I meant to publish this recap last week about the Gambling Downgrades and Upgrades at Borgata Atlantic City, but things got a bit busy. Figured I better get this posted before there are more changes. To be fair, there have been a few “enhancements,” for those who like to wager high amounts. I am referring to my notes, which were only semi-organized so please feel free to point out any discrepancies.
Gambling Downgrades and “Upgrades” at Borgata Atlantic City
Before we do our overview of current changes, let’s cover where we stand with regard to the Borgata Rewards to MGM Mlife transition. As we mentioned back in August, we shared the news that Borgata is now an MGM Resorts Luxury Destination.
Question: Will My Borgata Rewards change to M life Rewards?
Answer: My Borgata Rewards will become M life Rewards in 2017. Your status, balances and offers will all be maintained and transferred to M life when the transition occurs. We will be sure to keep you updated with additional details, including more precise timing.
Question: Am I still earning towards Black Label status?
Answer: Yes, continue to play at Borgata using your My Borgata Rewards card to earn Black Label status. When the transition to M life Rewards occurs, your progress towards Black Label, earned Comp and Slot Dollar balances, plus current offers will all transfer to M life Rewards.
Question: What can I get with my Black Label card at MGM Resorts?
Answer: Present your My Borgata Rewards Black Label card at the M life Rewards desk at any M life destination and receive immediate upgrade to Gold M life Rewards status.
As we mentioned, odds for craps were abruptly changed from 5x odds to 3x 4x 5x odds. The only other change for craps is the table maximum.
- Odds 3x 4x 5x (aligned with other MGM Properties and Las Vegas).
- Biggest losers, those that used to back up “all the way.” For example, a $30 line-bet and point 6 or 8, one previously could back-up all the way to $250. Now, you can only back-up to $150.
- Table Maximum has been increased increased to $5,000 (from the previous $2,000 table-max). The signs have yet to be changed.
- No changes in game rules.
- Table Maximum has been increased to $10,000 (from the previous $6,000 table-max).
- Overview of the blackjack spread (table limits minimum to maximum) at Borgata :
[$15 table] $15 to $1,000
[$25 table] $25 to $3,000
[$50 table] $50 to $3,000
[High Limit Tables] $100/$200/$500 to $10,000
Regarding other games, I did not notice any changes. Table maximum at baccarat still remains at $10,000. It is interesting to note that they allow the maximum of $10,000 at $20 and $40 baccarat tables. (Yes, $20, not $25). Baccarat at Borgata “mostly” conforms to $20 denominations and actually uses $20 chips instead of the “standard” casino unit of $25. This is a very sensible decision, since it makes the 5% commission calculations much easier for wagers. ($20 winning BANKER bet is $1 commission, whereas a $25 bet is a $1.25 commission.)
It is also important to note that even though table maximum has been increased, private gaming at Borgata has always allowed negotiated higher table maximums. In addition, it would have been nice to see an increase in table maximums for baccarat, but this does not surprise me. Baccarat tends to have “risk loving” players who will gamble (often illogically) aggressively and increase bets based on streaks and patterns. In my opinion, it is far more likely on a regular basis for the table maximum to be approached at baccarat. Most casinos like to reduce their exposure. This is really the only reason for a table max, since casinos have the house edge in their favour for all of the games they offer. So, in essence, a casino should accept any wager which a player would like to place. Just ask Benny Binion. (“Back in 1980, a player named William Lee Bergstrom asked if he could really bet $1 million. He didn’t have the money at the time, but the Binions told him he could. “) If you like these types of stories, you probably can grab a very “cheap” copy of Vegas Confidential: Norm! Sin City’s Ace Insider 1,000 Naked Truths, Hot Spots, & Cool Stuff (Las Vegas Review-Journal Book series).
- Low denomination “the club crowd” 6/5 blackjack will start to appear, most likely situated near the Premiere Nightclub. Doubt that the table minimum will drop below $10.
- B-Bar will introduce some changes to their bar top video poker. I want to believe (“hope”) that 9/6 JoB Video Poker will remain at the bar, but believe MGM will introduce a drink coupon system similar to the properties in Vegas. This tends to have little impact on “real players,” though we also have the other issue of drink downgrades. Pictured above is an amazing Ketel Lemon Drop Martini. COMP now while playing a 99.46% +/- game.
- OK, let’s be real, they are going to downgrade the 25cent/50cent/$1 video poker. There, I said it.
- Realignment of casino spaces. MGM will look closely at revenue from all gaming components. Currently the Racebook at Borgata utilises a decent footprint of space. Even though this is the last Racebook in Atlantic City, I believe that MGM will look closely at the profitability. Perhaps, reduce the space for the Racebook or move it to another location. MGM tends to have a very heavy focus on non-gaming amenities, and if that space can provide more revenue with a gaming or non-gaming alternative there might be a change.
I asked enough people to believe that the downgrades to the craps odds was clearly a decision by MGM Corporate. The reasoning given to me, consistently, from dealers and supervisors is that MGM wanted to align the odds at dice for Borgata with the rest of their properties. Obviously, this is PR spin, for lack of a better way to phrase it. Why? Because if this was true that would mean they are going to align everything else. But, it is seldom the case that casinos in the same group (MGM Resorts International) to totally align all casino gaming. And, if that was the case, we should all be VERY WORRIED since the new MGM National Harbor property opened with a slew of 6/5 Blackjack. (Update : Some additional Black Label Changes February 2017)
I will be following developments at Borgata rather closely, especially with regard of the loyalty program transition of Borgata Rewards to Mlife. Any observations or feedback would be appreciated. It’s definitely going to be a interesting year for Borgata.