In the first week of operations, the first of four casinos planned for Massachusetts raked in over six million dollars of gambling revenue. Plainridge Park, a slots-only casino attached to the racecourse in Plainview is off to a great start.
Massachusetts residents have traditionally traveled to nearby casinos such as Twin Rivers in Rhode Island and Foxwoods in Connecticut. Now they have a choice closer to home. Plainville is less than 40 miles from Boston.
About 10,000 people swarmed the new slots parlor on opening day, Wednesday June 24th. Plainridge Park took in about twice as much per machine as their largest competitors in Connecticut and Rhode Island; over $500 each for the more than 1200 slots, video poker, and electronic blackjack machines on the new casino floor.
Of course grand opening week is likely to draw in more visitors and revenue than an average week, but the Gaming Commission projects about $200 million in gross earnings annually for the venue.
It is yet to be seen if those numbers will play out in the long run as the state has three more casinos to open and Connecticut has authorized a Foxwoods/Mohegan Sun partnered casino to try to recapture the market.
MGM Springfield should open along with Wynn Everett in 2018 with over 5,000 machines between them. They will also offer nearly 250 table games and poker. A fourth casino will open in Brockton or New Bedford and Connecticut hopes to beat opening day for all three remaining Massachusetts casinos. Twin Rivers and Foxwoods have about 10,000 machines between them.
According to reports the state of Massachusetts and what’s left of the horse racing industry will collect about $3 million of this week’s revenue with about $550,000 of that going to support horse racing. Plainridge Racecourse is the sole operating commercial track. Brockton fair applied for racing in 2014. The last of six fair circuit races were held at Northampton Fair in 2005.
Suffolk Downs lost a bid for a casino license at Revere when the Wynn Everett application was approved. The influx of state dollars may give the more than 80 year old track a chance to re-open for live racing.
Suffolk Downs announced an end to live racing in September after losing the casino contest in conjunction with Mohegan Sun. Since then various glimmers of hope have arisen. On June 11th the Massachusetts Gaming Commission refused to deliberate or take action on a supplemental application by Suffolk Downs for 3 days of live racing this year. Local horsemen were not able to agree on the plan with some saying it would only benefit out of state horsemen.