Las Vegas, Nevada Is Great – But New England Casinos Offer A Lot As Well

Las Vegas Strip

Las Vegas Strip, looking north, on a beautiful weekday morning.

If anyone who frequently visits Las Vegas, will tell you about the clubs, the shows, the buffets, the shopping, the immensity of the hotels, etc. The fact is, gambling as the number one reason to visit Las Vegas has decreased.  It’s the experience, the late night events that research shows as the main reasons for vacationing in Vegas. Good gambling options especially on the Strip are far & few between, become a thing of the past.

Don’t get me wrong – Las Vegas is my favorite place in the world.  And if you look for it, Las Vegas offers good gambling – you just have to look for it. To someone that loves Vegas as much as I do, there are some very annoying, if not aggravating, things about the place these days.  My wife and I have witnessed the expansion of “Sin City” over the last twenty years – both the good and not so good. We remember the old Vegas, trying to transition from to corporation and ownership and the famous themes with the development of three-wing hotels on the strip.

Las Vegas in the 70's

Las Vegas in the 70’s.  Courtesy of

We paid our dues in those beginning years – staying at the Hacienda (imploded for the building of Mandalay Bay), Riviera (recently razed for the convention center), and Lady Luck Downtown (closed for years, now Downtown Grand).  Some of our best memories include:download (1)

  • stopping to spin for free airfare at Vacation Village
  • drinking great brews  at the “Holy Cow” (a CVS now) across from the Sahara (which is now SLS) before the craft-beer-brewing craze
  • the first time we drove through Red Rock Canyon without seeing the urban sprawl.  Roads to Summerlain weren’t even completed.

    Remember the days of casino trips with coupon books?

    Remember the days of casino trips with coupon books?

  • getting “fun books” at places like Lady Luck, Casino Royale
  • seeing our first and THE FIRST Cirque du Soleil show on the strip “Mystere” for the first time
  • finding 9/6 JOB almost everywhere
(Still wondering what this has to do with New England Casinos?  I’m getting to it.)

But, I’m afraid some of the fun just doesn’t exist like that anymore, or at least what I consider fun. It’s changed.  Parking fees, ghost taxes at restaurants, resort fees, show prices usually around three figures – all cut into the vacationer’s bankroll, after they are playing games with larger house edge.  Just like Ellington said in the 40’s, “Things Ain’t What They Used to Be.”

But that is what businesses do – they continue to evolve.  So, we have to continue to look for different experiences to “float our boat” because nothing stays the same – especially in Las Vegas.

Cosmo at night.

Cosmo at night.

Last week I was in suites at Cosmopolitan for 4 days and Westgate (the old Las Vegas Hilton) for 2 days.  It was a great time.  We look forward to new things now – lunch at Giada’s, great draft beer at Banger Brewing, and the best donuts ever at Donut Bar.  What does this have to do with gambling in New England?

But, I’m glad to be back. To be honest, the pay tables and % payback in New England are comparable to the Strip (check Casino Player’s monthly stats), if not better and it doesn’t cost an arm & and a leg to get here, never mind pay for parking like MGM Las Vegas and Atlantic City. It’s Vegas style gaming with some of the amenities that are now lacking in Sin City.  

The future continues to be promising for New England Casinos.

  • MGM Springfield completed by 2019
  • Oxford Casino, Maine will have two hotels available, one attached to the casino.
  • Wynn Boston Harbor – completed by late 2019
  • New Tiverton Casino in Rhode Island replacing Newport Grand
  • Twin River Casino building a hotel….eventually.
  • Maybe a third casino in Connecicut
  • Mohegan Sun adding  the new “Earth Hotel” late this year.

NewEnglandFINALSo, I guess the point is simple: drive less, pick your games wisely, use the NE Casinos’ bonuses and special offers during the holiday season and enjoy your recreational gambling closer to home – as well as the great entertainment, dining, and hotels they have to offer.

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Oxford Gearing Up to Celebrate 3rd Anniversary

Can you believe it’s been three years that Oxford Casino has been opened?  It seems like yesterday they were breaking ground.

Oxford Casino, which joined the Churchill Downs, Incoporated family in July 2013, opened in June, 2012 and underwent two expansions, one in October 2012 and another in December 2013.  It has been a popular attraction since its opening.  News of late includes plans are set for a new hotel to be built across from the Oxford Casino. The 92 room Hampton Inn is expected to cost $15 million. The hotel is anticipated to create dozens of construction jobs and then almost two dozen part and full-time jobs to run and maintain the hotel.

So, as you can imagine, it’s time to celebrate in Oxford, Maine. Here are the plans for this weekend:

15-115-0141 JunePromos-400x340-tshirt3rd ANNIVERSARY T-SHIRT

Saturday, June 6
BEGINNING AT 8:00AM. Be one of the first 500 Oxford Rewards Club members to visit a promotional kiosk and you will receive a voucher for a FREE, limited edition Anniversary T-Shirt!

$33,333 Anniversary Giveaway!
Celebrating our 3rd Anniversary with $33,333 worth of WICKED GOOD FUN!

15-115-0141 JunePromos-400x340-giveawayYou could win a share of $33,333 IN CASH and Free Slot Play! Enter for FREE at one of our promotional kiosks beginning Friday, June 5. Earn entries all weekend long for your chance to win a share of $33,333 in CASH and Free Slot Play! Grand Prize drawing is Sunday, June 7 at 6:00pm.

Win a FREE PASS into the finals on Saturday, June 6 with drawings at 2:00pm, 4:00pm, 6:00pm, and 8:00pm! Earn 3X entries on Saturday, June 6! Sunday, June 7: Hourly drawings from Noon to 6:00pm!

15-115-0141 JunePromos-400x340-seafoodSeafood Buffet

Saturday, June 6 – 3:00PM To 9:00PM. $34.95 per person.  Enjoy the fruits of the sea, including lobster tails and claws, crab legs, Point Judith calamari, haddock and so much more! Reservations recommended, call 207-539-6705.

15-115-0141 JunePromos-400x340-giveJune6Give $5 Get $5!

June 6, 2015, 5:00AM TO 11:59PM. Donate $5 to Breast Cancer Awareness and receive $5 in Free Slot Play! 100% of donations will be made to Maine Cancer Foundation and Cancer Community Center.

Now that’s celebrating and giving back to the community.  We at NE Time Gambling wish you many more anniversaries to come.