Massachusetts opened its first casino, the Plainridge Park Casino, last month. The opening was greeted by a large and enthusiastic crowd, including hundreds of VIPs who cheered as the ribbon was cut by casino officials, Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby and a couple of Las Vegas-style showgirls.
Doug Flutie, a former New England Patriots quarterback, made an appearance for the opening of his restaurant and sports bar, named after him. “Look at this place—it sparkles,” he said.
“It’s showtime!” declared Crosby, who has overseen the casino approval process from its inception four years ago. He added, “Take a look at this facility. Take a look at 500 quality, high-paying jobs.”
The Bay State becomes the 40th state to add casino gaming.
“This is as big a change in the cultural, social and economic face of Massachusetts as I have seen in almost 50 years,” said Crosby. “It’s creating new jobs, state revenue and economic development.”
The $250 million slots-only parlor has 1,250 slot machines in a facility adjacent to the existing harness racing track, Plainridge Racecourse. The 90-acre property is 35 miles south of Boston and 18 miles north of Providence.
Situated near the border with Rhode Island, one of the hopes is that it will prevent Bay State residents from crossing into that state to play at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, or to go further to Connecticut to play at the two tribal casinos there, Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods.
Plainridge, which is owned by Penn National Gaming, will operate 24-7, although no alcohol is served after 1 a.m. and no smoking is allowed anywhere in the casino. It is the smallest of the four casinos planned, and the only one that will not have gaming tables.