MGM Springfield Three Years Later

Three years ago, before MGM Springfield was built, I had some random thoughts and concerns for the future of the property. The following post was written four years ago, just before its grand opening.  Additional comparisons and comments are in green italics and were written before the pandemic. Everything else was posted as it was three years ago. Let’s look at MGM Springfield Three Years Later


MGM Springfield Three Years Later

MGM Springfield is expected to bring revenue to an economically needy city. Yes, there’s a lot of pressure on MGM Springfield to bring in jobs and enhance downtown Springfield. Let’s look at MGM Springfield – MGM Springfield Three Years Later, 2017 vs. 2020.

Will MGM Springfield be another New England casino that solidifies southern New England as a gambling destination?  MGM, Encore Boston Harbor, Foxwoods & Mohegan Sun are all resorts that attract people from all over the country.  Is MGM Springfield a resort? – that’s a topic for a different post. Here are my thoughts about the MGM Springfield project and related issues.

Changes in Plans

The original plans were impressive. But since the original proposal, MGM nixed the hotel tower, lowered the parking garage by two floors, and moved the expected apartment complex further away from the casino.

Inside, MGM Springfield restaurants are on the perimeter of the casino. The essential “Center Bar” in the middle of the casino, made famous by the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas long ago, sits with a long bar similar to the D in Las Vegas. It has modern looks like MGM’s latest “Aria,” but much brighter.

Related Post – MGM Springfield Is Not A Resort

Close quarters inside slot area when first opened.

Will MGM & Wynn (Encore) be powerful enough to influence a repeal of 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.  Comped beverages are now allowed at both.  Encore & MGM did have enough power to get Massachusetts to extend alcohol service. Both casinos can serve alcohol to players until 4:00 AM)

National MLife Connections

MLife Rewards Club of MGM

I’m encouraged about the East-West connection the rewards club provides.  Earning MLife 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 owns some incredible properties.  Imagine earning offers from MGM Springfield to stay at Bellagio, Aria, and Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas! (In fact, MLife connections providing offers all over the country is a huge reason to play at MGM Springfield. Also, Borgata is now owned by MGM, another great east coast property)

The Connecticut Threat 

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.

Changes in designs do occur all the time. Rising costs are usually sighted as the reasons for these changes – whether it’s a Mall, housing project, or a casino. 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 aren’t that naive and stupid.

Previous MGM Hotel plan

Correspondingly, if  MGM thinks the Nutmeg State’s casinos are not a threat to MGM Springfield’s success, why the lawsuit? (MGM International threw lots of opposition to disrupt the third casino in CT) Likewise, why does MGM compare itself to CT’s tribal casinos instead of looking out west to New York State/ By the same token, MGM says it wants a casino in CT (Bridgeport) but pulled out of Foxwoods in previous years?  Hypocrisy, I say—sheer hypocrisy.

Related Post – MGM sues Connecticut officials over casino legislation

(Since then, MGM bought the Empire City Casino and Yonkers Raceway in New York. That’s only 55 miles away from Bridgeport, CT. Interest in buying Encore Boston Harbor showed indecision concerning keeping MGM Springfield. MGM International continues to look like PacMan – trying to gobble up everything in sight. At the end of 2020, the pandemic halted all casino expansion – including Connecticut’s Tribal threat to MGM Springfield. In a joint project, Mohegan and Pequot tribes joined forces to build “Tribal Winds” in East Windsor, close to the CT/MA border. Alas, an empty lot is all that stands there.

Gamblers Concerns

I’m just as concerned with what MGM is going to bring to gamblers.  So, MGM, I ask you – what advantage I have spread my money in Springfield compared to other New England options?

Will MGM have the same poor to mediocre Video Poker paytables that are in all their other properties?  (Yes!) The exception is Borgata in Atlantic City. 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!) Massachusetts Casino Law has the entire casino as non-smoking. (All Massachusetts casinos are smokeless. This is a plus to most players.)

Binbin

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

Binbin

(Thanks for going back in time with us.  MGM Springfield is still evolving. I wonder how different it will be in 2023?)


Binbin and NETimeGambling.com

Robin T. Aubin (AKA Binbin at NETimeGambling) has been a guest on Cousin Vito’s Casino Podcast, The Bettor Life Podcast, The Art in the Game Podcast featuring all that is Springfield, Massachusetts. as well as ZorkCast with Michael Trager. As the founder of NETimeGambling.com, he has tried to provide a resource for recreational gamblers featuring New England’s expanding casino market events, gambling promotions, and entertainment. As a professional musician for over 50 years, he has performed in some of New England’s best venues, namely Mohegan Sun’s Wolf Den, Foxwoods’ Atrium Lounge, and Twin River’s Lighthouse Bar & Lounge.

The goal of NETimeGambling is to provide a service and resource for any recreational gambler visiting New England’s expanding casino market and interested in gambling tips, news, advice, and the latest in events, gambling promotions, and entertainment.

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