Newport Grand Casino – The Last Hurrah?

RI correspondent Miguel and I took a break from the July 4th celebration to visit the Newport Grand Slots casino in Newport, Rhode Island.

Yes, it’s small and it doesn’t take long to look around each floor. Yes, the outside looks more like a warehouse than a casino, but renovations over the years tried to keep the vision of a classy casino in Newport was kept alive. Before Twin River Management bought it over a year ago, it was a family operation – owned and managed by CEO Diane Hurley.

Quiet morning at Newport Grand

The building now known as Newport Grand has struggled to be more relevant in a city that never really wanted it there.  It’s recent past disappointments included:

  • The addition of tables games voted down by the city of Newport (at the time under Hurley ownership) while  Lincoln RI approved tables games for Twin River casino.
  • The renovation and expansion of Newport Grand, with table games denied by Newport. See our previous post covering this Newport Grand City Agreement Negated
  • Finally, TRM bought Newport with the intentions of moving operations to Tiverton as a new full casino with hotel to compete with Massachusetts casino expansion, namely Plainridge Park Racino just over the border in Plainville, MA.

According to staff, the facility should close by mid-summer of 2018.

Newport Grand entrance

Upon entering, we wondered if it was open.  We were greeted by friendly staff, received our rewards card, and we were on our way, basically having the place to ourselves.

It has 3 floors – a 2nd floor smoking-allowed slot area, 1st floor for non-smoking gaming and lower floor that includes some slots, the Grille, and a bar featuring standard and some RI craft brews.

Non smoking main floor

Did I mention it was small?  Listed as the third smallest of New England’s casinos, it just might be the smallest.  It was obvious to us that the 1000 slots couldn’t be a true number with three small rooms on the lower level unused and a more spacious main floor.

Upstairs smoking casino

GAMING – while they have many new slots, there is also a treasure trove of nostalgic machines, including many of the VLT from the Jai Alai transition days.  I counted 8 (yes, only 8) video poker machines, 6 multi-game with horrible pay tables and two Ultimate X. Don’t go to Newport Grand for video poker.  The best game offered is 7/5 DDB on Ultimate X.  There are also two of the older electronic Blackjack terminals, back to back, with a total of 10 seats.  We did not see a High Limit area, but higher denomination slots are mixed in.

Newport Grand Casino Event Center

Newport Grand Casino Event Center

ENTERTAINMENT – on the weekends, Newport Grand still offers great tribute bands with some comedy acts as well in the Event Center.  In the lounge downstairs, small combos still perform, as karaoke & trivia is still offered some week days.

CONCLUSION – We had a fun day at the casino on Independance Day.  But, it was a little sad, too.  There is no signage of the impending move, or even the change of ownership.  The Twin River and Newport Grand rewards programs are not linked together, which would be an un-needed expense.  I know that the new property in Tiverton will be a great addition to the casino landscape in New England.  But at this time, the little casino that “could’ve been” is in a state of limbo – supported by its loyal local patrons and continued good service by the staff.  But the inevitable end is in the air at Newport Grand.  The ghosts of slots and Jai Alai past will soon be the only inhabitants in this building.

As the sun sets on Newport Grand Slots

Take time to visit just once.  It’s not the Riviera of Las Vegas, but it’s a piece of history in New England.

 

 

 

Mothers Day Specials in New England’s Casinos

It’s time to show your mom in your life a special treat by taking her to one of dining specials in New England’s Casinos.  So many choices, so many culinary delights……so little time to make reservations!

Mohegan Sun

Mohegan Sun Hotel

MOHEGAN SUN Resort/Casino, Connecticut

Mother’s Day Brunch – Uncas Ballroom, Sunday, May 14th Uncas Ballroom
Seating Times: 10:00-12:30am or 1:00 – 3:30pm

Adults: $55 for adults 21 & over, $30 for guests under 21, Free for children 8 and under.

Mohegan Sun has many other dining specials at many outlets and restaurants including 

Restaurants – Hash House A Go Go,  Michael Jordan’s 23.sportcafeMichael Jordan’s Steak HouseThe Lansdowne Irish Pub & Music House

For more special offerings, including SHOPPING SPECIALS, can be found by clicking HERE.

Foxwoods Resort Casino, CT

Foxwoods Resort

FOXWOODS Resort/Casino, Connecticut

Many dining specials are offered at Foxwoods, included are those at AL DENTEALTA STRADA, CAKE BY FRANCK, CEDARS RESTAURANT, DAVID BURKE PRIME, FESTIVAL BUFFET, HIGH ROLLERS, RED LANTERNTHE SCORPION BARVERANDA CAFE & VUE 24. For more menu listing and dining specials, as well as Bingo, Entertainment, shopping and gift ideas, go to Foxwoods Mothers Day Specials

Twin River Casino

TWIN RIVER CASINO, Rhode Island 

Wicked Good Bar & Grill & Fred & Steve’s Steakhouse offers mother’s day specials as well

Oxford Casino, Oxford, Maine

Oxford Casino, Oxford, Maine

 

OXFORD Casino, Maine

Designer Handbag Giveaway – 20K Mother’s Day Designer Handbag Giveaway on Sunday, May 14, 2017. Drawings will start at Noon on Sunday, May 14. Every 15 minutes we will draw one LUCKY person to come up and spin the prize wheels! The First wheel will contain Designer Handbags and the second wheel will contain Free Slot Play prizes ranging from $500 – $1000! We will continue until we have 12 LUCKY winners!

Mother’s Day Buffet – Sunday, May 10, 9:00am to 4:00pm, $24.99 per person.  Reservation suggested.

HOLLYWOOD Hotel, Casino & Raceway, Maine

Hollywood Casino, Bangor Maine

Hollywood Casino, Bangor Maine

Mother’s Day Brunch at the Epic Buffet – Sunday, May 10 from 9AM – 3PM Adults – $18.99. Children under 12 – 1/2 Price

 

Plainridge Park Entrance, Plainville, MA

Plainridge Park, Plainville, MA

PLAINRIDGE PARK Casino, Massachusetts

SPECIAL MOTHER’S DAY BRUNCH at Slack’s Oyster Bar & Grill. 11am-8pm. Special Mother’s Day Brunch items will be served all day with a build your own Bloody Mary Bar. Regular menu will also be served.

Twin River Plans for Tiverton Casino: Part 1 in “The Tale of Two New England Casinos”

Casino expansion for two Gaming Company’s projects in New England are seemingly following two different paths to deal with competition.

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On one hand, you have the Twin River Management Group.  They own Twin River Casino in Lincoln, RI., Newport Grand Casino in Newport, RI, The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Biloxi, MS, & Arapahoe Park in Aurora, CO. The smallest industry rep of all 6 casino operators in New England thus far.  Their mission is to keep increasing its competitive energies into positive ventures.  th (5)Basically become a larger fish in the still small pond of New England gambling. Twin River Casino’s plans have already included

  • adding poker tables
  • making the 2nd floor non-smoking
  • adding two more dining venues,
  • a future of a hotel on-site.
images (3)

The Tiverton Casino Proposal. Casino on the left, Hotel on the right.

TWMG released recently their plans for Tiverton, RI.  If they are approved in the lengthy process of getting approval to move the Newport Grand license to Tiverton, it would greatly solidify Rhode Island’s gaming revenue and put real competition on everyone from Plainridge Park Casino, just over the line in Plainville, Massachusetts

Plainridge Park Casino

Plainridge Park, in Plainville, MA. just over the state border from Tiverton, RI

to extending their influence on Foxwoods in Connecticut. Twin River expects more from Massachusetts, but that would include those for table games that have been loyal until a year ago to the CT casinos.

Their proposal has been influenced by 40-odd meetings around town, according to John Taylor, the head of Twin River in Paul Grimaldi’s article in the Providence Journal. The Tiverton Casino would include an 85,000-square-foot casino with 1,000 VLTs (slot machines) and 32 table games. It would be attached to an 84-room hotel. Both the hotel & the table games are additions to what Newport Grand offers.  According to Sean Murphy of the Boston Globe, “renderings made the proposed casino look like a tastefully designed suburban shopping center rather than a blaring neon intrusion on the rural feel of this erstwhile farming community of 8,000.”

Inside Twin River Casino's cavernous first floor casino.

Inside Twin River Casino’s cavernous first floor casino.

ProJo’s Grimaldi writes, “For the casino plan to move forward, the Town Council would first have to vote to ask the General Assembly to place a referendum on the November 2016 statewide ballot. That referendum would have to be approved both by Tiverton residents and by voters statewide. Even if it wins those approvals, the casino proposal then would have to go through the normal town and state regulatory approvals for new construction projects…..The casino would generate $104 million to $148 million in revenue in year 2020, depending on how gambling expands in Massachusetts, according to Twin River consultants…..A minimum of $3 million from slots and table games revenue would go the Town of Tiverton, with a total of approximately $4 million annually when including real estate and other taxes, according to a Twin River statement.”

Tiverton Casino Site Map. Boston Globe

Tiverton Casino Site Map. Boston Globe

The video released a few days ago shows the proposal.  One important part is how remote, surrounded by trees, and not taking away from the Tiverton countryside. For the complete proposal document, click here on Tiverton Casino Proposal. If you’d like to see the shorter and more entertaining video click here. However, if you want to read click ‘s great article for Tiverton-Little Compton  here.

Tomorrow, I’ll look at the different trend that MGM Springfield is taking.  It makes for quite the comparison.

Until tomorrow, hit a royal flush, then come back to visit N.E.Time Gambling.com

Binbin

 

 

 

 

NETG PICK SIX – THIS WEEK’S CHOICE NEW ENGLAND CASINO PROMOTIONS – It’s All About the Multipliers, June 7 – 12

NETIME LOGO (2)imgbbpick6Sunday’s blog will be called the “NETG (NE Time Gambling) PICK SIX.”  Every Sunday night I will highlight one of, or the best, promotion of the week in each New England Casino.  Here are my picks for this week:

FOCUS OF THIS WEEK – Point Multiplier Promotions 

HOLLYWOOD CASINO, HOTEL & RACEWAY

Sundays & Fridays in June, earn bonus Tier Points by simply playing with your Marquee Rewards card in any slot machine! 2X points for Marquee Rewards, Celebrities & Producers. 3X points for Executive Producers. 4X points for Icons.

OXFORD CASINO

15X Points every Thursday! Bonus points for every point earned playing slot machines from 6PM – 10PM every Thursday! Excludes Video Poker.

(NETG has ONE question for Oxford – Why not include Video Poker? You’re pay tables are bad, so what does it matter? Isn’t anyone who visits Oxford asking the same question?  Maybe, their slots payout %  is even lower than most other casinos?)

TWIN RIVER CASINO

If you have a multiplier this month at TwinRiver, remember that you have to RSVP the day ahead of time.  (I truly know of no other casino across the country that has RSVP for monthly multiplier days.  If anyone else knows of such a place, please email NE Time Gambling or join our community and let me know.)

NEWPORT GRAND CASINO

5X points Tuesdays. Hours: During regular gaming hours (10:00 a.m. – 12:59 a.m.) Date: JUNE 02, 09, 16, 23 & 30 2015

FOXWOODS RESORT CASINO

10X Odds on Craps (no Vig) continues to be a favorite for craps players. But the BIGGEST addition is their newly designed website.  In my opinion, it is vastly improved!  Check it out.

MOHEGAN SUN RESORT CASINO

2X momentum Points (not Status points) – MONDAYS, starting JUNE 15TH – AUGUST 31ST
6:00AM – MIDNIGHT

June 23 – 3X Status points

 

That’s all for now.

Binbin

NETG Pick Six – 6 New England Casinos This Week’s Promotion

A NEW Weekly event is started tonight.  Sunday’s blog will be called the “NETG (NE Time Gambling) PICK SIX.”  Every Sunday night I will highlight one of, or the best, promotion of the week in each New England Casino.  So, his the first installation:

HOLLYWOOD CASINO, HOTEL & RACEWAY

50+ Rewards Hot Seat Slot Tournament – Monday, May 11 & 25 from 1PM – 4PM you could be the lucky winner of up to $500 Free SlotPlay! Play with your Marquee Rewards card for your chance to participate in a 50 Plus Rewards Hot Seat Slot Tournament. 15 Players will participate in a tournament every half hour. The top 15 scores overall will win up to $500 Free SlotPlay! *Exclusive to our members age 50 and above.

OXFORD CASINO

Spin O Rama – Saturday, May 16 from 3:00pm to 8:00pm.  Every half hour, one lucky winner will be chosen to take a spin at winning UP TO $6,000 IN CASH! Visit a Promotional Kiosk beginning at 1:00PM to enter.

TWIN RIVER CASINO

$200,000 Bonus Play Sweepstakes continues through to Memorial Day Weekend! – Twin River Rewards Club members will be eligible to receive one free entry into this promotion by simply inserting their Rewards Card into any one of our Promotion Kiosks or any eligible VLT. As an added bonus, all guests qualify for accelerated entry earnings where for every 100 points earned on the VLTs during the earning period, guests will receive one additional entry! Starting at 12pm, one drawing will take place every hour until 9pm for a chance to win a $5,000 Bonus Play prize! Earn drawing entries now until Memorial Day weekend.

NEWPORT GRAND CASINO

WINDY WEDNESDAY WINNINGS – It’s the Money Booth! – May 13th, from 4:00 – 7:00pm. You may be selected to take at chance in the Money Booth while playing slots.  30 seconds in the booth and you can win Cash & Free Slot Play.  Participants selected every 30 seconds!

FOXWOODS RESORT CASINO

HOT SEAT SWEEPSTAKES – WIN YOUR SHARE OF OVER $150,000 IN PRIZES – May 11–15 from 2– 8pm.Every 30 minutes they randomly choose one guest playing on any slot machine or table game with their Foxwoods Reward Card. From 2pm until 8pm, the lucky guest will win $1,000 instantly. If you are in the seat to the left and to the right of the winners, you will also win a prize!

MOHEGAN SUN RESORT CASINO

THE SURPRIZE PATROL! – EVERY THURSDAY IN MAY, BETWEEN NOON – 8:00PM.You have THREE chances to WIN BIG! Each Thursday, Mohegan Sun’s SurPrize Patrol will randomly award THREE table games players $2,500 in CASH! Plus, any Momentum members playing at the same table as the winner will each receive a $75 Mobil Gas gift card!

That’s all for now.

Binbin

 

Mothers Day Specials – Part 2, RI & Maine

th (8)Here’s the second installment of Mother’s Day specials.

RHODE ISLAND

Twin River Casino Daytime

Twin River Casino

TWIN RIVER

A special Mother’s Day Buffet is being offered at the Wicked Good Bar & Grill.  $21.95

A special Mother’s Day Menu is being offered at the Fred & Steve’s Steakhouse. May 11th

NEWPORT GRAND SLOTS

Newport Grand Slots

Newport Grand Slots

MOTHER’S DAY GIFT & SECRET STASH SWIPE & WIN SATURDAY, MAY 09, 2015 & SUNDAY, MAY 10, 2015 – Win up to $250 Free Slot Play or a Mr. Coffee Couplet Mug

A special Mother’s Day Menu is being offered Newport Grille Restaurant –  Sunday, May 10th from 11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.

MAINE

Oxford Casino, Oxford, Maine

Oxford Casino, Oxford, Maine

OXFORD

$10,000 Designer Handbag Giveaway – MOTHER’S DAY , SUNDAY , MAY 10- Grand Prize drawing at 3:00PM

Mother’s Day Buffet – Sunday, May 10, 9:00am to 4:00pm, $19.99 per person, featuring prime rib, ham and roast turkey breast.

Wristlet Giveaway – MOTHER’S DAY Sunday, May 10 BEGINNING AT 8:00AM. Be one of the first 500 Oxford Rewards Club members to visit a promotional kiosk and you will receive a voucher for a FREE wristlet!

HOLLYWOODimage(15)

Mother’s Day Brunch at the Epic Buffet – Sunday, May 10 from 9AM – 3PM Adults – $16.99. Children under 12 – 1/2 Price

 

Rhode Island Mobilizes Casino Troops – Moves Newport Casino to Tiverton

The Battlefield for Casino Supremacy in Rhode Island & Southeast Mass

The Battlefield for Casino Supremacy in Rhode Island & Southeast Mass

Courtney Caligiuri of WPRI News reported yesterday that Twin River Management Group announced Tuesday it has secured the rights to acquire land in Tiverton, Rhode Island and plans to move its Newport Grand slots parlor to the new facility, thus more effectively competing with new gambling facilities that are set to open in Massachusetts.  This announcement comes a month after Twin River reached a deal to purchase Newport Grand.

Newport Grand Slots

Newport Grand Slots

This comes as complete surprise to this blogger, but makes total sense if completed.  After all, the city of Newport has held back Newport Grand for years, stopping expansion and table games – but they sure love the added tax revenue thought, don’t they.

Twin River said it has already secured the purchase rights to about 45 acres of undeveloped land in Tiverton, just off William S. Canning Boulevard (Route 81) next to the Route 24 interchange where it wants to build the new casino, about 400 feet from the Massachusetts state line.

thThe existing Newport Grand gaming license would be transferred to the proposed new casino. Twin River said it wants the Tiverton casino to have between 1,000 and 1,100 slot machines as well as 30 to 40 table games. It’s possible a “small” hotel would be built alongside the casino, said John E. Taylor Jr., chairman of Twin River’s board of directors

8958c93aaa2303d78b98fef715fa6cb9_400x400Ms. Caligiuri writes “Rhode Island joins Connecticut in trying to expand gaming to compete with new casinos in Massachusetts. Lawmakers in Hartford are considering a proposal that would allow up to three gaming facilities in their state, which would be run jointly by the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes. Proponents have expressed a desire to build the first such facility along the Interstate 91 corridor between Hartford and Springfield, to compete directly with MGM’s planned Springfield casino.”

Newport’s loss, New Bedford’s worry, and Rhody’s win.  Who has the next move in this casino chess match?  Chess match or soap opera?  Tune in again.

That’s all for now.

Binbin

Northeast Casino Saturation?

Northeast US

Did Foxwoods & Mohegan Sun secretly wish that the future casino saturation in the Northeast was true when Massachusetts passed the gaming law in 2011? Were there hushed discussions over the CT casino water coolers wishing for the repeal of gambling in Massachusetts back then?

Pat one point beginning to believe my post a long time ago about the number of possible casinos in New England may saturate the region.  Well, I have to think that saturation is becoming a real deal – and not only in New England.  In case You haven’t been following her are the number of casinos by state from Maryland north to Maine:

  1. Maryland – Five casinos, one to be added; Began as slots only in 2008, added tables games after 2012.  Revenue numbers increased.
  2. Delaware – Three VLT based casinos at the three pari-mutuel racetracks operated by the Lottery.  Table games added in 2010.  Revenue number in decline.
  3. Pennsylvania – Twelve casinos authorized and built after 2004; Revenue experienced 4% decline last year
  4. New Jersey – Gambling approved in 1976. By end of this year, nine casinos left with three closing it’s doors – might be four if Revel can’t find a buyer; Revenue consistently in decline since early 2000.
  5. New York – Began with change of two Class II Indian Casinos to Class III after 2003.  Since, casino growth continues with presently 21 casinos with 7 more licenses to be habded out.  Indian Class III casinos have the only slots, the rest in NY are VLT that act like bingo terminals.  resorts World continues to have one of east’s highest grossing revenues.
  6. Connecticut – Began Class III gaming with two casinos – Two casinos – Foxwoods in 1994 & Mohegan Sun in 1996.  Since recession of 2007, experienced constant spiral in revenue declines; two more casinos possible with two other tribes fighting for recognition.
  7. Rhode Island – Two Casinos – Twin River (with table games) and Newport Grand (slots only).  referendum in November for expansion on Newport casino.
  8. Massachusetts – Four licenses to be handed out with a possible addition of Mashpee Wampanoags in Southeastern region.  November Vote may repeal gambling law of 2011.
  9. Maine – Two casinos opened, Hollywood in 2005 and Oxford in 2012 – both class III.  One class II Indian Casino.

So, the math is a little weird with all the closings, possibilities, votes, etc.  The count seems to a whopping at this time is 56!   with + or – …………….well, we’ll just wait and see.

Scott Calvert and Jon Kamp an their article in the Wall Street Journal said “Twenty-six casinos have opened since 2004, fueling a 39% increase in total annual gambling revenue in the mid-Atlantic and New England, according to a study by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Within 100 miles of Philadelphia, there now are 24 casinos, a big shift from the early 1990s, when Atlantic City, N.J., enjoyed an East Coast monopoly. At least a dozen more gambling spots are in the pipeline from Massachusetts to Maryland, raising fears in states such as Rhode Island that their casino tax windfall is at risk.”  The article is outstanding.   check it out at http://online.wsj.com/articles/casino-boom-pinches-northeastern-states-1403220428

 

Is there saturation?  You bet! (no pun intended)  As in Atlantic City, it could mean survival of the fittest until a manageable amount is seen.  But that won’t be until the expansion hysteria ends many years from now.

That’s all for now.

Binbin