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!”

New Year’s Eve at MGM Springfield & Plainridge Park Casinos

It’s New Year’s time again.  Get your voice ready for “Auld Lang Syne.” make sure your sweetie is ready for kissing at midnight, chill the champagne, and get the correct channel on the tube to watch the ball drop – it’s New Year’s Eve!

By the way, you can find us Twitter and Facebook at out NETimeGambling Page. Every month, NETG posts in New England’s news, promotions and events at TravelZork – one of the best travel sites to bring Vegas information, travel resources, travel and casino rewards and gambling advice to the web. If you don’t visit TravelZork once a month, you are missing out on insightful and timely articles by some of the best experts in the travel and casino fields.

Not only can you find NETimeGamblingcom be found at TravelZork, but I have also had great fun with guest appearances on Cousin Vito’s Casino Podcast, TravelZork’s ZorkCast, and the newest addition to the New England casino community Art in the Game by Christopher DiMauro.


MGM SPRINGFIELD, Springfield MA

New Year’s Eve at MGM Springfield Includes:

Armory MGM Springfield

The Armory – Black tie. Live music. Chic luxury. Relish savory and sweet stations from the Raw Bar, gourmet Mac & Cheese bar to the Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream Spectacular with passed hors d’ oeuvres all crafted by The Farm Table at Kringle Candle. Dance to the Redline Band and DJ Trey Byrum all night long. Enjoy the open bar and a champagne toast at midnight. Limited to 300 guests. 21+. GA Tickets are $200.

The Commonwealth – Dress to impress. Celebrate at Commonwealth Bar and Lounge while the DJ keeps you dancing into the early morning. Enjoy passed hors d’oeuvres & an open bar from 8:00pm until Midnight. 21+ Tickets from $150 – $2000

TAP Sports Bar – Live music, dancing and special menus. 21+

Specialty Dining at Cal Mare – Cal Mare will be offering specialty menus for New Year’s Eve only.  Reservations required


Plainridge Park Casino & Raceway

 

Plainridge Park Casino

Plainridge Park Casino & Raceway

NEW YEAR 80’S-STYLE – Dust off your Members Only jacket and grab your Walkman. Music by Prince tribute band LoVeSexy, performing live from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Free – No Cover

$2019 FREE SLOTPLAY – Starting at 6 p.m. on December 31, one guest will be chosen to win $2019 Free SlotPlay® every 19 minutes. Winners will be notified directly at the slot machine where they are playing.

Binbin

MGM Springfield – Looking Back Three Years Ago

MGM Springfield Casino Entrance

MGM Springfield Casino Entrance

Believe it or not, years ago, when MGM Springfield wasn’t built yet, NETG looked into our crystal ball and had some random thoughts and concerns for the future.  The following post was three years ago.  Any additions will be in green italics.  Otherwise, it’s posted here as it was three years ago. How did we do with our crystal ball?


I want MGM Springfield to succeed.

There, I said it.

I want it to bring revenue for an economically needy city, I want it to be beautiful and to enhance the rundown parts of Springfield.

thI want it to be another casino jewel in New England to solidify southern New England as a gambling/tourist destination.  MGM, Wynn, Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun, Twin River – all large casinos with amenities to provide for vacations & stay-cations alike.

But I still have doubts to accompany the excitement of a top-class resort venue and their journey to 2018.  So here are random thoughts about the MGM Springfield project and related issues:

The original plans were impressive, but now take away the tower, lower the parking garage by two floors, and move the apartments in the opening of the video further away from the casino.  Inside, MGM Springfield looks similar to Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas (Sumerlain), with restaurants outlying the casino, and the essential “Center Bar” made so Important by the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas long ago.  It has modern looks like MGM’s latest “Aria,” but much brighter. (BTW, it’s not even close to looking like Red Rock in Nevada, except for restaurants on the perimeter)

VIDEO CLIP – MGM Springfield President Michael Mathis explains changes.   (sorry, not accessible three years later)

No free alcohol on the Casino Floor -Plainridge Park Slot Parlor

No free alcohol on the Casino Floor -Plainridge Park Slot Parlor

Will MGM & Wynn be powerful enough to influence a repeal to the “NO Happy Hour” Law in Massachusetts?  Imagine no alcohol freebies on a casino floor owned by MGM & Wynn – blasphemy! (Originally, free drinks were to be limited to non-alcoholic.  Good for all that it was changed)

MGM Atlanta

MGM Atlanta

MGM is a giant in the gambling industry and shouldn’t have any trouble separating their concerns in Macau & Las Vegas.  But their project in Atlanta, the first casino in Georgia, might be more of an interest than Springfield.  Massachusetts hasn’t been the most welcome state in the country concerning Wynn & MGM’s interests.

MLife Rewards Club of MGM

MLife Rewards Club of MGM

I’m encouraged about then East-West connection the rewards club, MLife, will provide.  Earning points in Springfield that can be used in Las Vegas & Biloxi (MGM owns Beau Rivage Resort Casino there) is exciting!  Let’s face it, MGM does own some incredible properties.  Imagine earning connections to stay at Bellagio in Las Vegas! (In fact, country connections, now including Borgata – still jointly owned with Boyd Gaming three years ago – is a huge reason fir playing at MGM Soringfield)

MGM dismisses everyone else in New England (except Wynn) as no competition. Eliminating the hotel tower is disappointing.  Yet, their “hotel on its side” plan idea is supposed to be the thing that distinguishes them from the Foxwoods & Mohegan Suns of the world.  Sorry MGM, we know you are big stuff in the gaming industry, but rationalizing a downgraded hotel as game changing in the casino industry is just insulting.  New Englanders just aren’t that naive and stupid.

MGM Springfield

New rendering of MGM Springfield’s, minus the Hotel Tower

Speaking of the comparison to Connecticut’s casinos, if the Nutmeg State’s casinos (including a third in the Hartford area) are not a threat to MGM Springfield, why the law suit, why the comparisons to CT instead of watching out west to New York State, and why say you want a casino in CT (Bridgeport) only to have pulled out of Foxwoods?  Hypocrisy I say. (Since then, MGM bought the Empire City Casino and Yonkers Raceway in New York. That’s only 55 miles away from Bridgeport, CT.  Also, their recent interest in buying Encore Boston Harbor showed a lack of wanting to keep MGM Springfield. MGM continues to look like PacMan – trying to gobble up everything in sight.)

Changes in design plans DO happen all the time, and rising costs are sighted as the reasons for these changes – whether it’s a Mall, housing project, or a casino.  I’m more concerned with what MGM is going to bring to gamblers.  So, MGM, I ask you – what advantage do I have spreading my money in Springfield compared to other New England options?

Poor VP Pay outs in many MGM properties. Jacks or better at 7/5.

Poor VP Pay outs in many MGM properties. Jacks or better at 7/5.

Will MGM have the same poor to mediocre Video Poker paytables that are in all their other properties?  The exception is Borgata in Atlantic City which they share with Boyd Gaming. You’re going to have to make your gambling options better if you seriously want to compete with CT & RI. (Guess we nailed that one!)images (3)I wonder what plans MGM Springfield has concerning smoking.  The options provided for smokers at Plainridge Park seem almost punitive.  Massachusetts Casino Law has the entire casino as non-smoking. (A plus to some, minus for others)

I have so many other thoughts, questions and requests concerning MGM Springfield, but they will just have to wait……….my brain hurts, time for a break.

Tomorrow its a look at Thanksgiving dining promotion at New England’s casinos. (Actually, we will re-post our 2018’s Thanksgiving Dining, Gambling and Event promotions tomorrow)

Binbin

(Thanks for going back in time with us.  MGM Springfield is still evolving.  I wonder how different it will be three years from today?)