2019 NEW ENGLAND CASINO AWARDS

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Our New England Casino Poll Starts in Five Days!

The time has come for all you crazy (or serious) New England Casino visitors to vote for this year’s favorites. You don’t need to live in New England to vote – New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey – let your voice be heard!

This is the 4th year for NETimeGambling’s annual Awards celebrating the best in our expanding gaming landscape.  This year, we will have one additional casino, four new hotels, and more restaurants than ever before. Time to compare the reward clubs as well – MLife, Choice rewards (formerly Marquee Rewards), Twin River, Oxford, Momentum and Foxwoods Rewards.

New England Casino Awards votes can be made by:

  1. Subscribing to our Website NETimeGambling.com
  2. Following us on Twitter 
  3. Following us on our Facebook page
  4. Following us on the New England Casinos Facebook group page

Our survey starts on Friday, January 19th. You can only vote once, so make your vote count!

For a look at last year’s winners, check out: New England Casino Awards 2018 and New England Casino Awards – Final Analysis of 2017

2019 NEW ENGLAND CASINO AWARDS – TIME TO VOTE IN FIVE DAYS!!! 

Binbin

Thankful to Stay in New England for Casino Recreation

Photo by gabrielle cole on Unsplash

Today’s post is a short one.  It’s a post of acknowledgement and appreciation for where I live today, and have lived all my life – New England.

Like a said, this will be brief.  In the past few years, I have gone on tirades about the changes in Las Vegas. If you want to see my rants, click on Las Vegas – No Christmas Cheer, Just More Scrooge.

I used to regret being so far away from Las Vegas. I love Las Vegas for all it offers. But, this morning, I would like to quote from the above post, saying, “Here in New England, we have casinos for every desire – from small convenience casinos to Mega-resorts, two (three counting the future Encore Boston Harbor) that rival anything on the strip, without the fees, WITH free drinks, 5 star dining, enough “oonze” and clubs to get your groove on, fantastic entertainment, & FREE self & valet parking.”  Let’s not forget the two full-fledged mid-size resorts MGM Springfield & Twin River Casino / Hotel!

It’s true.  You can find anything here that you’d find in Las Vegas.  And if not in New England, then in Atlantic City with it’s resurgence and new casino resorts. Add to that the expansion in New York, and you have over thirty casinos of every size and type within a 5 hour radius of Connecticut.

Sure, Las Vegas is gambling’s Mecca with the convenience of more casinos and their provisions together than anywhere in America – but it’s so far away.  With the casino expansion in the northeast, is it really essential to visit Vegas as much as you used to?  Not me!

You want Steakhouses? Try Michael Jordan’s at Mohegan Sun, Slack’s at Plainridge, Foxwoods provides two outstanding restaurants with Cedars and David Burke’s. and the new kids on the block – Tuscan Chophouse at Tiverton and MGM Springfield’s Chandler Steakhouse (there are more, but I did say “brief”)

Prime Rib at Slack’s, Plainridge Park

You want entertainment? Try headliners at Mohegan Sun Arena, Fox Theater, Grand Theater, MassMutual Center and Twin River’s Event Center. Or maybe more intimate entertainment – lounges, comedy, karaoke, trivia…….

Award-winning Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville CT

You want sports? We have pro basketball, lacrosse, semi-pro hockey, the best in college basketball, CES fighting, boxing…….

How about different types of offerings – Foxwoods Thrill Rides, the iPourit wall at Tiverton, craft local beers at every casino in New England, retail shops, Tanger Outlets……

And with ten casino hotels with a total of over 4600 hotel rooms, including suites and villas, even convenience day trips can turn into enjoyable stay-cations.

So, as we end 2018, I’d like to look back and be thankful for what is near me.  In 6 years, it’s getting to the point that NETG can’t keep up with all the news and construction we’ve seen, including many highs and lows, but always pushing forward.

So instead of Viva Las Vegas, I say,

“VIVA NEW ENGLAND!”

 

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?)