I admit that NETG has sometimes been hyper-critical of MGM Resorts International, for example, the change to paid parking and high resort fees in Las Vegas. Truth be told, NETimeGambling, along with thousands of others in New England, are excited about the opening of New England’s 8th casino. It will be a huge addition to Springfield, as well as give the usual resort/casinos mentioned in our area competition for years to come.
MGM’s digital screen facing Interstate 91 was put together yesterday in anticipation of the opening on August 24, when the entire sign and display will shine for the first time. MGM announced last week that they are now excepting hotel reservations.
Details about opening day are now being reported. A procession will begin at 10:30 a.m. downtown and proceed to the entrance, featuring the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales and other surprise entertainment acts. Excitement is certainly building.
MGM Springfield has continued to make the essence of New England a huge part of the environment, which will tickle the new clientele from all over the northeast. But there are many other positives that MGM has going for it to compete with the big two tribal casinos in CT.
- MLife – MGM’s rewards club has an advantage with its far-reaching connections to over 20 casino/hotel/resorts from Las Vegas to Biloxi to Maryland. Point rewards will be available to be used and earned at MGM Springfield, making MLife a passport to travel around the country.
- Free Parking – MGM has accepted the need for a free parking garage, unlike the many other properties in Las Vegas. Since every other casino in New England offers free parking, this is the correct decision.
- Mandated Non-Smoking Casino – When the Massachusetts Gaming Commission began the Massachusetts Casino expansion process, it was made known that every casino would be smoke-free. Encore in Everett, MGM Springfield & Plainridge Park, the only open casino in the Pilgrim State, will all include non-smoking casinos, as well as no free alcoholic drinks and no ATM’s on the casino floor. These three limitations may be an advantage, or maybe not. We will have to wait and see.
- Middle of a City – This casino may find an advantage to being built inside a city. MGM Detroit is doing well as their first “Urban Casino” and the hope is that their second casino like that will do as well. After road improvements are finished, an easy highway exit off I-91 will prove to be an easy road into the parking garage.
- Loyalty & Reputation – MGM has a certain expertise in producing a terrific resort experience. A while ago, CEO Jim Murren was heard to say that MGM builds resorts, not just casinos. Anyone staying at an MGM property knows how true that is. The all-around experience at MGM Springfield should be a very enjoyable and luxurious one.
- Location, Location, Location – those gamblers in a 50 mile radius around Springfield, as well as Eastern New York, may be relieved to drive less to a resort/casino other than Mohegan Sun & Foxwoods. The number of Maine, New Hampshire & Vermont patrons visiting the CT tribal casinos will definitely be checking out the the closer proximity of MGM.
There is so much happening on the New England casino landscape in the next two years, the dust may not settle until after 2022. Encore Boston Harbor and Tiverton Hotel Casino will still have their say in 2019 and 2018 respectively. But for now, here are the big three – Mohegan, Foxwoods & MGM Springfield – compared to each other. Obviously changes will occur in these three as they vie for profitable positions. Enjoy the comparison below.
|Location||Mashantucket, Connecticut||Uncasville, Connecticut||Springfield, Massachusetts|
|Hotel Amenities||3 pool areas, 2 Spas||2 pool areas, 2 Spas||1 pool, 1 Spa|
|Legal Gambling Age||21||21||21|
|Casino Size||323,376 sq/ft. 5 Casinos||300,000+ sq/ft. 3 Casinos||125,000 sq/ft. 1 Casino|
|Smoke-Free Gaming?||Designated on Casino Floor||Designated on Casino Floor||Non-Smoking Casino|
|Total # of Slots & VP||4800||5000||2550|
|Casino Floor Alcoholic Drinks||Free Drinks until 2:00AM||Free Drinks until 2:00AM||Paid Drinks until 4:00AM|
|Table Games||Over 300 Tables – includes Baccarat, Mini-Baccarat, Blackjack, Caribean Stud, Roulette, Three Card Poker, Craps, Crazy 4 Poker, Spanish 21, Let It Ride, Pai Gow Poker, Pai Gow Tiles, ‘Money’ Wheel, Ultimate Texas Hold’Em, Mississippi Stud||Over 300 Tables – includes Baccarat, Mini-Baccarat, Blackjack, Caribean Stud, Roulette, Three Card Poker, Craps, Crazy 4 Poker, Spanish 21, Let It Ride, Pai Gow Poker, Pai Gow Tiles, ‘Money’ Wheel, Ultimate Texas Hold’Em, Mississippi Stud||120 Tables – includes Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Mini Baccarat, Midi Baccarat, Pai Gow, Three Card Poker, Four Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em, Criss Cross, Chase the Flush, War and Big 6.|
|Rewards Club||FOXWOODS REWARDS Four Levels – No affiliation to other casinos.||MOMENTUM – 5 Levels. Affiliated with Resorts (AC) & Mohegan Sun Poconos (PA)||MLIFE – 5 Levels. Connected to over 20 Properties Across U.S.|
|Poker||97 Smoke-free Tables||42 Smoke-free Tables||23 Smoke-Free Tables|
|Other Gambling Options||Racebook; 3,600 Seat Bingo Center||Racebook||Racebook expected|
|Food Venues||6 Fine Dining; 9 Casual; 18 Quick/Chain options||4 Fine Dining; 12 Casual; 14 Quick/Chain options||2 Fine Dining; 7 Casual (includes South End Market) ; 1 chain|
|Venues||5 Large Event Venues; 6 Live/DJ Club/Lounge Venues||2 Large Event Venues; 9 Live/DJ Club/Lounge Venues||2 Large Venues ; 3 Live/DJ/Club/ Lounge Venues|
|Convention/Meeting Space||150,000 sq/ft Conference/Meeting Space||Over 275,000 sq/ft Conference/Meeting Space||42,500 sq/ft Conference/Meeting Space|
|Other Entertainment Options||4 Thrill Rides; Luxury Bowling Lanes; PGA designed Golf Course, Top Golf; TreeHouse Arcade; Mashantucket Pequot Museum Research Center||PGA designed Golf Course; 2 pool areas; Kids Quest; WNBA Basketball; NLL Lacrosse; Golf Course; Game On Entertainment Center||Tap Arcade; Candlepin Bowling; Top Golf; Art Collection; The Plaza|
|21 Retail Stores + Tanger Outlets (over 80 Stores)||34 Retail Stores||Street levels shops, # unknown|
|Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation||Mohegan Tribal Authority||MGM Resorts International|
|24/7 Free Parking – 4 Garages||24/7 Free Parking – 3 Garages||24/7 Free Parking – 1 Garage|