Should table games be allowed at Plainridge Park Casino?

Jeff RoyPaul Vicaire

Plainridge Park Casino faces a deliberate campaign by Rhode Island to attract Massachusetts customers to its casinos.

With this intense competition from Twin River and Tiverton, just over our southern border, it’s time to act to protect Massachusetts jobs and income from leaving the state. A bill currently pending before the legislature (H532) would address this threat and empower the Gaming Commission to take action.

Our area communities have seen many positive benefits from Plainridge, and the Commonwealth has seen hundreds of millions in tax revenue to date. Many local residents are employed by the casino and it has brought businesses, including restaurants and a brand new hotel, to the area.

We hate to see this threatened by a competing state doing everything it can to cannibalize our business.

When Bally’s Twin River Lincoln Casino Resort inaugurated an expansion in September that will add 40,000 square feet of new gaming space and a host of other amenities, Rhode Island and casino officials made it clear they had to compete with Massachusetts. to strengthen the state’s casino industry, which combined with lottery sales is its third largest source of revenue.

Twin Rivers added table games in 2013 when Plainridge Park requested the opening of its establishment, and Bally’s Tiverton Casino & Hotel included them when it opened in 2018. They have clearly been installed to attract customers who do not. ‘you just have to walk a short distance to enjoy a more gaming experience.

Given the changing landscape of gambling since the opening of Plainridge in 2015, the Gaming Commission should be nimble enough to recognize the threat to Rhode Island casino revenues and equip Plainridge with additional amenities to meet this challenge. . And H532 is the vehicle to do it.

A modest addition of 30 tables at Plainridge would create approximately 175 new jobs in the region.

The bill is not an attempt to compete with the two existing Massachusetts casinos in Everett and Springfield and makes no effort to tell the board how to handle the details.

Instead, it is a demand for modest expansion so that the Commonwealth can better compete with our neighbors to the south, protect jobs and businesses, and secure tax revenues for the Commonwealth.

NO

Richard reid

Pastor, North Brockton Baptist Church

Richard reid
Richard reidHandout

Casino gambling has been legal in Massachusetts for a decade now. When the law was conceived and implemented, the plan was to allow three full-scale casinos and a slot machine lounge. Plainridge Park won the competition to be the slot machine show and two of the three full casino licenses were awarded and the casinos opened. The third – the casino for the South East region – has repeatedly failed to take off, much to the relief of those of us in Brockton who opposed its relocation to our town.

Massachusetts law is intended only for the benefit of residents here and should not be dictated or influenced by what happens in our neighboring states. Rhode Island has made the decision to expand its table games and it is their business. We cannot allow this to be the determining factor for Massachusetts to make changes to existing Commonwealth law.

Too often in our time we see the rewriting of history and the law for one reason or another. H532, a proposal on Beacon Hill to effectively redefine a Category 2 (slots parlor) casino by allowing up to 30 table games and additional slots at Plainridge, should not go ahead.

As I watched the casinos start to operate in Massachusetts, one thing I did not witness is clear evidence of the promised benefits to the local economies around them. Over the years I have asked for clear data showing these gains and each time I get no response, or a response that says, “It’s complicated. This murky picture is the same when it comes to tracking the benefits of another newly legalized industry in our state – recreational marijuana.

The only thing we have witnessed is that casino companies based outside of Massachusetts make a lot of money while our lives here change little.

Wherever casino complexes thrive, small businesses are threatened by competition, and the lives of many families are damaged by compulsive gambling. Another reality of gambling, legal or illegal, is the burden placed on churches and local agencies to support affected families.

There are many opportunities for people to lose their money at Massachusetts casinos. We don’t need to create new ones.

As told to Globe correspondent John Laidler. To suggest a topic, please contact [email protected].

This is not a scientific investigation. Please vote only once.


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