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It's Tough To Make Content On The Casino Floor Thanks To The Bureaucratic Tyrants Of The Massachusetts Gaming Commission

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Springfield, Massachusetts. Home to the brand new MGM Grand casino, which opened to the public on August 24, 2018. An ambitious project that the Springfielders looked to as a lifeline to save their drowning city. Drowning in what? In gang violence, in poor restaurant choices, in the mediocrity of its main attraction: the Naismith Memorial basketball hall of fame. Large told me he once brought his children to the hall. He said the experience was so underwhelming that his children did not speak to him on the ride home, or in the years since. And he is a wonderful father. I know this. He is the father that my father never let me add as a second father.

Last night’s show went well. The club is a repurposed castle with 400-foot ceilings. There were twenty brave souls who came to see me, in a room that seats hundreds. It felt like performing to the aftermath of the Red Wedding. Fortunately, those twenty laughed so hard that this comedian felt as though he was playing for a raucous thirty. I tip my cap to you, Thursday audience. Many thanks.

Then we played poker until 3AM. Because time is a flat circle in a poker room. The 1-2 no-limit hold ‘em table played host to a spectacular assortment of characters. Springfield’s finest citizens were on full display as I bullied chumps out of hands with $10 raises and impish winks. How can a man with so little call the raise of the unknown, handsome, visiting comedian who just burned the roof down for eighteen people? Boys and men, young and old alike, folding under the searing blue eyes of this gallant knight of what was their round table. All his now. To the handsome go the spoils.

You may have read my review of Mohegan Sun’s poker room, where I spent a Friday morning last summer. But that was Connecticut; this is Springfield. To bully the Connecticons, one must dig far deeper into one’s Lululemon commission pant pocket, past the hidden zipper to fetch the emergency stash of hundreds normally reserved for defibrillating tootskis. In Springfield, you can crush a man’s soul by flashing a symmetrical smile. You brush and floss while he begs the cornerman for one more taste, come on, you’re good for it.


The anemic turnout at my show prompted me to send out a stronger bat signal today. I wanted more than 12 tonight, and I had the idea for a goofy instagram story that might just tempt the villagers to set down their spoons and lighters long enough to enjoy some live comedy. The vision was to plant myself at a slot machine, smear pizza shit on my Theory cosmos essential T, light a cig, and embody the barnacles that are bolstering the town’s economy with their hard-earned welfare. I wanted a floor guard to tell me not to smoke, to which I would yell around a mouthful, “do you know who my father is?” Comedically, it made sense. Can you imagine a slot slug citing his father’s standing to ward off the authorities? For sure not. These people don’t have impressive fathers, as their fathers didn’t have impressive fathers. They squeak along a hamster wheel of generational shittiness. A + B = comedy.

I pitched the idea to a guard, and he loved it. But he needed to clear it with his boss, who was stationed at the other end of the floor. Off we went, a warm pizza box under my arm and a fun idea bouncing around upstairs. What casino wouldn’t want a major instagram presence to promote their new establishment? Look at how many followers he has. Look at his engagement. Dude got 10 people to come out and see him last night. He’ll fix Springfield with one post! We’ll give him a key to the city, one of those enormous ones that are too big for bumps unless you’re dipping into a glad bag of Michael ‘Caine.

Except they needed to call the gaming commission, for filming on a casino floor is absolument forboden. Interdit! Niche niche, amigo. “Even for a silly, 10-second instagram story?” Even then. “Even if my post will bring an influx of visitors that will resurrect this once-proud city?” Afraid so.

We waited as they made the call. But the gaming commission requires 48 hours to process decisions of this magnitude. We were shit out of luck. No post. Still, I’m hopeful we’ll get at least 40 tonight. It is Friday, after all. What else is there to do here in beautiful, sunny, on-the-rise Springfield?

Neighborhood Scout- The chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime in Springfield is 1 in 26. … Violent offenses tracked included rape, murder and non-negligent manslaughter, armed robbery, and aggravated assault, including assault with a deadly weapon.

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