SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Atlantic City may lose three of its 12 casinos before the end of the summer, while New York is on the way to adding up to six. 22News discovered what that means for Massachusetts.
Connecticut and Maine already have two casinos. Rhode Island has one and New York could soon have five casinos within a three hour drive from western Massachusetts. We won’t know until November if Massachusetts will open two casinos and a slots parlor.
“You got Foxwoods down there, Mohegan Sun whose losing business, two up here in Massachusetts, a couple in New York as they’re thinking about expanding. It’s just spreading the business around there’s not going to be any benefits to the town or the state,” said Arthur Teal from Windsor, Connecticut.
So will the market be too saturated if and when Massachusetts ever opens a casino?
“With the economy right now it probably is saturated, revenues for the casinos have been going down for the last two or three years as far as slot revenues, so they’re not doing as well as they used to,” said Robert Landry from Somers, Connecticut.
The state is banking on this casino money. It included $72 million of potential casino money in their 2015 Fiscal Budget. Their initial goal was to keep Massachusetts dollars in the Commonwealth and not have residents gamble their money in other states.
“You got all these people traveling down to Connecticut regardless, it’s like an alcoholic, you’re going to go into a liquor store and buy your liquor anyway,” said West Springfield’s Ty Mann.
The question for gamblers is how big a factor is convenience.
(Would you prefer that there be one close by for you?)
“Yes,” said New Hampshire’s Robert Cappucio.
“Because I like to gamble a little bit,” said Cappucio.
MGM has repeatedly said it included potential New York casinos in its projections for Springfield.
A November vote will decide if casinos will be allowed to move forward in Massachusetts or if the law will be repealed