Massachusetts officially enters its “casino era” this week as the Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, Mass. opens its doors Wednesday and it’s taking direct aim at gamblers who primarily play in Connecticut at either Mohegan Sun or Foxwoods.
The new, $250 million facility, privately owned by Penn National, had a sneak preview opening Monday to some high-rollers, construction workers who worked on the project, and by special invitation some regular gamblers at the Connecticut casinos whose names were gleaned from gamblers data bases.
Plainville Park doesn’t have table games but has 1,250 slot machines and various specialty restaurants. Just what kind of an impact the new casino will have on Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods is unclear but a recent study shows the real big loser will be the Twin River Casino in Rhode Island while the Connecticut facilities would be largely spared. But that didn’t stop the Plainridge Park operators from targeting Connecticut gamblers.
The general consensus and various studies show the real hurt will be laid down by the full scale casinos being built in Great Boston (although that’s the subject of multiple lawsuits) and Springfield. Connecticut passed a law in the recently concluded session of the General Assembly that sets up a process for a third casino in the state, likely in the I-91 corridor north of Hartford. Gov. Dannel Malloy signed the bill into law Monday.