Maine and Massachusetts prepare for gaming expansion

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Nov 26, 2011 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

Connecticut no longer has a monopoly on gambling in the Northeast as two New England States, Maine and Massachusetts, are both preparing to expand their brick & mortar gambling foothold in the Northeast, albeit Maine and Massachusetts are at very different points in the process – Maine is preparing to expand gambling as we speak, while Massachusetts is at the very beginning of the process.

Maine and its single small casino, Hollywood Slots (which surprise, surprise, currently only offers slot machines) will be adding 14 table games in the coming months, while a second casino in Oxford (that is currently under construction) will open with at least 10 table games, including poker, blackjack and roulette. While not appearing to be a very large number, you have to remember that Maine is sparsely populated, and the 150-200 jobs that will be created are a solid increase for a state with just 1.3 million residents.

Massachusetts recently passed a casino bill that will see three resort-style casino licenses handed out, as well as a single slot parlor license; a huge advancement for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which was considered one of the most anti-gaming states in the Union, despite its liberal stigma. The three Massachusetts casinos are expected to create 15,000-20,000 new, permanent, jobs.

The Massachusetts bill also creates an exploratory panel to look into allowing online poker in the state; which puts one of the last states to offer brick & mortar gaming at the forefront of the online poker push.

Maine and Massachusetts now join Connecticut and Upstate New York as states offering full-fledged casinos, while slots are available in neighboring New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

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