Nevada Online Poker Plagued by Geo-Location Issues

A recent service outage in Nevada caused many online poker players to be booted from both and online poker sites, due to geo-location service providers’ inability to verify player locations. Unfortunately, this was not the first geo-location issue in Nevada, and it’s unlikely to be the last. Fortunately, geo-location issues have been relatively minor in Nevada (yet very annoying for players having to deal with them). The online poker sites and the geo-location service providers have been working hard to correct any complications as they arise. But what they do indicate is that there is the potential for larger issues to arise in the future. First day jitters Even before Ultimate Poker dealt their first hand in Nevada, poker players, industry insiders, and regulators were anxious to see how geo-location verification would work in the state. The potential issue became a reality on Ultimate Poker’s first day of operation, when geo-location verification was unable to track Verizon and several other cell phone providers, essentially barring what should be authorized online poker players from participating in games at the site. Ever since these first-day jitters, geo-location verification has continued to be a thorn in the side of the Nevada online poker industry, evidenced by the recent service outage, and issues have taken days to weeks to correct. Verizon customers had to wait nearly two weeks before the geo-location service providers employed by Ultimate Poker were able to track their location, and there have still been sporadic complaints from players claiming they are inside Nevada’s borders but cannot be verified. AT&T’s service outage More recently, network maintenance by AT&T caused a disruption for both Nevada online poker rooms, eliminating their capability to track players via geo-location technology. The outages first occurred on October 21, when many Ultimate Poker and players found themselves unable to log into the software, or even worse, booted from the software mid-hand or mid-tournament. A thread immediately popped-up on the 2+2 online poker forum as players helplessly watched as they were forced to “sit-out” and their stacks blinded off. The service disruption was so severe that was forced to cancel several tournaments and traffic at both sites plummeted. During the outage, the sites were caught as off-guard as the players, and representatives from both Ultimate Poker and quickly showed up at the 2+2 poker forums and explained what occurred to the community: Both sites have promised to address this issue to prevent a similar situation down the road. Workarounds As frustrating as these geo-location issues can be, there is a very valid reason these safeguards are in place; namely to prevent unauthorized users from playing on an online poker site by using a VPN. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) allows a person to effectively hide their location by appearing to be in a location they are not, by connecting to a proxy server. VPN’s have been used for quite some time, ever since online markets have become segregated, and are mainly used to circumvent online poker security, although some overly secretive types use them simply to hide their information. VPN’s became a hot topic in the aftermath of Black Friday when US poker players no longer had access to sites like PokerStars. You can learn more about VPN’s and how they are used by disreputable online poker players at Sites have become much better at detecting VPN’s, but they are still in use, and geo-location verification is one of the most effective ways to detect the use of a VPN.

Why Choose Regulated Poker Over Unregulated Poker

Faster withdrawal times, improved oversight and transparency, and the knowledge that your money is safe and secure are just a few of improvements regulated online poker will offer US players. In this column I’ll make the case why US players should start jumping on the regulated online poker bandwagon and swearing off unregulated online poker rooms. If you’re on the fence or having a hard time quitting your current unregulated online poker room then I suggest you keep reading. Reason #1 — Oversight With the onset of legalized, regulated online poker, US online poker players have their state regulatory bodies to lean on and hold accountable, who in turn have to answer to elected officials in the state. These added layers of oversight are the reason live casinos are so trusted when it comes to the safety of your money and the fairness of the games being offered in the United States, and now these same protections will extend to online casinos and poker rooms. If you play at a licensed, regulated online poker site, never again will you have to worry whether or not the people protecting your money is little more than a “fly-by-night” offshore regulatory body that has setup shop in some far-flung locale: Regulatory bodies that rely on the same companies they are overseeing for their very existence –with some, like Kahnawake’s Joe Norton, possessing ownership interests in the very poker rooms they are suppose to regulate! Reason #2 — Transparency In addition to having more reputable and legitimate oversight, regulated online poker rooms are far more transparent, allowing patrons to see everything from their licensing details to the company’s management structure, to the breakdown of their rake structure –which is now required by law. Now that online poker rooms are subjected to legitimate licensing requirements that require transparency, the potential for a shady individual to hide within a company’s infrastructure (or hide their involvement through a shell company) is a thing of the past. There will be no more “October Surprises” for online poker players. This transparency also prevents companies from using player funds to pay for other operational expenses, as safeguards are now in place that require frequent audits and stipulate the manner in which a company holds player funds. Reason #3 — Improved Payment Processing One of the most immediate and noticeable improvements that will come about from a regulated online poker market will be the speed with which withdrawals are processed, and the safety of the funds you have in your online account. Online poker players in the US will no longer have to wait weeks to months for a check to arrive, and will no longer have to fret that the check might be printed on rubber paper. From now on, when you deposit at an online poker room, your money will not immediately lose value (players at some current unregulated sites sell their account balances for mere pennies on the dollar) and it will no longer be tied-up for months on end. In addition to the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have access to your money, players will also have far more deposit and withdrawal options to choose from, with payment processors and credit cards no longer restricted from handling online poker transactions –provided they are themselves licensed. Reason #4 — Look at the track record If I still haven’t convinced you why you should choose regulated online poker sites over unregulated online poker rooms, look no further than the track-record of unregulated Internet poker sites over the years:
PokerSpot – PokerSpot was the first online poker site to leave the poker community high and dry in 2002, when the Dutch Boyd led poker room went belly up owing some $400,000 to their players – money that still has not been paid back to this day.
Ultimate Bet – Over the course of several years, Ultimate Bet insiders stole tens-of-millions of dollars from players through a cheating program, and when the DOJ indicted the owners of the site on April 15, 2011, UB continued to accept deposits and later went belly-up owing the community somewhere in the realm of seven figures.
Absolute Poker – Like their sister site Ultimate Bet (the two companies merged in 2010), AP was another site involved in an insider cheating scandal, and left players out in the cold, owing millions, when they were finally shut-down.
Full Tilt Poker – US Full Tilt Poker players are still waiting for about $150 million of their money; money they have not had access to since April 15, 2011.
Lock Poker – How bad is the situation at Lock Poker? Lock Poker’s withdrawal times are so slow, and the company’s ability to pay is in such question that $100 of Lock Poker money is worth somewhere between $10 and $25 on the open market. And this doesn’t even cover the countless examples of online poker rooms seizing legitimate accounts, slowpaying their players, or turning a blind eye to cheating. It’s time to toss away the security blanket and demand what’s better Change is hard, and it can be unpleasant at first, but sometimes it’s absolutely necessary, and when it comes to online poker in the US, changing from an unregulated to a regulated market is absolutely necessary. Fortunately, that change is starting to occur across the United States, with licensed Nevada online poker rooms up and running, and Delaware and New Jersey on the precipice of joining the list of states with regulated online poker. But even in locales that have licensed online poker rooms, many online poker players are still playing at, or considering playing at, unregulated online poker sites. As I outlined above this is a major mistake. It might be the appeal of larger player pools, or the bonuses and promotions being offered that lure you in, but just remember: There is a reason the site is offering you a deal that seems too good to be true, and more importantly, there is a reason the site has not applied for a license or has been turned down. Sure, some unregulated online poker sites have done right by you over the years, and some unregulated online poker rooms have very good track records and decent reputations. But keep two things in mind: 1. These sites are already breaking at least one law by operating in the US, so what other laws are they willing to break? 2. Unlicensed sites are graded on a very steep curve, and if the curve includes sites like Ultimate Bet, Lock Poker, and PokerSpot, it’s not hard to come out looking like a well-oiled machine. These unlicensed sites are hoping you turn a blind eye to their failings, and choose familiarity and the status quo over progress. The valedictorian of summer school Even if an unregulated site has a solid reputation even these supposed well-oiled machines have their problems. In the current unregulated market they don’t even appear to be problems, but in a regulated market, lengthy withdrawal times, unnecessary fees, and lackluster security against collusion and poker bots would never be tolerated. They are for lack of a better term, the valedictorian of summer school. Since their offshore licensing bodies don’t demand tight security measures and don’t have the capability of diligent oversight, these problems are currently just accepted as part of the process by online poker players; in a regulated market they are being stamped out. In poker forum parlance: Regulated Poker > Unregulated Poker.

How Irresponsible Are The MA Responsible Gaming Research Budget Cuts?

Two Massachusetts resort casinos are set to open their doors in 2018 and 2019. Plus, online gambling and online lottery both on the radar for 2018. Yet, the Massachusetts legislature appears to be doing the unthinkable; it’s considering deep cuts to Responsible Gaming resources for the second consecutive year. New cuts worth $250,000 The impetus for the cuts is to bring the state budget into balance. In the legislature’s eyes, part of the balancing act includes a 17 percent cut to funding of responsible gaming programs. That amounts to a mere pittance of the budget, $250,000. It also comes after a $500,000 cut to responsible gaming funding this past December, according to local press reports. If this year’s cuts become a reality, the total cuts to responsible gaming funding over the past two years would be an astounding 37.5 percent. They would drop the overall amount of money appropriated for responsible gaming from $2 million down to $1,250,000. According to Marlene Warner, the executive director of the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling added more in a statement: The hope now is that Governor Charlie Baker restores the funding or shuffles funding around. Unfortunately, this seems unlikely, considering it was Baker behind the 2016 cuts. A hiccup in the Massachusetts Model This is a strange line for Massachusetts, which has been at the forefront of casino and gaming research in recent years. Massachusetts implemented several responsible gaming pilot programs at the Plainridge Casino in Plainville, Massachusetts. These programs will also be instituted at MGM Springfield and Wynn Boston Harbor when they open their doors. The programs started studying the economic and social impacts of the state’s decision to expand into casino gambling when the legislature first authorized casinos back in 2011. Cuts to responsible gaming programs seems way outside the box for Massachusetts. However, there could be a logical explanation for the legislature’s willingness to cut funding. Is the legislature thinking further down the road? Keep in mind the cuts could be rendered moot if the legislature plans on legalizing online gambling in 2018. Say Massachusetts does legalize online gambling next year. There is a very strong possibility the law would require online gaming operators to contribute a significant amount of funding to responsible gaming research and programs. That amount would almost certainly be more than the current cuts call for. It would likely offset the 2016 cuts too. Still, considering the relatively small amounts these cuts are saving the state, any cuts to responsible gaming funding seems like a big risk with little reward.

Twin River Opening A Twin Casino In Rhode Island

When MGM Springfield opens its doors in September 2018, the Massachusetts casino will be competing with not only Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, but also two casinos in Rhode Island. There is the existing Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island. There is also a new casino project owned by the Twin River Management Group. That casino should open in July 2018 in Tiverton. The Tiverton project is several years in the making, as Twin River keeps trying to sell Rhode Island voters on expanded gambling. Twin River struggled to get voter support Twin River’s first attempt at expansion occurred in 2012. A statewide referendum sought to allow Twin River Casino and a sister property in Newport, the Newport Grand, to add table games. Per Rhode Island law, the referendum needed to pass statewide and locally. Rhode Island and Lincoln voters said yes. However, Newport voters said no to expanded gaming at Newport Grand. Last year, Twin River moved on to Phase 2, which involved the transfer of its Newport Grand license to a new, yet-to-be-built casino in Tiverton. This time voters statewide and locally said yes to a new casino in Tiverton. Will the smaller Rhode Island casinos hold their own? Despite the accelerated timeline, the Tiverton casino will boast 1,000 slot machines, 30 table games, and an 80-room hotel. The Tiverton casino will be located just across the Massachusetts border near Fall River. The casino serves multiple purposes. First, it’s a huge upgrade in location and gaming options compared to Newport Grand – a converted jai alai venue. In the bigger picture, it hopefully offsets the impact of Wynn Boston Harbor and any future Massachusetts casino in the southeast part of the state. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is waiting to determine that zone’s license until there is a decision on the proposed tribal casino in Taunton is decided. A decision that could take a while as it snakes through the government and courts. Regardless, eventually the area will get a casino, tribal or commercial. Twin River increases its Rhode Island footprint The casino industry in the region tends to overlook Twin River in Lincoln. It shouldn’t be though. People should view the casino as a major force in the area. In recent years, the former dog track turned slots parlor added table games, including a poker room. It is also in the process of adding a hotel. And the company will become a two-headed threat next summer, once the Tiverton project opens its doors. Construction is set to begin by the end of the month, after the local planning board approved the preliminary construction plans last week. If the final plans get approval, the current timeline means the casino will open within a year. Can’t compete with Wynn, but can still succeed The Tiverton project isn’t the $2.4 billion destination resort that Wynn Boston Harbor will be. Nonetheless it should be a viable alternative for area residents that are heading to the casino just for the gamble. If its anywhere near as successful as Twin River in Lincoln, Twin River Management will be very excited.

Fate Of Taunton Casino Rests On, Of All Things, The History Of Maine

Tribal gaming is always complex. What is unfolding in the southeastern part of Massachusetts is convoluted even by tribal gaming standards though. After losing in court, the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe asked the Department of Interior (DOI) to review its land in trust application on different grounds. However, the day before the decision was expected to be handed down, the tribe withdrew the request. Everything seemed pretty cut and dry… until the DOI decided to deny the tribe’s request to withdraw its request. The reason this case is so interesting is that a proposed billion-dollar tribal casino in Massachusetts hangs in the balance. Genting will bankroll the First Light Casino project, while Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of Massachusetts will run the property. The casino project ran into legal issues after a group of local residents effectively argued the DOI’s decision to put the tribe’s land in trust was faulty. DOI still wants to review Mashpee Wampanoag’s status When the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe withdrew its DOI request, it seemed like the tribe’s dreams of building a tribal casino in Taunton, Massachusetts were over. By all accounts the tribe withdrew its review request because it expected the DOI to reject its claim that it was under federal jurisdiction in 1934. Plus, internal communications with the DOI affirmed these beliefs. According to the Taunton Gazette, a draft emailed to Mashpee Chairman Cedric Cromwell on June 19 by Interior Department Associate Deputy Secretary James Cason painted a bleak picture. “Evidence submitted by the Tribe on remand provides insufficient indicia (indications) of federal jurisdiction,” Cason wrote. Cason went on to say that the tribe hasn’t adequately proven it was under federal jurisdiction in 1934. As a result he “therefore cannot grant the Tribe’s land-into-trust application under either of those definitions.” But just three days after the tribe asked to withdraw its request, Cason sent another email to the tribe. That email declined its request to suspend the review. Suddenly the tribal casino had a second lease on life. As Taunton Mayor Thomas Hoye Jr. told the Taunton Gazette “It appears the DOI wants to see them (the tribe) succeed in their quest. They haven’t said no, which leads me to believe there is hope.” Maine plays a surprising role in the case According to the Taunton Gazette, Cason asked both sides for supplemental information. Parties need to supply the supplemental information by August 31. Cason then plans to rule on the case by October 30. In his email, Cason writes that he wants to look at “complex issues” and the “unique historical relationship” not yet explored in this increasingly extraordinary case. What Cason is looking at is early 19th-century geography. More specifically, he is looking at Maine’s status in 1820 before it became a state. Prior to 1820, Maine was a district of Massachusetts. That’s where the Mashpee’s land in trust claim gets really convoluted… as if it wasn’t already. As the Taunton Gazette summarized it: “It’s their only chance, and it will be denied,” attorney David Tenant told the Gazette. Tenant is representing the group of Taunton residents who took the tribe to court and successfully blocked the casino. Tenant later called Cason’s new approach “a novel, unprecedented and absurd motion.” He also threatened swift legal action if the DOI rules the tribe’s land can be placed in trust on those grounds.

New Hampshire Just Became The Fifth State To Authorize Online Lottery Sales

Score one for advocates of legal, regulated online gaming. New Hampshire will soon become the fifth state lottery to take its games online. The New Hampshire legislature included the online lottery amendment in a sweeping, 100-plus page budget package. Both chambers passed the bill on June 22. Then New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu signed the bill a week later. Online lottery and gaming slowly creeping across the country Unless another state beats them to market, which is entirely possible, New Hampshire will become the eighth state to offer some form of legal online gaming.
Illinois, Georgia, Michigan, and Kentucky sell online lottery products
Nevada offers online poker and online sports betting
Delaware and New Jersey have legal online casino and online poker games That number is likely to grow in the near future too, as no less than 10 states introduced online gaming and/or online lottery legislation in 2017. Several of these efforts are making significant progress. Most notably, Pennsylvania is on the cusp of legalizing both online lottery and online casino games. Other states that are also exploring online lottery legalization in 2017 include:
New Jersey Moreover, other states considering online poker and/or casino legalization in 2017 include:
California (poker-only)
New Hampshire
New York (poker only)
West Virginia What’s in the online lottery bill? The section of the bill that deals with online lottery sales reads: The only nonstandard aspect of the bill is the requirement that first-time players register in-person at a brick and mortar lottery retailer. When can Granite State residents expect online lottery to go live? The effective date of the online lottery amendment is July 1, 2017, but it will likely be some time before New Hampshire offers online lottery products. Based on the timelines in other states, the wait could be anywhere from a few months to several years. Georgia was the fastest to market, getting its online lottery up and running just four months after it was officially approved in 2012. Conversely, it took Kentucky over three years to go from approval to launch. Among the things that will have to be taken care of:
New Hampshire will need to choose an online lottery vendor.
The state needs to establish regulations.
Launch a website.
Completing game integrity and security testing As noted above, the legislation tasks the New Hampshire Lottery Commission with:
Setting up player verification and geolocation measures
Determining daily, weekly, and monthly wagering limits
Enacting a self-exclusion program Impact on Massachusetts gambling New Hampshire’s neighbor to the south, Massachusetts, is also a candidate for online lottery expansion. Online lottery already has a lot of powerful supporters in Massachusetts, including Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, whose office oversees the Massachusetts Lottery. Massachusetts was a strong candidate for online expansion this year too. However, the state took its customary slow approach to the concept. As a result, the legislature let online lottery and gaming expansion bleed into 2018. New Hampshire beating it to the punch might help fan the flames for online lottery expansion in Massachusetts though.

Proposed Taunton Casino Looking More And More Like A No-Go

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe’s efforts to build a casino in Taunton took a serious hit last week. On the day the Department of the Interior was expected to render a decision on the tribe’s appeal to have its land placed in trust, the tribe withdrew its request for review. “In consultation with the U.S. Department of Interior, the tribe has suspended its request for review under Category 1 of the Indian Reorganization Act,” the tribe said in a statement. The statement went on to say the tribe would still explore other options. However, there are only a few options left. Judge: ‘You’re not a Category 2 tribe’ The appeal was one of two avenues the Mashpee Wampanoag explored after Judge William G. Young ruled in favor of a group of Taunton residents who filed suit to block the tribe’s proposed casino. The DOI placed the Mashpee Wampanoag land in trust under Category 2 of the Indian Reorganization Act. This despite the fact the tribe did not get federal recognition until 2007. Under Category 2, tribal land can be taken into trust if the tribe comprises “descendants of such members [a federally recognized tribe] who were, on June 1, 1934, residing within the present boundaries of any Indian reservation.” In his ruling, Judge Young said the tribe didn’t qualify to have its land placed in trust under Category 2 rules. In his opinion, Young wrote, “This is not a close call.” DOI: ‘You’re not a Category 1 tribe either’ The tribe appealed the decision. It later dropped the appeal. It also requested the DOI consider placing its land in trust under Category 1 of the IRA. To be eligible under Category 1, a tribe is required to have been under federal jurisdiction prior to 1934. The DOI was supposed to rule on June 19. However, the DOI delayed the decision a week to June 27. The Mashpee Wampanoag withdrawing the request implies the DOI was going to rule against the tribe. In an email to WickedLocal Raynham, the lead plaintiff from the 2016 lawsuit, Michelle Littlefield said: What happens next for the proposed casino? The tribe is running low on options after both dropping its appeal of Judge Young’s 2016 ruling and withdrawing its trust request. If the tribe is still determined to build a casino, it could build a commercial casino. Then it would pay the commercial casino tax rate to the state. Here’s why this makes sense.
Massachusetts still has one commercial casino license left to hand out. That license just happens to be in the Southeast region where Taunton is located. A subsidiary of Rush Street Gaming would have received the final license in 2016 had the tribal casino not been in the works at the time.
To finance the proposed tribal casino, the tribe partnered with commercial casino giant Genting.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is already familiar with the project. Here’s why this doesn’t make sense.
The MGC would reopen the casino proposal process and allow other casino developers to fight for the final license. That license is significantly more valuable now that a tribal casino in the immediate area is off the table.
Commercial casinos in Massachusetts must pass local referendums before they can be considered. There’s no way of knowing if Taunton residents will approve of the project.
If Genting wants to build a commercial casino in Massachusetts, the only purpose the tribe would serve is the land on which to build it. There are a number of other sites Genting could consider.

Connecticut Court Gives MGM The Mutombo Finger Wag On East Windsor Case

MGM Resorts International is behind on the scorecard after the first two rounds. Legal arguments aimed at blocking a proposed casino on the Connecticut-Massachusetts border were found lacking last week. As a result, the dismissal of MGM’s case against Connecticut was upheld by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan. Despite its second legal defeat, the company doesn’t have any plans to stop fighting. After all, MGM has a $1 billion casino investment in Springfield, Massachusetts to protect. MGM is “undeterred in our goal of having the opportunity to compete in Connecticut,” MGM Resorts legal counsel Uri Clinton said in a statement after the ruling. The crux of the East Windsor casino lawsuit The Connecticut legislature recently passed a bill that authorizes a $300 million tribal casino on non-tribal land, without any type of bidding/proposal process. The measure also authorized the construction of a third casino in the state. It effectively handed the license for that casino to the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes. MGM, which happens to be building a Massachusetts casino less than 30 minutes from the Connecticut border, has been highly critical of the process from the outset. In a statement following the House vote, Clinton said: MGM wants an open bidding process. It would also like to see the project moved south, far away from its yet-to-be-completed Massachusetts project. With Connecticut deciding to pre-award the license to its two gaming tribes, MGM is doing everything it can to block the bill. Thus far, courts have sided with the state of Connecticut. Case dismissed over lack of evidence In a prior decision, a Connecticut judge already dismissed the case brought by MGM against the state of Connecticut. The company suffered its second defeat last week when the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s ruling. When it dismissed the case, the 2nd Circuit gave MGM International the Dikembe Mutombo finger wag, calling the company’s claims that the legislature’s decision to fast track the joint project between the state’s two gaming tribes put MGM at a competitive disadvantage, “purely speculative.” MGM can still fight The tribes are happy with the ruling, but the court did leave the door open for MGM to continue pursuing legal action. According to the Boston Herald, in his opinion, U.S. Circuit Judge John Walker Jr. wrote the following in a footnote: The question now is: can MGM prove they are being harmed?

Massachusetts Hopes PlayMyWay Teaches Gamblers To Play The Responsible Way

In its first year, more than 10 percent of eligible customers at the Plainridge Park Casino signed up for PlayMyWay, a gambling addiction prevention pilot program on a trial run in Massachusetts casinos. Of the more than 12,000 patrons who enrolled in the program, less than 2,000 (about 16 percent) have un-enrolled. That means roughly eight percent of current Plainridge patrons (10,857 players) registered for and continue to use PlayMyWay. Massachusetts Gaming Commission Director of Research and Problem Gambling Mark Vander Linden presented the data at a public hearing before the commission on June 14. Harvard Medical School and Cambridge Health Alliance should release their initial report on the efficacy of PlayMyWay in August. Massachusetts’ wide-ranging research on gambling The research on PlayMyWay is a single piece of a larger study at the University of Massachusetts School of Public Health and Health Sciences. The university has been tasked by the state to perform a “comprehensive, multi-year research project… on the economic and social impacts of introducing casino gambling in Massachusetts.” To carry out the research, the university created the Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA). The SEIGMA research helps gauge the impact of gambling expansion. It also helps the university make “annual scientifically-based recommendations to the Legislature.” What is PlayMyWay? PlayMyWay is a pre-commitment program. In other words, there is a difference between it and similar programs in other countries. PlayMyWay eliminated the commitment. Instead, it acts as more of a budgeting tool and even a play/spend tracker. Per Vander Linden’s report to the MGC: Enrolling in PlayMyWay I live about 20 minutes away from Plainridge Casino, so I have first-hand experience with the program. It’s fairly unobtrusive. Here’s an overview of how it works. When customer insert their Marquee Rewards cards for the first time, they will be asked if they’d like to enroll in the program. If they select “no,” they can begin gambling. If they select “yes,” the machine prompts them to set a wagering budget of their choosing. The entire process takes a minute or two to complete. Casino incentives to join program At Plainridge Casino, the casino offers customers a $5 food voucher to join the program. That isn’t much of an incentive though. Especially when considering the casino offers $20 or more in free slot play when players sign up for its Marquee Rewards Program. According to Vander Linden, only 25 percent of the patrons who receive the food voucher redeem it. It’s fair to assume it’s not a strong enough incentive to noticeably impact participation. Vander Linden speculates the high participation rate in PlayMyWay is a byproduct of the GameSense advisors and casino employees. Both groups “actively promote, enroll, and answer any questions which casino guests may have about the program.” It will be interesting to see if one of the recommendations SEIGMA makes is for Massachusetts casinos to start offering PlayMyWay registrants a bigger carrot or some type of ongoing reward for continued participation in the program.

At Wynn Boston Harbor It’s The “Non-Casino Story That Is The Story”

After some unseasonable spring weather, construction efforts on the Wynn Boston Harbor Casino are into high gear. Now the sheer size and scope of the Everett, Massachusetts project are beginning to take shape. A recent report in the Boston Globe offers a tantalizing glimpse at the future resort casino, which is scheduled to open June 24, 2019. Wynn Boston Harbor is routinely touted by Wynn Resorts and Massachusetts officials as the largest single-phase private development project in the state’s history. And this isn’t hyperbole. In fact, according to the Boston Globe, the building’s footprint alone will encompass 13 acres. Construction workers will pour 200,000 cubic yards of concrete by project’s end. For some perspective, the Globe reports this is enough concrete to “lay a sidewalk the entire length of the Mass. Pike.” From concrete to destination casino The Wynn Boston Harbor will be just outside Boston. The property is only about 15-20 minutes by car from Logan International Airport. However, as in all major cities, the drive time is highly dependent on traffic. With its prime location, Wynn Resorts is building a full-fledged destination resort casino designed to attract visitors from all over the globe. During a keynote address at Global Gaming Expo 2014, Steve Wynn called Wynn Boston Harbor a “chance to build a grand hotel again” and give people a chance to experience the “good life” for a few days, to be a “big shot.” Wynn hopes to fulfill that mission by providing both gaming and non-gaming options. It’s the “non-casino story that is the story,” Wynn said at G2E. The 200,000-square-foot casino floor of the Wynn Boston Harbor will boast:
2,500 slot machines
150 table games
90-plus-table poker room The property’s dining and entertainment options are even more impressive:
A five-star hotel with 671 rooms
56,602 square feet of retail space
10 restaurants and bars
Full-service spa and gym
Multi-use convention space
Outdoor space
Indoor garden As mentioned in the Globe article, the Massachusetts casino will have plenty of parking, including 2,931 spaces in an attached, underground parking garage. The property will also have 800 parking spots offsite.