The Plainridge Park Casino is a slots only casino in Plainville, Massachusetts that currently enjoys a slot machine monopoly in the state but is still struggling with declining revenues. The casino recently reported that its revenue for October 2016 declined by 5 percent when compared to October 2015. The casino, which cost $250 million to create, opened its doors to the public in June 2015 and brought in just $160 million in revenue during its first year of operation which was well short of the number that gaming analysts had estimated.
Plainridge Park is an integrated gaming and racing facility that has 1,250 electronic slot machines and a live harness racing track. The casino decided earlier this year that it would boost its payouts in an effort to build a bigger customer base in light of the fact that it was expecting stiff competition once the $950 million MGM Springfield and the $2.1 Wynn Boston Harbor casino’s opened in the state. This is one of the main reasons why Plainridge Park had more spins in October since its opening but still brought in lesser revenue.
The casino brought in $12.81 million in September 2016 and $12.58 million in October 2016. Plainridge kept around 10 cents per dollar during October 2015 but reduced this to around 7.2 percent of wagers in October 2016. Penn National, which operates the casino, is required to pay the state 49 percent of its revenue and is finding it difficult to make a healthy profit margin. During the first four months of this year, revenue dropped by 11 percent when compared to the same period last year.
Paul DeBole, who is a specialist when it comes to gambling regulation and an assistant political science professor at Lasell College in Newton, stated that Plainridge’s latest revenue report revealed a ‘lackluster performance’. In a statement, DeBole said “If the hold is about 7 percent and about half of that goes to the state right off the top, that doesn’t leave much to pay all the bills and still take a profit.”
The two casinos in neighboring Connecticut have also lowered their slot machine payout percentage. The Foxwoods Casino Resort lowered its payout percentage to a little over 8 percent while the Mohegan Sun casino fixed its slot machine payout at 8.28 percent. The Plainridge casino went lower than both the Connecticut casinos with the strategy of sacrificing short term profits in an effort to capitalize in the long term. It remains to be seen if this will turn out to be an effective strategy. Penn National has not yet released any statement regarding Plainridge Park’s declining revenues in October.