MGM Springfield Reports “Underage Gambling Is An Issue”
MGM Springfield has been open to the public for just three weeks and the casino has reported a much higher volume of patrons than was originally anticipated.
That’s always good for business but there was one concern that cropped up with the huge influx of visitors. Gaming regulators were told by casino executives that they are having issues with underage gamblers entering the casino.
President and chief operations officer Michael Mathis spoke with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and told them that the MGM Springfield is attracting around 50,000 people on weekends and that about 25,000 visitors show up on weekdays.
The casino resort originally estimated that they would have 15,000 to 20,000 visitors each day and the extra inflow is great for business. Mathis expects those numbers to level off but it shows that there is a lot of interest in the new casino resort as of now.
Underage Gamblers Getting In
The porous design which Mathis points to being one of the reasons that so many people are coming, could be leading to some problems such as minors gaining access to the gaming floor. He told the commission that the MGM Springfield has witnessed a number of underage visitors gaining access. Staff are doing their best to cope but Mathis claimed that parents are leaving their kids in other areas of
the resort while they go to the casino. He said that this issue is creating problems for the new casino.
MGM Springfield has decided to put in place strict measures to combat underage gambling. No one below the age of 16 can visit the casino resort without being accompanied by an adult. There is also a curfew that comes into place at midnight which allows only MGM Hotel guests and those over 21 to enter the gaming floor.
MGM Heeded Commission’s Advice
Vice president and general counsel of the MGM Springfield, Seth Stratton, pointed out that some of the underage gambling was intentional although a lot was “inadvertent” because of the lack of knowledge within the community regarding age limits.
Commission Chairman Steven Crosby conceded that the MGM followed the commission’s directions to add a number of non-gaming offerings to cater to a wider audience and this is indirectly contributing to the number of underage gamblers showing up. MGM Springfield stated that they would continue to follow the commission’s guidelines and leave it up to them to figure out a better solution to address this issue.