Massachusetts More Worried, Not Mohegan Sun, About New England’s Casino Share


Massachusetts Casino Industry Worried?

After chatting with friends and colleagues recently in Las Vegas concerning their thoughts on Massachusetts’ Gaming Expansion, it seemed to be unanimous – Massachusetts is doing it their way, but not necessarily the best way.  They are running a little scared lately, but are too stubborn to show it. It includes badgering Steve Wynn, making Rush Gaming Developers wait for a Region C decision, and letting MGM

MGM Springfield

New rendering of MGM Springfield’s cut down proposal.

change this and that without approval. It seems the Bay State’s opinion of Mohegan Sun Resorts follows the same narrow-minded spin.

Bruce Mohl, from Commonwealth Magazine, recently reported in his article “Casino Border Wars” that Mohegan Sun as an underachiever not good enough for Massachusetts.  With the history Mass casinos so far, they would have been so lucky to have Mohegan Sun part of that gambling Plan.

His reasons for such a poor opinion of the Mohegan Tribe’s casinos?  Well, let’s take a look:

  1. A key reason for the casino’s success was the large number of customers pouring over the border from Massachusetts. That’s True. But let’s include Maine, NH, Vermont, Rhode Island, NY, and NJ (which took a bite out of Atlantic City).  It’s because both Foxwoods & Mohegan Sun are “Destinations,” unlike Plainridge Park Casino (a box of slots – MGM’s own description) and the proposal in Brockton which represents a mid-level locals casino in Nevada.
  2. Not welcome in Palmer.
    Mohegan Palmer Casino

    Mohegan Sun’s rendition of Mohegan Palmer Casino

    Palmer Mohegan Sun applied for the Region A (Western) license of 150 acres of land purchased in Palmer – land that was waste-free (Everett) and didn’t entail bulldozing blocks of historical buildings (MGM in Springfield) and was closer to the newest threat to western Massachusetts. The bid was rejected by 94 votes out of over 5200. Why? It would “destroy the rural character of a town.” So, instead, they mirror the state’s poverty level of 11% and added a Motor Speedway.  Go figure.

  3. Not Welcome in Revere. Mohegan Sun joined forces with Suffolk Downs in Revere in a bid to win the eastern Massachusetts casino license, however, Wynn Resorts was chosen to build a casino in Everett. Wynn was great in winning over the Gaming Commission, by criticizing the Revere proposal as Mohegan Sun’s pursuit was “to protect its flagship casino in Connecticut.”

    Rendition of Mohegan Sun at Suffolk Downs in Revere

    The MGC believed it, even though the Mohegan Tribe has made Resorts Casino in AC a winner and it’s Mohegan Sun Pocono in Pennsylvania continues to be a success.

  4. Protecting It’s Own Casino Interests. Mr. Mohl and the rest of Massachusetts thinks it’s awful that Mohegan would expand to other areas to protect its assets. But, he just doesn’t get it.  MGM & Wynn expanded outside of Las Vegas, and they did it to expand their brand. MGM is looking at Georgia for an additional site, and both are in China. Expanding their brand.  Penn National expanded to Plainville after already owning Hollywood Hotel Casino in Bangor, Maine.  They now own two New England casinos, yet nothing was said about Plainridge Park protecting it’s Hollywood Casino.  The Mohegan Tribe, much like Penn, MGM, Wynn, Caesars’, etc have the right to expand.  If you’re successful in the casino industry, that’s what you do.

Mohl’s bottom line, and I quote, “What all this maneuvering tells you is that Mohegan Sun — and the state of Connecticut — are very worried about the impact of Massachusetts casinos on the casino businesses in Connecticut and willing to do just about anything to blunt their impact.”

If something doesn’t scare you, or threaten you, ignore it? But if it is a concern, pay a lot of attention to it – and that’s just what Massachusetts is doing.  CT knows that more casinos in New England will impact their two large destination casinos, so they are doing something about it.  But Massachusetts continues to look south to CT and south-east to Rhode Island as both states make plans to battle or New England’s gamblers.

Rendition Wampanoag Casino in Taunton

Rendition Wampanoag Casino in Taunton

Plainridge Park Casino

Plainridge Park Casino in Massachusetts

Massachusetts is the state most worried about it’s share of the pie.  MGM wouldn’t be trying to stall CT’s third casino and the MGC wouldn’t be considering no Region C license due to the Wampanoag’s casino proposal gaining momentum if they weren’t. Plainridge Park has seen two straight months of decline – a sudden concern – and Twin River & the CT casinos have seen positive revenue in recent months.  MGM says it’s not worried, but continues to cut back its approved proposal in Springfield, and both MGM & Wynn won’t be making money for the Bay State until late 2018.

So who’s doing the most maneuvering and who is the most worried?

I say Massachusetts.

That’s all for now.




New Bedford Gets Overwhelming Approval

New Bedford Casino 2If community support is important to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, New Bedford is the best place for the last license. Unlike Brockton, there was no organized opposition to the ballot question in New Bedford for a proposed $650 million Foxwoods-managed resort casino for New Bedford’s waterfront.

SOUTHCOAST TODAY, however thinks “It would be a terrible mistake to assume the path to Whaling City prosperity is now guaranteed.” Well, let’s take a look.

New Bedford rendering

New Bedford rendering

The referendum passed Tuesday with 73 percent voting in favor of it – 73%! by the way, New Bedford voters had backed casinos by wide margins on two non-binding public policy questions in 2001 and 1993!  So, no lack of support here.

The project would preserve parts of the brick power plant, including its towering smokestack, as well as create a public harborwalk and pedestrian connections to the former whaling capital’s historic downtown.

The project supposedly has the potential to create nearly 6,000 jobs for a metro area that has among the highest unemployment rates in the state, at about 6.3 percent.

Under a so-called “host community agreement” reached with New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell’s administration, KG Urban has agreed to pay the city $4.5 million in initial payments if it wins the casino license.  The company would then pay the city at least $12.5 million annually once the casino opens, on top of paying real estate taxes and investing millions of dollars into public waterfront improvements and related environmental cleanup. Foxwoods, the Connecticut casino company run by the Mashantucket Pequot tribe, has agreed to manage the operation.

This will be a difficult choice for the MGC.  Both cities need jobs, economic help, and already deal with high crime and traffic, which is expected to increase with a casino in their town – both where the proposed casinos will be.

New Bedford Fishing Fleet

New Bedford Fishing Fleet

New Bedford’s members of its historic fishing industry have stepped firmly into the city’s casino debate. KG Urban Enterprises plans to redevelop a polluted former power plant sitting on the waterfront off of Route 18, which divides downtown New Bedford from the piers jammed with fishing boats in the harbor.

Brockton has issues with the casino very close to its own public high school,

Proposed Brockton Casino Look

Proposed Brockton Casino Look

as well as the eastside residential area and the traffic impact on both.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission could still choose not to issue the license at all…..which would be just fine if you ask Rhode Island.

The saga continues.  Special thanks to Rhode Island Correspondent Miguel for his hard work and help.  NETime Gambling salutes you!

That’s all for now.


New Bedford Casino Proposal Good – For Now

Could Circumstances Eventually Bring No Casino to Region C?

Developers proposing a Foxwoods casino for the city’s waterfront have met a critical deadline set by gambling regulators, according to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.


Proposed New Bedford Waterfront

KG Urban Enterprises submitted the requested documents by Tuesday’s deadline as it seeks to win the state’s third and final resort casino license. Wynn and MGM hold the other two licenses while Plainridge Park Casino, a slots-only facility, opens June 24th, only 13 days away.

The commission will be reviewing the documents as part of the process before being released publicly.

The New Bedford proposal, which city residents will vote on June 23, will be discussed at the commission’s Thursday meeting.

Proposed Brockton Casino Look

Proposed Brockton Casino Look

So, it is still  a two horse race for the Region C license as far as we know.  KG Urban, of New York, is competing with Mass Gaming & Entertainment for a casino license reserved for the state’s southeastern region. Mass Gaming & Entertainment proposes a resort for the fairgrounds in Brockton, Massachusetts.

That’s all for now.