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

Tiverton Casino Hotel – Our Last Summer Trip Report

It’s been a summer of casino visits and openings.  First, we started with both Maine casinos, investigating the new Oxford Hotel and Ox Pub. Then, two trips to AC to check out two new hotel/casinos on the Boardwalk – Hard Rock & Ocean, staying at each as well Borgata. Then a two night stay at MGM Springfield.

Finally, our last quest was to visit Tiverton Casino Hotel.

Rendering – Tiverton Casino/ Hotel.

We will stay over another time.  This was just a quick look the weekend of its opening. And I’m glad we did.  I would characterize it as a cute “boutique” casino & hotel. It’s not big, but well done with some things I haven’t ever seen.

Hotel – Courtesy NETG

The first positive was that there IS underground parking.  From previous renditions, I thought there was only uncovered parking in front of the casino.

Hotel Lobby – Courtesy NETG

The entrance was nicely done, with the hotel lobby and hotel entrance directly to the right. The place is bright and welcoming. But the real star, the only on of its kind in New England, is the iPourIt Wall. iPourIt recently installed a 26 tap self-serve beer wall!  This is really cool – here’s how it works.

iPourIt Wall – Courtesy NETG

  1. Go to the Center Bar, get special Tiverton iPourIt card, which you keep and is connected to your credit card.
  2. Hold the card against drinking choice, a green light shows up
  3. Then, just pour

It’s that simple.  You can pour up to 32 oz. before returning to center bar to do it all again.  You can pour as much or as little wine or beer as you like. A group of 4 small beer glasses are available for beer flights.  The beer and wine selections are fantastic.  The Newport Craft Brewing Frosty Freeze Stout and Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale were tops.  The also have craft IPA’s, as well as familiar names like Blue Moon and Dogfish Head. There is a small area to sit, drink and listen to music.

Thanks, Mackenzie! Great Job! – Courtesy NETG

Thanks to Mackenzie, the beverage manager for her great explanation and discussion about iPourIt.  I know its a nice new casino, but who needs gambling with this?  and yes, you can bring your beverage back to your favorite slot or table game.

Here’s the rest of our report:

 GAMBLING

Casino feature’s 32 table games and up to 1,000 slot machines, 18 Hybrid stadium gaming stations for baccarat, roulette & blackjack.

Stadium Gaming – Courtesy NETG

Table games (with lowest minimums noted) include Blackjack ($15, $25, $50), Roulette ($10), Baccarat, Three Card Poker ($15), Craps ($10), Spanish 21, Let It Ride, and Pai Gow Poker. (although 1 baccarat table was the only Asian game choice open at 10:00 on a Sunday)

Comfortable space – Courtesy NETG

It feels more spacious than MGM, with more space in the slot aisles. Similar to MGM Springfield, they offer the latest in slot games, only 40% less than Springfield.  Thew difference is that MGM Springfield is a destination resort where Tiverton is a boutique convenience casino/hotel.

If I thought the video poker wasn’t playable in Springfield, the VP at Tiverton, like its parent casino Twin River, is pathetic. Twenty machines at the quarter denomination, JOB is 7/5, Bonus is 6/5, DDB 8/5.  There are deuces vp in the old VLT’s from Twin River’s early days of slots, but pay tables are still questionable. (Royals are 2000 credits)

From those days of old, there are 19 VLT – Power Station Classics – to the right of the self pour beer and wine station.

Bonus slot play is property specific, so even though points can be earned together at both TR & TIV, slot play offers can only be played at property offering it.

Yes, that’s all of the racebook! – Courtesy NETG

Rewards desk is immediately left after entering. Racebook is very small – 12 seats.

Ample restrooms throughout along the perimeter.  And yes, they have cool hand blowers on each side of the faucet at each sink (see image below)

Smoking is allowed, with the exception of a small non smoking area next to the food court.

Non Smoking area – Courtesy NETG

But the smoking is not as big of a deal at this property due to 18,000 vents in the floor giving the casino a ventilation system that blows in fresh air from vents on the floor.

18,000 Vents to recycle air. Courtesy NETG

There is a VIP lounge for top level players, but wasn’t open yet. 6 high limit slots are outside the entrance.

VIP – Courtesy NETG

Entertainment will include DJ’s and small groups on the stage behind Center Bar

Stage (above) & Center Bar – Courtesy NETG

Dining includes two fine dining- Trattoria Romana, and Tuscan Chophouse.The fast-food options are Mooyah, which serves burgers and fries, Pie Five Pizza Co., and Jacky’s Galaxie Sushi Bar. There’s also a Dunkin’ Donuts near the entrance of the hotel.

Food Court – Courtesy NETG

It was a quick trip, but we will be back. It was comfortable, but not very large. Next time we’ll stay over, play some table games and pour our own brews – all the more reason to try their hotel!

Binbin

 

 

Wynn Boston Harbor Drinking Hours Extended With Opposition

Wynn Boston Harbor

Wynn Boston Harbor opening in 2019

My, My………we have seen the influence of MGM on the Massachusetts legislature and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, now the other casino giant has gotten it’s way through the back door.

Let’s just say it, “Massachusetts looks to casino gambling as the golden goose, with MGM Springfield & Wynn Boston Harbor the two golden eggs for the states revenue woes.”

And why not?  MGM & Wynn are both giants in the casino industry and very influential.  They have been extremely successful in building some of the largest and most beautiful casino resorts in this country and around the world. What state wouldn’t want either of the two to set up house and add revenue to the state coffers?

What’s amazing is that Wynn Boston Harbor pushed to include Gov. Charlie Baker to include a 4 a.m. liquor license for casinos in the state budget.  Baker signed off on a Budget that included the special license in an “Outside Area” of the budget.  Voila!  In a state without the ability to have a “happy hour” anywhere in the state – in a state full of Puritanical “Blue Laws” in its over 250 year history – Steve Wynn has changed a long standing liquor law in one year.

Extended Drinking Until 4:00 a.am for Casino Players

According to Seth Daniel of the Charlestown Patriot Bridge, “Local officials responded with some concerns, including Charlestown State Rep. Dan Ryan – who said this should be the beginning of a discussion with the communities around the casino, and not a “final verdict…….The 4 a.m. license in the budget does not yet mean Wynn is free and clear to get the extended license – which goes beyond the normal 2 a.m. closing by two hours, but requires anyone drinking in those hours to be actively playing a casino game. The budget item only allows the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) to grant such a casino license if it deems such a move appropriate.”

So, Wynn’s influence on Gov. Baker made it possible to drink until 4:00 a.m. as long as they are playing gambling.

Vegas is a 24 hour drinking town.

This change is expected to help Wynn & MGM compete with the other mega resorts in New England.  But Las Vegas, where you can walk to and fro at 4:00 (actually 24 hours) and not get in your car to leave is a totally different matter.

“Wynn Boston Harbor will attract tourists from across the country and around the world who are expecting a late-night resort experience,” said Bob DeSalvio, president of Wynn Boston Harbor. “This legislation allows us to deliver an enjoyable stay for guests while maximizing job creation and tax revenue to the Commonwealth. It’s important to note that the extended two-hour service is limited only to patrons who are actively playing on the casino floor and will not apply to any other restaurants and lounges located in our resort, in the City of Everett or in any of our surrounding communities.”

Opposition to this extension seems large.

  • Senator Stan Rosenberg was adamant about the unfair advantage for the casinos. “…when you talk about entertainment venues and bars and restaurants, there is some impact of it being pulled from those main street venues to the casinos.”
  • Steve Clark, the Director of Government Affairs for the Massachusetts Restaurant Association, said restaurants should also have the option of serving alcohol until 4 a.m. He said he fears that restaurants and bars could lose business to casinos, which will be able to serve alcohol (free of charge) for up to two hours after last call at most bars under the new law.
  • Boston anti-casino activist Celeste Myers said, “You now have all these people drinking all but four hours a day, filtering into the neighborhood.”

    Brian Kyes

  • Brian Kyes, the police chief in neighboring Chelsea and president of the Massachusetts Major City Chiefs of Police Association said he understands the push for more casino tax revenue, but “at what expense?” “My concern is people drinking late leaving the casino floor and getting into a motor vehicle. My concern is for public safety.”
  • Karen Locascio of Dorchester said the lack of public transportation is another drawback. “If you’re drinking at that time and you want to get home, we know the T’s not operating past two,” she said.

Future Questions Raised

How invested is Massachusetts to pleasing MGM & Wynn – and at what cost?

Will restaurants in Massachusetts be allowed the same extension of hours?

Will police departments now be forced in more expenditures for more officers, or be stretched thin to cover the added concern for drunk driving?

Will this be further discussed in legislation and by the MGC to 1) give individual towns control over implementation, 2) examine the effects of such a change?

 

Crazy Alcohol Laws in Massachusetts

In a state where: (according to boston.com “Weird Laws in Massachusetts” )  It is illegal in The Commonwealth of Massachusetts to scare a pigeon” and “Tomatoes may not be used in the production of clam chowder,” where does Massachusetts stand on alcohol sales.  Here are some crazy Mass. laws concerning drinking:

  1. Stores still can’t sell booze before 10am on Sundays. Even Champagne!
  2. Boston bartenders will frown at you if you try to order group refills. One person can’t get more than two drinks at once.
  3. As recently as 2000, there were a full twenty dry towns where drinking was not able to be bought.
  4. Massachusetts forbids businesses from promoting booze with happy hour promotions.

Which brings us full circle to the 4:00 a.m. extension.  Let’s see how much influence Wynn & MGM actually have.

Binbin