Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun - You Make the Call

Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun?  We were trying to decide on a place to meet that was closer than Las Vegas, but more interesting than Boston.  It was a guy's day trip, after all.  Frankly, I had never really thought about the question before.  There was always a reason to go to one or another – and never having to make the choice.  Foxwoods was closer to home so a day trip was decidedly easier.  Mohegan Sun had the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun - my daughter’s favorite team - so we would go there to see a game live.  The shows at Mohegan Sun - such as my wife's recent induction into the Basement Bar Hall of Fame, Chelsea Handler - were decidedly less geriatric than Foxwoods, too.   But I’ve never really thought about which casino is better.  Frankly if I come away winning, it could be a hellhole or pit and I’d be OK with it.

Let's decide this once and for all, not because my opinion matters, but because I like to think about gambling, and this is a cost effective way of doing so.
These guys were NOT excited about March Madness
Gaming Experience.  Foxwoods has casinos housed in two different distinct casino areas – what I like to call the “Old” Casino and MGM Grand.  The old casino brings back a lot of memories for me since it opened right around the same time that I turned 21.  And it’s clear we’re growing old together.  Even the new carpeting in the old gaming room couldn’t mask the smell of stale cigarettes and mildew from spilled drinks.  The Racebook (and for God’s sake never call it the Sportsbook!) was enormous considering the place contained approximately 5 people inside gambling on horse racing, greyhound racing and jai-alai.  We watched a recent UCONN tournament game there and were surprised by the lack of people.  The MGM Grand was much better and was clearly where the young and rich went.   Despite having one of the largest and most expansive casinos (364,000 square feet) in the world, Mohegan Sun’s atmosphere seems more authentic than Foxwoods.  A little bit more dark, which lent to the mystery of the place.  It didn’t hurt that the craps table had favorable dice. Advantage:  Mohegan Sun. 

Food and drink.  Michael Jordan’s at Mohegan Sun was pretty good.  Not the best steak I ever had, but I didn’t send it back.  On the other hand one of the best meals I’ve ever had was at Prime Steakhouse.  That beat anything I’ve ever eaten in Vegas, California or New York.  Mohegan Sun's Margaritaville is offset by the grease at Foxwood's Hard Rock Cafe - either are fine to ward off a hangover.  The buffets at both casinos are horrible. Stomach-churningly awful.  Slight Advantage: Foxwoods.

Affordability.  Some one has to explain the prices at the Mohegan Sun hotel.  While even hotels at the MGM can run under $200, I’ve never seen rooms at Mohegan Sun for under $350.  Checking out rooms for the Chelsea Handler New Year’s Eve show gave me a chuckle.  I know it was New Year’s Eve, but really $500 for a crappy 150 square foot room?  It would have been easier to rent an apartment in New London or Norwich for the year.  I’d rather sleep at a table in the Sports err I mean race book.  Advantage: Foxwoods

Mystique.  Foxwoods is well known for its poker room.  The WPT always plays its tournament here at the WPT Poker Room, well-attended by the greats of Poker that draws thousands of players and spectators on an annual basis.  I’ve tried the WPT Poker Room, but have never found the sucker at the table (so you know what that means).  Mohegan Sun, as I mentioned before, is the home of the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun.  Not that that would tip anything over the edge, but any time I hear people talk about Mohegan Sun, my ears always perk up.  Maybe 'm hopeful they will talk about that Night Ranger Concert from a couple of years back in the Wolf Den.  Honestly though, if DLG like Mohegan Sun because of the WNBA, then that is reason enough to give the edge to the “Sun” in this category.   And I didn’t come across any homeless dudes looking for a chicken tender in Uncasville.  Advantage: Mohegan Sun.

Overall, I’d have to choose Mohegan Sun over Foxwoods.  The games are better (what the hell is Sic Bo?), the atmosphere is better and like I said, any place where I can win money is nice place to be.  Now when are we going to get gambling in Massachusetts?  On second thought...maybe it’s better that we don’t get gambling here.

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