Plainridge Park Opening Just Around the Corner

54c14e3eb1c98.imageAs so many of us get excited over the casino era in Massachusetts starting with Plainridge Park, news continues to trickle in daily.  Let’s look at the highlights of the last two weeks, and things to look forward to in the upcoming months.

wiggs_Casino_328128.rPlainridge will have a soft opening on June 22, invitation only.

Scientific Games Corporation, recently merging with Bally Technologies, announced two weeks ago that Plainridge Park Casino will open with a broad suite of the Company’s systems and games solutions to drive casino revenue and operating efficiency.

Plainridge will be the first casino in the country to implement a Bally play-management system for responsible gaming, which is a voluntary option for customers and is required by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

EBSVirtualRacingPlainridge’s 1,250 gaming devices will all be connected with Bally’s interface, including the Bally Elite Bonusing Suite  will deliver Massachusetts’ new player base entertaining, exciting second ways to win through its iVIEW-enabled suite of interactive secondary bonus applications and in-game tournaments similar to that used at Mohegan Sun.

Due to Bally’s/Scientific Gaming involvement, you can expects to see Bally’s favorite slot formats, such as Blazing 7s, Hot Shot, Quick Hit and Wonder Woman Gold.

th (30)While acknowledging its historical significance, Gov. Charlie Baker said does not plan to attend the opening of the first gaming facility authorized under the 2011 casino law. Hmmm….

It seems one form of entertainment Plainridge is looking at is cover bands in their Revolution 1776 Lounge.  Schedule should be up soon on their website.entertainment-plain-header-927x282

Remember, live harness racing continues until the opening.

As more news eeks out, I’m send it out as a bonus. In the mean time, excitement is building!

That’s all for now.


Casino Economics Turns into Casino War in New England

Ok, I get it – when money is involved, friends turn into enemies – especially in the casino industry. The battle cry in New England seems to be “don’t shoot until you see the green in their wallets – going over the border!”  You’d think it was the beginning of WWIII – casino revenue is that important in the northeast.  As a review, recent developments include:


  • Leading lawmakers propose up to three new casinos in the home state of Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods. One of the casinos could be run jointly by the two tribes.
  • Foxwoods is also slated to open a lot of retail with its Tanger Outlets shopping complex
  • Mohegan Sun announced plans for a second, 400-room hotel to open by 2016.

NEW HAMPSHIRE (Yes, New Hampshire…..again?)

Lawmakers are again considering allowing two casinos in the state because propsed Massachusetts casinos take a bite out of the state’s vital hospitality and tourism industries.


Still calling for more casinos? A recent report suggests there are still opportunities in the state’s northern and southern extremities, even though Hollywood’s 24-hour experiment failed and caused the property to resume its old hours of operation.

MASSACHUSETTS (the big meany?)

  • MGM Resorts International is slated to break ground on an $800 million resort in Springfield
  • Penn National Gaming is set to open the Plainridge Park Casino, a 1,250-machine slot parlor at the harness racing track in Plainville, this June.
  • Wynn Resorts has set its sights on a 2017 opening for its $1.7 billion casino for the Boston area.
  • The Southeast license is still being sought – third Las Vegas-style casino in the state
  • The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe also hopes to build their own resort casino in the region.

RHODE ISLAND – Twin River Casino is purchasing the Newport Grand slot parlor, and building  a 150- to 250-room hotel.

VERMONT (Are you serious?) Yes – A Republican lawmaker has filed his near-perennial proposal to open a single casino in the Green Mountain State

And, if those stories aren’t telling, check out the tone of these latest headlines from all over New England:  (sorry for my sarcastic critiquing in italic = can’t help myself)

Growing competition, economy cost CT casinos $1.2B (this is still news?)

Twin River’s expansion puts pressure on Conn. casinos (as well as Plainridge Park)

Smoking seen as competitive edge for R.I. casinos  (Wow, smoking seen as a plus – what’s next as a game-changer?)

MOHEGAN SUN IS EXPANDING, UNVEILS PLANS FOR A SECOND HOTEL Over 1,000 permanent and construction jobs to be added or retained (that’s a good thing, right – yet people can’t understand how it helps?)

Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun Face Tough Future (Really?)

NE states face off in race for casino cash (What do the brackets look like?)

Connecticut Tribes Propose Casino Partnership to Battle Competition (Once at odds, now working together on the odds)

Schaghticoke Tribe Mulls Gambling Hall in Kent, CT (the CT pie gets smaller)

Connecticut Public Skeptical of More Casinos (Mr. Steele, any comment?)

Massachusetts key driver in New England ‘Cold War’ over casino dollars (I hope the Mass driving is better for the region than what I see on I-95)

Connecticut tribe wants casino near NY border (and maybe an iron curtain with only one toll booth)

That’s all for now.


Is Newport Grand in RI Ready For A Change?

So, you’re driving over the Newport Bridge.  On the other side, the first thing that catches your eye is this:

Newport Grand Slots

Newport Grand Slots



If you have ever visited Newport Grand Slots, you will probably agree with me that hospitality and service is friendly, the two entertainment venues are good (featuring Tribute Bands in the large venue), the assortment of slots are adequate for a small casino, and the food options are good for it’s size, featuring a little gem in the small but delicious buffet on the lower level.

I have said all along that the future of this property is tenuous at best.  The New England casino expansion, the addition of table games at Twin River (Newport voted against table games in Newport) and having two of the largest American casinos next door in Connecticut, (while Foxwoods & Mohegan Sun are still reeling in revenue declines) consistently puts pressure on keeping the doors to Newport Grand open.

Could there be hope on the horizon?  Former Providence Mayor and Developer/Investor Joseph Paolino Jr. said with Newport Grand seeing a decline in revenue and jobs in recent years and with Foxwoods talking about building a $1 billion casino in Fall River., Mass., he’s in negotiations to buy Newport Grand and transform it into a world class establishment to make Newport and Rhode Island proud.  Paolino, along with partners Peter de Savary and Paul Roiff, is in talks with the slot parlor’s owner Diane Hurley over a possible sale. Continue reading