- After opening in August 2018, MGM Springfield still has problems with minors on the gaming floor
- Individuals under 21 are accessing the gaming floor and sometimes gambling
- Nearly 80 minors were found to have accessed the gaming area in December 2018
- MGM continues to work on improvements to keep minors from accessing the gaming area
After being open for about six months, the MGM Springfield in Massachusetts continues to see a plethora of visitors. The facility quickly gained popularity after opening in August 2018.
While the casino has been successful, it is struggling in one respect: Minors are gaining access to the gaming floor. Executives of MGM are working hard to deny them access.
The MGM Springfield offers other entertainment in addition to gambling. Families visit the venue for dining, an ice skating rink, and more. As a result, many visitors under the legal gambling age are on site. Unfortunately, since opening, the casino has had difficulty keeping individuals under the age of 21 from accessing the casino floor.
According to a recent quarterly report from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, the number of underage visitors increased in December, when 79 minors were on the gaming floor. Of those, 64 were in the gaming area and 15 gambled.
Mike Mathis, the President of MGM Springfield, said that the goal of the casino is zero minors on the gaming floor. In December, Mathis blamed the increased visitor numbers to increased surveillance and enforcement of the rules as well as new family programming.
Mr. Mathis said: “We had more families going through and if they stepped on the gaming floor that constituted a violation, even if they did not intend to game.”
Entrances and Exits
It seems the design of the gaming floor plays a major role in minors accessing the area. The casino has 15 separate entrances/exits. These open points were created to promote the flow of visitors into the downtown area of Springfield. The facility is considered family friendly because it includes a movie theater, food market, and new ice skating rink.
According to VSO News, soon after opening, MGM Springfield noticed the problem with minors. To combat the problem, the casino decided to ban unattended minors. An unattended minor is considered anyone under the age of 16. A midnight curfew was also set for those under 21.
Changes have also been made recently to deal with the problem. Anyone who appears to be under 30 years of age is carded. MGM uses a hand stamp so that patrons aren’t carded multiple times.
Every time a minor is found on the gaming floor, the incident is investigated by the enforcement division of the commission. The commission does understand that the design of the property plays a role. The commission wants to ensure that MGM is doing everything possible to avoid having minors on the gaming floor as it is a serious issue.
Large signs have been added to casinos in Massachusetts to help avoid any confusion. The signs read “Casino 21+” and are located in plain sight.