More Than 150K Visitors Check Out MGM Springfield Casino During First Three Days of Operation

Posted on: August 30, 2018, 05:00h. 

Last updated on: August 30, 2018, 03:41h.

It’s far too early to tell just how successful the new MGM Springfield casino resort is going to be long term. But for a few days, at least, the first Las Vegas-style casino to open in Massachusetts seemed to be a massive success.

MGM Springfield opening weekend
A large crowd gathers outside of MGM Springfield on the resort casino’s opening day, August 24, 2018. (Image: Nicholas Hunt/Getty/MGM Springfield)

According to MGM Springfield President Michael Mathis, more than 150,000 people came to the resort during the first three days it was open, exceeding the company’s expectations for the launch.

Big Name Entertainment on Hand for Opening

The resort opened its doors on Friday morning, with a parade preceding the 11 am grand opening. There was plenty of entertainment on hand for the first weekend, including a performance by the Blue Man Group and a Saturday night concert by the Dropkick Murphys that raised $17,200 for the Gunnery Sergeant Thomas J. Sullivan Foundation.

One of the biggest concerns heading into the weekend was whether traffic would be a problem. While officials were hopeful that the resort was prepared to handle the standard amount of casino traffic it would attract going forward, there were questions about its ability to manage the bloated opening day crowds.

But with help from the city and free parking available at the site of the Big E – the largest state fair in New England – those issues were successfully mitigated.

“The traffic plan worked incredibly well and we now know it can be replicated for any surge events in the future,” Springfield Police spokesman Ryan Walsh told “Friday morning’s traffic flow was smooth and when there was a Friday night blitz, MGM helped ease any potential extended congestion by re-upping their agreement with the Big E through the weekend.”

Mathis also praised police and local officials for their role in making the launch a success.

MGM Springfield Joins Crowded Regional Gaming Market

After the buzz of the opening dies down, MGM expects the casino to attract about 15,000 visitors on an average day. What that means for revenues remains to be seen: those numbers won’t be available until the Massachusetts Gaming Commission releases its next monthly report, and even that will only cover the last few days of August. It won’t be until October that the public will get the first view of how much money the casino makes in a full month.

If MGM Springfield continues to exceed – or even meet – its expectations, then it will buck the trend in the northeastern United States. All of New York’s upstate commercial casinos have come in short of their revenue targets, leading to fears that the regional market might be getting to the point of saturation.

At the moment, MGM Springfield’s most direct competition likely comes from the two Native American casinos in neighboring Connecticut: Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. As for in-state competitors, there is an existing slots parlor at Plainridge Park that has been open since 2015, while Wynn Resorts will open a resort casino just outside of Boston in the city of Everett next summer.