It certainly hasn’t been an easy start for Penn National and it’s newest New England Casino in Plainville, Massachusetts. Being the first of four scheduled to all be in place by 2018, it has been watched and scrutinized like a family’s first-born baby.
A roller-coaster of success and disappointment has followed. But it’s early. Remember when people laughed about how silly a themed hotel/casino called The Mirage would be? Of course not – It Was 1989! Well, who’s laughing now? (And now Steve Wynn, the mastermind behind the Mirage and so many other fabulous casinos around the world, is here, in New England!)
So, listed below are the titles of posts covering the first year of Plainridge Park Casino. Next year, PPC II – the sequel……
A picture paints a thousand words – so the saying above goes. A recent picture from the Boston Globe Staff creates the unfolding story of the New England Gambling Industry, with multiple endings. Study the picture below before reading on.
Besides the placement of working & proposed casinos in New England, this picture shows where the battle lines are drawn, or where loyalty lines may be crossed.
Geographically, potential winners and losers can be expected. Here are some random thoughts concerning the possibilities:
Is it not a wonder that the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is hesitating on issuing the Region C license to Brockton?
The Mashpee Wampanoag building a resort casino so close to Brockton outs Brockton between two big casino projects – Wynn Everett & Taunton.
Penn National’s Plainridge Park could carve its own niche because of the lack of table games.
Moving the Newport Grand to Tiverton with a hotel attached fortifies the Eastern Front for Rhode Island, and bad news for the Massachusetts casino group.
The Addition of a third Connecticut Casino in the Hartford area makes the CT River battle a two horse race – however, the loyalty programs of Foxwoods & Mohegan Sun might keep CT gamblers in-state for the most part. MGM, however, has a national MLife Rewards program that couls have value east to west.
Entertainment venues are far enough apart not to compete. Twin River, Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun, MGM Springfield and Wynn Everett probably won’t get in the way of each other concerning concert & club venues.
If Maine can’t stabilize it’s two casinos so far away from southern New England, they definitely don’t need a third.
Finally, and the most important part, is the number of possible gambling option in Southern New England should cause fierce competition. And guess who the biggest winner should be?
Massachusetts Regions for full casinos. Doesn’t include Mashpee Wampanoags in Taunton or Plainridge Park Slot Parlor in Plainville.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has its hands full, it seems.
Steve Crosby, Chairman of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission
MGC Chairman Steve Crosby seems to thing all plans have a chance to work itself out. The problem is, many others are doubting it will all come to fruition. In a previous post 5 Reasons New England Gamblers Will Decide Where the Casino Money Goes, John Kostrzewa points to important considerations in New England’s Casino future – something Mr. Crosby and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission should read.
Let’s look at their original plan:
Plainridge Park Casino
SLOTS ONLY LICENSE – Plainridge Park Casino gets the revenue stream started, keeping Mass gamblers in state and luring way Rhode Island gamblers. So far, it has been very successful while seeing a decline each month after its opening.
Wynn Everett Resort Everett, Mass
REGION A LICENSE – Wynn is hand picked after sending home Caesars, then allowing the glitz of Vegas to dismiss Mohegan Sun.
Wynn is now starting the clean-up of the old Monsanto waste site, in litigation with numerous parties, and considering changes to its proposal as this is posted.
New rendering of MGM Springfield’s
REGION B LICENSE – MGM Resorts is chosen in Springfield, only to have unapproved changes made, and delays estimated to put off the opening for three years. Connecticut continues to pressure the MGM project with a third Casino of its own in a joint effort from Mohegan Sun & Foxwoods – somewhere withing the vicinity of 30 miles from Springfield.
Proposed Brockton Casino
REGION C LICENSE – Only Brockton remains, but hasn’t been given the license because of the rebirth of the Wampanoags Taunton project. The MGC is taking a wait and see path, as Twin River bulks up with additional tables, added poker room, a hotel, and possibly moving Newport Grand to Tiverton – across the border from Plainridge Park in Plainville.
How is this all panning out? Originally, four Mass. casinos would be looting & pillaging CT & RI casinos by 2017. But it’s not looking like the plan is on track.
The main concern at this time for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is should a Region C license be awarded at all. According to MGC Chair Steve Crosby, “They can coexist……They would cannibalize one another. Neither one of them would do as well.”
But the main concern here isn’t casinos, community involvement, traffic, or lawsuits. It’s cash, moolah, the almighty buck.
The expansive Mashpee Wampanoag Casino Proposal in Brockton, Mass.
Under the compact between the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and Massachusetts, the state would collect 17% of the tribal casino’s gaming revenues, compared with 25% of revenues from the commercial casino. However, the tribal casino would not be required to pay taxes if a commercial casino were to open in the same region. Which would mean the same number of gamblers, but half the revenue to the state. Would the MGC deny Rush Gaming a chance in Brockton because the Mashpee Wampanoags project looks more likely to happen than three months ago? Is one large Tribal casino better than two casinos – tribal and commercial – co-existing?
Remember, the Massachusetts Casino Law in 2011 didn’t become law because the Massachusetts legislature thought adding the devil of gambling to its list of tourist attractions, it was the greedy devil from within to get their Bay State money back that had been spent by Massachusetts patrons for years in Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Spock in “Amok Time” – Star Trek.
I guess it’s not that easy to build a casino and hear the stream of money drop into Massachusetts coffers. Dear Mr. Crosby, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Or, as Spock said in Star Trek, season 2, episode 1 (“Amok Time,” 1968) , ““After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting. It is not logical, but is often true.” –