The Big Gamble

Stay up-to-date with NEPR's local reporting on casinos and gambling, and its impact on the region.

MGM International has announced its intention to build a resort casino in Bridgeport. The gaming giant Monday held a ground-breaking ceremony for the project at Steelepoint Harbor on the city’s waterfront. 

When it comes to real estate, the old phrase “location, location, location” still applies.

And for many, there’s no better real estate than along the water. That includes along the Mystic River in Everett.

That’s where workers for the planned Wynn casino are transforming what had been home to industrial chemical plants into a glittering, 27-floor Las Vegas-style casino.

But as the tower rises — it’s now up to five floors — focus is on the ground and along the water when it comes to mitigating the effects of climate change.

Construction of the MGM casino in Springfield, Mass., as of Oct. 2016.
Don Treeger / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

New legislation allowing Massachusetts casinos to serve alcohol until 4 a.m. gives them a competitive advantage over gambling facilities in several neighboring states.

With approval from regulators, the Bay State could allow casinos to serve booze several hours later than any other New England state with legal gambling.

Casinos in Connecticut and Rhode Island must stop selling alcohol at 2 a.m. on weekends, and 1 a.m. during the week. In Maine, they can serve until 1 a.m.

People playing the slot machines at the Plainridge Park Casino
Don Treeger / The Republican

As some high profile Massachusetts politicians criticize recent legislation that paves the way for casinos in the commonwealth to serve alcohol until 4 a.m., elected officials in communities where resort casinos will operate are generally supportive of the law.

The change allows the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to issue liquor licenses allowing casinos to serve alcohol to people gambling on casino floors until 4 a.m. The new time, which amounts to a two-hour extension, was included in the state budget Governor Charlie Baker signed into law.

People playing the slot machines at the Plainridge Park Casino
Don Treeger / The Republican

Net revenue at the first casino to open in Massachusetts was essentially flat in the first quarter of 2017 compared to last year.

The total at the Plainridge slots parlor from January to March was roughly $38 million. The information was presented Wednesday at a meeting of the state gaming commission.

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