Finally, A Massachusetts Casino (Resort Casino)
Before I get to some of my observations about the first casino banked table games in the state of Massachusetts, we probably should glance at a bit of the history of Massachusetts gaming.
Governor Deval Patrick signed the Expanded Gaming Act into law, on the 22nd of November 2011.
This “Expanded Gaming Act” allows for three resort-style casinos in Massachusetts and one slots facility (slots parlor).
“The licensing fee for each resort casino will be a minimum of $85 million and requires a capital investment, to include a hotel facility, of at least $500 million. The Commonwealth will receive 25% of gross gaming revenues. The slots facility, which will hold up to 1,250 slot machines, has a $25 million license fee, and a minimum capital investment of $125 million. The slots facility will be taxed at 40% of its gross gaming revenue.”
MGM Springfield – First Resort Casino
MGM Springfield will be the first resort casino to open in the state of Massachusetts. TravelZork will have an overview of that casino (by Robin of NETime Gaming) this week, but first, let’s have some fun and look at the table gaming rules for Massachusetts.
Related: New England Casinos August 2018 | Promotions at New England Casinos + MGM Springfield Opens!
Since table games will be a new thing in the state of Massachusetts, there has not been a lot of conversation about any of the nuances vis-a-vis the actual rules of the games. Remember, in most cases what Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC: MA Gaming Commission, MASSGAMING) has done here is codify the rules and regulations that the Massachusetts resort casinos must follow for their table game operations. (Twitter: @MassGamingComm) This document does not imply a specific casino will implement all of the rules. For example, MGC includes the surrender option for blackjack in their “Rules for Blackjack,” that does not mean that a casino must offer surrender unless that is defined explicitly as a requirement in the rule-set.
I shall start with some observations about blackjack. There are far more details than I am listing here. If you want to see all of the rules and potential side-bets (and payouts) for blackjack, then be sure to review the MGC document on blackjack. (Current revision date is 20 June 2018, so this is a relatively recent document.)
Massachusetts Blackjack Rules Observations
– 6 to 5 blackjack is allowed
– 6 to 5 blackjack games will be “pitch” games (never dealt from the shoe)
– Surrender can be offered, at the discretion of the gaming licensee.
– Surrender is never available on 6 to 5 blackjack games
– The licensee can permit a player to split pairs up to three times
– More than one player (one to three) can be allowed by the licensee to wager in any one box of the blackjack layout
– There is a “Streak wager” which is an option for Massachusetts casinos (baccarat players love streaks, just saying)
– There are a multitude of side bets and wagers that can be offered by casinos including (but not limited to): In-Between Wager, Buster Blackjack, 21+3 wager, King’s Bounty Sidebet, Blazing 7’s Progressive, Tri Lux, Super 3 and Lucky George.
MGM Springfield – Potential Games and Variations
Once again, it is vital to understand that MGC is providing all of the rules available to the eventual three resort casinos that will open in Massachusetts. This does not mean that any individual casino will choose any specific rules or variations for their blackjack games. It does give an overview of all of the possibilities. Further, we can be sure that there will be some amount of 6 to 5 blackjack, unfortunately. Was hoping that this would not have allowed in the regulations, but I also do realize that was a long shot. With any luck, 6 to 5 blackjack will be limited to only a few “low limit” tables.
More to Come
I shall be updating this article shortly with some observations about craps (dice) and baccarat in Massachusetts. A little different than usual, we decided to publish the blackjack details and then update the article shortly after in an attempt to share information about Massachusetts Gaming before the opening of MGM Springfield in a few days.
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