MGM Springfield is No Match for CT Tribal Casinos – The Monday Link

EVERY MONDAY, NETG BRINGS YOU A GAMBLING POST FROM SOMEONE ELSE FOR YOUR INTEREST, ENTERTAINMENT, AND KNOWLEDGE. WE CALL THIS:

“THE MONDAY LINK”

I’m going to share a recent link today from staff writer David Collins of the New London Day. This editorial brings up interesting points concerning MGM Springfield’s success as a “resort” and how the tribal casinos in Connecticut could have an advantage if the Bridgeport casino  actually came to fruition. His opinions are always thought-provoking, whether you agree or not. Let’s see if you agree or disagree with Mr. Collins view of the casino battle in southeastern Connecticut.

MGM Springfield is no match for Mohegan Sun, Foxwoods

Binbin

Celebrate the Year of the Pig at Foxwoods, MoSun & MGM Springfield

This month our New England Casinos are celebrating the Year of the Pig 2019 : a year of fortune and luck!

Background

The Pig occupies the last (12th) position in the Chinese Zodiac. You are a “Pig Chinese Zodiac native” if you are born in one of these years: 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019 . 2019 is a great year to make money, and a good year to invest.

According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. Pig was late because he overslept. Another story says that a wolf destroyed his house. He had to rebuild his home before he could set off. When he arrived, he was the last one and could only take twelfth place. In Chinese culture, pigs are the symbol of wealth.

Lucky things for Pigs – It seems that success and wealth is based in the East, and Northeast – Like NEW ENGLAND!

  • Colors: yellow, gray, brown
  • Numbers: 2, 5, 8
  • Mineral: agate
  • Directions of auspiciousness: southeast, east
  • Directions of wealth: northeast
  • Directions of love: north

Unlucky things for Pigs – Maybe craps isn’t the game for those born in a year of the pig – green (felt) and the number 7 sounds like an unlucky combination.

  • Colors: blue, green
  • Numbers: 1, 7, 9

CELEBRATIONS & Promotions

Foxwoods Resort Casino

Chinese New Year Lion Dance – CELEBRATE THE YEAR OF THE PIGFebruary 10 • 11AM. The opening performance will begin in the Grand Pequot Hotel Lobby. The parade will proceed to the Grand Pequot Casino rotunda and then down the Concourse and the Grand Finale will take place in Rainmaker Square.

Lucky 10 DrawingEarn Entries February 2nd 12:00 AM – February 17th 6:00 PM. Drawing February 17th at 7:00 PM. Guests arriving on any International bus have a chance to enter by simply playing their favorite slot machines, poker, keno, table games, or Race Book to enter.  For every one (1) Foxwoods Rewards Point earned during the promotional time period, guests will receive one entry into the drawing for a chance to win a choice of $100 in BSP, 100 Points or $100 in Free Bet.

Lunar New Year Lucky Red Envelope – February 5 – 10, 2019 • Bus Lobby. All patrons arriving on the International buses beginning February 5th through February 10th, 2019 will be eligible to receive one Lucky Red Envelope containing a $5 Match Play.

Asian Food Festival – February 8 – February 10 • 10AM – 8PM • Celebration Zone on Great Cedar Concourse. Learn about Chinese culture. Chinese new year foods, artworks, and costumes will be on display and available for purchase. Performances will include a sword dance, long pot tea performance, Szechuan acrobat performance, Chinese folk dancing, and martial arts presentation. This is a family friendly event and open to all ages.

MOHEGAN SUN RESORT CASINO

Mohegan Sun is ringing in the Lunar New Year with a variety of events including A-Lin from Taiwan inside Mohegan Sun Arena. The show will take place at 1:00am on Sunday, February 3rd and tickets are VIP $188.00, $148.00, $118.00, $98.00 and $68.00 and are on sale now.

Beginning Tuesday, February 5th, Red Envelopes will be distributed to Momentum members with valid ID for Asian bus line runs. The giveaway starts the first day of the Lunar New Year and lasts through Monday, February 11th. During this period, guests who ride the Asian buses can receive a Red Envelope with cash varying from $5.00 to $100.00 inside. The Money God will also visit The Shops concourse from Noon to 2:00pm on Sunday, February 10th for another Red Envelope giveaway and photo opportunity. Miss NY Chinese Pageant 2018 winners will be present to greet guests. There will also be Chinese arts and crafts demonstrations such as calligraphy and paper-cutting.

Also on Sunday, February 10th, don’t miss the traditional Lion Dance that will tour through the Mohegan Sun property. The Lion Dance has long symbolized the exorcising of evil spirits and summoning luck and fortune. The performance will start at 2:00pm heading from Sunrise Square and making its way through Casino of the Sky and Casino of the Wind.

MGM Springfield Resort Casino

February 9 – The year of the Pig with Traditional Lion Dance on February 9 Starting at 3 p.m. on Armory Square, the Asian American Culture Center’s energetic dance troupe will perform the ceremonial dance featuring five authentic lion costumes. Don’t miss the Money God who will be handing out red envelopes with monetary gifts inside signifying great wealth ahead.

MGM Springfield Trip Report – Multiplier Day and More

MGM Springfield

It was a cold, but sunny and beautiful day for a drive – to MGM Springfield for Multiplier Day! Multiplier Days are a favorite time to gamble for those of us at NETG. As low to mid-roller recreational gamblers, we try to get the biggest bang in the quickest and most enjoyable way possible. Bert & I both had tier-matched up to Platinum at MGM Springfield.  For some players, a higher tier seems like a meaningless quest, but not us. Let me tell you why.

There are little perks to higher tiers that a low to mid roller will never experience. One of the biggest is line passes.  If you ever go to a rewards desk, a buffet or hotel check-in when its crowded, don’t anyone tell me a line pass for higher tier cards isn’t important!  Some casino rewards include multipliers for your play, and for Platinum, Bonus on Points Earned Playing Slots at M life Rewards Destinations Nationwide is 30% at the platinum. Play slots, earn 30% more points, as compared to 10% at Pearl, or none at lowest level Sapphire. Same thing for Bonus on Express Comps – points for dining, merchandise, etc., Earned at M life Rewards Destinations Nationwide. Platinum also gets free Valet parking at MGM Springfield. After the number of times we have visited using Valet Parking, I saved over $200 – half of a day’s bankroll for us.

Tier Matching is worth the effort whether in New England, Atlantic City or elsewhere. But be careful to give them some play as well.  Work with the hosts, even if you don’t have a “personal host,” and see what else a higher tier brings.  Remember, if you don’t inquire about the availability of comps, you wont get them. Ask – the worse that can happen is the politely say “no.”

Now to our Trip Report at MGM Springfield.

TAP Lunch

TAP at MGM Springfield

TAP is very spacious restaurant and bar.  They have changed the process of having to wait in line for a seat at the bar – a great thing, because instead of waiting 20 more minutes, we were able to get a seat at the bar. Unfortunately, we were met by an overworked, stressed out bartender who greeted us with and explanation on how we would have to wait due to low staffing.  How about that MGM hospitality we often here abut and at least greeting us with a “hello, how are you?” before hearing that.  We could see how hard he was working and wasn’t into stressing him out more than he was.  We were able to assure him we weren’t in a rush, which he appreciated.

The food was good – moist pulled park with fries (I had coleslaw as a substitution.) Considering how busy it was, our food arrived quickly. Within 40 minutes we were out to the casino to do battle. But first, a brief stop at the kiosks.

Kiosks

I think the Kiosk problems are getting better, although at bust times, lines can be horrendous. The kiosks are now all centralized in the area the Games Sense room on the casino floor.  Walk out the parking entrances, past TAP, and you will see them. Basically, all kiosks are consolidated to this one area. “Disney” lines are roped off. BUT (here is our recurring theme) there is a special line for Platinum & Noir – much like pass liners at the MLife Rewards Desk, and Cashier.

Suggestion – before gambling any day, but especially on multiplier days, take a screen shot of your MLife mobile app showing your account points. This can be used to compare your earnings at the end of your session.

Art in the Game

From Left to right – Mike Tyburski, Chris Marion, Binbin, and Chris Dimauro

Another reason for driving to Springfield was to meet up with Chris DiMauro, of Art In The Game – a podcast and closed Facebook group that discusses gaming at MGM Springfield and all that the City of Springfield has to offer, including economic developments as well as dining & entertainment events around downtown. Chris D. has put in a lot of time to spotlight Springfield and it’s new tenant  MGM. If visiting MGM Springfield for the first time, ask to join the Facebook group and listen to his podcast (you might find an NETG guest appearance!) We had a blast at the walk-up bar, playing video poker, getting great service from Teresa (Chris calls her the best bartender in the place) and then enjoying a meal and drinks at TAP. A fun afternoon before the gambling which was about to take place.

Promotions

Back to our point about how Tier Matching counts. Slots have a high house advantage – anywhere between 85 – 90% on penny slots. One way we are able to raise the percentage is what is worth, which bring a higher tier in consideration. This Multiplier promotion gave a higher multiplier to your earned points according to your tier. Sapphire – 2X, Pearl – 3X, Gold – 4X, and Platinum / Noir – 5X. Our six hours, a 5X multiplier adds up!

It was also Winning WINSdays – a chance at winning FREEPLAYevery 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. All guests actively playing at a slot machine is entered to win, with someone winning every 30 minutes. I’d like report how winning works, but unfortunately the names Bert or Binbin were not called.

Gambling

Inside MGM casino

Sorry table game players – not much of a report here for you.  Same news – no All Tall/All Small at craps tables ($10 minimum lowest), and 6:5 blackjack rules on $10 & $15 tables.

However, slot play was favorable – at least for one of us.  I left with $100 more than I came with, and included over 6 hours of slot play.  Not bad.  While the slot inventory is good, there seems to be an overabundance of some and a lack of other possible brands. But, overall, it has something for every slot player.

At one point, I was up enough to try Triple Triple Bonus video poker.  This game defines volatility. Two-pair = 1 credit, three-of-a-king = only 2 credits, and a straight only = 3 credits! The full house/flush ratio is 7/5.  This game is listed on VP2Free as a 96.55% game.  The big tease about TTB is the quad bonus – the payout for Four of a kind, Aces w/ 2,3,4 & Four of a kind, 2, 3 ,4 w/ Ace equals 4000 credits just like a Royal Flush.  Enticing?  Make sure you have an extensive bankroll to survive it’s volatility.

Video Poker at MGM Springfield has been my biggest gaming complaint.  At the quarter level, it’s hard to find anything over 96%.  Remember, that includes trying max bet for the Royal Flush.  Without max bet, payback is lowered 2%, that would be nothing at MGMS over 94% without max bet. VP players – be aware of your paytables. Some players play less than Max bet and play a higher denomination.  Thanks to Mike Tyburski for showing me that Bonus Poker at the dollar level is a 7/5 game – a 98% game. Without the 5 coin max, it reduces to 96%, but without the high volatility and 2:1 for two pair.

BEVERAGE SERVICE IS STILL TERRIBLE

For a second straight session, both my wife and I had terrible beverage service on the casino floor.  It hasn’t improved for me over five visits. It just seems completely understaffed. The wait-time, if you are lucky enough to order, is so long for slot players that most people have moved on to another slot. Table games are no better. One time playing Pai Gow poker, I had to ask the dealer to ask the pit boss if someone could be sent over!  Hey MGM, it’s one thing to offer free beverages – it’s another to actually serve them!

Hotel

I am still asking to get an upgrade for a suite, just so I can take pictures for all of you reading this.  It was a very busy week, with New Year’s Eve on the horizon.  The standard rooms are still pretty comfy. One little plus is that the window curtains keep the room dark for you late sleepers. Two little bottles of water are a nice touch, and the rooms are still clean and interesting.  My only complaint is that the shower doors still make me feel like I’m in a jail cell – but that’s probably just me. One additional nice touch is the motion sensitive blue light in the bathroom for those “during the night wake-ups” – just a little light provided to “get ‘er done.”

I strongly suggest you ask for the 2nd floor. The ceilings are higher in the rooms, giving a more spacious feeling, and it’s the same floor as the Coffee & Tea Room. There is only one of these, so all other floors visit the 2nd floor as well. Lines formed this Thursday morning, but its easier to watch if your a few rooms down.  And it’s next to the other casino elevator that brings you down across from the “Walk Up Bar.”

Suggestion – to remember your room # and not worry about your room key, the MLife mobile app has all your information if you are staying in the hotel. AND, it includes your room key – how cool is that.  Just call up your app, get your room key, hold it to your room door at the key spot and Voila! – your in your room.

THE DRAW

I am still enjoying MGM Springfield more than I thought.  But my best offers and gambling options still come from Connecticut. In a future post, I will tell you why I still prefer Mohegan Sun & Foxwoods. But for now, I’m surprising pleased with the overall impression of MGM Springfield.

Binbin

Remember when gambling – “Embrace the Math, Not the Myth!”