The Growing New England Casino Market – the Monday Link

Every Monday, NETG Brings you a Gambling Post from someone else for your interest, ENTERTAINMENT, and KNOWLEDGE. We Call this:

“The Monday Link”

I have been a big fan of Steve Ruddock’s writing for sometime now.  You can find many many of his posts on PlayUSA.com which is where this is from. Steve is a Casino & gaming analyst & consultant. His primary focus is on the regulated US online casino and poker markets. He writes for numerous online and print publications, including OnlinePokerReport.com, USPoker.com, and USA Today.

Steve Ruddock

PlayUSA.com is the national site for a series of Play-branded news and informational sites in various states, such as PlayNJ.com, PlayPennsylvania.com, PlayNY.com, and nearly a dozen others. PlayUSA’s focus is to provide readers with news and resources related to legal, regulated online gambling options in the United States. They also have a team of experts writing great material like the one featured today. Their resources include: gambling industry news updates, state-based online gaming guides, and a state legislative tracker.

Read this more than once – there’s a lot to digest in this article.

NEW MASS., RHODE ISLAND CASINOS ARE GROWING THE NEW ENGLAND MARKET

 

Binbin

Past, Present Winners & Losers in Casino Competition CT Tribes Once Started

 

The Pequot and Mohegan Tribes were once one tribe, but war with colonists, differences with other tribes, and different tribal and colonial alliances caused a split that continues to this day. The Mohegans were allies of John Mason against the Pequots in the Great Pequot War in 1637.  Will the Mohegans & Pequots re-unite in the Great Casino War of 2020?  Read on…..

Over 250 years after the Pequot War (which almost eradicated the entire Pequot Nation), a bingo hall rose on what was left of the Mashantucket Pequot reservation in 1985 beginning the history of gaming in New England and competition once again between the Mohegans and Pequots.

Previous to 1992, both tribes fought for federal & state recognition as well as keeping land claims. Then governor Weicker agreed to give the Pequots a monopoly on slot machines in return for 25 percent of the slot machine revenue with the state guaranteed $160 Million,. A year later, in 1993, the Pequots  agreed to share the gaming business with the Mohegans, a tribe with whom they have lived for centuries, but the Indian monopoly is extended to all casino games.

After the Tribes Are Recognized

Here is a quick little history lesson since then:

Foxwoods started it all with a Bingo hall.

Foxwoods started it all with a Bingo hall.

  • 1992 – first New England Casino as Foxwoods opens its doors in Mashantucket, CT
  • 1992 – Rhode Island approves VLT gaming machines (class II) at Lincoln Greyhound Park & Newport Jai Alai
  • 1996 – the Mohegan Tribe opens the second NE casino in Uncasville, CT
  • 2005 – Hollywood Slots Hotel & Raceway opens in Bangor, Maine
  • 2007 – Lincoln Greyhound Park turns into Twin River Casino with class III gaming; Newport soon follows
  • 2008 – MGM joins Foxwoods with additional hotel / casino
  • 2011 – MA legislature approves construction of 3 casinos
  • 2012 – Oxford Casino opens in Oxford, Maine, making two casinos in Maine
  • 2015 – MA opens first of three (4?) casinos in Plainville, Mass at Plainridge Park – slots only.

 

I should mention that casino gambling found a home in the 1800’s in Newport, Rhode Island, not to mention the numerous greyhound, horse tracks and  parimutuel parlors throughout New England. Jai Alai frontons in Milford & Hartford CT, and Newport, RI were also popular for a while in the 1970 – 90s until Foxwoods opened. Rhode Island’s Lincoln Greyhound Park became Twin River Casino later.greyhound

Future Casino Landscape in 2015

In 2015, the country was filled with new casinos and New England followed the trend. The two CT tribal casinos in New England began a gaming explosion that appeared to include:

  • Connecticut – 3 casinos – a joint casino venture (MMCT) with Foxwoods/Mohegan Sun
  • Rhode Island – 2 Twin River Casinos
  • Massachusetts – 4 casinos, plus an additional Tribal Casino in the Southeast
  • New Hampshire – 2 Casinos, wherever?
  • Maine – 2 casinos
  • Total = 13 casinos in a combined area slightly larger than the state of Washington, which has 28 Indian casinos in operation.

The Many Casinos That Never made it

For those in the country that don’t equate New England with gambling still, it may be a surprise that New England has had more casino proposals not make it to construction than the Las Vegas Strip. For those of you living here, remember these possibilities?

Mohegan Palmer Casino

Mohegan Sun’s rendition of Mohegan Palmer Casino

  • Penn National Casino in Springfield, MA (2013)
  • Caesars Casino proposal in Boston, MA (2013) partnering with Suffolk Downs
  • Mohegan Sun Casino proposal in Palmer MA (2013)
  • Hard Rock International Casino proposal in West Springfield MA (2013)
  • Mashpee Wampanoag “First Light” Casino in Tauton MA (2013) [not daed yet]
  • Nunes/Foxwoods Casino proposal in Milford MA (2013)
  • Rush Gaming Slots-only proposal in Worcester MA (2013)
  • Racino proposal in Scarborough ME (2013)
  • Cordish Gaming Slots-only proposal in Foxboro MA (2013)
  • Penn National opts out of Casino in Springfield, MA, to set sites on slots-only in Plainville (2013)
  • New Hampshire proposes three separate casinos (2012, 2013, 2015), but none to show for it.
  • The Passamaquoddy Tribe and the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians casino proposals ME
  • Mohegan Sun Casino proposal for Revere MA (after MGM chosen for Springfield (2014)
  • Maine Casino Proposal @Scarborough Downs (2014)
  • Foxwoods Casino Proposal in New Bedford MA (2014)
  • Rush Gaming Casino in Brockton MA (2014 – 2018)
  • York Casino Proposal ME (2015, 2017)

    Foxwoods New Bedford (top), Rush Gaming’s Brockton Proposal, which is hanging on by a thread.

Where am I going with this?  To tell you the truth, I don’t know…..does anybody know?  Let’s be honest, the news of an economic gambling war between New England States could go in many directions.  Twin River buying Dover Downs in Delaware and moving Newport Grand (closed) to Tiverton with table games and a nifty hotel is an example of New England casinos jockeying for additional advantages.

That’s all for now.  All I know is, for now, and the foreseeable future, we will have  9 casinos when Encore Boston Harbor is finished in 2019. Actually, it will be 10, since the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe on Martha’s Vineyard, MA has been approved for a small class II casino.

My head hurts………

Binbin

Tiverton Casino Gets Another Look From NETG Staff

It’s been over a month since Twin River Management moved it’s Newport Grand slot parlor 20 minutes east to Tiverton, Rhode Island. With a chance to stay in the hotel this time, the NETG trio of Bin, Bert & Miguel descended on the newest casino in New England.

If you’d like to check out our first visit, click below

Tiverton Casino Hotel – Our Last Summer Trip Report

The Hotel

Tiverton Hotel

The three story hotel is to the right of the casino. The rooms are a little small, with a very bright ambiance.  No bureaus, but adequate shelving below the wall attached flat TV takes its place, similar to MGM Springfield. There is no coffee maker in room, but the Dunkin Donuts attached between the casino and hotel is open 24 hours.  The beds are some of the most comfortable of all New England casino hotels I’ve ever experienced.  The quiet, comfortable and restful rooms at Tiverton Casino’s Hotel are highly recommended. 

**Noteworthy – If you are staying over, it’s good to know that the third floor rooms have refrigerators.

SUPPER at Trattoria Romana

Inside Trattoria Romana

This fine dining Italian Cuisine was a smart choice for Tiverton. There are other restaurants, each a little different -Trattoria Romana in Lincoln, Johnston & Wakefield, as well as the newest Trattoria Express in Lincoln. The concept & experience at Trattoria Romana were designed to offer a comfortable dining experience with moderate prices. The menu is large and has something for everyone. The chicken dishes were very tender. I had the Vitello Saltimbocca alla Romana – Veal medallions topped with imported Prosciutto di Parma, mozzarella cheese and fresh sage pan-seared in a marsala wine sauce and served over pappardelle pasta. The veal was delicious in a subtle sauce. All the entrees were large portions. See above about which floor has refrigerators  to take the rest of your meal home.

**Noteworthy –  Torre Restaurant Group and Trattoria Romana gift cards are currently NOT accepted at Tiverton Casino Hotel.

RANDOM NOTES

If you want to play Pai Gow Poker, expect to be patient.  Dealers are very slow (slowing down the already slow-paced game) and had to keep checking house way for setting their cards. Low Limit on a Sunday night was $25. As with most casinos (but not MGM Springfield) the Fortune bonus can be bet with any denomination, but $5 gets the envy addition.

Vents in floor recycle air throughout the casino

Smoke continues to be more problematic than they thought. The modern air exchange system cant seemingly keep up on busy weekend nights.

The casino feels more spacious than other New England casinos of comparable size, such as Oxford Casino Hotel in Maine, and both MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park Raceway & Casino in Massachusetts.

Craps is nothing special, but does offer $10 limit tables. There is no special bets like the Firebet or the All Tall, All Small.

Cashier is slow and undermanned.

Craft Beer, Red Sox & Patriots. What a night!

They have a special Free SlotPlay match promotion going on, matching CT & MA casinos mailers.

IPourit – card connected to credit card must be returned or $4 charge

Finally, it seems that this casino will be busier than Newport Grand ever was. Table games, stadium gambling, high end dining, the iPourIt Beer Wall, and a hotel are definitely huge upgrades. Tiverton is not pretending to be more than what it is – a locals casino. It will do well in the New England Casino landscape.

Binbin

Remember when you gamble, embrace the math – not the myth