CENTER FOR POLICY ANALYSIS EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE
5:00am/Monday, March 24, 2008
Contact: Dr. Clyde W. Barrow
BAY STATERS IN 2007 SPENT $1.1B AT CT CASINOS & RI SLOT PARLORS,
GENERATED $233M IN TAXES TO CT AND RI STATE TREASURIES
MA spending since 2003 at CT casinos and RI slot parlors surpasses $5B,
generating $1B in taxes to CT and RI state governments
Despite a near recession in the fourth-quarter of 2007, an ever-tightening credit crunch, record gas prices,
unprecedented foreclosures, and plunging consumer confidence, Bay Staters last year spent $1.1 billion
visiting Connecticut’s casinos and Rhode Island’s slot parlors, generating $233 million in tax revenues to
the Connecticut and Rhode Island state treasuries, according to the 2008 New England Gaming Update
released today by the Center for Policy Analysis at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
It is the fifth consecutive year Massachusetts residents spent more than $1 billion -- some $5 billion alone
since 2003 -- at the Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos in Connecticut and at the Twin River and
Newport Grand slot parlors in Rhode Island. Since 2003, Bay State spending at the four major gaming
venues has generated more than $1 billion in tax revenues for the Connecticut and Rhode Island state
“Massachusetts patronage of Connecticut and Rhode Island gaming venues remains strong and resilient,”
said Dr. Clyde W. Barrow, CFPA director. “It is an extraordinary indication of Massachusetts residents’
fervor for gaming-related entertainment, hospitality and tourism in a $5 billion New England gaming
market that still has about $2 billion in untapped demand outstanding.”
The fifth annual study, which tracks spending patterns at New England’s casinos and slot parlors, estimated
Massachusetts residents in 2007 spent $846 million at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, $195 million at Twin
River and Newport Grand, and just under $2 million at Hollywood Slots in Bangor, Maine. Bay Staters’
gaming expenditures generated tax revenues of $117 million to the state of Connecticut, $116 million to the
state of Rhode Island, and just under $1 million to the state of Maine.
Massachusetts’ residents comprise 36% of Foxwoods patrons, exceeding Connecticut residents’ patronage
of their home state’s largest casino; 21% of Mohegan Sun; 42% of Twin River; 43% of Newport Grand;
and 3% of Hollywood Slots’ customer base. Bay Staters remain the largest feeder market to New
England’s casinos and slot parlors having made nearly eight million visits last year.
“Massachusetts visitations and spending,” Barrow said, “are responsible for creating about 6,500 jobs at the
Connecticut casinos and Rhode Island slot parlors.”
Barrow also said Massachusetts residents’ spending and visitation impacts at the Connecticut casinos are
reflected in southeastern Connecticut’s strong economy, which boasts one of the state’s lowest
unemployment rates, is recognized as the state’s premier gaming, entertainment, and tourism destination.
The CFPA director pointed to a June 2007 Connecticut Economic Research Center study which found that
Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun --- two of the state’s largest employers --- spent $1.5 billion in payroll,
business purchases, and other expenditures in 2006. The study noted specifically that Mohegan Sun spent
$579 million and that 93% of its expenditures -- $538 million – were spent within Connecticut’s economy.
Barrow said that with Foxwoods nearing completion of its $700 million MGM Grand at Foxwoods in May,
and Mohegan Sun in the midst of its own $700 million expansion, “the two Connecticut casinos are
positioning themselves as national and international destinations by expanding into full-blown gaming,
entertainment, and convention and meeting complexes.” He said that while Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun
suffered minimal revenue declines from 2006 to 2007, both casinos’ expansion plans are being shaped to
accentuate the facilities’ non-gaming amenities both to accommodate and attract regional and national
conventions and business meetings. For more than a decade, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun have enjoyed a
vibrant presence within New England’s convention and meetings market,” Barrow said, “but the current
expansions are an aggressive move designed to capture an even bigger portion of Massachusetts’ and
Rhode Islands’ conventions and meetings business.”
Barrow said that on a square footage basis more than 97% of Foxwoods’ and Mohegan Sun’s current
expansion is devoted to additing non-gaming space, “a fact that should resonate with executives of every
Massachusetts convention center, regional chamber of commerce, tourism council, and hotel and restaurant
from Cape Cod to the Berkshires. The Connecticut casinos are intent on capturing an even larger share of
of Massachusetts’ tourism, hospitality and convention and meetings markets.”
Twin River in Lincoln, Rhode Island and Hollywood Slots in Bangor, Maine experienced double-digit
growth in gaming revenues during 2007, although New England’s two destination resort casinos and three
slot parlors combined generated $2.86 billion in gross gaming revenues (GGR) in 2007 compared to $2.91
billion in 2006 -- a 1.7% decline. Total gaming and non-gaming revenues in 2007 were 3.53 billion in
2007 compared to $3.63 billion in 2006 -- a 2.7% decline.
Nevertheless, casino spending by Bay Staters held steady primarily due to their increased patronage of
Foxwoods and Twin River during 2007.
Barrow said that Twin River’s recently completed $225 million expansion was aimed at generating a
stronger penetration of the southeastern Massachusetts and southern Worcester County regions. While that
has been somewhat successful, Barrow said, it appears that Twin River is still attracting convenience
players and lower denomination players --- one-cent to ten-cent slot players --- who diverted one or more
trips in 2007 from Foxwoods to Twin River. It also appears that Twin River cannibalized a portion of its
sister slot parlor Newport Grand’s revenues last year, which for the third consecutive year saw its slot
If these trends continue, Barrow said, Twin River should increase its share of lower denomination
convenience gamblers from Massachusetts and Rhode Island, but experience marginal success in luring
Massachusetts and Rhode Island’s destination casino patrons.
“Twin River’s existing management strategy is counter-intuitive to competing with Foxwoods and
Mohegan Sun for the mid-level and upscale destination resort casino patron,” Barrow said. “The irony is
that the more successful Twin River becomes in luring lower-denomination patrons from Foxwoods and
Mohegan Sun, the more dependent it becomes on the player segment most vulnerable during economic
Rhode Island residents last year spent an estimated $261 million at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun and $271
million at Twin River and Newport Grand. For the first time, Rhode Islanders spent more patronizing
Rhode Island’s slot parlors than at Connecticut’s destination resort casinos.
Ocean State spending at the Connecticut casinos contributed $35 million to the Connecticut state treasury,
while home state patronage of Twin River and Newport Grand generated $148 million to the Rhode Island
New Hampshire residents in 2007 year spent $76 million at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, generating about
$10 million in tax revenues to the Connecticut state treasury. Maine residents last year spent $33 million
at the Connecticut casinos, generating over $4 million in tax revenues to the Connecticut state treasury.
The New England Gaming Research Project is funded entirely by the University of Massachusetts
The full report can be accessed at http://www.umassd.edu/cfpa/ Scroll down to “What’s New!”