New England Casino Gambling History – Updated

The New England Casino Gambling History has been much like  a horse race. To begin with, it was a slow trot for New England to socially approve of  gambling. Soon, it changed to a full sprint. In fact, there is no finish line in sight. With the word “saturation” thrown around annually, casino expansion continues. The future looks to include sports betting, casinos in Bridgeport, CT., East Windsor, CT., and southeastern Massachusetts.

With the future uncertain, let’s look back to see how we got here. In any event, let’s look back at New England Gambling History.

My interest in gambling began with playing card games such as cribbage and Michigan Rummy. With visits to Hartford Jai-Alai and Plainfield Greyhound Racetrack during my twenties, my interest grew. In fact, visits to the Sands in Atlantic City, Foxwoods Bingo Hall and future CT casinos made me even more curious.

"Roll the Bones" by Dr. David Schwartz

“Roll the Bones” by Dr. David Schwartz

One of my favorite books is “Roll the Bones” by Dr. David Schwartz. In his book, Dr. Dave explains that “….the human predilection for a wager shaped human history from the Ice Age to the Information Age. People spend nearly one trillion dollars worldwide on gambling a year–wouldn’t you like to learn a little about how we got there?”  The fact is, I did!.

To read our NETG review of his book, click here.

The New England Influence

New England played a big part in the assertion of gambling in America. According to the California State Library, English settlers differed from their Puritanical neighbors in New England in many ways. Settlers influenced the early colonies to continue traditional styles of living in a new world.  Gambling was considered a “harmless diversion, a popular and accepted activity.” Lotteries were used to bail out the Early Colonies. Financial backers of the colonies began to see gambling as the solution to diminishing finances needed for the war effort. All 13 original colonies established lotteries, usually more than one, to raise revenue. Lotteries continue to be a main source of revenue for all six New England states.

Once Upon a time….

The Pequot War of 1637 set the stage for the separation of Pequot & Mohegan Tribes. Over 350 years after, both tribes started the New England Casino expansion we see today.

The Pequot War of 1637 set the stage for the separation of Pequot and Mohegan tribes.

The Pequot and Mohegan Tribes were once one tribe. Due to the Pequot War, both tribes ended up with differences with other tribes. On the whole, different tribal and colonial alliances caused a split that continues to this day.  Over 250 years later, a bingo hall in 1985 began the history of gaming in New England.

I should mention that gambling found a homes in New England with greyhound & horse tracks, parimutuel parlors, and Jai alai frontons in Milford & Hartford CT, and Newport, RI. However, in the past ten years, the horse-racing industry has seen a major decrease in raceway operations. In addition,Jai-Alai has moved out of those states, and parimutuel parlors continue to diminish in visitors. Conversely, with the future of sports betting, parimutuel parlors may rise in popularity again.

In essence, here is  NETG’s look back at the journey of legalized gambling in New England below.

New England Casino Gambling History Timeline

Foxwoods Started it all with Bingo. This picture is the expanded Bingo Hall before Casino Expansion

Foxwoods Started it all with Bingo.


1992

The first New England Casino opens with Foxwoods opening its doors in Mashantucket, CT

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The Rainmaker at Foxwoods

Rhode Island approves VLT gaming machines (classII) at Lincoln Greyhound Park & Newport Jai Alai Originally built for greyhound racing, Twin River Casino is now a full casino.


1996

The Mohegan Tribe opens the second NE casino in Uncasville, CT

A Dollar Coin from Mohegan Sun Opening

A Dollar Coin from Mohegan Sun Opening


2005

Hollywood Slots Hotel & Raceway opens in Bangor, Maine

Hollywood Casino, Bangor Maine

Hollywood Casino, Bangor Maine


2007

Lincoln Greyhound Park turns into Twin River Casino with class III gaming. Similarly, Newport Grand soon follows, redesigning without Jai-Alai

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2008

MGM joins Foxwoods with additional hotel / casino

MGM Tower at Foxwoods - Right side.

MGM Tower at Foxwoods – Right side.


The Expansion begins

2011

MA legislature approves Expanded Gaming Act allows construction of 3 Resort casinos & one “slot’s only casino”


2012

Oxford Casino opens in Oxford, Maine

Oxford Casino, Maine

Oxford Casino, Maine


2013

MGM pulls out of it’s Foxwoods partnership

MGM Ends Agreement with Foxwoods

MGM Ends Agreement with Foxwoods


2015

Plainridge Park Casino Opens at Plainridge Raceway as the first Massachusetts casino (slots-only)

Plainridge Park Casino

Plainridge Park Casino in Massachusetts


2018

     A Big Year for New England Casinos and Hotels 

Oxford Casino, Oxford ME, adds Hotel, expanded casino and Ox Pu

Oxford Hotel & Casino

MGM Springfield Resort Casino opens

MGM Springfield

Newport Grand Slots Casino closes

Newport Grand Slots, Newport, RI

Tiverton Casino & Hotel opens

Tiverton Casino/ Hotel.

Twin River Casino adds Hotel

Twin River Hotel Lobby

Mohegan Sun opens Earth Expo Center

Mohegan Expo Center

Rhode Island approves and opens the first Sports Betting in New England

Opening day of Phase I Sports Book at Twin River Casino


2019

Encore Boston Harbor to open in the fall

Encore Boston Harbor rendition, courtesy of Encore Boston Harbor pressroom


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Binbin

New Year’s Eve in Rhode Island & Maine

It’s New Year’s time again.  Get your voice ready for “Auld Lang Syne.” make sure your sweetie is ready for kissing at midnight, chill the champagne, and get the correct channel on the tube to watch the ball drop – it’s New Year’s Eve!

By the way, you can find us Twitter and Facebook at out NETimeGambling Page. Every month, NETG posts in New England’s news, promotions and events at TravelZork – one of the best travel sites to bring Vegas information, travel resources, travel and casino rewards and gambling advice to the web. If you don’t visit TravelZork once a month, you are missing out on insightful and timely articles by some of the best experts in the travel and casino fields.

Not only can you find NETimeGamblingcom be found at TravelZork, but I have also had great fun with guest appearances on Cousin Vito’s Casino Podcast, TravelZork’s ZorkCast, and the newest addition to the New England casino community Art in the Game by Christopher DiMauro.


HOLLYWOOD Casino, Hotel & Raceway, BANGOR ME

Hollywood Epic Buffet, Bangor Maine

New Year’s Eve Buffet at Epic Buffet –  December  314PM – 9PM
Adults: $29.99


OXFORD CASINO & Hotel, Oxford ME

Oxford Casino at Night

Oxford Casino, Oxford, ME

10K Score 4 New Year’s Eve – $5,000 Grand Prize Drawing after the 4:00pm drawing, open to anyone claiming a prize for matching 3 or 4 numbers during Session 1 & 2. Numbers picked are valid both sessions. SESSION 1 – 1:00pm to 4:00pm / SESSION 2 – 7:00pm – 10:00pm

New Year’s Eve Buffet – MONDAY, DECEMBER 31. 3:00pm – 9:00pm. $39.95 per person.
Limited space available. Reservations required! Call 207-539-6705. Enjoy lobster tails, prime rib, holiday classics and decadent desserts. All buffets exclude alcohol and specialty beverages, tax and gratuity.

19X Point Multiplier – New Year’s Day. 8:00am – Noon. Earn 19X Slot Points on any slot machine

New Year’s Day Brunch Buffet – Tuesday, January 1, 2019. 9:00am – 1:00pm. $24.95 per person.
Limited space available.


Twin River Casino & Hotel

South Entrance – Twin River Casino, Lincoln, RI

NYE Dinner & Dance Party feat. World Premier Band – Monday, December 31, 2018 7:30pm. Mixing music of the 90′s with today’s funk, dance, and originals; World Premier Band’s high energy will get you moving! Doors open at 7:30pm, dinner buffet starts at 8pm. VIP $121 tickets includes an all you can eat elegant buffet, two drink tickets, premium seating by the dance floor, party favors, and a champagne toast. $91 tickets include an all you can eat elegant buffet, one drink ticket, party favors, and a champagne toast. 21+ event.

Binbin

The Annual Maine Casino Trip Report Next Week

Hollywood Casino, Hotel & Raceway, Bangor Maine

Hollywood Casino, Hotel & Raceway, Bangor Maine

Our annual visit and look at Maine’s two casinos – Hollywood Hotel, Casino & Raceway, and Oxford Hotel and Casino – is on tap for next week.  Excuse the pun, because we sampled some of Maine’s expanding local craft beers market.

Oxford Hotel & Casino, Maine

We will include our revised “by the numbers” page comparing hotel, casino, and dining data.

Next week – but until then, enjoy your local casino.

Binbin