No need to head out west: East coast gaming resorts offer it all

SHERYL NANCE-NASH | 5/9/2019, 3:57 p.m.
Las Vegas is its own world, but that’s not to say that you can’t get your gaming groove on elsewhere. ...

Las Vegas is its own world, but that’s not to say that you can’t get your gaming groove on elsewhere. In fact, there are plenty of places here on the East Coast to take your chances with Lady Luck and enjoy much more, as casino resorts are destinations in their own right. For a fun-filled weekend, here’s where to roll the dice.

Mohegan Sun

Uncasville, CT

When you step into the Mohegan Sun, it’s otherworldly—perhaps best described as Disneyland for adults. The colors, the glitz, the adrenaline pumps immediately. How fast does the fun start? Quicker than you can say, “Let it roll!” The gambling is good at Mohegan Sun, with more than 5,000 slot machines, 350 tables and 350,000 square-feet of gaming floors, making it one of the largest gaming complexes in the world. Much as you might think you would head straight for the casino, don’t be surprised if you make a pit stop. Temptation awaits at Bobby Flay’s Bar American, Michael Jordan’s Steak House, Todd English’s Tuscany, and the more than 50 spots to eat and drink, including lounges and bars. Another wonderful distraction is the slew of shops, about 40 designer haunts. No doubt you will spend time in the 10,000-seat arena that hosts big names like Arianna Grande, Justin Timberlake, and most likely somebody you’re dying to see. Then there’s the luxurious Mandara Spa, where service is high-touch. Golfers will find their way to the 18-hole private course. If you can ignore the fitness center, you might not be able to resist doing a few laps in the 10,000 square-foot indoor pool. Sun worshippers can soak it up on the 17,500 square-foot outdoor sun terrace. If you can tear yourself away from the Mohegan Sun, nearby there are museums, historic sites, breweries parks, galleries, boating, fishing, biking and camping.

Encore Boston Harbor

Everett, MA

There’s a brand-new addition to the gaming scene this summer—Encore Boston Harbor. Expectations are high for the $2.6 billion five-star, 671 hotel room resort. Chow down at 15 restaurants including home grown favorites and nationally known named eateries from Las Vegas. Find your spot in the 210,000-square-foot casino. When all the excitement tires you, there’s a 26,000 square-foot spa to relax, regroup and hit the floor for more, if you so desire. You can get your shop on and enjoy events at indoor and outdoor venues. Then, there’s the six-acre Harborwalk, where you can picnic, listen to live music, or simply stroll. Situated on the waterfront along the Mystic River and connected to Boston Harbor, Encore Boston Harbor will open the Everett shoreline to the public for the first time in more than a century.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Atlantic City, NJ

This summer marks the one-year anniversary of the Hard Rock’s debut on 17 acres and the legendary Atlantic City boardwalk backdrop. Take your pick of 2,200 slots, 120 table games and the Sportsbook Lounge, or any the 20 restaurants and lounges. If you don’t fancy gambling, there’s nightlife, concerts, shows to comedy at Howie Mandel’s Comedy Club to give you a rush. The inner nerd of high-tech fans will be smitten with all the sophisticated in-room tech. For sure the Rock Spa sets the Hard Rock apart; it has a lengthy menu of treatments, but what will surprise even the spa connoisseur is Rhythm and Motion, the world’s first fully immersive music-centric spa menu, which uses amplified vibrations, pressures and patterns, as the foundation of its treatments. During Synchronicity, a 50 or 80-minute massage, bass vibrations ripple through the massage table as treble beats come from above, sending pulses through the body leaving you energized and invigorated.