MA Gaming Commission Chair Says Twin River Has Not Won Yet

Thursday, December 31, 2015


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The Chair of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission refutes a story that appeared in the Boston media that claims the Plainridge Casino has failed to live up to promises and is getting beat by Twin River in RI for the Massachusetts player. The blog post which appeared on the Commission's website is under the leadership of Commissioner - Stephen Crosby, Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chair.

The Boston Globe story all but declared that Twin River had crushed the upstart facility Plainridge - the first of Massachusetts gaming properties to come online.  The blog post claims it is far to early to declare a victor.

Twin River has repeatedly claimed that they can wind the consumer's loyalty by offering a better and more varied experience as well as superior service. A GoLocal story this summer compared the amenities at the two facilities.


Recently you may have heard public discussion or seen several news reports about the fact that revenues at Plainridge Park Casino are at present running behind expectations. While the Gaming Commission is certainly aware of this trend, and while we will continue to closely monitor and evaluate the performance of our licensees, I believe there are several key points that should be taken into consideration as part of our ongoing dialogue about this matter:

–First, five months of operation does not provide enough data to draw any significant conclusions about the status or future of gaming in Massachusetts. Gaming as an economic development tool is a long term play. At the end of the start-up period in 2018, Massachusetts will have seen an investment of at least $3.4 Billion in its casino industry—Plainridge accounts for $250 Million of that investment. . It will be many years before we will be able to truly assess the economic outcomes of the Commonwealth’s decision to authorize expanded gaming.

–Second, while gaming tax revenue (already $30 Million) was one of the motivations for authorizing casinos, it was only one of several. On all the others—jobs (more than 500, including 112 people hired directly from unemployment); capital investment ($250 Million); payments to cities and towns; and local supplier purchasing ($1.8 Million), it is clear that the Plainridge Park Casino has been a substantial economic plus for the Town of Plainville, the region, and the Commonwealth.

–Third, while some have suggested the lower than expected revenues is an indication that the gambling market is saturated in Southern New England, the initial facts tell a different story: in the first 4 full months of Plainridge operation, slot machine revenues in the 5 casinos in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts have increased by $37 million. All of that growth has been in the Plainridge facility. And meanwhile, Plainridge seems to have recaptured $22 Million in slot revenue from its competitors–a major objective of the legislation.

–And finally, despite performing below expectations, the Plainridge facility is performing at a far better rate on a per machine basis than all but one of the 14 other casinos that have opened in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Ohio over the last 10 years.

Massachusetts made the decision to permit casinos—under the most rigorous and progressive controls in the country (in terms of local control, community mitigation, comprehensive research, and innovative responsible gaming strategies). Our job at the Gaming Commission is to implement that law in a way that maximizes the benefits and keeps the unintended consequences to the barest minimum.

It will take some time to see how we do.


Related Slideshow: How Do Twin River Casino and Plainridge Park Casino Match Up?

With Plainridge Park Casino opening in Plainville, MA, GoLocal looked into how the new facility will measure up against Twin River Casino in Lincoln, RI.


1.) Payout Percentage: How much of each dollar spent is won back by a customer.

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Number of Slot Machines

Twin River: 4,500

Plaindridge Park: 1,200

Twin River has nearly four times the number of slot machines that Plainridge Park has available. 



Photo courtesy of: Flickr/Raging Wire

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Number of Table Games

Twin River: 80

Plaindridge Park: 50

Twin River offers 30 more table options than Plainridge Park, including poker, blackjack, craps, and more.



Photo courtesy of Flickr/Images Money

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Payout Percentage

Twin River: 90.845%

Plaindridge Park: N/A

The data for Plainridge Park will come out in the coming months, but Twin River's customers won back 90.845% of their money in May of 2015.



Photo courtesy of Flickr/Jessie Hodge

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Square Feet

Twin River: 300,000

Plaindridge Park: 106,000

Twin River's facility is nearly triple the size of Plainridge Park's and neither is limited to gambling areas.

The former has an event center, a cigar bar, and more. The latter has several restaurants and a horse track.

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Number of Hotel Rooms

Twin River: None

Plaindridge Park: None

Neither Twin River or Plainridge Park currently offer hotel accomodations for their customers. Instead, they suggest to search for nearby options. 

However, plans to build a hotel at Twin River were approved in March of 2015 by the RI House of Representatives. A date for when construction would be finalized has not been announced. 

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Number of Restaurants

Twin River: 2

Plaindridge Park: 2

While both facilties offer food court options, each has two prominent dining locations.

Doug Flutie's Sports Pub is the featured option at Plainridge Park, while Fred & Steve’s Steakhouse is a Twin River staple. 

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Year Established

Twin River: 2007

Plaindridge Park: 2015

Twin River's grounds were first established when Lincoln Downs was built in 1947. It officially became known as Twin River Casino in March of 2007.

The casino at Plainridge Park has just been finalized, but the facility first opened in 1999 as a racetrack.

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Twin River: Twin River Event Center

Plaindridge Park: Revolution 1776 Lounge

Twin River's 29,000 square foot venue will play host to Whitesnake on July 24 and Boz Scaggs on August 1. 

The Revolution 1776 Lounge will welcome Thirty 6 Red on June 25, Bon Jersey on June 27, and Shattered on June 28.

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Hours of Operation

Twin River: 24/7

Plainridge Park: 24/7

Both casinos are open all day all year long, providing customers with the opportunity to win money at any hour of the day.

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Horse Racing

Twin River: None

Plainridge Park: Live-harness racing track

Horse racing distinguishes Plainridge Park from Twin River. 

At the Plainville location live-harness racing takes place all the way through November.



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