Casino Developers Thinking Twice About Entering Massachusetts Market

massachusettsTowards the end of 2011, Massachusetts decided to legalize the casino industry and gambling establishments were in a mad rush to get a license approved and launch operations in the bay state. The state gaming association expected the industry to create thousands of jobs for the local communities and generate more than $500 million in state gaming taxes.

A number of leading casino establishments including MGM Resorts and Wynn Resorts applied for casino licenses and after a lengthy review process, got approval to launch their casino resorts in Springfield and Everett. During that time, neighboring states like Connecticut and Rhode Island have also decided to license new casinos near the state border as both states want to ensure that their gamblers do not go out of state to Massachusetts and gamble.

Casinos in Massachusetts were counting on luring gamblers from Connecticut and Rhode Island but now have to accept the fact that they might lose out to the new casinos being created in these neighboring states. MGM Resorts has already filed a lawsuit against the state of Connecticut over the fact that the state directly awarded the new casino license to the two Indian tribes in the state and never had a fair process of inviting proposals from other developers. One of the main reasons why MGM decided to take on Connecticut is because MGM Springfield is expected to make a significant amount of revenue from Connecticut’s gamblers.

In 2015, Plainridge Park became the first casino to open its doors in Massachusetts and did well during the first weeks of its launch. Since then the casino has reported a significant drop in gaming revenue and is concerned with the decline because there are no other casinos operating in the state as of now.

MGM Springfield recently announced that it has decided to scale back its Springfield project due to the fact that it now estimates lower annual revenue. Wynn Everett has had to fight a number of legal battles against the city of Boston who alleges that the state gaming association violated a number of regulations to award a casino license to Wynn Resorts. The constant opposition from within the state and the increase in casino competition from outside the state has now made the Massachusetts casino industry a less exciting place for casinos to do business when compared to a few years earlier.