One MGM Way, Springfield, MA 01103
After a lengthy process, Massachusetts finally gets its first full service casino. Welcome to the MGM Springfield, a gambling oasis in the heart of one of the region’s most unique cities. Was it good? Did it live up to the basically non-existent hype? Let’s find out….
You know when some glass half-full directions guy says “Oh yeah bro, it’s only a few minutes away” or “Dude, it’s right off the highway” but you know that it’s going to take a Sherpa and a gyrocompass to find where you are going…MGM Springfield is the opposite. It is literally right off the highway. Coming from any direction is a breeze. Sure, if miss the turn to the garage or the side entrance, there are a few one-ways to navigate but what do you expect for a place tucked into a city. Side note: there is nothing like driving the opposite way of traffic in the metro Boston area. Mass Pike westbound in the morning is what I envision Scarlett Johansen’s hair to be like – smooth as silk.
Look and Feel
One word – really f’n cool. I am a sucker for exposed brick and they had it in spades on the columns throughout. Ceilings had an exposed, warehouse feel making it seem bigger than it was. The carpets were typical casino abstract art but that’s neither here nor there. This place reminded me of a lot of the new places that popped up in the last 10 years that said “buh-bye” to drywall and crappy paint. Lots of kiosks for the players club, which was needed because every blue haired player from sea-to-shining-sea was there trying to get their upgraded player cards.
Everything was new so not much to complain about with cleanliness, however the felt on the tables was still new and collecting lots of dust and lint. As a man of the people, I did my part to keep my space clean and rolled a few bunnies up.
The highlight was at the table games. Not only were they very comfortable, but the chairs had the perfectly placed footrests and a railing attached to the table for a change of pace if your dogs start barking. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is worse than a poorly placed footrest when you are trying to leather ass together a rent check. Bravo MGM Springfield, bravo.
You are going to get your staples for table games: Blackjack, Craps, Roulette and Baccarat. Sprinkle in a few of the popular gimmick games like Three/Four Card Poker, Chase the Flush and Pai Gow, there is a good little mix. Disappointing there was that trash bag game Ultimate Texas Hold Em but no Let It Ride with the Bonus (HAMMER THE BONUS when you see this game. Hammer it!).
On Blackjack, instead of Match the Dealer or Lucky Ladies for the side game, there was In BETween. Fun game you don’t see much and wow did it confuse some of the donkeys I played with tremendously. How you cannot grasp that the dealer up card needs to fall “between” your two cards is beyond me. Hey Jack from Albany, you know who you are…Take a lap pal, you lost.
Also, there was that awful progressive Super 4 offered. Look, anytime you are rooting for a bullet face-up from the dealer and then a dealer blackjack that would be a hard pass from me. Folks who play this probably play the Don’t Pass on a full Craps table like a scumbag. (Full disclaimer, I got SMOKED on this bullshit progressive the last 4 times I played it in other places. As you can see, I am not bitter and totally unbiased.)
Finally, still on the blackjack train, they have perpetual shufflers. Ready…ready…go…BOOOOOOOOO!!!!
Springfield is an urban area. The MGM is in the heart of it. The folks at the tables and the slots represented a very diverse cross section of Americana. From the aforementioned bonehead Jack to the hard-of-hearing Asian dude that sat next to me, who I am convinced was a cooler working undercover, there were all shapes and sizes.
Story time – The table was humming along. Ang (his name according to his parents/chaperones/handlers/undercover casino security) sits and screams “dis a $10 or a $15 table?” Try to think of Short Round from Indiana Jones just now all grown up with the hat and everything. Dealer answers $15. Ang’s handlers are behind him telling him ok stay here and take it easy. Again, Ang screams half in my ear and half to the dealer, “dis a $10 or a $15 table?” Dealer answers again. After 12 $5 bills are changed, Ang bets and immediately gets dealt an ace. Asking for a hand is one thing, using a megaphone attached to your larynx is another. “PICTURE!!!” comes from his pie hole, but alas a 4 is dealt. He does this the next 2 hands. I left shortly thereafter. Thanks Ang, or should I say Casino Employee #666. Side note – I’m sorry to stereotype, but who doesn’t say “Monkey!” when they want a face card? Come on Ang, be better.
Brand new place, brand new bathroom – what could possibly go wrong? Clean and cool looking when you walk in but turn the corner and BAM, the smallest gap you have ever seen to get to the pissah (formal design term, look it up). Anytime you need to turn sideways to walk by someone to take a leak, I would call that cramped.
And let’s reenact my encounter with the sink. Casino Guy – “Oh look, a cool looking sink with a neat drain. Nice smelling soap. Is that an auto hand dryer right next to the sink? It sure is. Let’s give this a ……AAHHH WTF!” and fade to black (uproarious applause!!!). Hey engineers, you should make sure all the water from the sink goes down the drain before you allow the hurricane force hand dryer to blow the germ water all over your patrons. Just a thought.
Only being open for a week, you have to give them a pass on some things. New dealers will be slower. New waitresses sometime don’t realize that Jack from Albany is entitled to his decaf coffee with 2 creams now and does not care about her other 8 tables (seriously Jack was a bag of dicks). Overall, people were very friendly. They had an absolutely army of people assisting every little ole lady and dude with a walker get their new player cards. Even with a smile on their faces the whole damn time. Good for them. It would not shock me to hear about one of these staffers Rock Bottoming an old dude because we all know some folks who have been on this planet longer than you have just don’t have the time to wait in line for anything. The concept of “hey, the line starts back there” is completely lost on Morty from Windsor, CT.
Grub & Liquid Courage
It looks like they had lots of food to choose from. I didn’t partake but there were options for all tastes and budgets. It was too early for me to drink (shocker), so my next visit back will address the issue in full. The big debate was settled over the summer – drinks will be comped and last call will be pretty late (4AM). I will get to the 2 big questions on everyone’s mind – 1) are beers in 8 ounce Dixie cups (I am looking at you Foxwoods) or bottles or something else? And 2) when I order a Maker’s Old Fashioned, am I really getting a Ten High straight with an orange rind?
This place itself was a beauty. Hell even the parking garage had me saying, “shit this is nice”. Having been in places all over just like Springfield, I knew going in that the entertainment/frustration factor would be through the roof with the patrons. I expected the Jack’s, Ang’s and Morty’s of the world. I did NOT expect to sprayed with dirty sink water after washing my hands. That was fun….I also didn’t expect them to hit it out of the park with seats and table foot rests.
I will be back again for sure, this time later in the day to give a full assessment of the food, booze and service. For this review, MGM Springfield gave me something to look forward to and some room to improve.
Official Casino Guy Rating: 10-high straight – solid, winning hand and with a few tweaks could be a monster.