Reimagining the Brook: Seabrook casino rolling out new games, grand ballroom and more
New games, a new ballroom, an outdoor patio and an incoming show room – The Brook is continuing its push to see how fun it can make the formerly run-down dog track on Route 107.
“Pretty fun,” said Andre Carrier, who is the CEO of the Brook and COO of its parent company, Eureka Casino Resort of Mesquite, Nevada. Eureka bought Seabrook Greyhound Park in 2019, and Carrier has since overseen constant expansion of the Brook’s gaming options and floor space.
“When we bought it, it was a dying business,” Carrier said. “Now it’s a rising, new, New Hampshire, 100% employee-owned company.”
Partners Andre Carrier, left, and Greg Lee show off the latest additional game room at The Brook casino in Seabrook.
In addition to simulcast racing seven days a week, the Brook offers blackjack, roulette, craps and an array of other specialty table games along with a large cash poker room, as well as DraftKings Sportsbook for sports wagering. This weekend, the Brook is introducing historic horse racing, in which players bet on races already run but with key information hidden to keep the outcome a mystery.
“The Brook’s the first one to have them,” Carrier said. “This is the launch. This is the debut.”
Also unveiled this week will be a new concentric game room located where there was once grandstand tiered seating. That space is 15,000 square feet, but Carrier said it’s only the first phase of the work being done this year. The floor will slowly be expanded to 45,000 square feet.
Putting the old dog track to use
Carrier said the Brook will take advantage of the dog track this year by using its green for a variety of charitable events, ranging 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 scoreboards remain up, Carrier saying the track will remain part of the Brook’s aesthetic. A new patio has also been built facing the track with what Carrier called a “jumbotron” television against the wall to watch 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 a chance to open its patio briefly for March Madness on a warm March day. The patio will feature its own bar, as well as heaters above each seat to extend the season.
A new show room and more on the way
The new show room for upcoming concerts is still under construction, and Carrier said he plans to bring acts that “don’t necessarily come to the Seacoast” to raise some “unique dollars.” He wouldn’t say who, only that he’s “got to keep some surprises.”
Partners Andre Carrier, left, and Greg Lee pose on the brand new deck at The Brook in Seabrook.
“This is something I’ve done in the past, bring a bigger talent into a smaller room and either raffle or auction off 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 they wanted to revive the facility to become an exciting attraction once again.
The greyhound park had been open since 1973, and had live greyhound racing until the sport was outlawed in 2008. It was on the brink of closing in 2015 and was almost purchased that year by the Kane Company for development, but that deal fell through when Kane’s client Rand-Whitney pulled out due to zoning.
Carrier says the Brook has since breathed new life into the park and “totally reimagined” it. Only about 10 of the 75 acres on the property have been developed so far, Carrier said, not including the parking fields.
“You can do more,” he said of future building. Key to being a good new neighbor, he said, is offering attractions that don’t already exist.
“Our product doesn’t exist to compete with a great restaurant down the street. I didn’t come here to make their business more difficult to operate,” Carrier said.
$5 million raised for charities since opening
A New Hampshire native, 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 is here, and his parents still live in northern New Hampshire.
“My family’s here, so it’s always great to be home,” Carrier said. He said he enjoys games himself – blackjack and roulette – but not the way he once did, and he rarely takes time to play when he is in Seabrook.
“I’ve been doing this for 30 years. I will say, some of it probably doesn’t energize me quite the same way,” Carrier said. He usually plays in Las Vegas, where he said he and his friends pool up $100 to put on Megabucks at each casino they visit and often give the money away.
Carrier said the Brook is proud to have reached their $5 million mark in money raised for charities since opening. New Hampshire allows gaming in the state under the condition that 35% of the proceeds goes to charities, and Carrier said the Brook has embraced that model. New Hampshire’s lawmakers have opted against permitting a major casino, unlike other New England states, but Carrier said the Brook is not waiting for that to change.
Charity dollars generated at the casino also go to fund services for gambling and drug addiction services. Carrier said despite stigma surrounding gambling, charitable gaming is a net positive for communities. He said the growth at the Brook has meant exponentially more dollars going to charities, and he expects that amount to keep growing.
“This is a hobby where people should be having fun and a great time to raise money for charities, they’re passionate about,” Carrier said. “We’re going to do that expertly.”