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State Lowers Revenue Expected From Massachusetts First Casino

The Plainridge casino building and parking lot

Massachusetts officials have cut by almost 40 percent the amount of tax revenue expected from the state’s first casino that opened six months ago.

When the Plainridge Park casino had its grand opening in late June there were lines out the door, but revenues have fallen in each month since. Clyde Barrow, of the University of Texas, who studies the casino industry, said curiosity about the new casino is wearing off, and monthly revenue is beginning to stabilize.

" And it will be a very healthy and prosperous facility at that level," said Barrow. " It won't generate as much revenue as the state projected for this year, but it will certainly continue to generate revenue."

Massachusetts officials were projecting $128 million in annual tax revenue from Plainridge before it opened, now that’s been revised down to $78 million.

Plainridge has 1,250 slot machines, but no table games.

It competes with a casino just 11 miles across the border in Rhode Island.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.