamaquaddy Crest

In 2013, the Penobscot Indian Nation has tried to pass a bill to enhance its existing gaming operation—a 30-year-old traditional bingo enterprise that uses a bingo caller and bingo cards. And it’s the fifth year in a row its efforts have been thwarted by the state.  But Maine officials claimed that the Nation’s proposed Class II bingo machines are really Class III slot machines—a claim that’s refuted by two of the most reputable companies in the country that manufacture, test and certify gaming machines.  Class III is a designation applied only to “tribal” casinos and are Vegas-style Slot Machines used on tribal casinos such as Mohegan Sun, & Foxwoods.  They are exactly the same, Class II are tribal casino machines that work as a bingo machine and may look like a slot machine, but doesn’t act like one in paying off the player.  Check out the following links for more info on Class II & Class III.

Legal Distinction Between Class II and III Gaming Causes Innovation, Anguish

Slot Machines, VLT’s What’s the Difference? – John Grochowski Explains

Indian-gaming-JCR.jpg

Chief Kirk Francis talks about why Penobscot Nation officials are upset by the state’s delay of license request that would allow the tribe to use Bingo machines. The state says they’re slot machines, the tribe says it’s part of Bingo operations.

So why is 2017 so different? Maine has, in the past been accused of pursuing policies that force the state’s recognized tribes into a cycle of dependence rather than fostering economic self-sufficiency. Maine currently has two commercial casinos, Oxford Casino and the Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway Bangor, while the Passamaquoddy tribe operates a high-stakes bingo parlor in Indian Township.

This bill would authorize the Department of Public Safety, Gambling Control Board to accept applications for casino licenses from the states four recognized tribes,which comprise five tribal communities: the Micmac, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot.

These licenses would permit the operation of table games and up to 1,500 slot machines at multiple facilities. It would also exempt the tribes from the state regulation that no casino may be built within 100 miles of an existing casino or slot machine facility. Twenty-five percent of net slot machine revenue and 16 percent of net table game revenue go the state general fund.

York County, Maine om the Mass & NH borders where the third Casino in Maine is proposed

York County, Maine, on the Mass & NH borders where the third Casino in Maine is proposed.

As one can imagine, Hollywood Bangor & Oxford Casino officials are not too happy.  It has another fight to the southwest of Maine – a proposed York County casino.  The Legislature is expected to put the casino question to voters in November because backers collected enough signatures to place it on the ballot. Lawmakers criticized an effort to bring a casino to York County saying the company behind the proposal has a questionable history and would be handed exclusive and lucrative rights to build the casino if voters approve.

Could Maine support all these possibilities?  Probably Not.  While it is the 39th largest state in the Union – larger than South Carolina  & W. Virginia,  and slightly smaller than Indiana – only 10 states have less residents, three of which are also in New England!  Tribals nations in the north do have the distance away from New England casinos and a close proximity to Canada.  But York County?  That’s another question that won’t be answered for a while – if it ever gets approved.

Binbin

Maine’s Third Casino – The Ultimate Scam Allowed by No Legislative Policy

York County, Maine om the Mass & NH borders where the third Casino in Maine is proposed

York County, Maine om the Mass & NH borders where the third Casino in Maine is proposed

Once again, a third casino has its supporters and detractors. In December, Mainebiz reported that a group called Horseracing Jobs Fairness submitted 19,000 petitions containing more than 65,000 signatures to the Maine Secretary of State’s Office seeking a statewide referendum vote in November 2017. The group had earlier in the year failed to get the number of signatures needed to place it on the 2016 ballot.

The group seems to be led by Shawn Scott, a name that seems to carry lots of dubious intentions in the state of Maine. According to Bangor Daily News, “when Maine voters gave Shawn Scott the rights to Maine’s first casino nearly 14 years ago, he wrote his own law, hastily sold the rights and made a cool $51 million. And the Virgin Islands developer may have another chance to do it in 2017.”

Oxford Casino, Maine

Oxford Casino, Maine, closest to York County.  Stands to lose the most, even with latest Hotel Expansion.

The problem seems to be the process Mr. Scott set in motion that Maine has refused to touch over the years. So, Shawn Scott with the Horseracing Jobs Fairness group is poised to do it again, after already already putting $4.2 million into the campaign.

It would be Maine’s third casino, with Oxford and Hollywood Banger.  With an expected 1500 slots, it would be the largest casino in Maine, almost twice as many slots as Hollywood Banger.

It seems that getting a casino in Maine goes like this:

  • Get enough signees for a petition (last November included fraud concerning the previous petition)
  • Get casino approved through referendum
  • Build Casino
  • Sell it off within a year or so, and make millions.

    Shawn Scott, on the right, driving petition with one of his attorneys. (Press Herald)

    Shawn Scott, on the right, driving petition with one of his attorneys. (Press Herald)

“Both Oxford & Banger casinos were established through the state’s ballot initiative process, and both were sold by their original developers for massive profits, turning election campaigns into little more than investments…” according to BDN.

What is missing is the debates, community forums, and a competitive process to regulate casinos found in other New England states, such as Rhode Island and Massachusetts. “Maine’s lack of casino policy — first exploited by Scott — has led to isolated debates on casinos defined by gaming interests and parochialism.”

In recent battles in the Legislature, both Hollywood and Oxford have banded together to oppose other gaming expansions with the help of local politicians and business people.

maine-harness-racingInteresting note – backers explain this as protection for Maine’s struggling harness racing industry, which would get 10 percent of slot machine income in the York County proposal.  Yet, the Maine Harness Racing Association hasn’t taken a position on the proposal yet!

Opposition comes straight from Governor LePage. AP sources cite him speaking on Bangor radio station WVOM-FM, saying “Maine doesn’t have the “critical mass” to support a third casino, along with the Oxford Casino and the Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway Bangor.”

maine-lepage

Governor LePage

Essentially, this petition could be approved by the legislature without public vote.  A larger casino competing within a barely stabilized casino market in Maine without public input or approval could be disastrous for the revenue to Maine’s coffers.  As LePage put it recently, “It’s just greed.”

Binbin

New England’s Casino Growth in 4 Years

New England Map

New England

Two years ago in New England.

Four years ago in New England.

When I first started this blog, I hoped that New England would have become the Biloxi-Gulfport area of the northeast – casinos offering gamblers the variety and quality to go along with the area’s historical and cultural tourism.  But, how naive could I be – it’s business.

At that time, my love of jazz and fascination of the casino industry morphed into thoughts connected by the death of jazz piano great Dave Brubeck. You can check out part 1 & 2 by clicking on their titles:

Part 1 of 2: Casinos, Jazz & Brubeck – what do they have in common?

Part 2 of 2: Casinos, Jazz & Brubeck

While my intentions are the same today, the gambling landscape continues to transform.  Expansion continues to be discussed.

Last month marked our four  year anniversary of N.E.TimeGambling.com  Let’s see where New England’s Casino Industry was in 2012, where it is now, and where it might be going.

Continue reading

Maine Casino Proposal – Again?

Maine signMaine residents have already shown resistance to a third casino in their state – even after a study a few years ago concluded another casino in York County might be feasible.  But, much like we have seen in New Hampshire, a third Vegas-style casino in Maine has been an on-again, off-again proposition – mostly off.

The Maine Senate this year rejected a bill to create a casino in Cumberland or York counties. A separate effort to put a casino on the ballot failed because supporters didn’t get enough signatures to put the proposal on the ballot.

York County, Maine om the Mass & NH borders where the third Casino in Maine is proposed

York County, Maine om the Mass & NH borders where the third Casino in Maine is proposed

Organizers of an effort to have Maine voters allow new slot machines or a casino in York County have told the state it has enough signatures – again.  Let’s remember, a separate effort to put a casino on the ballot failed this past year because supporters didn’t get enough signatures to put the proposal on the ballot.  Matter of fact, the secretary of state’s office said the effort fell short because tens of thousands of signatures were invalid.

With Hollywood Bangor trying to maintain stability after a series of months with declining revenue, and Oxford Casino expanding and adding a hotel, this isn’t the time to add another casino.  Hollywood still doesn’t seem to attract Canadian gamblers from New Brunswick 2 hours away. Another casino will only take away the positive revenue from Oxford Casino, in Oxford, Maine, which is expanding.

Maine Casino Map

Maine Casino Map

The 93-room hotel Hampton Inn Oxford just opened in walking distance across the street, and late next year, Oxford Casino’s own hotel will be open. Oxford has been off-setting Hollywood’s decline for months.hamptonoxfordmaineexterior_fp

The one good reason for another casino would be revenue from New Hampshire residents, who seem content with their charitable poker rooms.  But, in 2019, the draw of Wynn Boston Harbor will add more strain to Maine’s casinos – especially one in York County.

When will states learn to look elsewhere for stable revenue?  Obviously, in New England, some legislators have blinders on, only looking for the quick fix to revenue problems.  At this point, I think enough is enough.

What do you think?

Are there enough casinos in New England?  Too many?  Leave a comment and tell us what you think.

Binbin

 

 

 

10 Casinos in New England Casino Landscape by 2020

downloadThe stage has been set for the opening of full blown casino gambling expansion in New England by 2020.  While there may be changes along the way – there always seem to be – the final New England Casino Portfolio should look like this:

 

Maine – 2 casinos:

  1. Hollywood Casino, Hotel & Raceway in Bangor, ME.  Owner – Penn National
  2. Oxford Casino, (with expanded gaming, dining and hotel), Oxford ME. Owner – Churchill Downs LLC.

    Hampton Inn at Oxford Casino

    The Oxford casino will see expansion with Hampton Inn on Route 26 across from the entrance and it’s own hotel and expanded dining & gaming.

Steve Wynn with his rendition of Wynn Boston Harbor

Steve Wynn with his rendition of Wynn Boston Harbor

Massachusetts – 4 casinos:

  1. Plainridge Casino (Slots only) & Raceway, Plainville, MA.  Owner – Penn National
  2. Wynn Boston Harbor, Everett, MA. Owner – Wynn Resorts
  3. First Light Resort, Taunton, MA. Owner – Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Nation

    Tribal Council member Winnie Johnson Graham, foreground, holds a shovel along with others during an official groundbreaking, Tuesday, April 5, 2016, in Taunton, Mass., where the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe will build a resort casino that it hopes will become Massachusetts' first Las Vegas-style resort. The First Light casino, hotel and entertainment complex will be built on a 151-acre industrial park that's part of the Cape Cod-based tribe's recently designated federal reservation. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

    Tribal Council member Winnie Johnson Graham, foreground, holds a shovel along with others during an official groundbreaking, Tuesday, April 5, 2016, in Taunton, Mass. The First Light casino, hotel and entertainment complex will be built on a 151-acre industrial park that’s part of the Cape Cod-based tribe’s recently designated federal reservation. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

  4. MGM Springfield, Springfield, MA. Owner – MGM Resorts International

Rhode Island – 2 Casinos:

  1. Twin River Casino (with expanded Hotel), Lincoln, RI.  Owner – Twin River Management Group
  2. Newport Grand, Newport, RI / Tiverton Resort, Tiverton, RI. (Move to Tiverton is expected by 2020) Owner – Twin River Management Group

    Proposed Tiverton Casino, Previous Newport Grand

    Proposed Tiverton Casino, Previous Newport Grand

Connecticut – 2 Tribal Casinos:

  1. Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashatucket, CT.  Owner – The Mashentucket Pequot Tribal Nation
  2. Mohegan Sun Resort Casino, Uncasville, CT. Owner – The Mohegan Tribe of CT
  • Note – Due to the lack of legislative movement on a proposed 3rd casino in a joint venture by Mohegan & Pequot Tribes, NETG decided not to include it in the 2020 forecast as yet.

But there are still questions to be answered:

  1. Will Wynn Boston Harbor finally be able to get started as it still deals will stoppages and law suits?  NETG says yes – and by 2020!
  2. Will  First Light be waded down in a lawsuit brought on by a group of Taunton residents wanting to overturn the U.S. Department of Interior’s decision to declare land in trust for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, which it plans to use to build a $500 million casino in the city. Will it be stopped?  NETG says NO!
  3. Will CT get another casino?  NETG says NO!  The window is closing.  Bradley Airport continues to push ahead, by too many legislators want a study to show reason to continue.

Oops, my crystal ball just stopped.  Must be the batteries…..damn “Magic 8 Ball.”

Binbin

 

Maine Says No to More Casinos

Timing is EverythingTiming is always such a tenuous line.  While NETG (NE Time Gambling) wanted to be “timely” on the approval news for Monday, it didn’t take long for the legislature in Maine to turn that possibility into ‘ain’t happenin’ here!

Maine State House, Augusta

Maine State House, Augusta

The Legislature’s appetite for an expansion of gambling in Maine revealed itself to be nonexistent Tuesday with the rejection of a second pro-casino bill in as many days. On Monday, the Senate put the billed approved by the house to sleep that would have allowed for a competitive bid process for a tribal-run casino in Aroostook County or Washington County.

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Hollywood Casino, Hotel & Raceway, Bangor

At present, the state of Maine hosts two commercial casinos – Hollywood Casino Hotel and Raceway in the city of Bangor and Oxford Casino in the city of Oxford. (In addition, the state has one establishment of Native American type, which is owned and managed by the Penobscot Indian Nation). Opponents questioned the need for more gambling in a small state that already has two casinos. They also pointed to voters’ repeated rejection of more casinos.  Of course, among the concerns voiced by opponents of both bills was that either of them would erode business for Maine’s two existing casinos in Bangor and Oxford.

Oxford Casino, Maine

Oxford Casino, Oxford

The expansion of casinos has been under debate for years but consistently has been turned back by the Legislature, mostly because of arguments that Maine has no overall casino gaming policy that identifies what casinos should pay and where that revenue should go. Maine’s existing casinos were approved by referendum.

Since Wynn Everett seems unlikely to open before 2017, it seems Maine still needs to see what kind of influence Plainridge Park has on their existing casinos, and if gaming revenue from Oxford & Hollywood stabilizes – Hollywood has shown some weakness recently by Oxford’s competition and Oxford has seen a modest decline, although they continue to be a success in southern Maine.

That’s all for now.

Binbin