SEABROOK — New games, a new ballroom, an outdoor patio and a new performance hall — The stream continues its efforts to see how much fun it can make the once run-down dog track on Route 107.
“Pretty fun,” said André Carrier, who is CEO of Brook and chief operating officer of its parent company, Eureka Casino Resort in Mesquite, Nevada. Eureka bought Seabrook Greyhound Park in 2019and Carrier has since overseen the Brook’s steady expansion of playing options and floor space.
“When we bought it, it was a dying business,” Carrier said. “Now it’s a thriving new business in New Hampshire, 100% employee owned.”
As well as simulcast races seven days a week, the Brook offers blackjack, roulette, craps and a range of other specialist table games, as well as a large cash poker room, as well as DraftKings Sportsbook for sports betting. This weekend, the Brook features historic horse races, in which players bet on races that have already been held but with key information hidden away to keep the outcome a mystery.
“The Brook is the first to have them,” Carrier said. “This is the launch. This is the start.”
This week will also be unveiled a new concentric game room located where tiered seating in the grandstand once was. That space is 15,000 square feet, but Carrier said that’s just the first phase of work being done this year. The floor will slowly be expanded to 45,000 square feet.
Use of the old dog track
Carrier said the Brook will take advantage of the dog track this year by using its green for a variety of charity events, from “cornhole tournaments to curling.” He said the entire track will be landscaped this year so the infield can be used for events.
The old dashboards remain in place, with Carrier saying the track will always be part of the Brook’s aesthetic. A new patio was also built facing the track with what Carrier called a “jumbotron” television against the wall for watching games, as well as a brand new indoor ballroom with a view of the track.
“We need Mother Nature to dissipate with some sunshine,” Carrier said. The Brook had the chance to briefly open its terrace to march madness on a hot March day. The patio will feature its own bar, as well as heaters above each seat to extend the season.
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A new showroom and more on the way
The new performance hall for upcoming concerts is still under construction, and Carrier said he plans to bring artists who “don’t necessarily come to the Seacoast” to raise “one-time dollars.” He wouldn’t say who, only that he “must save a few surprises”.
“It’s something I’ve done in the past, bring bigger talent into a smaller venue and either raffle or auction those tickets,” Carrier said. “It’s a really fun way to raise a lot of money.”
Carrier was 48 when Eureka purchased Seabrook Greyhound Park. At the time, Eureka said it wanted to revive the facility to once again become an exciting attraction.
The greyhound park had been open since 1973 and held live greyhound racing until the sport was banned in 2008. It was about to close in 2015 and was almost bought that year by the Kane company for the development, but that deal fell through when Kane’s client Rand-Whitney pulled out due to zoning.
The carrier says the creek has since breathed new life into the park and “totally reinvented”. Only about 10 of the property’s 75 acres have been developed so far, Carrier said, not including parking lots.
“You can do more,” he said of the future building. The key to being a good new neighbor, he said, is providing attractions that don’t already exist.
“Our product does not exist to compete with a large restaurant in the area. I didn’t come here to make their business harder to operate,” Carrier said.
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$5 million raised for charity since opening
Originally from New Hampshire, Carrier got his start in casinos 30 years ago and joined Eureka in 2007. He spends about 40% of his time in New Hampshire and the rest in Nevada. He lives in Portsmouth when he’s here, and his parents still live in northern New Hampshire.
“My family is here, so it’s always nice to be home,” Carrier said. He said he likes the games himself – blackjack and roulette – but not like he once did, and he rarely takes the time to gamble when he’s at Seabrook.
“I’ve been doing this for 30 years. I will say some of them probably don’t energize me quite the same way,” Carrier said. He usually gambles in Las Vegas, where he said he and his friends pool $100 to put Megabucks into each casino they visit and often give away the money.
Carrier said the Brook is proud to have hit the $5 million mark in money raised for charity since opening. New Hampshire allows gambling in the state on the condition that 35% of profits go to charity, and Carrier said the Brook has adopted this model. New Hampshire lawmakers have chosen not to allow a large casino, unlike other New England states, but Carrier said the Brook isn’t waiting for that to change.
The charity dollars generated at the casino are also used to fund gambling and addiction services. Carrier said that despite the stigma surrounding gambling, charitable gambling is a net positive for communities. He said the growth of the Brook has led to an exponential increase in dollars given to charities, and he expects that amount to continue to grow.
“It’s a hobby people should have fun with and a great time to raise money for charity, which they are passionate about,” Carrier said. “We’re going to do it expertly.”