Plainridge Posts $18.1 Million In Revenues In July

A view of Plainridge Park Casino, the state's lone slots parlor, which opened in June. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
A view of Plainridge Park Casino, the state's lone slots parlor, which opened in June. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

In its first full month of operation, Plainridge Park Casino generated $18.1 million in gross gaming revenue, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission announced Monday.

The state's first and only slots parlor at a harness racing track in Plainville is expected to generate about $200 million in revenues in its first year of operation.

With a tax rate of 49 percent on gaming revenue, the July profits generated about $8.9 million for local aid and a horse racing development fund.

If the $18.1 million haul in July was repeated every month of the year, the track would just beat the expected $200 million in annual gross gaming revenue by about $17.8 million.

The Plainville complex is the first foray into expanded gambling in Massachusetts legalized in November 2011, throwing open its doors June 24 for around-the-clock electronic gaming.

Plainridge has 1,250 slot machines and electronic table games and the machines are calibrated to "have a minimum theoretical payout of 80 percent over the cycle of the game," according to the commission. In July, the payout was 90 percent as patrons put a total of $181.6 million into the machines.

The tax revenue from the slots parlor is split between local aid, which receives 82 percent, and the race horse development fund, which finances purses - the winnings distributed among horses that compete in Bay State races.

There is a rift in the state's horse racing industry about how best to secure a future for the sport, as Suffolk Downs - the only thoroughbred track in Massachusetts - plans to hold only three racing days this year. Some in the industry have argued that the state should hold out for more racing days than Suffolk Downs has offered this year.

The total estimated gross gaming revenues of $200 million over 12 months would generate $98 million in tax dollars. The Gaming Commission will report the revenues each month on about the 15th of the month.

The commission has also licensed casinos in Springfield and Everett, while a proposed casino in Brockton is the lone commercial venture vying for the last remaining possible casino license. The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe is seeking its own casino in Taunton, but would first need federal approval for the tribe's first federal land-in-trust reservation.

Plainridge hauled in $6.15 million in its first week of operation.



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