With the opening of the first-ever casino on Wednesday, Plainridge Park, Massachusetts will welcome a completely new casino era for itself. The casino will feature around 1,500 advanced slot machines along with a lustrous sports bar, which is named after a football star.
For many years, the state has taken into consideration the idea of a casino opening, which will finally be implemented this Wednesday. Following the inauguration of the glistening casino, the state of Massachusetts, which is popular for its Puritan past and its advancing present, will become the 40th state permitting casino-style gambling. Now, it depends on cancelation of Rhode Island and Connecticut tours by gamblers to drop their quarters into home-state capital, if the splendid gamble would yield good results or not.
According to state Gaming Commission Chairman, Stephen P. Crosby, this is one of the biggest changes on Massachusetts’ cultural, social, and economic front in past almost half a decade. Since, it paved a way for state revenue and new jobs as well as for economic development.
A total of three gambling emporiums were planned in a 2011 state law, among which Plainridge particularly stands some Massachusetts markings. Some states permit alcohol 24 hours a day. Nevertheless, Plainridge announces the last call at 1 a.m. Also, it is completely smoke-free and does not allow people below 21 years of age to gamble.
With an aim to condense compulsive gambling, the Plainridge Park casino will feature numerous majestic slot machines with some of the nation’s most stringent regulations. Playing for high wagers, Plainridge may make some of the players remain at a distance from it.
The purpose of the casino is to make the money two folds on every 1,500 slots and video blackjack machines. It will move around $250 million in the first two years in state revenue. A large amount of money will be directed to towns and cities for firefighter and teacher salaries and other expenses. However, the casino will allocate tens of millions of dollars to the horse racing industry.
Plainridge seeks to bring gamblers nearer to home. Since, around 50% of all Twin River Casino gamblers belong to Massachusetts. Also, some 33% of all cars in the two Connecticut resort casinos’ parking lots come from Bay State.
On the other hand, the tax rate is significantly higher in the area as compared to Las Vegas. Vegas-style table games are also being offered by competitors nearby. Thus, industry watchers suspect if the new casino would be able to make enough money. However, all prepared to tackle this challenge, Plainridge has deployed high-tech slot machines in its lush hall.
Today, only a few slots have old-time levers, which were used by gamblers to try out their luck. Also, either touch screens or magnetic stripes have swapped quarters and chip stacks on player loyalty cards, which have free play for first-time players. Earlier, blackjack dealers used to turn cards. They have been replaced by doe-eyed digital women who appear smiling on computerized multiplayer card table screens.
Looking at the present scenario, officials at Plainridge look forward to gathering some $500 on every slot machine per day in a year from its opening. Nonetheless, Lasell College’s assistant professor of political science, Paul L. DeBole, says it seemed difficult on part of Plainridge to collect that much money.
But, Plainridge is highly optimistic about it. Thus, its loyalty rewards card is being strongly promoted by the casino. This card makes players earn points for meals or drinks or free play. According to MIT’s associate professor Natasha Dow Schull, offering free play to players is one of the best marketing techniques.
Next to the parking garage elevators, a kiosk will have live advisers for 16 hours per day, who will counsel problem gamblers in need of help. By the coming September, Plainridge will have a system allowing gamblers to fix a spending limit on a session or for an electronic reminder on reaching the set limit. Both the systems have been introduced for the first time in the nation.
Two extremely successful casinos opened in the early 1990s to attract Bay State gamblers in large numbers, which instigated a political debate about a casino in Plainridge that stretched for two decades and a half. The Wednesday opening of the casino will mark this debate’s upshot.
Governor Deval Patrick wanted three high-end gambling palaces with their trappings in Las Vegas. However, House Speaker Robert DeLeo wanted a slot parlor license that declared that race tracks could look forward to winning. Legislation was signed in November 2011 by Patrick; still, casino in Massachusetts seemed intimidated until the previous year. Eventually, Patrick’s idea of opening the resort casinos in Springfield and Everett in future worked. The price he paid is worth of Plainridge.
The Plainridge casino has a Doug Flutie sports pub with a chic restaurant. The pub will highlight the 1984 Heisman trophy of Flutie beyond a glass case. Plainridge general manager, Lance George says that the casino is far different from a slot parlor and it is making the place of Plainridge Park get promoted as much as the casino itself.