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 England Casino News You Might Have Missed

So much has happened this past week, I felt a post with related links might be in order. Accordingly, here is a number of news snippets in “New England Casino News You Might Have Missed.”

Plainridge Racing at the Mercy of Mass Legislators

They did it last year, and they’re doing it again.  Who?  Massachusetts state lawmakers are bringing the horse racing to the brink of extinction once again. According to Colin A. Young in

Plainridge Raceway at Plainridge Casino, Plainville, MA

Plainridge Raceway at Plainridge Casino, Plainville, MA

the Lowell Sun, “If the legal authority for racing and simulcasting is not extended before Thursday, all racing and simulcasting must stop. Subsequently meaning it must be enacted by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Charlie Baker. Plainridge Park Casino, the only remaining host of live horse racing in Massachusetts, is planning to hold races until then.”

 

Live racing has come under attack in New England in recent years.  Unfortunately, Suffolk Downs, the last thoroughbred racing in Massachusetts and New England, closed in July. Maine still has racing at Scarborough and Bangor (connected to Hollywood casino block away) with parimutuel betting. The summer fair season in Maine has horse racing which helps the Maine horse breeding market.

CT Lawmakers announce comprehensive casino/sports betting plan

A bipartisan group of Connecticut lawmakers announced a wide-ranging bill they hope could lead to legalized sports betting. Furthermore, it also hints at the addition of a Bridgeport casino and the completion of the combined tribal venture in East Windsor. The tribes must spend a minimum of $100 million on an entertainment and gambling facility in Bridgeport. Consequently, the tribes will receive authorization to conduct sports wagering at Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun. In addition, sports wagering through mobile applications, online and other locations in the state would be approved. The original tribal compact will stay intact, with 25% slot revenue going to the state from the two current tribal casinos. In addition, the tribes would contribute 10% of their table games revenues generated.  Only at both the proposed Bridgeport casino and East Windsor casino would add this to the state’s tourism marketing fund.

Rhode Island Sports Betting is up

Inside the Twin River Casino Sports Book

Inside the Twin River Casino Sports Book

Rhode Island’s two regulated sports betting operators, Twin River and Tiverton Casino, recorded a combined book revenue of $2.15m in June. Presently, that is a record high for the Ocean state. As a matter of fact, the total sports betting profit for the fiscal year is nearly $6.9 million. Rhode Island became the eighth state to offer sports betting in 2018, months after the Supreme Court struck down PASPA.

Mohegan Sun Prepares for sports betting

Mohegan Sun announced signed an agreement with Kambi Group plc to provide online and on-property betting products. The Kambi Sportsbook will be integrated into Mohegan Sun’s iPro gaming platform to power a free-to-play sportsbook. Equally important, it will enable Mohegan Sun guests to familiarize themselves with the Kambi product ahead of a regulated real-money launch. Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment currently has casinos and resorts in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Canada, and Connecticut. At this time, both Pennsylvania and New Jersey already offer real-money legal sports wagering through retail and mobile sportsbooks.

Rhode Island Problems include deal with IGT

IGT Headquarters in Providence, RI

IGT Headquarters in Providence, RI

To begin with, the agreement would start in 2023. Through IGT’s $6.4 billion merger with Rhode Island-based GTech Holdings in 2015, the company already controls 84 percent of the slot floors at the Twin River and Tiverton casinos. Scientific Games has 12 percent of the remaining slot space, and Everi Holdings has the other 4 percent. In fact, Governor Raimondo and top lawmakers announced they had reached a tentative deal with IGT to extend its Lottery contract. In exchange, the company will keep 1,100 workers in the state employed. Although this is true, a major concern is a monopoly of gaming machines by IGT. Besides, there would be an absence popular brands found in other casinos across New England and the country by Aristocrat, Konami and IT.

Related Post – Rhode Island Casino Specs and History

another Blackjack class-action Suit, this time MGM Springfield

According to MassLive, “Blackjack players have filed a class action lawsuit claiming MGM Springfield is paying less than state regulations permit on winning hands at some tables. The claims, including in a lawsuit filed Monday in Hampden Superior Court, echo those made in a similar suit filed recently against Wynn Resorts’ Encore Boston Harbor. Similarly, claims were made concerning Encore Boston Harbor after it opened. However, they were dismissed by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

Wynn Not a Win?

Boston Harbor, Everett, MA

Approaching Encore Boston Harbor, Everett, MA

Encore Boston Harbor has been the most anticipated resort Casino to open in New England since Foxwoods in 1992. Even then, Foxwoods was just at the beginning of its expansion. I even called it the “Jewel” of New England’s Casinos.

To summarize, he proposes 5 considerations:

  1. Wynn’s new Massachusetts casino, Encore Boston Harbor, has sizable competition, and has significantly fewer amenities than that competition.
  2. Sentiment from early patrons skews negative.
  3. The location won’t be Encore Boston Harbor’s “silver bullet.” It’s not ideal, and it’s unclear how much convenience even matters to New England gamblers.
  4. We are projecting that EBH will fail to meet most revenue estimates, including the projections from Wynn itself.
  5. Although it’s unlikely that Encore Boston Harbor will be a significant catalyst for Wynn stock, we recommend a smaller gaming stock with large exposure to this new resort.

This is a must read as well as the comments if you are interested in New England’s casino expansion.

Finally, Maine’s Casinos Had a Record Year

Officials attend the grand opening of the Oxford Casino Hotel on Route 26 on Nov. 9. The 107-room, four-story hotel is attached to Oxford Casino, which opened in 2012 and is owned by Churchill Downs Inc.  (Oxford Casino photo)

Robert F. Bukaty of the AP reported that Maine’s two casinos raked in close to $144 million last year, setting a state gambling record. The recent rise is considered tied to Oxford’s hotel addition and expanded gaming floor.  But Milt Champion, executive director of Maine’s gambling control unit, doesn’t expect the windfall to last due to increased competition across the board. Maine is one of 12 states with record casino gambling last year, according to a report from the American Gaming Association released Tuesday. Nationwide, gamblers spent almost $42.7 billion in two dozen states with legal casinos, the association said.

Meanwhile, Maine’s positive path towards sports betting has skidded to an unexpected halt.  Gov. Janet Mills decided not to sign the bill that would legalize sports betting in her state due to concerns over expanded gambling. At this point, the bill is going nowhere fast and could stay that way forever.
That was the week’s news. Wonder what this week brings?
Binbin

Rhode Island Casino Specs and History

BRIEF Rhode Island Gambling History

Rhode Island Casino Specs and History begins with a different start from their northern neighbors. Massachusetts kicked out Rhode Island’s Puritanical founding father, Roger Williams, for spreading “dangerous opinions.” He landed in the Ocean State. He wanted a place where citizens could be free to live their lives according to personal conviction.  Thus, Rhode Island was William’s place for personal liberty.

According to GamblingSites.com, Rhode Island “became home to a thriving lottery industry. Towns and villages used the collected profits to fund building projects and trade missions. Lotteries supervised by the Masonic lodge and other community organizations. As a result, they funded much of Rhode Island’s early colonial development throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. The late 1800’s saw a state constitution and state laws banned lotteries and gambling in any form.

Twin River as Lincoln Park before Major Expansion

Twin River as Lincoln Park before Major Expansion

Horse racing (1930), Greyhound racing, and a lottery (1970) eventually made pari-mutuel wagering legal. In 1992, Rhode Island approved VLT gaming machines (classII) at Lincoln Greyhound Park & Newport Jai Alai.

In 2007, Lincoln Greyhound Park became Twin River Casino with class III gaming. Newport Grand soon followed, redesigning without Jai-Alai. Major expansion in 2007 included class III VLT’s, more like standard Vegas style slot-machines.

Facing competition from Foxwoods in CT, table games were approved for Twin River casino in 2012.  The city of Newport refused to allow table games at Newport grand. This was the demise of the now closed casino.

Twin River Casino

Tiverton Casino/ Hotel.

Recently, Twin River added a hotel and Newport Grand closed and moved operations to the new Tiverton Casino & Hotel. Twin River Holdings not only owns the two Rhode Island casinos, but has recently invested in adding five more casinos.

Current Legal Types Of Gambling

Casino Games: Las Vegas style games offered at both Twin River & Tiverton. Table games are offered at both casinos.

Live Poker: Twin River has a poker room.

Sports Betting: As of November, 2018, Rhody allows sports betting. In early 2019, lawmakers expanded legal sports betting to include online and mobile betting. Rhode Island soon will have mobile sports betting.

Related Posts – New England Sports Betting Arrives – Rhode Island Twin River First in NE

Rhode Island Sports Betting Will Go Mobile Soon After Governor Signs Bill

Lottery Betting: The State lottery in Rhode Island which includes Keno games and VLTs (virtual lottery terminals) with their own instant gambling type games is a powerful part of the state revenue.

Rhode Island Casino Specs

 

RIhode Island Casino Specs

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