Hey there Friends & Players welcome back! I’m very happy to be with you again and it’s 2019! It appears that New Year’s Eve went off without a hitch at MGM Springfield. Many partygoers reported beautiful decorations and a fun glitzy time. There were several parties on property going on at once. Unfortunately the absolutely horrible down pouring rain may have deterred some folks from coming out to celebrate on this first night.
MGM was praised by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission with the smooth operations since they’re opening on August 24. MGM’s Procedures in particular their approach to children at the casino was noted.
Unfortunately earlier this week a man had a medical emergency and was found dead on the casino floor. It has been reported that the response from MGM staff took a little while. Another guest who was a doctor attempted to help them in and was turned away by security because he was not an employee of MGM. This incident somewhat concerned me and I believe that they need to revisit their standard operating procedures for such a medical emergency. One woman reported in our closed group that the man was facedown for quite some time before security listened to people about the issue. I’m sure more information will be coming out about this in the future and I will keep you up to date. Our deepest condolences to this man’s family. We all hope he went out a winner.
MGM statistic show that they are meeting and exceeding their goal for hiring a diverse workforce. As of October 10 38.4% of the employees were Springfield residents beating the goal of 35%. Minorities represented 52.2% of the workforce besting the 50% goal. MGM did fall short with the women’s hiring with only 46% of the workforce missing their goal of 50%. Minority owned business represented 7.8% of the construction project as well as 6.5% went to veteran owned companies besting both of their goals in those categories.
I found it funny that the story came out one or two days before the big story this week that MGM Resorts International the parent company of MGM Springfield has plans to cut $100 million in US payroll over the next two years. Their plan is to increase cash flow by $200 million by the end of 2021. They will be consolidating their business functions and operations in Las Vegas. They have yet again another aggressive “ efficiencies in sourcing” program which they hope to make up 25%. Reading things like this really put me back on my heels. Language like this suggest renegotiation from local businesses in vendors that provide important services to MGM and its operations. Many vendors had to jump through a lot of hoops and tighten their belts to be able to ink deals with MGM here in Springfield. Can you imagine what an outside vendor would do to be able to do business with a new resort casino in their area? My guess is this conversation is scaring a lot of business owners across the country. So get ready vendors the Lion wants to beat you up again. Another 25% is to be made up through revenue optimization. What do you think that means? I’ll tell you it’s about getting more out of their guests for less. Finding new ways to cut corners. All of which will not equivalent to an elevated experience for the gambler. MGM told the Las Vegas review Journal Thursday that the MGM 2020 cost savings plan could mean as much as 2000 job cuts across the country. The cuts would certainly include unionized workers. Wow that sounds like such a loud shot over the bow of all employees nationwide to not even attempt to organize in 2019. I know that the Springfield security guards failed to unionize this fall however I have heard reports of other departments inside of MGM Springfield were talking about organization. MGM does not like paying union wage or dealing with union demands. Are Springfield employees now in jeopardy? What will the next year look like in Springfield? Where will these cost revenue optimizations come from? Vendors that are already giving their all to MGM and being part of their success will they be asked to give even more and make less?
MGM missed its own quarterly earnings target stock price has suffered trading last week at $25.97 a share down from its 52-week high of $38.41. Now would be a terrific time to go back and read my Follow the Yellow Brick Road blog post. It outlines MGM’s involvement here in the north east. I’m beginning to see somewhat of a pattern and it appears that they are interested in building a war chest. There are some big things coming. It’ll be very interesting to see how the next 12 months play out. If you’ve been listening to my show you know that they are not hitting their market and have it since they opened falling well short of $24-$26 million of gaming revenue a month. I feel like MGM wants to make a major play.
Now let’s get into some fun I had a couple a great visit to MGM and the first one was on December 26 for our Art in the Game members holiday meet up. I was so pleased to be joined by. Michael Tyburski, Chris Marion, and Robin Aubin from NE Time Gambling. We all ended up meeting at the Walk up bar and played some video poker and had fun with our bartender Teresa. Time seemed to fly by as we exchanged stories and information about our gambling and free play. Michael showed us some better pay tables on double bonus VP. It was really fun to all be able to play together have a few drinks and a few more laughs. There was actually a moment where I just sat back and watched everybody talking together all strangers at the beginning of the day but with one thing in common. The love of the fun of being at the casino. For that brief moment I felt like the closed group and this blog and podcast was at least making me happy. Lol! All joking aside I think everybody enjoyed meeting and playing together. After more than several comp drinks from teresa. I finally convinced everybody to take a break and go to the Tap sports bar for a bite. Michael had to go so myself, Chris, and Robin headed towards the sports bar. On the way of course we saw the M life kiosks and decided that we would finally swipe and wait in the ridiculous line. Lucky for Chris and I Robbin is a platinum player and handed us his card so we skipped the line and swiped platinum style. Thank you Robin. Don’t worry we’re going to talk more about this kiosk fiasco later. We walked right into Tap got a terrific table with an even better server. Once again I ordered a delicious Tap Burger. This thing has become my latest super duper guilty pleasure. You might remember I’ve been working out in the gym so eating this is not the best for me. But good grief is it delicious. We all talked each other’s ear off for quite a while and found out that we do have a lot more in common than just gambling. Then something Chris and I were definitely not expecting. Robin and it up picking up the whole tab! Wow what a treat. Thank you Robin! I may have to start calling you Uncle Binney. Meeting like minded folks and being at play with them as adults can be a really rewarding time. Thanks fellas for coming out and I can’t wait to we all get together again.
My wife and I had an opportunity to visit MGM before a hockey game over the holidays. There were no seats at the Walk up bar so we ended up at the Commonwealth. Number one I think the Commonwealth is an absolutely gorgeous bar and possibly one of the nicest VideoPoker bars I’ve ever played in. Maybe because I am a non-smoker and some VP bars van be pretty smoky. I’d like to think it’s because this place is really swanky and the bartenders are knock out good. Bryan and Lauren took excellent care of both my wife and I. I was delighted to find 9/6 double bonus poker at $.25. Brian kept a sharp eye on my drink and never left me waiting. Even as the bar really begin to fill up I was always a priority for him. I’m super happy I decided to give him a nice tip right off the bat. Don’t ever and underestimate the power of a good tip at a casino. My wife hit four 7’s cashed out and we headed over to the South end market for a snack. She’s a big health nut and has been working out hard to so she chose a salad combination at Hearth grill. She ordered a broccoli salad cold, beet salad cold, and the hot Cauliflower medley. I ordered a Caesar salad side and macaroni and cheese. The food was good my wife loved it. In her own words “ The hearth grill is my jam” . Like I said she loves salads and if she could eat beets every day she probably would. Hey a little tidbit if you’re married and live at the same address and have different tier levels go visit the M life rewards desk. You can combine your cards you will be elevated to who ever has the highest card and that way you can access the points without each other being there.
One thing we didn’t get to do was swipe our M life cards at the promotional kiosk. This has got to be one of the worst parts of MGM Springfield in 2019. I don’t know what the heck they were thinking. Well actually I do after writing this blog. They’re getting rid of employees and they want to make this easier for them. They have moved all the kiosks to one bank with a rope and maze by the corner by Tap. There is one other lonely kiosk by the drink station next to the Walk up bar. I have been there several times both at very slow times and busy times. There is ALWAYS A huge line. This whole thing is become a giant fiasco. Frankly I’m completely unsatisfied as a regular player. I cannot swipe for any of the daily promotions which doesn’t qualify me for the seat winner promo or any of the other promotions. People can’t even activate free slot play. I don’t swear a lot but I’m going to say at this is absolute bullshit! Why do you want your players standing in a line instead of feeding your machines? I have never seen promotional kiosk lines like this before. Several members are fed up with this and we hope that this change is very soon. I was told by a MGM employee working the Disneyland kiosk line that these machines cost $500,000. Since the new configuration they are able to process seven more people per hour. I’d like to ask you to come up with a new plan.