New England Casino News Review

BROCKTON CASINO STILL ALIVE?

Brockton Casino Driveway

Brockton Casino, no longer an option.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission received a letter on Wednesday from the Chicago-based Rush Street Gaming asking for another chance to bring a $677 million casino to Brockton. Rush Street and Mass Gaming and Entertainment are now seeking reconsideration for the project more than two years after it was rejected in a 4-1 vote by the state gaming commission in April 2016.  Rush Street and Mass Gaming began the letter by referring to a notice posted online in July 2016 by the state gaming commission, pledging to hold a public discussion “at a time deemed appropriate” about the short- and long-term interests of southeastern Massachusetts. The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe originally planned to open a destination casino in Taunton in 2017, but construction was derailed by a federal lawsuit.

Meanwhile, there is increasing support for the Mashpee casino in Taunton. Read the following article for more details:   “Support grows for legislation for Mashpee tribe”

MGM SPRINGFIELD GETS “LAST CALL” EXTENSION

Paul Tuthill, from WAMC Northwest Public Readio reported “The Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted 4-1 Thursday to approve, with some conditions attached, an alcoholic beverage license for MGM Springfield that will allow drinks to be served on the casino floor until 4 a.m. – two hours later than the time all other bars in the state are required to close……but only if they are actively gaming would they be able to consume (alcohol) after that 2 a.m. time frame.” MGM Springfield Vice President & General Counsel Seth Stratton said the proposal before the gaming commission is to have extended hours for alcohol service only on the casino floor, saying “If you are a gaming customer and would like to have a cocktail as you continue to game up until 4 a.m. we will offer that service, but if you want to hang out at a bar, our bars close at 2 a.m. just like any other bars in the community.” Brian Hallenbeck , The Day staff writer, reported Foxwoods wants later ‘last call’ to keep up with Mass. casino.  Click on the link to learn more about CT’s casino’s reaction.

IT’S GAME ON AT MOHEGAN SUN

Mohegan Sun announced that it plans to open Game On, a 23,000-square-foot interactive arcade, sports bar and restaurant, this winter inside its new convention center. Game On will feature a luxury bowling alley, ping pong tables, billiards, darts and arcade games in addition to multiple high-definition screens and a 65-foot bar. It will be located on a lower level of the new Earth Expo & Convention Center, which is hosted Barrett-Jackson’s Northeast Auction of collector cars in June. The new venue will accommodate parties and private events.

TOPGOLF IS COMING TO NEW ENGLAND

In the fall, look to TopGolf invading New England’s casinos. Looking for your next party idea or a place to better enhance your golfing skills? Top Golf is a fun experience for all ages that offers a comfy lounge to hangout while you enjoy fantastic food and drinks, all while enhancing your golfing skills. MGM Springfield will be the first when it opens in August. Not to be outdone, Foxwoods jumped into the ring, or should I say the course, possibly introducing it before MGM Springfield this summer. Foxwoods’ Topgolf Swing Suite will offer multiple golf simulator bays, throwback arcade games, a DJ booth, lounge seating and a full-service craft bar with an impressive food and drink menu.

RHODE ISLAND IS FIRST TO LEGALIZE SPORTS BETTING IN NEW ENGLAND

Governor Gina Raymond signed the bill into law a bill allowing legal sports wagering in the state. The Rhode Island General Assembly approved the $9.559-billion budget bill which includes legalized sports wagering. The bill established legal sports wagering at Twin River Casino and “reflects an agreement reached with IGT, the operator of the state’s electronic lottery systems which also won the contract for operating sports wagering in the state.” Rhode Island will retain 51% of sports betting revenue, IGT will get 32%, and the Twin River Lincoln facility and Tiverton facility will get 17%.

EAST WINDSOR APPROVES MMCT ZONING PERMIT FOR CASINO

MMCT Venture in East Windsor, CT, Courtesy WFSB

MMCT Venture, the joint company of the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes, has proposed opening a $300 million 188,000 square foot gaming and entertainment facility in spring 2020. It would include around 1,800 slot machines, 50 table games and 10 poker tables. This is just one of many hoops the Mohegan & Mashantuckets had to go through to build a casino that is said to be able to keep jobs and gambling revenue from flying up to MGM Springfield.  For renderings and the story, click on East Windsor Casino Takes Shape In New Renderings

FINALLY, A TRAGEDY AT FOXWOODS

The president and CEO of Foxwoods Resort Casino, Felix Rappaport, passed away unexpectedly due to heart disease, according to the state medical examiner’s office.  For more information and an article highlighting his accomplishments and respect in the industry, click on Visionary Felix Rappaport Was a Star Wherever He Went.

binbin

 

Brockton Casino Still Alive? – New England Weekly Casino News

WEEKLY NEWS

Saturdays will now be a look back at the week’s news at New England’s Casinos. Either in the form of NETG articles or the latest breaking news, we will be covering it on Saturdays. 

THIS WEEK:

Brockton Casino Still Alive?

MGM Springfield Gets “Last Call” Extension

It’s GAME ON at Mohegan Sun

Rhode Island Is First To Legalize Sports Betting in New England

East Windsor Approves MMCT Zoning Permit for Casino

a Tragedy at Foxwoods


Brockton Casino Still Alive?

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission received a letter on Wednesday from the Chicago-based Rush Street Gaming asking for another chance to bring a $677 million casino to Brockton. Rush Street and Mass Gaming and Entertainment are now seeking reconsideration for the project more than two years after it was rejected in a 4-1 vote by the state gaming commission in April 2016.

Proposed Brockton Casino

Proposed Brockton Casino that was denied the Region C license.

Rush Street and Mass Gaming began the letter by referring to a notice posted online in July 2016 by the state gaming commission, pledging to hold a public discussion “at a time deemed appropriate” about the short- and long-term interests of southeastern Massachusetts. The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe originally planned to open a destination casino in Taunton in 2017, but construction was derailed by a federal lawsuit.

Meanwhile, there is increasing support for the Mashpee casino in Taunton. Read the following article for more details:   “Support grows for legislation for Mashpee tribe”

MGM Springfield Gets “Last Call” Extension

Paul Tuthill, from WAMC Northwest Public Readio reported “The Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted 4-1 Thursday to approve, with some conditions attached, an alcoholic beverage license for MGM Springfield that will allow drinks to be served on the casino floor until 4 a.m. – two hours later than the time all other bars in the state are required to close……but only if they are actively gaming would they be able to consume (alcohol) after that 2 a.m. time frame.”

MGM Springfield Casino Entrance

MGM Springfield Casino Entrance, Main Street to the left,

MGM Springfield Vice President & General Counsel Seth Stratton said the proposal before the gaming commission is to have extended hours for alcohol service only on the casino floor, saying “If you are a gaming customer and would like to have a cocktail as you continue to game up until 4 a.m. we will offer that service, but if you want to hang out at a bar, our bars close at 2 a.m. just like any other bars in the community.”

The Massachusetts Restaurant Association opposed MGM’s request for extended alcohol hours. Concern from Connecticut included possible problem of driving under the influence by the many commuting over from Connecticut.  Brian Hallenbeck , The Day staff writer, reported Foxwoods wants later ‘last call’ to keep up with Mass. casino.  Click on the link to learn more about CT’s casino’s reaction.

It’s GAME ON at Mohegan Sun

Mohegan Sun announced that it plans to open Game On, a 23,000-square-foot interactive arcade, sports bar and restaurant, this winter inside its new convention center. Game On will feature a luxury bowling alley, ping pong tables, billiards, darts and arcade games in addition to multiple high-definition screens and a 65-foot bar. It will be located on a lower level of the new Earth Expo & Convention Center, which is hosting Barrett-Jackson’s Northeast Auction of collector cars next weekend. The new venue will accommodate parties and private events.

Rhode Island Is First To Legalize Sports Betting in New England

Governor Gina Raymond signed the bill into law a bill allowing legal sports wagering in the state. The Rhode Island General Assembly approved the $9.559-billion budget bill which includes legalized sports wagering. The bill established legal sports wagering at Twin River Casino and “reflects an agreement reached with IGT, the operator of the state’s electronic lottery systems which also won the contract for operating sports wagering in the state.” Rhode Island will retain 51% of sports betting revenue, IGT will get 32%, and the Twin River Lincoln facility and Tiverton facility will get 17%.

East Windsor Approves MMCT Zoning Permit for Casino

Courtesy WFSB

MMCT Venture, the joint company of the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes, has proposed opening a $300 million 188,000 square foot gaming and entertainment facility in spring 2020. It would include around 1,800 slot machines, 50 table games and 10 poker tables. This is just one of many hoops the Mohegan & Mashantuckets had to go through to build a casino that is said to be able to keep jobs and gambling revenue from flying up to MGM Springfield.  For renderings and the story, click on East Windsor Casino Takes Shape In New Renderings

Finally, a Tragedy at Foxwoods

The president and CEO of Foxwoods Resort Casino, Felix Rappaport, passed away unexpectedly due to heart disease, according to the state medical examiner’s office.  For more information and an article highlighting his accomplishments and respect in the industry, click on Visionary Felix Rappaport Was a Star Wherever He Went.

Foxwoods Felix Rappaport
1953 – 2018

 

Binbin

Wynn & MGM Rumors Abound in Massachusetts

Matt Maddox (left & Steve Wynn (right) courtesy of CNBC

Wynn Resorts new CEO Matt Maddox reported on CNBC Wednesday that “Boston’s not up for sale. What Boston represents for us is a good growth opportunity……I like that market. I found that land. I pursued that deal. I entered the agreement with the host community five years ago. I liked that market then, I like that market now.”

Rumors have been spreading daily over the two new casinos in Massachusetts.  It all started when Steve Wynn, then CEO of Wynn Resorts, Wynn, was accused of demanding sexual favors from female employees over the last three decades. Since these allegations became public, and his resignation as Wynn Resorts chairman and CEO on Feb. 6, a firestorm of speculation has whirled around Everett, MA.,  spreading to Springfield, MA and even Connecticut’s tribal casinos.

MGM BOSTON HARBOR?

MassLive reported that “gaming officials are exploring the sale of Wynn Boston Harbor, with MGM Resorts International as a top candidate to purchase the project.”  MGM Resorts International has been urged on by John DeCree of Union Gaming stating “purchasing Wynn Boston Harbor could result in a double-digit increase in return on investment for MGM than their casino project in Springfield.”  But state gaming regulations only allow a casino operator to hold more than one gaming license in Massachusetts.  Selling their MGM Springfield project would then be necessary to purchase the Wynn property in Everett.

MORE RUMORS

Meanwhile, back in Springfield, MGM this week has reported a new opening date – earlier than the previously announced late September.  MGM Springfield is now prepared to open (mark your calendars!) August 24th, 2018.  This report is not a rumor, but will the casino in Springfield be owned by MGM by that time?

With a series of “what-ifs” and “thens,” check out this possible 5+ step scenario:

  • 1. MGM purchases Wynn Boston Harbor, becoming MGM Boston Harbor
  • 2. MGM sells Springfield casino.
  • 3A. Mohegan Sun buys Springfield, becoming Mohegan Sun Springfield (the Mohegan tribe lost out to Wynn for the Boston license with their proposal in Revere. or
  • 3B. MMCT Joint venture between the Pequot & Mohegan tribes in CT change it’s prospective 3rd CT casino in South Windsor to Springfield, MA.
  • 3C. The prospective 3rd CT casino in South Windsor continues as a joint venture between the Pequot & Mohegan tribes in CT
  • 4. The prospective 3rd CT casino in South Windsor is not built, leaving Foxwoods out of the mix, until….
  • 5. Connecticut opens bidding for Bridgeport Casino, as Foxwoods & MGM become prime suitors to battle it out for the NYC market.

It seems like fun to make these rumored projections, much like a mock draft on Draft Day.  But it isn’t fun and games for the city of Springfield. MA. Casino opponents in Springfield always warned that “something like this could happen with MGM’s track record.”

MGM Springfield

Remember when this beautiful tower was going to enhance the Springfield skyline?

AND WHAT ABOUT SPRINGFIELD?

According to MassLive, “Mayor Domenic J. Sarno said Friday he has been assured by the top executives of MGM Resorts International and MGM Springfield that it remains committed to building a first-class resort casino in the city, despite unconfirmed reports that the company is in discussions to purchase the under-construction Wynn Resorts casino in Everett.” Residents have made it known that they need MGM for its economic and jobs promises. Some note that MGM has already changed its plans when they changed the 30-story hotel tower and decreased the casino floor.

Other residents have noted that businesses have been reluctant to break ground in Springfield to accompany the opening of MGM Springfield.

MGM has stated, “We do not comment on rumors or speculations around transactions. We remain fully committed to the opening and success of MGM Springfield.”  But it is the Boston market that will pay the most dividends.  Springfield has always been, to some, a questionably lucrative project.

CONCLUSION

Many events would have to happen in order for Wynn Boston Harbor to become MGM Boston Harbor. The summer will prove to be interesting, as state legislatures business is coming to a halt soon in both states, putting a hold on possibilities.  Besides the Wynn Boston Harbor mess and the MMCT situation in CT, sports-betting is also on the table in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

For Springfield’s sake, I hope the next throw of the dice isn’t “snake-eyes!”

Binbin

Connecticut Casino Expansion Intensifies

 

MGM  Bridgeport rendering top. Proposed MMCT joint venture casino between CT’s Mohegan & Pequot tribes for East Windsor, CT. below.

To add a casino or not add a casino? – That is NOT the question. To add two casinos? – Now that’s the question!

To get the prequel for this post, click on the the post “Wynn, MGM, Bridgeport & MMCT – Questions Abound.”  

The battle at the border between MGM Springfield and the MMCT joint casino venture by the Mohegan & Pequot tribes is going on three years now. But events in March took the conflict to a new height. Highlights?  Sure, there are plenty:

  • CT Attorney General George Jepsen advised legislators on Thursday to consider and test the market for opening Connecticut to commercial casinos, believing that commercial casinos would not jeopardize the $160 million in slots revenue that the state expects to collect in 2018 from the exclusivity deal signed with tribal owners Mohegan Tribe and Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, owners of Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino.

    Attorney General Jepson

  • According to MGM, Connecticut left tons of money on the table by accepting the first casino proposal that came their way. MGM has argued for the past year that the casino proposal process should be open to commercial interests. MGM would also pick a different location – Bridgeport, which is further from the MGM Springfield than East Windsor.
  • MGM wants to build a casino and hotel on the Bridgeport waterfront – the only place MGM is interested in. A bill to support this was in jeopardy after committee leadership refused to hold a vote on it, but it was passed with one major change – Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun will still be allowed to develop their own casino in East Windsor, CT, minutes from the Massachusetts border and from MGM Springfield. Due to the change in the billMGM isn’t so so sure it’s interested if the MMCT casino in East Windsor is allowed to be built.

    Connecticut State Capitol

  • Then, Connecticut lawmakers approved a revised bill that could pave the way for the construction of the state’s fourth casino. The piece of legislation nearly died in the General Assembly’s Public Safety and Security Committee, but last-ditch efforts from lawmakers supporting the idea helped it survive with a 21-3 vote in favor. If approved in the Legislature, the bill would allow for the opening of a new bidding process for operators interested in building a casino in Connecticut. In case the proposed commercial casino bill reaches the desk of Governor Dannel Malloy and he signs it into law, the state of Connecticut would then subsequently allow the local Indian tribes, casino developers, and other qualified entities to submit their respective proposals for establishing the fourth legally authorized gaming venue in the state.

You can’t make this stuff up!  At any given time, either side sound like adolescents not getting their way, only this is different – there’s a lot of money at stake!

Remember to go to TravelZork to see our monthly post, as well as all of their great coverage of  travel, Vegas & casino resources on the web.

CT Should Try the “Massachusetts Model for Casino Expansion”

In a previous post, I suggested what was, at the time, a rediculous suggestion on casino expansion in CT.  It was based on how things eventually turned out in Massachusetts.  But it doesn’t seem so far fetched now.  Matter of fact, the latest CT legislature bill resembles my silly suggestion. Let’s call it the “Massachusetts Model for Casino Expansion.”  This is what I suggested a year ago:

  1. Set up a process for  accepting license applications similar to Massachusetts.
  2. Begin the bidding process for both the Bridgeport casino & East Windsor Casino in the mix.  We’ll call them the Southwest license and the Nithern license.
  3. This will stop the 25% guarantee on slots to the state from Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, but later on, (hopefully) this will not be a problem due to two new casinos.
  4. Allow MMCT to bid for East Windsor & Bridgeport, as well as anyone else, such as MGM, CET, & Boyd. MGM couldn’t bid even if it wanted to on East Windsor because its Massachusetts license has a radius restriction on building new casinos nearby……there are few commercial operators willing to launch a casino between the new MGM Springfield and the tribes’ big destination casinos on the reservations, especially if it also meant matching the state’s revenue from those tribal casinos. So, because MMCT would be considered a company interested in a commercial casino in East Windsor, it would have to cover the new fee together (25% of table games & slot revenue.)
  5. If chosen, Mohegan & Pequot tribes would stop their deposit to the state coffers, but would now cover 25% of slots and table games at the East Windsor site.  If they decide they aren’t interested, someone (but not MGM) will build a casino in northern CT, at the same 25% slots and table game status. (remember, the previous pact with the tribes covered 25% of only slot revenue)
  6. Meanwhile, all applications, similar to Massachusetts, will be accompanied by stringent background checks and $500,000 application fee (higher due to the inflation of 6 years).  Eight companies were interested for the Springfield and Boston region casinos.  An application fee of $400,000 immediately brought in over $3 million dollars in revenue before the process had begun!
  7. In the end, it seemed obvious to me that the MGC were leaning towards Wynn & MGM. I’m not suggesting the process be skewed toward our tribal casinos, but am established working relationship should go a long way compared to unknown relationships with commercial casino companies.
  8. The need for a casino in Bridgeport could change or be voted down. A south-western CT casino could eventually be a moot point, if CT decides it doesn’t want it any more. In Mass, Brockton & Rush Gaming were held hostage until the MGC dropped the Region C license due to the litigation troubles the Mashpee Wampanoags were going through.
  9. In the end, the two tribal casinos would be still standing alone, only the state of CT would have made extra revenue on the process.

So much for daydreaming.  Next, I’ll dream about 99% video poker and 2/1 Blackjack as the expectation for the future.

Thats all for now.

Binbin

CT’s Third Casino, An Underwhelming Reality?

Proposed MMCT joint venture casino between CT’s Mohegan & Pequot tribes

Last week, MMCT, the joint venture between Connecticut’s Mohegan and Pequot tribes, showed a slight blueprint of what the satellite casino planned for East Windsor, a blueprint that was underwhelming. The news was that it would include 2,000 slot machines, up to 150 tables, and a five-story, 1,800-parking space garage.

Steve Ruddock, a veteran of the gambling industry and longtime contributor to numerous publications including DFS Report, USPoker.com, and PlayMa.com.  As a resident of Massachusetts and a scholar of the gambling industry, Steve has a special perspective on the  gambling expansion in Connecticut.

Drawings were submitted to the town and are little more than a rough sketch a first glimpse at the thinking behind the $300 million development.  Steve’s analysis was quite good and can be read at “IT APPEARS EAST WINDSOR CASINO’S BIGGEST SELLING POINT IS A PARKING GARAGE”

Blueprint for MMCT East Windsor Casino.

Steve and I exchanged opinions and I believe I’m now leaning his way. He called it a “slot box.”  I hesitated when I read his opinion and asked him what constitutes a “slot box.”  Steve’s definition was “A casino without a lot of amenities. Somewhere you go to gamble and do little else.”  I must admit, after seeing his explanation, I do agree.  This third casino is not going to come close in comparison to MGM Springfield.  As presented, it IS a “slots box.”

It made me wonder what other slot boxes this size and this amount of table games and slots were in Las Vegas or elsewhere.

Of course there is Plainridge Park Casino and Raceway in Plainville, Massachusetts.  But that was the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s plan all along.

Elsewhere in New England there is Oxford and Twin River casinos in Maine and Rhode Island respectively, but both have completed, or in the process of completing a hotel.

NYC has its Empire City and Resorts World, both large slot joints, with no hotel. But these two casinos with few amenities are highly successful. East Windsor is a far cry from New York City concerning the number of available gamblers, so the comparison of how successful a slot parlor could be to keep revenue and jobs in Connecticut is questionable.

Resorts World, Queens, NY.

In Vegas, with that definition would you consider Casino Royale on the Strip, Dotty’s chain of slot joints, (much smaller, no hotel), and some of Downtown Vegas Casinos, like El Cortez and the Plaza, even though they have hotels.

It’s too bad that a hotel isn’t in the mix for East Windsor, never mind a good restaurant like Stack’s (Plainridge Park) or the many high end eateries at both Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun.  Or, how about some meeting space to add to the hotel to add to convention crowds from Hartford. In other words, there needs to be more incentive besides program loyalty to keep Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun patrons from crossing over the Massachusetts border.

Bottom line is, why not build a world class casino, smaller scale, like those in SouthEastern CT? Something that would be able to compete with MGM Springfield. Something that costs more than $900,000!

I’m not in favor of open bidding in Bridgeport, or anywhere else in CT. The future ramifications would open up a can of worms that would not fix CT’s financial woes. But I do think that East Windsor and the people of CT deserve better from MMCT.

Thanks to Steve Ruddock for inspiring this post.

Binbin

 

 

 

MGM Springfield Shows Progress & Promise

MGM Springfield area

MGM has opened its first building in Springfield for its $1 billion casino & resort. About 50 employees moved into the casino’s new administrative office this week. The building will eventually house some 300 corporate and human resource workers, as well as a training school for prospective casino workers.

This prompted us at NETG to check the progress in Springfield. How has the process been going?

MGM International and Jim Murren, CEO, could not be happier. Even MGM’s stall tactics with the MMCT Mohegan/Pequot Casino and the creative distraction of a Bridgeport, CT casino can’t take away from the process success in Springfield.  MGM builds resorts, and does it well.

The “Casino Lab”

MGM Casino Lab

Steve Urbon, from SouthCoastToday, reported in August on the place that includes “a wildly colorful carpet and low, indirect lighting with spotlights on the four felt-topped blackjack tables, two poker tables, custom chips, craps table, and roulette wheel…..hands-on training for table games, for both players and the casino dealers. It is designed to be completely realistic” The room is part of Bristol Community College’s CATCH Institute and is the first and only school in the state to win the Gaming Commission’s Gaming School Certificate and is located at the Taunton campus inside the Silver City Galleria Mall.

Recently, it was reported that MGM Springfield and the Massachusetts Casino Career Training Institute will provide details on how to register and enroll in classes to train for such games as blackjack, poker, roulette and mini-baccarat. MGM expects to hire 450 table-game dealers, with hiring expected to begin this summer. See Kenneth R. Gosselin‘s report MGM Springfield: Wanted Table-Game Dealers for more details and if you’re interested in becoming a dealer.

PlayMyWay

Programs such as PlayMyWay focus on problem gambling prevention and customer protection practices. Its intention is to help players make decisions about gambling, allow them to monitor and understand their playing behavior in real time, and support their decisions. At this time, the PlayMyWay program is only at Massachusetts’s only open casino, Plainridge Park Casino and seems to be working well. Even though the program is not mandatory by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission for the other two casinos, MGM Springfield and Wynn Boston Harbor (opening in fall of 2019), Michael Mathis, president and COO of MGM Springfield, and Robert DeSalvio, president of Wynn Boston Harbor, the commission voted 5-0 to allow both casinos to implement PlayMyWay as a voluntary program. Mathis was quoted as saying “MGM believes that a voluntary operator driven approach to play management will achieve the commission’s and operators’ shared goals of a best in class responsible gaming framework,”

Diversity for Springfield

MGM is committed to create a diverse workforce at it’s Massachusetts casino. According to Peter Goonan at MassLive “Mathis said he is proud to say that out of 16 department heads hired, more than half are minorities and/or women. MGM Springfield has set goals for diversity hiring in its formal agreements with the Gaming Commission and the city of Springfield.” In addition, “the hiring of minorities for the casino project was listed as 22.2 percent as of Sept. 30, 2017, as compared with the project goal of 15.3 percent, according to MGM Springfield. The hiring of women was 9.25 percent as compared with the project goal of 6.9 percent, and the hiring of veterans was listed at 10.16 percent as compared with the goal of 8 percent.”

Casino On Schedule

MGM Springfield Interior Lobby, courtesy Jim Kinney | jkinney@repub.com

Also covered by Mr. Goonan in a December post how impressed the MGC and Chairman Steve Crosby was with MGM’s plans. Commission members agreed that photographs of the work site, comparing last year to this year, showed dramatic change. They were also impressed with a report about the hotel that is under construction on site, including an interior view of what the hotel rooms will look like, with Crosby saying the view was “really cool.” MGM is taking a new path in its hotel design, giving a touch of Springfield & New England in its decor and design. For a gallery of photos from MassLive courtesy of Jim Kinney from the Springfield Republic, CLICK HERE.

MGM joins Cambridge College

Cambridge College and MGM are launching the Commonwealth’s first ever Hospitality pre-apprentice program in greater Springfield. Hospitality careers include event planners, travel agents, hotel staff and food service. MGM Springfield and other local organizations will help prepare the workforce for these high demand positions. The program consists of four weeks of classes to help students prepare for entry-level jobs in the field. This is must needed help for a city struggling with unemployment.  While having a modest decrease in unemployment rate, it is still close to double that of the Massachusetts average.  Covered by WesternMassNews “[MGM Springfield] is going to have approximately 2,200 of the 3,000 jobs as full-time positions.”

Anticipation is Building

I too am getting caught up in the excitement of the addition of another casino/resort in New England. This one looks to be like no other in New England and the country.

For a great encapsulation of MGM Springfield, please visit Steve Ruddock’s recent post:

MGM SPRINGFIELD TAKING A PAGE OUT OF THE PATRIOTS’ PLAYBOOK

Go MGM Springfield, and Go Patriots!

Binbin

 

2018 NEW ENGLAND CASINO AWARDS – We Need Your Participation!

2017 NEW ENGLAND CASINO AWARDS

Sponsored by

Start thinking and get ready to rate New England’s Casinos!

The time has come to for all you crazy (or serious) New England Gamblers to vote for this year’s. But you don’t need to live in New England to vote – New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey – let your voice be heard!

This is the third year for NETimeGambling’s annual Awards. Nominations for this year’s New England Casino Awards, or the “NETy’s,” ending this Sunday, January 21st, 2018

Click on the link below to place your votes. Only 20 questions. Vote only once. 

TAKE ME TO THE NEW ENGLAND CASINO AWARDS SURVEY –>

NETG 10 Wishes For NewEngland Casinos

2018 New England Casino Wish List

It’s 2018, and it’s time to continue our annual tradition at NETimeGambling.com (NETG) – a beginning of the year wish list. So here are Ten Wishes for New England’s casinos in the 2018.

Wish #1 – Continued financial stability and growth for CT’s tribal casinos. Wish #1A – MMCT gets past a prejudiced government to be given a chance to save its gaming interests in the Nutmeg State.

Proposed MMCT joint casino – CT’s Mohegan & Pequot tribes

Wish #2 – Expansions at Oxford Casino in Oxford, Maine help continued growth in a state that has decided it doesn’t want more than 2 Casinos.  Wish #2A – The crossing in front of Oxford Casino, Rte 26, is made safe so no one else loses their life crossing from Hampton Inn to the casino.

Wish #3 – Twin River Casino’s new hotel is finished soon to make it a destination resort.

Plainridge Park Casino

Plainridge Park Casino, Plainville, MA

Wish #4 – Plainridge Park Casino continues to build a loyal base before the rest of the Massachusetts casino expansion gets started in Springfield and Boston.

Wish #5 – Speaking of Springfield, a seemless and successful opening for MGM Springfield for the residents of the city. We hope that MGM’s promises for Springfield come true.

Armory Marketplace, part of MGM Springfield

Wish #6 – Gamblers will become more knowledgeable and picky concerning pay tables, odds, and EV. Wish #6A – Casinos bring back 3/2 blackjack, craps “firebet,” single zero roulette, full pay VP, etc…..

Wish #7 – the Connecticut Sun, of the WNBA, who call Mohegan Sun their home, win their first WNBA championship.  Wish #7A – the new Las Vegas Aces of the WNBA play the Sun in Sin City to give another reason to visit.

Wynn Boston Harbor

Wynn Boston Harbor opening in 2019

Wish #8 – Wynn Boston Harbor is finished earlier than expected and becomes the jewel of New England’s casinos as expected by the end of 2018.

Wish #9 – Newport Grand’s last year in business isn’t a sad one.  Wish #9A – Those employed by Newport Grand find jobs elsewhere to their liking after its closure.

Wish #10 – NETimeGambling continues to grow with all our old and new friends.  Wish #10A – NETG continues being part of the TravelZork Team.  Thanks Michael.

Finally, I wish you all have more jackpots, Royal flushes, and life changing table game bonuses. May 2018 be a great gambling year.

Binbin

New England Casinos – 5 Top Stories of 2017

2017 was the year that we finally started to see the future of casino gaming in the northeast. Pennsylvania is adding more casinos. New York will complete it’s 24th casino with Resorts World Catskills in 2018. Atlantic City is showing signs of recovery with the addition of Hard Rock Casino in the former Trump Taj – and just maybe Revel will be bought, renovated and opened. And, New Jersey continues to lead the fight in the world of online gaming legislature and country-wide sports betting.

In New England, things have certainly ramped up. Only one word comes to my mind when someone mentions casinos in New England – Expansion. Expansion in Massachusetts with two new casinos by 2019, expansion in Rhode Island with a new hotel and casino in Tiverton, new expansion in Connecticut, however, at this time we still don’t know exactly how much.

So, here’s a look back at 2017 in New England – casino style.

1. MGM SPRINGFIELD

The City of Springfield, MA is preparing for a renaissance in jobs, revenue and entertainment with the opening of MGM Springfield. It’s going to be a different brick-and-mortar casino than previous MGM projects. It could be the single most important project in Springfield history, raising the Rose City up from the ashes.

MGM Springfield Casino Entrance

MGM Springfield Casino Entrance, Main Street to the left,

 

MGM Springfield – What City Improvements Can We Really Expect?

MGM Springfield – An “Urban” Casino

MGM Springfield Releases New Details with Local Flavor

MGMSpringfield Resort Success is Crucial For Springfield

 

2. MOHEGAN SUN CONTINUES TO DIVERSIFY AND EXPAND

 

Kathleen McWilliams, a reporter for the Hartford Courant, reported the Mohegan Tribe’s plan for the former Norwich Hospital site in Preston CT, (just across the river from the casino), would be made into a dozen amenities, including an indoor water park, a senior living center and a sports complex. This huge plan also includes include outdoor and indoor entertainment attractions, a large performing venue, time share units, retail, an RV park and marina. The plan includes restaurant space, a convenience store and gas station. A large project such as this is completely opposite from the trend in casino projects in size and dynamics. Not essentially connected to the casino part of the Tribe’s operations, it will be an overwhelming list for the town of Preston, CT.  In addition, on the casino campus, Mohegan Sun is again expending, this time in conference space.

Mohegan Expo Center, with Earth Hotel upper left.

 

Mohegan Sun News – Plans for Norwich Hospital Site and Mohegan Expo Center

3. FOXWOODS 25th ANNIVERSARY

Foxwoods celebrated it’s 25th Anniversary.  For 25 years, starting with a small bingo hall and the help of then Governor Weicker, Foxwoods has continued to be a country-wide phenomena. It is the largest casino property by square feet, it is the second largest casino area, and it includes the only covered, indoor Tanger outlet in the country. Gaming renovations have included two stadium gaming areas, offering $1 blackjack (3/2), and the continuation of one of the best poker rooms in the country. A more comprehensive move towards non-gaming amenities have included the addition of thrill rides, a zip line and race track for 2018, new restaurants, and additional night-club options. The celebration has gone on most of the year, with many giveaways and events. Here is coverage of New England’s first casino in 2017.

Foxwoods 25th Anniversary – Part 1- The Path To The Top

Foxwoods 25th Anniversary – Part 2 – The Celebration

4. MAINE’S THIRD CASINO PROPOSAL FAILS

Once again, Maine had supporters for a third casino in York County.  Once again, it was defeated. Maybe it was the fact that it seemed like a legislative scam, or that the backers could not be trusted. It started in February and continued along a sleazy path until it’s defeat in November.

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

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

5. MGM / CT – THE BATTLE GOES ON

Shall we really re-kindle all of the MGM vs. MMCT news?  Well, it did monopolize much of the gaming news in both Massachusetts and Connecticut.  I guess I have to compare it to our country’s political climate – just nasty. Then there is the possibility (little to none) of a Bridgeport Casino by MGM?  or  MMCT?  or anyone else – as long as the CT agreement with the Pequots & Mohegans  is nullified. Whoo-wee, here are the top posts concerning the I-91 Battle of the Border.

The Old Showcase Cinemas, East Hartford, CT

The Old Showcase Cinemas, East Hartford, CT

East Windsor is Chosen By MMCT for CT Casino

MGM, Massachusetts, Provide Answers to Connecticut’s Casino Mess

MGM Has Mastered the Art of the Stunt – David Collins

Casino.org says, “Although Connecticut’s two tribal operators believe it’s part of a very elaborate bluff, an artist’s rendering of the proposed MGM Bridgeport casino, which the gaming operator says will bring 2,000 permanent jobs and a tax revenue stream of $316 million per year, has been created and presented to the state’s power brokers. (Image: MGM Resorts International)

MGM Bridgeport Casino – All The Angles

Other news included:

New Hampshire once again considered a casino, and looked into internet gaming, but nothing has yet to come of it.

Twin River Management Group finally made its plans for Rhode Island.  After Tiverton’s approval of a new TRMG Casino/Hotel in it’s town, and after they had already purchased Newport Grand, TRMG will move it’s Newport operastion to Tiverton.  They will also build a hotel at it’s flagship property in Lincoln, RI.

New England Casinos will be Increasing the number of casino Hotel Rooms By Over 30% by 2019.

Plainridge Park Casino & Raceway, a slots-only casino, continued to make progress in attracting guests and increasing revenue.

MGM Springfield is ahead of schedule for its 2018 opening. 2017 showed major progress in Springfield’s best hope for economic success.

Wynn Boston Harbor broke ground and in progressing towards a 2019 opening with great anticipation throughout the region.

Oxford Casino in Oxford Maine, finished their hotel on the premises and added another dining option – the Ox Pub.

WOW, WHAT A YEAR!

Living in such a small part of the country with such a vibrant casino industry that is gettiing on it’s feet again after the 2007 recession certainly makes my job easy.  Next year? – more expansion, more excitement, and more bickering from the Connecticut shoreline to downeast Maine.  Happy New Year everybody.

New England Casinos – Past, Present, and Future

Happy 5th AnniversaryWhen I first started NETimeGambling, I hoped that New England would have become the Biloxi-Gulfport, Mississippi of the northeast, an extended area of casinos offering gamblers the variety and quality to go along with the area’s historical and cultural tourism.

How naive could I be? The casino industry couldn’t responsibly help New England’s Tourism industry – it’s all business to them.

This month marks our fifth year anniversary of NETimeGambling.com. So much of our casino landscape has changed and continues to evolve. Let’s look at the beginning of NETimeGambling and see what we were writing about in 2012.

CHRISTMAS PAST – 2012

The finished 3600 seat Bingo Hall was the keystone that the World's largest casino would be built around

The finished 3600 seat Bingo Hall was the keystone that the World’s largest casino would be built around

CT casinos had continued to drop in revenue due to the recession of 2007, NY racinos and slot parlors.
RI had seen a slight increase with hopes to get its table games up and running to take away from CT’s two Mega-casinos and before MA casinos were to be built.
Massachusetts intended to add three, if not four, casinos within three years to take back the revenue lost RI & CT,
NH wanted to keep their citizens at home as well, so they considered legalizing gambling.
ME had two casinos in 2012, one with a hotel and one considering hotel expansion.
And lest we forget that AC was still reeling from the recession and their own denial and completion from the likes of PA, NY and DEL, and recently New Jersey’s own consideration of statewide gaming. Atlantic City was already down to 9 Casinos, soon to be 7.

CHRISTMAS PRESENT 2017

Connecticut casinos have stabilized a bit, with positive revenue months becoming more frequent. After cutbacks in jobs, machines and management, both Foxwoods & Mohegan Sun have adapted its approach to be more competitive inside New England and beyond. An additional project projected for East Windson, CT will feature a Foxwoods/Mohegan joint casino venture known as CCMT.

mohegansun earthtower

Mohegan Sun seems to be the most motivated, adding another hotel and beginning a huge convention space addition.

Rhode Island’s dependence on gaming revenue continues. With the addition of table games, Twin River Casino in Rhode Island stepped up the battle for casino patrons with Massachusetts. Twin River Management Group purchased the Newport Grand Casino to move it to Tiverton – right on the Mass-RI border. Tiverton Casino was approved which makes the Newport move to Tiverton inevitable. Twin River started building a hotel, but both TR and the Tiverton project are stalled at this time.

Massachusetts continues to add drama to casino expansion in New England. Penn National opened Plainridge Park Casino, a slots-only casino that has continued to build its own loyal customers. Two other Massachusetts Wynn Boston Harbor & MGM Springfield. Both are on schedule to open in 2018 & 2019 respectively.

Wynn Boston Harbor on the river.

The Mashpee Wampanoag’s casino in Taunton, MA, has been stalled by political red tape and still doesn’t look like a finished deal.  It’s “Firts Light” project would be another formidable casino, if it ever gets the approval to continue past breaking ground.

New Hampshire will never approve a Las Vegas style casino for itself, but it seems the Charitable Gambling Law is alive and well in the Granite State. Poker rooms, including other table games, are increasing in popularity.

Maine’s two casinos are holding their own. Hollywood in Bangor received tax rebates from the city of Bangor to help it float financially. Oxford is expanding, adding meeting space and an attached hotel, with the Hampton Inn across the street now open. A third casino in Maine was introduced again for the York County area in a referendum for only one suitor, but, once again crashed and burned.

Outside of New England, Casino Changes Continue

New York State added more casinos, Atlantic City’s Casino is now down to seven, but has shown life in the past year. MGM now in full control of Borgata. Revel is rumored to be sold, and Hard Rock is moving into the Taj. This could be AC’s summer of growth.

Online gaming is on the tongues of legislators of New England States.  Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Connecticut has eyes on online revenue.

CHRISTMAS FUTURE……2020

Eleven casinos in four states. Online gambling in MA, RI, NH,  & CT.

Springfield, Massachusetts is experiencing a renaissance, Wynn Boston Harbor entices people from all over the U.S.

Connecticut casinos continue to diversify.  Foxwoods becomes an amusement destination as well as a casino resort. Mohegan Sun opens its huge project across the river of retail, housing, and wellness.

The Norwich hospital site in Preston, to be developed by Sun. In the far top, Mohegan Sun sits.

Convenience casinos continue to thrive in Tiverton, RI; Plainville, MA; Oxford, ME.

And with the growth of the casino industry, casinos find ways to help the homeless, help the addicted, and raise the quality of life in its communities.

Conclusion

Will there ever be a vision of prosperity for casinos, with good gambling rules, free parking, more casino hotels, and patrons that are welcomed with smiling aces, appreciated and rewarded sincerely?

For the sake of New England recreational gamblers and New England Tourism, we once again ask,

“CAN WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?!!”

Binbin

What NETimeGambling is Thankful For

It’s that time again that we realize the joy that surrounds us the many things we should be thankful for.  At NETimeGambling, my staff and I are thankful for the following:

For 5 years of passionately serving New Englanders, New Yorkers, and gamblers from all over with news and content that people can enjoy.  We are so blessed to have grown every year, and can’t wait for our 6th year.

For the many followers that have noticed us, and enjoyed our content.  Every comment gives us more a reason to do it.

For the new and old friends from the blog & podcast world that have helped us grow, such as:

  • You Can Bet On That podcast – the #1 podcast for the recreational gambler. Mark DeVol and Dr. Mike, you guys rock!
  • Michael Treger & TravelZork – a website of great writers about gambling & tourism
  • 500 Hundy by Midnight – What can I say but thanks to Tim & Michele Dressen Las Vegas podcast for inspiring me from the very beginning
  • Cousin Vito’s Casino Podcast – our new friends from down the road –  one of the new and entertaining recreational gambling podcasts
  • John Grochowski – the casino answer man, who is never too busy to answer a question we might have and help NETGJohn Grochowski - the Casino Answer Man
  • Finally, Joe Freda at ReloadSports – Joe, you have followed us for 5 years and even guest posted for us.  Your support has always helped.

For the fact that 6/5 blackjack hasn’t made it to New England Casinos yet!

For the new MGM Springfield & Wynn Boston Harbor – two casino resorts that will add excitement to casino coverage.

And for the 7 casinos now in business for the many gambling, dining & entertainment events to cover. 

Wynn EWynn Boston Harbor Everett, Massverett Resort Everett, Mass

Wynn Boston Harbor Everett, Mass

MGM Springfield

MGM Springfield

There must be more, but I’ll stop there.  It’s been a great year at NETG.

From our family to yours, we wish you the very best Thanksgiving.  And if you’re going to the casino later today, good luck.

Binbin