Recent New England Casino News

MGM Springfield Opens to 150,000 people

Over 3 days

There was so much hoopla over the opening of MGM Springfield, you would have though it was the second coming of Caesars Palace in Vegas.  To be honest, so many hopes and dreams of Springfield’s residents do rely on its success.  Instead of re-inventing our coverage, I will just list our posts for your perusal.

Everything You Need To Know About MGM Springfield & “Industrial Chic,”  

MGM SPRINGFIELD – Entertainment, MassMutual Center & Symphony Hall;  

MGM Springfield Kept Community History in Casino Consideration; 

MGM Springfield Trip Report 

But there was more happening on the New England Landscape besides MGM Springfield…….


TIVERTON CASINO HOTEL & CASINO OPENS

Tiverton, Rhode Island

Twin River Moves Newport Grand to Tiverton

We also covered the opening of the casino that is supposed to take Newport Grand’s place and put more competitive pressure on Massachusetts & Connecticut for the Twin River Management Group.  Here’s our coverage:   Tiverton Casino Hotel – Our Last Summer Trip Report


Mohegan selected to oversee Canada gaming, entertainment venues

Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE), which oversees the company and its subsidiary casinos in Connecticut and Pennsylvania, announced Monday it has been selected by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. (OLG) to assume daily operations of its Fallsview Casino Resort, Casino Niagara, and 5,000-seat Niagara Falls Entertainment Centre, which is currently being built.  OLG will assist in managing the casinos, known as the Niagara Gaming Bundle, including approvals for operational changes.  Fallsview Casino spans over 2.5 million square feet, with 200,000 square feet of gaming space and more than 3,000 slot machines and 100 gaming tables. Casino Niagara, meantime, has a 95,000-square-foot gaming floor with 1,500 slot machines and more than 40 table games.  All this taking place while managing Resort in AC, building a $5 billion resort at Incheon International Airport in South Korea, the opening of ilani on 152 acres near La Center, Washington with the Cowlitz Tribe, opening Paragon resort Casino in the heart of Louisiana, and preparing the huge plot of land across the Thames River from its flagship property in Preston, CT.  Mohegan Sun News – Plans for Norwich Hospital Site and Mohegan Expo Center It’s obvious Mohegan Sun is not sitting still while Massachusetts continues to add casinos. Oh, and did we mention Mohegan Sun announced Momentum partnerships with MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately owned cruise line, and with Samuel Adams, the Boston brewery; the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League; Blue Back Square, a shopping and live entertainment destination in West Hartford; and Hartford Stage, a theater?


Maine’s top court – could a tribe run a casino on tribal land without state permission

Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians Tribal Offices

The House last month approved Rep. Henry Bear’s order asking the Maine Supreme Judicial Court to consider whether a U.S. Supreme Court decision would allow the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians to conduct gambling on tribal trust land. Efforts to allow tribal casinos in Maine have long failed. A third casino in Maine is still being sought, if not by business men and politicians, now by Maine’s tribes. The Maliseets do run Bingo events weekly.


It’s Not All Great News at MGM Springfield when it comes to underage gambling

Inside MGM casino

Casino.Org’s Katie Barlowe reported that “MGM casino executives admit that they’ve had issues with minors finding their way onto the gaming floor, which is not exactly the most comforting news to area residents.” Mathis described the casino as “a very mixed-use, downtown, porous design” which has “created an unexpected challenge: difficulty in ensuring that underage patrons don’t have access to the gaming floor. MGM Springfield officials told regulators that there was a mix of intentional non-gaming areas in the venue, and inadvertent violations by visitors who don’t understand the exact age limits or where children are allowed to be was causing the problems.”  It seems that simple 4-ft barriers along the edge of the casino would help, similar to the Fox Casino at Foxwoods (ironically built by MGM in their joint venture with Foxwoods years ago).  Trouble is, there is no space to spare.

Mathis outlined some of the steps that MGM Springfield was taking to correct the underage access problem. Unattended minors are now banned from the venue, with anyone under 16 considered to be a minor for those purposes. In addition, there is now a midnight curfew for the resort. After midnight, only those 21 or older or those who are hotel guests are allowed in the complex.

Binbin

When you gamble, embrace the Math, not the Myth.

Maine Casino Trip Report Part 2 – Hollywood Casino, Hotel & Raceway

Today, part 2, as we drive to the furthest northeast casino withing the US borders.  Today, we REPORT OUR visit to Hollywood Casino, Hotel & Raceway in Bangor, ME.

Hollywood Casino, Hotel & Raceway, Bangor Maine

Hollywood Casino, Bangor, Maine

Hollywood Casino, Hotel & Raceway – Some Background

It was the first licensed slots facility in the state, and became the first casino to be licensed in the state of Maine when it added table games to its facilities in 2012.  However, it was the third New England casino to offer Vegas style slots in 2005, after Foxwoods & Mohegan Sun in CT. Twin River, at the old Lincoln Greyhound Park in RI, did not introduce Vegas style slots, or class III, until 2007.

Hollywood Casino, Hotel & Raceway, Bangor Maine

Hollywood Casino, Hotel & Raceway, Bangor Maine

This facility has everything – it’s just that it’s a little bit of everything.  It is the smallest casino in New England inches behind the other Maine casino in Oxford, Maine.  It does draw from patrons from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Canada & of course Maine. This was our 5th trip to the Bangor casino.  Only two hours away from Oxford Hotel Casino

We first drove to our hotel, the Bangor Inn.  Unfortunately, we were unable to stay at the Hollywood Hotel. Our suggestion is do not stay at Bangor Inn, unless you want to step back to the 1950s in terms of comfort, amenities, even number of electrical outlets (unless you bring a couple of extension cords). Certainly a step back, but with inflated prices due to the concert downtown. (Over $150 dollars for something that represents an old Super 8 motel.)

After that, it was time once again for beer, and Hops 99 was the perfect stop.

DINING

Hops House 99 is a brewpub specializing in Maine craft breweries.  With a good array of Maine beers and others from around the world, it follows its name by offering 99 beers.  22 beers on rotating taps, and the rest in cans & bottles.  On this afternoon, they had some specials to “kick the Keg.” So we had a couple of Jamaican Stouts at $3.99 each.

Our meals were good.  Their menu has enough choice to make anyone happy.  I had a pulled pork sandwich with plenty of pork and Bert had the BALT (Bacon, Avocado, Lettuce and Tomato). Both were delicious.  Service was timely and friendly – a definite visit every time we’re in Bangor. Hops 99 also has a bustling Trivia Contest on Thursday nights and entertainment on the weekend.

The other two dining options are the Epic Buffet (good, but not “epic”) and Take 2 Snack Bar which offers up a variety of you classic favorites including wings, burgers, sandwiches, salads & fries. It is open for breakfast daily at 6am. with a complete breakfast menu. During the week, it is the only breakfast option and is surprisingly expensive.  Noteworthy is the fact that they don’t accept casino dining credit, but will accept Marquee Rewards Points.  I would suggest you go out for breakfast somewhere outside the the property.

Marquee Rewards

Level three of Five in the Marquee Rewards Program of Penn National

A brief word about Hollywood Bangor’s rewards club. It includes levels in the Marquee Rewards Program. Penn National has bought some Las Vegas properties recently like M Resort & the famous Tropicana to go along with its country-wide portfolio of casinos & racinos.  Included in that portfolio is Plainridge Park in Massachusetts which uses the same Marquee rewards.  Points can be used at all Marquee Rewards properties, making a visit to Bangor, ME. more profitable.

Walking the Red Carpet to the Hollywood Casino

Gambling

This isn’t a 24/7 facility.  The property is open daily 8am – 2am.   It houses over 900 Vegas-style slots in 30,000 square feet of gaming space.  Slots include many old & new favorites, but many times only one or two of them.  Denominations include penny slots up to $10 in the High Limit area (which is larger than Oxford.) Hollywood includes a broad variation of slots catering to reel & video slots players, with many older slots mixed with the latest.  The number of $1 machines seem to equal the penny machines.  The number of machines oddly seems skewed toward $1 denominations.

Video Poker seems to be it’s low point. Mostly single line VP with terrible pay tables such as 7/5 JOB, 7/5 DDB. and 6/5  Bonus.  There are only two multi line games that I could find – a”Super Times Pay Spin Poker” and one “Ultimate X.”  Both have different denominations available starting at nickels.

16 gaming tables round out the casino’s main floor.  Hollywood Casino currently offers Craps, Blackjack, Spanish 21, Roulette, High Card Flush, Three Card Poker and Texas Hold’em Bonus®.  Most low limits start at $5. However, on this Sunday Afternoon, the limits were higher – BJ could not be found under $10 and most table games in at the $15 and above.  The one huge craps table had no Fire Bet, All Tall, All Small, etc.  Your basic craps with 3,4,5 odds.

There is a poker room with 4 poker tables with live action Texas Hold ‘Em games, 7-stud, and Omaha.  The same room has a small race book. Bangor Raceway is adjacent to the property and features a 1/2 mile racetrack and grandstand seating for up to 3,500. We didn’t have time to visit the harness racing track – maybe next time.

Hollywood Hotel Lobby, Bangor Maine

HOTEL – The Gem of the Property

The hotel has 152 rooms, including four suites, and with over 5,000 square feet of meeting and pre-function space.  But it’s hospitality that shines here.  A friendly greeting, ease with check-in and in our room withing ten minutes both times we stayed over is what you can expect. The rooms are nothing special, if you compare them to Las Vegas.  But they are very homey, very clean well-designed, comfortable and have great amenities. A comped room here is a “no-brainer.”  But pay to stay and you won’t be sorry. On this particular weekend the comped rooms were blacked out due to the Keith Urban Concert that Sunday night.

Darling Waterfront Pavillion

Our final part of this NETG casino trip was an outdoor concert at the Darling Event Center, which was the closets thing to Woodstock I ever experienced.  This place is huge, and it was packed with many of Keith Urban’s fans.  A beautiful, balmy night was perfect for Kelsea Ballerini’s opening, and Keith Urban’s 2 hour performance.  This venue is fantastic for summer outdoor concerts.  With so many people, the audience was great – just be prepared to stand a lot.  We upgraded to seats, and with the large video screens capturing the excitement on stage, nothing was missed.  This is a 15 minute walk from Hollywood Hotel Casino.  We parked for free in the parking garage (parking around concert area can be expensive), played, ate and drank at Hollywood, and walked to the concert. We highly recommend a summer visit with a concert at Darling Event Center in mind.

The Draw

I like Hollywood Bangor.  In the early part of the week, as in Oxford, or even in CT’s mega resorts, it’s slow and quiet.  The staff all over the property prove hospitality is important from the hotel staff to the dealers. Enjoy Maine in the summer. And enjoy Maine’s casinos while you’re in the vicinity.

Binbin

 

 

MGM Springfield, Entertainment Highlight the Weekend

This weekend is full of exciting events in our eight – that’s right, 8! – New England Casinos.  MGM Springfield is just 14 days from its grand opening. So, check out all that is going on this weekend.

 MGM SIGN-UP PARTY

This Saturday & Sunday, August 11th & 12th, MGM Springfield will start the party 14 days early with two days of music, giveaways, drawings and more. Sign-up for your MLife Rewards card and see what the hoopla is all about at MassMutual Center.

Are you a top tier at another casino? They’ll match it! Bring your rewards card from another casino and receive a Tier Match. (Some exclusions apply. Each participant may only redeem one Tier Match, from the list of qualifying casinos.)

MLife Rewards Club of MGM

MLife Rewards Club of MGM

Bring a friend and sign up or reprint your M life Rewards card at our Sign Up Party before we open our doors to the public on August 24, 2018.


Tonight, Friday August 10th

MOHEGAN SUN RESORT CASINO, UNCASVILLE CT, TRIPLE STATUS POINTS DAYS – Fridays, August 10th & August 24th

NEWPORT GRAND CASINO, NEWPORT RI, Free Slot Play Hot Seat  – Friday, August 10 from 12PM-9PM; 1 winner every 20 min. wins $100 in Free Slot Play

PLAINRIDGE PARK CASINO & RACEWAY, PLAINVILLE MA – Fridays P OF Diamonds, 

JIM CALHOUN CHARITY ALL-STAR BASKETBALL GAME, at Mohegan Sun Arena, 7:00AM

Foxwoods – Trevor Noah at the Grand Theater, , 8:00PM

Twin River Event Center  –  ILove the 90’s Tour: Salt-N-Pepa, Color Me Badd, Kid ‘N Play & Young MC at 7:00PM

SATURDAY, August 11th

NEWPORT GRAND CASINO, NEWPORT RI, Free Slot Play Hot Seat  – Saturday, August 11 from 12PM-9PM; 1 winner every 20 min. wins $100 in Free Slot Play!

OXFORD CASINO & HOTEL, OXFORD ME Super 6 Bonus

Foxwoods – Trevor Noah at the Grand Theater, , 8:00PM

Mohegan Sun Arena – Brantley Gilbert at 7:30PM

Sunday, August 12th

HOLLYWOOD CASINO, HOTEL & RACEWAY, BANGOR ME – 50 PLUS REWARDS KIOSK – Every Sunday 1PM – 4PM

OXFORD CASINO & HOTEL, OXFORD ME – SUNDAY16X Multiplier  Weekend & Breakfast Buffets

Foxwoods – Liquid Sundays 

Mohegan Sun Arena – WNBA: Connecticut Sun vs. Chicago Sky, at 7:00AM

OTHER CASINO ENTERTAINMENT VENUES INCLUDE:

  • The Wolf Den, Mohegan Sun – Located in the center of the action, in Casino of the Earth, offers full beverage service, a state-of-the-art sound system, intimate seating and top performances by headliners. For complete schedule, click HERE.
  • Hollywood Bangor now offers two venues for live weekend music – 99 Hops House & the Sound Stage.  Click Here for schedule.  Summer Concert Series at the Darling Waterfront Pavillion is walking distance from Bangor Hollywood Casino
  • Newport Grand offers Free shows by Tribute bands  almost every weekend.  Click HERE for schedule.
  • Twin River Lighthouse Loungeright in the middle of the downstairs casino.  Shipyard Pub – Upstairs in Non-smoking.
  • Plainridge Park Casino – the Revolution Lounge offers entertainment on the weekends
  • Foxwoods – Atrium Lounge – Live bands on the weekend, specialty cocktails and great time.

VISITING NEW ENGLAND’S CASINOS?

New England

Curious about casino expansion in our region? Then there’s only one place to go – visit us at NETimeGambling! For specific casino details, visit the websites of all seven casinos:  ConnecticutFoxwoods Resort/Casino & Mohegan Sun Resort/Casino; Rhode Island – Newport Grand (closing fall 2018), Tiverton Casino Hotel (opening September 1st 2018) & Twin River Hotel/Casino; Massachusetts – Plainridge Park Casino & Raceway, MGM Springfield (opening Aug, 24th, 2018) & Encore Boston Harbor  (opening Fall 2019); Maine –  Oxford Casino & Hollywood Bangor Hotel, Casino & Raceway.