Will Plainridge Park Casino Survive Without Table Games?

Table Games Anyone?

With all the attention on MGM Springfield, the Connecticut casinos and the Wynn – oops – I mean Encore Boston Harbor, the first casino in Massachusetts is getting a little forgotten in the mix.

Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, the state’s first (and for almost three years only) legal gambling establishment, wants to expand and offer table games as well as the slot machines they currently feature.  The last three years have been progressively better until the past months when most of New England’s casinos saw a decrease in revenue from a year ago.

All the negative expectations have been proven wrong to this point, especially the fear it would have a negative impact on Plainville and neighboring communities and it would attract an “undesirable element.” Many claimed it would not provide the expected revenue. Instead, Plainridge has been a great neighbor, large employer and good corporation to work with the MGC and the State of Massachusetts.

Penn National, owner of Hollywood Bangor Casino Hotel in Maine, as well as many casinos and racinos across the country, knew being first with a slots-only establishment would have a major drawback – not having real blackjack, craps, roulette and other table games. To this point they have successful at every turn. It is greatly supported by locals and others in 20 mile radius that prefer a smokeless casino with only electronic versions of tables games.

Here Come the Big Guys

MGM Springfield opened with a bang – but it is over an hour and a half away, so not much of threat to Plainridge. The Rhode Island casinos continue to be a threat to Plainridge Park Casino, now with the addition of sports betting. But the real menace over the hill is in Everett – Encore Boston Harbor.

New casinos in Springfield and soon in Boston will fight any such move for tables games at Plainridge vehemently. They invested in this process understanding the rules. And they didn’t put their millions or billions of dollars up with the idea that competition beyond what they were promised would be allowed.

Any expansion to table games by Plainridge would need state legislative approval. Getting the Massachusetts Legislature to do virtually anything is a monumental task. And this area is not exactly known for its political influence. Town officials in Plainville, North Attleboro and Wrentham have come out in favor.

Entrance To Plainville’s Good Neightbor

Jim Hand of the Sun Chronicle reported “In letters to the state Gaming Commission, Plainville, Wrentham, North Attleboro and Franklin officials said they would support allowing table games and more slot machines at Plainridge, terming the changes “a modest expansion……The expansion at Plainridge would require a legislative change, as it is designated as only a slots parlor and not a full-blown casino under state law.”

State Rep. Shawn Dooley, R-Norfolk, who represents Plainville, said he is on board with the request. “We have an ongoing venture that is working extremely well with virtually no negative impact on the community,” he said. “The community wants it. And the addition of other games will help us compete against Rhode Island which just built another casino on our border.”

Recently, Plainridge Park has seen a dip in revenue, as most of the eight New England casinos. Clyde Barrow, a casino researcher at the University of Texas Rio Grand Valley, said, “A drop in revenue is to be expected, just as Plainridge cut into the take at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I.  I anticipated a 1 percent to 5 percent drop in Plainridge revenues as a result of the Tiverton casino, so I would say the lower September revenues are directly attributable to the new competition,” he said.  However, such a small loss suggests that Plainridge remains competitive and doesn’t have much to fear from Tiverton Twin River Casino.”

A Quiet Acquisition

Penn National Gaming, Owner of Plainridge Park Casino and Raceway

Penn National Gaming, Owner of Plainridge Park Casino and Raceway

As reported by Marc Meltzer from PlayUsa, “Penn National Gaming acquired Pinnacle GamingThe massive $2.8 billion deal makes Penn National Gaming one of the largest casino corporations in the country. The new Penn National Gaming may not have the largest casinos in the country. However, the new deal means that they will operate more casinos and racetracks than any other company in the US. After the acquisition, Penn National Gaming will operate more than 40 properties in 15 states.”

Mr. Meltzer also comments about the rewards club change due to the buy out. “While Penn National Gaming will be the owner of the properties, they will actually be using the loyalty club from Pinnacle Entertainment instead of their own Marquee Rewards. In 2019, the Marquee Rewards program will be migrated over to the mychoice players club.”

For more information provided in Marc’s post, go to PlayUSA or click here on PENN NATIONAL GAMING PLAYERS CLUB MOVING TO PINNACLE’S MYCHOICE CARD

The Draw

Plainridge has done well for itself and has built a nice locals clientele. But it’s future may be bleak and for Massachusetts’ expected revenue if it continues as a slot-only property.  I’m sure we will hear more as we turn the page to 2019.

Binbin

 

 

 

Plainridge Park Casino Exceeding All Expectations

Plainridge Park continues to improve its footing in the New England Casino landscape. From its opening two years ago to now, Plainridge Park, in Plainville, Massachusetts, has pushed to make the first Massachusetts casino a successful one.

Plainnridge Park Casino & Raceway Entrance Entrance

APRIL EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS

After its best month in about a year and a half in March, Plainridge Park Casino raked in even more money in April, counting about $14.3 million in what was the slots parlor’s third best month on record, the Gaming Commission announced.  With Wynn & MGM Springfield covering the rest of the state, the Mashpee Wampanoag casino project in Taunton looks like only a distraction at this point. The MGC’s decision to decline the Southeast Gaming licence in Brockton, MA seems like the right decision to be made.

INCREASED EMPLOYMENT

More good news for Plainridge Park in May emerged when the UMass Donahue Institute released a compilation of results from two years of new employee questionnaires at Plainridge Park Casino. According to BusinessWest.com, Plainridge has helped to reduce employment in its surrounding area with the following statistics:

  1. 50.1% of new hires worked part-time or were unemployed before obtaining their job at Plainridge Park Casino;
  2. Major reasons for seeking employment included career advancement, improved pay, and improved benefits;
  3. 40.1% of new hires said they needed work due to being unemployed, part-time, or underemployed. 86.2% had no gaming experience prior to their jobs at Plainridge Park Casino;
  4. 96.5% of new hires did not transfer from other Penn National Gaming locations, and 92.8% did not move to take their jobs at the casino. Of those who moved, one-quarter originated from cities or towns within Massachusetts; and
  5. Nearly three-quarters of respondents come to their job without pre-employment training for their position.

“As we have pointed out repeatedly, the Legislature made broad-based economic development a key focus of the Gaming Act, with a particular focus on local employment for those underemployed and unemployed,” said MGC Chairman Steve Crosby. “This report, thus far, demonstrates that legislative intent is being achieved.

ADDITIONAL ENTERTAINMENT OFFERINGS & PROMOTIONS

Penn National Gaming, Owner of Plainridge Park Casino and Raceway

Penn National Gaming, Owner of Plainridge Park Casino and Raceway

The Plainridge Park Casino & Raceway is operated by Penn National Gaming Incorporated, who also owns Hollywood Casino, Hotel & Raceway in Bangor Maine.  Penn National also owns and runs 26 other casinos across the country. It’s two latest acquisitions have extended its brand to Las Vegas, with the Tropicana & M Resort. Now, players at both New England Penn casinos can also use Marqee Rewards points for offers at these two properties.

But wait, there’s more…..

  • The promotions have increased and varied over time.  More free slot play has been an emphasis for this past year, and players seem to be responding.  Promotions
  • Its harness racing area has be renovated and has shown new life in the opening of this year’s races. Racing.

    Plainridge Harness Racing, with renovated racebook.

  • And the Loft, a small intimate event area, which is available for catered parties, weddings and celebrations events, has already offered boxing, comedy shows, and is bringing “Magic Mike” – A Ladies Night Only on June 17th!

It’s only the beginning, but the following months could bring the “little slot parlor that could” a banner summer for itself and the continued expansion of  Massachusetts Casino Gaming.

 

Plainridge Park One Year Old Anniversary – A Look Back

Plainridge Park LogoIt certainly hasn’t been an easy start for Penn National and it’s newest New England Casino in Plainville, Massachusetts.  Being the first of four scheduled to all be in place by 2018, it has been watched and scrutinized like a family’s first-born baby.

A roller-coaster of success and disappointment has followed.  But it’s early. Remember when people laughed about how silly a themed hotel/casino called The Mirage would be?  Of course not – It Was 1989!  Well, who’s laughing now?  (And now Steve Wynn, the mastermind behind the Mirage and so many other fabulous casinos around the world, is here, in New England!)

So, listed below are the titles of posts covering the first year of Plainridge Park Casino.  Next year, PPC II – the sequel……

Plainridge Park Casino Scheduled to Open June 24, 2015
Plainridge Park Casino is Immediate Success – Can They Sustain It?
Plainridge Park – No Hotel, But Plenty of Options
Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville is Still Success Despite Revenue Decrease
Plainridge Park Casino – A Trip Report
5 Reasons Plainridge Park Casino Could Be Turning the Corner on Revenue – A Trip Report
Plainridge Park Casino Slot Rewards Continues to get Scrutinized
Plainridge Park Casino in Massachusetts – THREE Major Concerns and ONE ACE in the HOLE