Plainridge Park Casino Continues to Struggle

Revenues at the state's first casino are down for a fifth consecutive month.

Slot machines at Plainridge Park Casino (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Slot machines at Plainridge Park Casino (Photo via AP)

Casino naysayers must be excited about the latest state gambling figures: Plainridge Park Casino saw its revenues drop for a fifth consecutive month.

Plainridge took in $11.2 million during the month of December, down significantly from its first full month in July when buzz still swirled around the place and helped the casino to a total haul of $18.1 million, according to figures from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. December’s take at the Plainville slot parlor was off November’s mark by roughly $700,000.

The new numbers do not help growing chatter that the slots parlor is failing to win over customers who prefer a larger facility in nearby Rhode Island, Twin River Casino. Recent reviews of the place have been negative, finding Plainridge, well, pretty plain. The initial shine and new slot smell has worn off, even though no casino facilities in Massachusetts will compete directly with Plainridge until at least 2018.

Twin River Casino, an older but larger facility less than 20 miles from Plainridge Park’s front door, has made an effort to attract potential customers by posting billboards less than a half-mile from the southeastern Massachusetts slots parlor. Twin River offers 4,000 slot machines, full service tables games, a respectable arena that hosts sports and entertainment, and a wide variety of dining options. It also has a new hotel on the way. Plainridge has 1,250 slots, unappealing virtual table games, one high-end restaurant, a generic sports bar, a small foot court, and a cramped stage for live acts that books mostly glorified cover bands.

If Plainridge is struggling now, how will they do when Wynn Everett and MGM Springfield, two full-scale resort casinos operated by world-class gaming companies, come online? What about the planned Brockton and Taunton casinos?