Mass Residents Now Visit and Spend More at RI Slot Parlors Than Rhode Islanders
Mass. residents spent close to $1 billion last year at New England casinos, continuing in a trend of increased spending over the past several years that beat out every other state in the area.
This year was the first time that the Bay State outspent its neighbors, totaling a cool $909 million on gaming and non-gaming amenities at Connecticut’s destination resort casinos and at the slot parlors in Rhode Island and Maine.
Massachusetts residents also, for the first time, out-visited and out-spent Rhode Islanders at Rhode Island’s two slot parlors — Twin River and Newport Grand — by making 2 million visits to those facilities, and spending an estimated $284 million, which is a 7% increase over 2010 spending levels. Mass. generated more than $157.6 million in tax revenues for the Rhode Island state government.
Some immediate reactions:
> As reflected in disposable income, is this yet another indication of the inadequacy of the Rhode Island economy; in this case – a fair comparison – as measured against a neighbor’s economy? A related question: is this yet another indication that Massachusetts is pulling out of the recession faster than Rhode Island?
> What are the implications to Rhode Island’s slot parlor revenue stream when the Mass casinos come on line? Perhaps a more accurate question would be: how much further will that revenue stream be stunted now that Mass residents outnumber Rhode Islanders at our slot parlors?