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

Massachusetts

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.”
    mohegan-sun-revere-casino-rendering-7414f532fa69586d

    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.

 

Binbin

 

Twin River Casino Unveils Tiverton Casino Project

Twin River Casino has needed a hotel for years, but under state law, was prohibited from building a hotel on its premises to protect the viability of Providence hotels. However this summer, the House unanimously voted to repeal the legislation that imposed such restrictions. A hotel was in the future.

Tiverton, Rhode Island

Twin River Group Management Hopes to Move Newport Grand close to the Mass Border to Extend more Competition

th (5)It’s been a busy year for Twin River.

  1. Hotel building approved.
  2. New 2nd floor dedicated to non-smoking gaming
  3. Additional table games, and poker available soon.
  4. The purchase of Newport Grand Slots with the possibility of moving the license to Tiverton.

A hotel was in the news yesterday, but not in Lincoln where the parent casino lives. In Tiverton!

The Battlefield for Casino Supremacy in Rhode Island & Southeast Mass

The Battlefield for Casino Supremacy in Rhode Island & Southeast Mass

The new proposal by Twin River Management Group is to build an 80,000-square-foot casino resembling the town’s public library, with an attached three-story 80-room hotel, for a site off Route 81.

While few people attended the Tiverton Town meeting unveiling the proposal, residents seem to be in favor.  However, their concerns about the casino’s impact on traffic, the environment, the residential neighborhood and how much the town stood to gain from gaming will still be a challenge if the project is to move forward.

John E. Taylor Jr., chairman of the Twin River Management Group board of directors, said they listened to residents’ concerns and adapted their design to meet them. For example, the site plan places the casino, hotel and parking lots on the southwest portion of the property, out of view from the residential neighborhood, Taylor said. A roundabout is proposed at the entrance to handle traffic. The main entrance road and an emergency access road skirt the wetlands.

The casino would have 1,000 to 1,100 slot machines and 25 to 35 table games, and Taylor said they are looking at amenities such as a full-service restaurant and entertainment. They are still calculating the economic impact that the casino and hotel could have, but Taylor said after the meeting he was confident that it could generate about $4 million for the town.

Plainridge Park Casino

Plainridge Park

The Tiverton location was chosen to compete Plainridge Park Casino & Raceway, just over the line in Plainville, Massachusetts. Officials told residents in previous meetings that they believe a Tiverton casino would generate $4 million a year for the town, which is about 10 percent of the town’s annual budget.

For these plans to continue, the next steps include:

  • The Town Council will have to petition the General Assembly to place a question on the ballot, which the Twin River group hopes will be ready for the November 2016 elections.
  • Local and statewide voters will have to approve the measure.
  • Twin River must be able to transfer the licenses from Newport Grand to the new Tiverton casino.

The battle continues for Southeastern New England Casino Supremacy.  The smallest state in the U.S. is ready for the challenge!

That’s all for now.

Binbin

Plainridge Park Casino is Immediate Success – Can They Sustain It?

Open as of June!

The fact that Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, Massachusetts is a success right now shouldn’t surprise anyone.  It’s new, it’s shiny and happens to be in a state where gamblers have traveled up to two hours for daily visits to Connecticut.  The fact that such a nice, new facility is close by for many should definitely attract Bay Staters by the boatloads.

Penn Gaming has worked hard to make this a successful opening, and it stocks on NASDAQ continue to rise, stimulated by the little casino that can.  The Massachusetts State Lottery made an estimated $983.5 million in profits and outperformed expectations during the just ended fiscal year – is it possible that having a casino in Plainville and waiting for Wynn and MGM (a long wait by the looks of it now) is stimulating the state’s gambling juices to the drooling point? Continue reading