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Gary Trask

Gary  Trask
Gary serves as Casino City's managing editor and has worked as a writer and editor more than 20 years. The Boston native was a member of the Poker Hall of Fame's inaugural Media Committee and a current member of the Women in Poker Hall of Fame voting panel.

Contact Gary at and follow him on Twitter at @CasinoCityGT.

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Casino City's Friday Five: Grand Opening edition

27 Apr 2018

By Gary Trask
It's been a rousing week for casino enthusiasts in the U.S., especially those of us located here in the Northeast. If all goes as planned, by the time Labor Day Weekend rolls around, we will have three new, spectacular gaming venues to choose from, and – following a rampant industry trend – these properties will feature much, much more than simply table games and slot machines. We're talking world-class spas, entertainment, shopping and F&B options. With that news, we have three words: Bring. It. On. But before diving into those feel-good stories, we also have related news regarding another grandiose project in Massachusetts that has already broken ground, as well as another big jackpot winner to report. 5. Friday the 13th a lucky omen for Miami Club Casino player Gamblers are typically a superstitious bunch, but last week Catherine S. from Arizona bucked that trend big time by scooping an $18,000 jackpot at Miami Club Casino. Catherine was also the benefactor of some "beginner's luck" as well, since she had just funded her new account at Miami Club the day before, purchasing $35 worth of credits. She took advantage of the 100% match bonus that is offered to all players at Miami Club on their first eight purchases, so her first deposit was doubled and then on Friday the 13th of April she triggered the progressive jackpot on Ultimate 10X, part of the WGS Wild X series of slots on a $0.75 bet, turning it into $18,162. Boom! 4. Wynn Boston Harbor will get new name The reverberations from the Steve Wynn sexual assault allegations continue with the latest development coming today from Wynn Resorts' project in Boston, which will now be called Encore Boston Harbor, instead of Wynn Boston Harbor Resort. “The Wynn brand is strong,” Maddox said at a hearing before the commission. “I also understand the cultural sensitivity here.” The lavish $2.5 billion resort located in Everett, just outside Boston, is scheduled to open in June 2019 and will be the largest single-phase private development in the history of Massachusetts. It will open up the waterfront in that historic area for the first time in more than a century and feature 671 hotel rooms, 13 bars and restaurants, a spa and fitness center and high-end shopping. Maddox added at the meeting that the resort is expected to generate $240 million a year in new tax revenue and fees. Steve Wynn's name may be gone from this highly anticipated property, but his company's legacy of building spectacular casino resorts will live on. That's for sure. 3. Ocean Resort Casino to open 28 June (maybe) Before we delve into the other big casino news in Massachusetts, we duck down to Atlantic City where we all need to clear off our calendar for Thursday, 28 June – immediately. That's the day it is expected that both the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino - Atlantic City and Ocean Resort Casino will open their doors. So many casinos, so little time . . . Anyway, as for Ocean Resort Casino, there has been no "official" word that it will be the big day. New employees of the former Revel casino told that they have been told to report to work 11 June, with plans to open 28 June. The $3 billion property sit on 20 acres on the iconic Atlantic City Boardwalk, and at 710 feet and 60 stories tall, will be the tallest structure in Atlantic City. Earlier this month it agreed to a franchise agreement with Hyatt Hotels Corporation to operate the 1,399-room hotel. Stay tuned, but no matter what happens with Ocean Resort Casino, we'll be planning to a trip to AC because . . . 2. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City set for grand opening on 28 June As reported in this week's Casino City Times newsletter, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino - Atlantic City, formerly the Trump Taj Mahal (did you know Mr. President allegedly bought the land from the Mafia?), will be open to the public on 28 June. As you would expect, they announced a killer slate of musical acts that will perform in the new venue, including Toby Keith and Trace Adkins, Amy Schumer, Ted Nugent (wonder if there will be a tribute to the former owner of the property?), Florida Georgia Line, Kellie Pickler and George Thorogood. The $500 million, "newly reimagined" property is also located on the AC Boardwalk. Set on 17 acres, it will boast the classic "rock-chic" Hard Rock interior, and there will be over 150,000 square feet of event space that will accommodate large conventions, and smaller events and tradeshows and a "dynamic inventory" of games, first-class restaurants, world-class musicians, sporting events, conferences and shows. 1. MGM Springfield to open ahead of schedule on 24 August The typical theme for major construction projects is "over budget" and "delayed." But not MGM Springfield. While most of us were expecting a fall grand opening, MGM announced on Thursday that it will unveil its $960 million property, located less than a hundred-mile drive west from Boston, on 24 August – yes, ahead of schedule. In addition to 250 guestrooms, an array of farm-to-market food and beverage spots, and an 8,000-seat entertainment center, the casino will weigh in at 125,000 square feet, with 2,550 slot machines, 120 gaming tables, a poker room and a high-limit VIP gaming area for a variety of experiences. Take it from someone who was at the grand opening of MGM National Harbor in Maryland, perhaps the most impressive casino I have ever stepped foot in: MGM is not cutting any corners on its new properties, and the folks up here in Massachusetts are going to be blown away.
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