A picture paints a thousand words – so the saying above goes. A recent picture from the Boston Globe Staff creates the unfolding story of the New England Gambling Industry, with multiple endings. Study the picture below before reading on.
Besides the placement of working & proposed casinos in New England, this picture shows where the battle lines are drawn, or where loyalty lines may be crossed.
Geographically, potential winners and losers can be expected. Here are some random thoughts concerning the possibilities:
Is it not a wonder that the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is hesitating on issuing the Region C license to Brockton?
The Mashpee Wampanoag building a resort casino so close to Brockton outs Brockton between two big casino projects – Wynn Everett & Taunton.
Penn National’s Plainridge Park could carve its own niche because of the lack of table games.
Moving the Newport Grand to Tiverton with a hotel attached fortifies the Eastern Front for Rhode Island, and bad news for the Massachusetts casino group.
The Addition of a third Connecticut Casino in the Hartford area makes the CT River battle a two horse race – however, the loyalty programs of Foxwoods & Mohegan Sun might keep CT gamblers in-state for the most part. MGM, however, has a national MLife Rewards program that couls have value east to west.
Entertainment venues are far enough apart not to compete. Twin River, Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun, MGM Springfield and Wynn Everett probably won’t get in the way of each other concerning concert & club venues.
If Maine can’t stabilize it’s two casinos so far away from southern New England, they definitely don’t need a third.
Finally, and the most important part, is the number of possible gambling option in Southern New England should cause fierce competition. And guess who the biggest winner should be?
Massachusetts Regions for full casinos. Doesn’t include Mashpee Wampanoags in Taunton or Plainridge Park Slot Parlor in Plainville.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has its hands full, it seems.
Steve Crosby, Chairman of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission
MGC Chairman Steve Crosby seems to thing all plans have a chance to work itself out. The problem is, many others are doubting it will all come to fruition. In a previous post 5 Reasons New England Gamblers Will Decide Where the Casino Money Goes, John Kostrzewa points to important considerations in New England’s Casino future – something Mr. Crosby and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission should read.
Let’s look at their original plan:
Plainridge Park Casino
SLOTS ONLY LICENSE – Plainridge Park Casino gets the revenue stream started, keeping Mass gamblers in state and luring way Rhode Island gamblers. So far, it has been very successful while seeing a decline each month after its opening.
Wynn Everett Resort Everett, Mass
REGION A LICENSE – Wynn is hand picked after sending home Caesars, then allowing the glitz of Vegas to dismiss Mohegan Sun.
Wynn is now starting the clean-up of the old Monsanto waste site, in litigation with numerous parties, and considering changes to its proposal as this is posted.
New rendering of MGM Springfield’s
REGION B LICENSE – MGM Resorts is chosen in Springfield, only to have unapproved changes made, and delays estimated to put off the opening for three years. Connecticut continues to pressure the MGM project with a third Casino of its own in a joint effort from Mohegan Sun & Foxwoods – somewhere withing the vicinity of 30 miles from Springfield.
Proposed Brockton Casino
REGION C LICENSE – Only Brockton remains, but hasn’t been given the license because of the rebirth of the Wampanoags Taunton project. The MGC is taking a wait and see path, as Twin River bulks up with additional tables, added poker room, a hotel, and possibly moving Newport Grand to Tiverton – across the border from Plainridge Park in Plainville.
How is this all panning out? Originally, four Mass. casinos would be looting & pillaging CT & RI casinos by 2017. But it’s not looking like the plan is on track.
The main concern at this time for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is should a Region C license be awarded at all. According to MGC Chair Steve Crosby, “They can coexist……They would cannibalize one another. Neither one of them would do as well.”
But the main concern here isn’t casinos, community involvement, traffic, or lawsuits. It’s cash, moolah, the almighty buck.
The expansive Mashpee Wampanoag Casino Proposal in Brockton, Mass.
Under the compact between the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and Massachusetts, the state would collect 17% of the tribal casino’s gaming revenues, compared with 25% of revenues from the commercial casino. However, the tribal casino would not be required to pay taxes if a commercial casino were to open in the same region. Which would mean the same number of gamblers, but half the revenue to the state. Would the MGC deny Rush Gaming a chance in Brockton because the Mashpee Wampanoags project looks more likely to happen than three months ago? Is one large Tribal casino better than two casinos – tribal and commercial – co-existing?
Remember, the Massachusetts Casino Law in 2011 didn’t become law because the Massachusetts legislature thought adding the devil of gambling to its list of tourist attractions, it was the greedy devil from within to get their Bay State money back that had been spent by Massachusetts patrons for years in Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Spock in “Amok Time” – Star Trek.
I guess it’s not that easy to build a casino and hear the stream of money drop into Massachusetts coffers. Dear Mr. Crosby, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Or, as Spock said in Star Trek, season 2, episode 1 (“Amok Time,” 1968) , ““After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting. It is not logical, but is often true.” –
Taunton Casino Rendering for Mashpee Wampanoags Proposal
The Boston Globe reported last week that the Mashpee Wampanoag Indian Tribe appear to be making significant progress in its quest to secure land in Massachusetts to build a Las Vegas-style casino.
We’ve been hearing about this on-again, off-again casino for three years, but it now seems closer than ever to fruition.
Proposed Brockton Casino
The federal government recently informed the tribe in a letter that a decision in their case is imminent. The tribe needs the federal government to help them convert 150 acres of land into a reservation, which would allow for the casino to be built under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The tribe wants to build a $500 million casino in Taunton, which is in the Southeastern part of the state. But, Brockton also is competing for the SE license in Region C.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs seems confused on what exactly it’s communications to the Mashpee Wampanoags means.
the tribe’s request is under review
they are inviting comments for a 30-day period on the tribe’s request to issue a reservation proclamation
no date has been identified in which a reservation proclamation will be issued by the Department of the Interior
issuance of a reservation proclamation is a separate and distinct action from acquiring land in trust…”
It seems the important part is that a reservation proclamation would allow the tribe to construct a casino in Taunton if the land has been turned into a trust.
“This letter to the City of Taunton is an indication that the Interior Department is one step closer to making a final decision on our full application,” tribal council chairman Cedric Cromwell said in a press release regarding the letter. But the letter refers to looking into the trust, not deciding on it.
Estele C. Borges, president of Taunton’s City Council, said that the council and the City of Taunton have already responded when more than 60 percent of city residents voted in favor of a casino to be constructed in Taunton. So the BIA seems to have the last say.
What will this mean to Brockton? It seems that two casinos in Region C, so close to Rhode Island Casinos and the new Plainridge slots joint may add to the saturation problem. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission did refer to the fact that neither Brockton or the then alive New Bedford proposal might not see a casino. It might depend solely on the BIA’s decision with the Mashpee Wampanoags casino in Taunton.