Thursday, September 22, 2011

Really, Borgata?

I just read this post from my friend Josie. She had been planning to play in her first-ever World Poker Tour tournament at Borgata. She arranged for time off work and somebody to care for her son, then flew from Boston just for the event. Got to Borgata, found that she couldn't register for the tournament without getting a Borgata player's card, and couldn't get a player's card because their own internal policy wouldn't accept her official Massachusetts-issued ID card (she doesn't have a driver's license). Nobody she talked to would even consider making an exception.

The Borgata's web page for the tournament series is here. It does warn people that a valid ID is required, but then specifies, "Drivers License, Non-drivers License, Domestic or Foreign Passports are acceptable forms of valid ID." The phrase "Non-drivers License" is pretty silly, because you don't get a license to be a non-driver, but surely what they meant was a state-issued ID card issued for those who choose not to get a driver's license. Which is exactly what Josie had.

(If I'm reading between the lines correctly on Josie's post, the state formerly issued ID cards without expiration dates, but have more recently changed to issuing ones with expiration dates. She still had the old style, unaware of any need to update.)

So the Borgata has a customer standing there wanting to hand them $3500. Instead of taking the money with a smile and a "thank you," they say, "Nope. Sorry. Our policy book says that we don't recognize that kind of Massachusetts-issued ID card. We only take the other kind of Massachusetts-issued ID card. Of course this policy isn't important enough that we would bother to inform you in advance about it. Now please leave before we have security throw you and your obviously inferior and unacceptably pathetic identification out the side door."

Worse, their corporate attitude toward customer service is so shitty that nobody in the chain of command would step back, look at the policy, realize that as applied to this particular situation it was absurd, pointless, and likely to result in hurt feelings and terrible PR, and then on that basis authorize a temporary exception so that they didn't unnecessarily piss off a customer, who would then tell all her friends in Boston and on the internet what a shitty place Borgata is if you want to play poker.

I've heard of idiotic things that casinos manage to do, but this ranks right up there with the best (or worst) of them.

I'm going to see if any friends of friends know somebody in charge at the Borgata poker room, in the hopes of getting some sort of on-the-record explanation for why they would treat a potential customer/player so shabbily.


Memphis MOJO said...


Mike Heffner said...

Stanstrickland AT always posts on the 2+2 boards as the poker room manager. Doesn't directly deal with the cage or MTTs, but is probably a good place to start.


Rakewell said...

Thanks, Mike.

Anonymous said...

Just looked up info on Massachusetts ID cards, which says the cards expire after five years. Too bad for your friend, but if the card is expired, the card is expired.

Rakewell said...


I assume you didn't read Josie's post, right?

I, too, checked the Mass. web site and noticed that they are issued with 5-year expirations. That's how things are now. But Josie seems to be saying that that's not how they used to be:

"I got to the Borgata and went to get my players card. That's when all the fun started. The wouldn't accept my Massachusetts Department of Motor Vehicles Identification Card. It's an ID card exactly like a drivers license and it has no expiration date. It had been accepted in Vegas, in Foxwoods, at Harrah's. Hell even the TSA at the airport accepted it as a valid ID. But not the Borgata! The woman at the desk told me that the new Mass ID cards had expiration dates and they were no longer accepting these ones. I had no idea! I mean how could I? Mine didn't have an expiration date so I never thought to randomly check it out. I explained to her that I needed the players card to play in the WPT event tomorrow and could she get her manager."

That is why I said what I did in my parenthetical paragraph. I am taking Josie at her word, and making the assumption that the state changed the way they issue such cards.

Jim Sweetman said...

Second the tip about Stan on 2+2. Also, tweet a link to the post with @BorgataPoker & @BorgataAC in it and I'm sure you'll hear back. It worked for @GamingCounsel

BuzzedSaw said...

I experienced something similar many years ago at Sam's Town Tunica. My driver's license was expired, no question, but IMO, that's between me & the DMV. My _identity_ doesn't have an expiration date. It's not like it's a forged ID, if I was the same person the day before the expiration date, am I not the same person 2 days later? The expired ID (and cash) is all the DMV needs to renew it, why does private enterprise feel the need to play government enforcer?

Josie said...

The Commonwealth did change but the old IDs do not have expiration dates so I had no idea it was expired. I offered all sorts of other ids to accompany it and was rudely denied.