Almost everyone likes to feel they can predict the future. This post is from 2019 is now being updated again! The original post was from 2015. Revision 3.0 of Ten Predictions From 2015 – 2021 Update
Related Post – NEW ENGLAND GAMBLING HISTORY – A TIMELINE
Ten Predictions From 2015 Rev. 3.0
What was the 2015 casino landscape like in New England?
In 2015, I looked into my crystal ball to answer questions our followers asked about casino expansion. If you recall, in 2015, Massachusetts still only had one commercial casino, slots-only. Twin River Worldwide Holdings still owned Twin River Casino, their name hadn’t changed to Bally’s, and the TRWH portfolio was a meager three casinos. Besides Twin River and Newport Grand Slots, the third was the purchase of The Hard Rock Casino in Biloxi, MS. in 2014.
Maine was rumored to add a third casino in York County to Oxford and Hollywood Bangor casinos. And Connecticut casinos trying to stop casino revenues from a small, steady decrease.
Let’s see how well I did. Ten Predictions From 2015 – 2021 Update
1. Massachusetts Expansion
- 2015 – “Massachusetts will not have a full slate of casinos until 2018.”
- 2019 – Actually, Encore Boston Harbor didn’t open until June 23, 2019
- 2021 – As all casinos after the pandemic, Massachusetts gambling halls are getting back on track. But the further expansion of other casinos still won’t occur beyond 2023 if both Wampanoag tribes are finally allowed to pursue their casino dreams.
2. Plainridge Park Relevance
- 2015 – “Plainridge Park Casino opening showing positive signs.”
- 2019 – Plainridge has continued to straddle a fine line between relevance and immaterial because of its size, lack of table games, and surrounding competition.
- 2021 – Plainridge has seen a rejuvenation after the pandemic. Outdoor dining and entertainment may even draw some slot patrons from Twin River Casino.
3. The Everett Massachusetts Casino Project
- 2015 – “Steve Wynn’s Everett casino project, facing too many hurdles, legal suits, MGC quirks, and toxic waste, will pull out of Massachusetts.”
- 2019 – Wrong, wrong, wrong. How could I not have realized how wrong this was? Well, even in 2020, rumors surrounded this property after being built. Remember Steve Wynn’s expulsion from the project? And how about when MGM was going to buy the property? But, I must have felt a disturbance in the force when coming up with this one in 2015.
- 2021 – The Gem of New England. With everything it has endured these past two years, Encore Boston Harbor personifies the luxury, class, and exemplary hospitality that Wynn Corp. is known for worldwide.
4. Massachusetts Region C Casino Expansion and Tribal Casinos
- 2015 – The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) won’t back any of the proposals in Region C due to market saturation.
- 2019 – Nailed it.
- 2021 – With saturation and overcoming losses from the pandemic, a casino in Region C will never be allowed.
5. The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe First Light Project on Last Leg
- 2015 – The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe will eventually establish a casino in Taunton.
- 2019 – Nope, ain’t gonna happen
- 2021 – While their Tribal casino First Light has recently received a slight change in momentum, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Chairman Brian Weeden “think it’s best just to reassess everything and see what the community wants to do.”
6. Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe still wants Class II Casino
- 2015 – Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe will establish a Class II casino in Martha’s Vineyard. (Still looks like it will happen)
- 2019 – Stalled, stalled, stalled. Zoning demands by the town government holding up further progress.
- 2021 – The tribe in Massachusetts seeking to build a gambling hall on Martha’s Vineyard has lost a federal appeal regarding its ongoing dispute with local officials. The Wampanoag Tribe still plans to move forward with its 10,000-square-foot bingo hall on its sovereign land.
7. MGM Springfield Changes With The Times
- 2015 – MGM will change and downs-scale its Springfield project due to increased CT competition on the border
- 2019 – Correct! Changes in the hotel, housing project, and interior space were changed before opening. Later, MGM took out more slots to make a more spatial feeling and agreed that they miscalculated the patron loyalty to Connecticut Casinos.
- 2021 – The animosity between MGM and the tribal casinos in Connecticut has seemed to go away since all three have more serious issues due to the pandemic.
8. A Third Connecticut Casino? Ten Predictions From 2015 – 2021 Update
- 2015 – Will there be a new casino in Connecticut? Nope.
- 2019 – My prediction was wrong. The battle at the Connecticut River over corraling gamblers north or south proved to be a nasty one at first. The joint venture between the Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegans picked up steam. It would be called Tribal Winds, located in East Windsor, CT. But, before the pandemic, it was stalled by local lawsuits in East Windsor, but still a possibility
- 2021 – For all practical purposes, the Tribal Winds Casino is no more. The amendment to the original pact with both tribes and the state of Connecticut took care of that. The agreement to legalize sports wagering in CT put the new casino in the tribes’ hands, who quickly dismissed any interest in the project.
Related Post – iGaming Will Put Connecticut On Top In New New England.
9. When will Maine add a third casino?
- 2015 – Never
- 2019 – Never
- 2021 – When pigs fly!
10. Will there ever be a casino in New Hampshire?
- 2015 – Never
- 2019 – This wash both correct and incorrect. When it comes to large commercial casinos, I still say never. But New Hampshire’s Charitable Donation Law has spawned a busy Card Room (which they call “casinos”) business with over 10 of these “casinos.”
- 2021 – The New Hampshire Card Rooms continue to thrive. And New Hampshire became the second state to approve legal sports wagering.
The biggest question is, “what changes have the Covid pandemic brought to New England’s casinos?” Unfortunately, that won’t be seen until the end of 2021 – and this pandemic won’t go away.
But no one saw sports betting in New England’s future in 2015, not even this Binthsayer of NETimeGambling.com. That will be tons of fun to watch in the next year.