Visitor numbers at MGM Springfield have exceeded the company’s expectations.
But some of the people who are gaming, shouldn’t be.
MGM Springfield President Mike Mathis told the state Gaming Commission that underage gambling has been an issue at the casino, but they have already implemented changes in the few weeks they’ve been open to prevent it.
MGM Springfield has been attracting around 25,000 visitors a day during the week, and 50,000 a day during the weekend. Surpassing their estimates of 15,000 and 20,000 before opening.
Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chairman Steven Crosby said the problem is in part due to the commission’s directive that MGM Springfield includes non-gaming options, which has a bowling alley, movie theater, and arcade.
But what they call a “porous” design can also present challenges in preventing people under 21 from gambling.
“I’m sure having all of the extra amenities makes it hard to separate the kids and adults,” Bernard Moultrie, a 19-year-old Springfield resident said. “A lot of people that I’ve graduated with, they’ve said they’ve gone. I don’t know if they’ve gotten in trouble or not, but they’ve gone and gambled.”
MGM has already implemented new rules to prevent that, requiring no minors be allowed on the gaming floors, no one under 16 without an adult in the facility, and a curfew requiring minors who are not staying at the casino hotel to be out by midnight.
“The big message is that families are welcome, what we really want to hone in on, is that for people that want to game, it’s best to leave minors at home,” MGM Springfield General Manager Alex Dixon said. “This education campaign that we’ve gone on is really about access and where people can go and can’t go.”
The casino said they have added signs and messages on their social media to better educate visitors about where minors are allowed.