Introduction to Massachusetts Slot Machine Casino Gambling
Massachusetts slot machine casino gambling currently consists of a slot parlor and a cruise ship. The slot parlor, which includes harness racing, is Plainridge Park Casino located in Plainville, Massachusetts. The cruise ship is Dawn from Norwegian Cruise Lines, on which gambling is allowed while in international waters.
However, the immediate future of Massachusetts slot machine casino gambling is bright. In late 2011, a bill was approved by the Governor allowing the creation of three land-based casino resort licenses. Two of these three licenses have been awarded, and casino resorts are under construction in Springfield and Everett.
These two casino resorts with licenses are expected to open in late 2018 (MGM Springfield) and late 2019 (Wynn Everett).
Further, a tribal casino resort is currently planned but various lawsuits may yet prevent it from being completed.
Other gambling establishments not offering no gaming machines include Suffolk Downs in East Boston with live thoroughbred races on two tracks and country-wide simulcast as well as Raynham Park in Raynham with simulcast and off-track betting for both horse and dog races. Both sites include pari-mutuel wagering.
This post continues the weekly blog series “Slot Machine Casino Gambling, State-By-State“, a year-long online resource project dedicated to guiding slot machine gambling enthusiasts to success.
Relevant Legal Statutes on Gambling*
The minimum legal age for gambling is 18 years old.
Non-tribal land-based casinos are legally limited by state law to a maximum of three resort casinos and one slot parlor. None of these resort casinos have yet opened, although license have been approved for two of them.
Massachusetts three non-tribal casino resorts are legally required by state law to be located in different regions of the state:
- Region A – Eastern Massachusetts: License awarded to Wynn Resorts for the Wynn Everett Casino Resort, expected to open in late 2019.
- Region B – Western Massachusetts: License awarded to MGM Resorts for MGM Springfield, expected to open in late 2018.
- Region C – Southeastern Massachusetts: License has not yet been awarded.
Massachusetts state gaming regulations require gaming machines to have a minimum payback percentage of at least 80%.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe have signed a state-tribal gaming compact governing tribal gaming in Southeastern Massachusetts, which includes Bristol, Plymouth, Nantucket, Dukes, and Barnstable counties. This compact was subsequently approved, as required, by the U.S. Department of Interior.
*The purpose of this section is to inform the public of state gambling laws and how the laws apply to various forms of gambling. This information is not intended to provide legal advice.
Slot Machine Private Ownership
It is legal to privately own a slot machine in Massachusetts if it is 30 years old or older.
State Gaming Commission
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission states that its mission is “to create a fair, transparent, and participatory process for implementing the expanded gaming law.”
On November 22, 2011, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed the Expanded Gaming Act legislation into law.
The slot parlor is Plainridge Park Casino, a harness race track or racino, which opened in mid-2015. It is located in Plainville, Massachusetts. The payback percentage of gaming machines at Plainridge Park Casino was 92.23% from mid-2016 through mid-2017.
A tribal casino named First Light Resort & Casino has been planned by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe to be located near Taunton. However, progress on this casino resort has been the subject of lawsuits. As a consequence, construction is currently on hold. It is uncertain whether the casino will be allowed to be completed.
Massachusetts slot machine casino gambling currently consists of the slot parlor Plainridge Park Casino with 1,250 gaming machines and the cruise ship NCL Dawn with 199 gaming machines.
In late 2018, the MGM Springfield Casino Resort is expected to open in Springfield. In late 2019, the Wynn Boston Harbor Resort is expected to open in Everett. State law allows for three land-based casino resort licenses, with the third such license not yet having been awarded.
Further, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the federally-recognized Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe have negotiated a state-tribal compact subsequently approved at the federal level. However, construction of the resultant tribal casino planned for Taunton is currently on hold due to legal issues.
- “Massachusetts Slot Machine Payout Statistics”, Steve Bourie’s American Casino Guide 2017 Ed., Casino Vacations Press, Inc., ©2017, ISBN: 978-1-883768-26-3.
- “About”, Massachusetts Gaming Commission, Retrieved November 4, 2017.
- “Massachusetts Gambling Laws”, Gambling-Law-US.com, Retrieved November 4, 2017.
- “Massachusetts Casinos”, World Casino Directory, Retrieved November 4, 2017.
- “Gambling in Massachusetts”, Wikipedia Online, Retrieved November 4, 2017.
Other State-By-State Articles from Professor Slots
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