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


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

Binbin

MGM Springfield Trip Report – Tier Credit Multiplier, Dr. Suess & The Fort

A recent visit to MGM Springfield inspired this post – MGM Springfield Trip Report – Tier Credit Multiplier, Dr. Suess & The Fort. The staff at NETimeGambling.com is always looking forward to those status multiplier days. This past Tuesday we visited MGM Springfield to take advantage of their Tier Credit Multiplier on Tuesdays. Here are the multipliers available:

  • Platinum & NOIR – Earn 5X Tier Credit Multiplier
  • Gold – Earn 4X Tier Credit Multiplier
  • Pearl – Earn 3X Tier Credit Multiplier
  • Sapphire – Earn 2X Tier Credit Multiplier

It’s all day long.  If you take part in this promotion, swipe your card and activate the promo first.  Swiping your players card at any MLife kiosk must be done before you start playing.

Tier Credit Multiplier

The play was a slow burn. Bonuses hit here and there, but we were never really up.  Bert & I played slots mostly to get the biggest bang for the buck for status points. Some of our better results were found on the following machines:

  • Lord of the Rings – Rule Them All by IGT – (suggestion, play at least $1.50 to get all lines and all possible bonuses)
  • Lucky Honeycomb Twin Fever by Konami
  • Buffalo Grand by Aristocrat
  • Jumping Jalepenos (also Konami)

Inside MGM casino

This visit was not a success financially, but for four hours we raised our status points substantially, which was our goal for the day.

But, MGM still needs to improve dining. As a matter of fact, we like TAP, and Cal Mare, but I need more than the same thing over and over.  In addition, South Market service is a hit or miss, no matter how many people are in line. Furthermore, the possibilities are overpriced, especially at the Hearth Grill. South Market is advertised as 24 hours, but look at the website and the none of the restaurant hours are listed as 24 hrs. on the website.

Casino News and amenities 

The casino seems slightly more spacious. It feeling like a few slots were taken out to accommodate the electronic roulette and craps.

Unfortunately, no report on table games this time due to only slot play. In addition, no pics or coverage on either the new “Island Bar” or the VIP Lounge where Starbucks used to be.  Both are closed off.

Drink service is much improved.  We had very little wait between roving drink staff.  I noticed a new and interesting thing happening at Center Bar.  Bartenders are interested trying their mixology talents on you.  For this reason, try asking for something different and you may be surprised at the interesting drink you received.  I saw some “experiments” that looked quite good and were received well by other patrons.  Socializing is still a good reason to hang out at the bar.  However, the video poker (still same terrible pay tables) certainly isn’t. Speaking of which……

Double Bonus Video Poker

BTW, 9/6 Double Bonus is the only playable video poker, quarter denomination, at center bar. Playing this game requires you understand that:

  1. 10/6 is Full Pay, so with perfect strategy, you’re still playing at 98% to start with.
  2. Double Bonus perfect play is the most difficult strategy to learn for perfect play of all the Jacks Or Better Bonus games. Most players concentrate on JOB, Bonus Poker, Double Double Bonus,  and Deuces variations, which have horrible pay tables at the quarter denomination at MGMS.
  3. Playing less than perfect play, or trying other game strategy (such as JOB or DDB) will further decrease you EV (expected value).  At this point, playing a $1 or higher slot machine may be better for points accrued, status level, and your ADT (Average Daily Theoretical).

Time to Visit Dr. Suess

We thought we would make a day of it.  Spontaneity sometimes reaps disappointing results. We arrived at the Dr. Seuss Museum at 4:45PM. It closed at 5:00, weekdays. Rule #1, “google” when your destination is open.  However, we were able to enjoy the garden outside and return another time. Here are pics of the garden:

From right to left – The Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss, and Binbin

The Dr. Seuss Museum Entrance

Time to Eat

Inside, behind the hostess station at “The Fort”

Since we have eaten at TAP, Cal Mare and Red Rose Pizza many times, I thought I would bring my wife to a locals dining staple. Thanks to Chris DiMauro, from Art In The Game, for bringing me one time. The Student Prince and Fort Restaurant is its name.  In Springfield, it’s just referred to as “The Fort.”  This establishment’s history in referred to in the post below.

Related Post – Springfield’s Dining Destination Since 1935

The inside is “historic eye candy” meets “German Pub.”  Steins adorn shelves everywhere you look. The benches, beer, and food just screams “Your gonna like this place!”  We shared the best fried pork belly we ever tasted, more meat than usual with a pork belly.  Then we took turns with the “Wurstplate.” It consisted of delicious bratwurst, knockwurst and boar/cranberry sausages. The sides of sweet & sour red cabbage, and the sauerkraut brought me back my visit to Germany, only the Fort’s might have been better!  Topped off with a Spaten Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier and it was the perfect German dining we’ve experienced in a very long time.

Make this a dining destination in Springfield. They have complimentary parking if you’re driving. (but tip these guys anyway).

Do not walk from MGMS at night. It’s not that close and not that safe at night. I suggest you take a from MGM.

Conclusion

It’s all good.  A Great day of gambling & status harvesting at MGM Springfield, fun at the Dr. Seuss Museum (to be continued) and a fabulous ding experience. I’d say it was a Win-Win day!

NETG Related Post – MGM Springfield – Looking Back Three Years Ago

Binbin & Bert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Martha’s Vineyard Aquinnah Tribe Casino Decision Reversed – 2 Years Later

NETimeGambling continues to follow the casino expansion on Martha’s Vineyard, MA. NETG reported on Martha’s Vineyard Aquinnah Tribe Casino two years ago.  Now, in 2019, some things have changed – some remain the same.

Courtesy of 500Nation.com and the Wampanoag Aquinnah Tribe of Martha’s Vineyard

The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) are asking a U.S. District Court for a stay in last month’s ruling by Judge Dennis Saylor. In brief, Judge Saylor ruled the tribe must comply with the local zoning and permitting laws of Martha’s Vineyard Commission (MVC). Incidentally,  the casino project site is on tribal land. Attorneys for the tribe filed extensive documentation. Thy  showed the building codes required by the Federal Indian Gaming Act are equal or exceed local requirements. Therefore, a stay is justified while the case is appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals First Circuit. The Aquinnah will resume construction of their casino if a stay is granted.

Related Post – Aquinnah Cliffs Casino Project on Martha’s Vineyard

Here is our previous post:

Earlier in July of 2015, Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head tribal officials made an important announcement.  They reported a plan to convert an unfinished community center on the island into a gambling venue. Let’s be real, this is not a world-class casino proposal. The building spreads over 6,500 square feet and is located on Aquinnah Wampanoag reservation. Their intention is to build a Class II Bingo hall.  For the most part, visitors will not be flocking from across the country to visit this casino. For the most part, vacationers and residents will visit this Class II casino.

Wampanoag Community Center and Future Bingo Hall gets new life.

The tribe stopped construction of the building located on Martha’s Vineyard for two reasons. First, the tribe started construction work without acquiring the necessary building permit. Therefore, a casino venue is prohibited under certain zoning restrictions.

Martha's Vineyard Map

The Island of Martha’s Vineyard , south of Cape Cod

According to local officials, the tribe forfeited its right to offer gaming on their land. In 1983, they signed a land settlement agreement that subjects them to state and local laws.

Pride & Prejudice

In order to prevent the tribe from proceeding with its plan, Aquinnah officials had filed an injunction to the U.S. District Court. Scott D. Crowell, lawyer for the Aquinnah Wampanoag disagreed. He argues that authorities’ have limited jurisdiction over the tribe. He cited the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, (five years after the initial land settlement agreement). It stipulates that  “the tribe has the right to run a gambling property on reservation land and it cannot be denied that right or at least not by the town.” In other words, they cannot ban the project.

Is New England anti-Native American? Native Tribes across the country are raising the quality of life for their communities. Yet,  some New England communities seem intent on  disapproving any success for tribal communities. Whether it be the tribes of northern Maine, the Shaticokes in CT or both Wampanoag tribes in MA, a suspicious underlying prejudice seems looming.

Martha’s Vineyard Aquinnah Tribe Casino – changes in the Wind

According to NECN, that gambling hall on Martha’s Vineyard gained a second life. New hope appeared again after a federal appeals court reversed a lower court decision blocking the long-sought project.

“The decision made public Tuesday ruled the Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe exercises sufficient government powers on its lands to be considered a sovereign tribal nation that can conduct limited gambling under federal law without seeking local approvals. ……Supporters within the tribe have countered that casino revenues would allow their government to offer more critical services, since the majority of its citizens live off island.

Binbin