Massachusetts Lowers Tax Projections For Plainridge Park Casino
The Plainridge Park Casino had the distinction of being the first casino to open in the state of Massachusetts. Although the MGM Springfield casino and the Wynn Everett casino had received permission to proceed in Massachusetts, these mega-casinos would only open to the public in 2018 and the state gaming commission expected the Plainridge casino to dominate the market and generate a significant amount of revenue in gaming taxes for the state of Massachusetts.
Plainridge opened its doors to the public in June 2015 and had an excellent first month but after that the number of customers started to slowly drop and revenues began to decline. Hardly five months after that casino opened, state authorities have announced that they were dropping their expectations by nearly 40 percent on the amount of gaming taxes that the Plainridge casino would generate.
The state gaming commission believes that the main reason for the drop in customers and decline in revenue is due to the Twin River Casino located in Lincoln, Rhode Island which is just 11 miles away from Plainridge. When the Plainridge casino was built, the state gaming association in Massachusetts remained optimistic that the new casino could attract gamblers from Rhode Island and help bring in more revenue. That appears to have worked in reverse now as gamblers from Massachusetts appear to be willing to travel the extra miles to play at the Twin River Casino which is a lot bigger than Plainridge.
The Plainridge casino does not have a license to offer table games and has a total of 1,250 slot machines whereas the Twin River casino has over 4,000 slot machines and can offer customers a number of table games including poker, craps and blackjack. The lack of revenue has forced the state government to lower its initial tax revenue expectations from $128 million to just $78 million in November.
Gaming analysts had earlier lowered the gaming revenue that Rhode Island would generate as they expected the Twin River casino to lose out to the new Plainridge casino. However that hasn’t been the case and analysts have now added an extra $35 million to the slot machine revenue that the Twin River casino is expected to generate as it has managed to poach gamblers from Massachusetts.
Lance George, the general manager of the Plainridge casino played down these figures. In a statement, George said
Plainridge Park Casino, and the gaming market here in the Commonwealth, is in the earliest phases of its development. It is important to be disciplined in drawing clear conclusions until the Massachusetts market has more fully matured.