MGM Springfield Back To Normal After Cyberattack … Almost

Written By Dan Holmes on September 21, 2023
Logo of MGM Springfield, which is mostly back to normal after MGM cyberattack

MGM Resorts issued a statement on Wednesday claiming its U.S. casinos were “operating normally” again. This comes after a cyberattack hindered their ability to do business.

“We are pleased that all of our hotels and casinos are operating normally. Our amazing employees are ready to help guests with any intermittent issues. We thank you for your patience and look forward to welcoming you soon,” MGM posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Wednesday morning.

Therefore, its lone Massachusetts casino, MGM Springfield, should also be back to normal.

Still no free play available

However, an MGM Springfield customer service representative told PlayMA on Wednesday that guests were still unable to use free play associated with their account. But the slot machines were completely functional.

The cyberattack affected most of the casinos electronic operations. Regarding its gaming floor, that means mostly slot machines. At some MGM-owned casinos, there were a limited number of functioning slot machines because of the attack.

Furthermore, the attack hindered many other services at MGM Springfield. Hotel workers were unable to take reservations, customers’ ATM use was limited, and their credit cards weren’t accepted anywhere. The MGM Springfield website was inoperable for nearly a week as well.

MGM claimed, though, that its online betting operations — including its BetMGM Massachusetts Sportsbook — were unaffected.

And, now, the worst appears to be behind the gaming giant.

The website is back online, and according to MGM Resorts, all computer systems have been fixed.

However, the company’s poker operations show that some problems still need to be fixed.

MGM Springfield poker room isn’t populating on Bravo Poker Live

Bravo poker live app MGM SpringfieldThe Bravo Poker Live app is one of the most popular poker apps on the market. The app takes a poker player’s location and searches for the nearby poker rooms. Players can then look at what games are running and how long the wait list is for them.

(To be clear: This is not a way to play online poker in Massachusetts — just a way to find nearby games.)

Not all poker rooms are on the app. But most are, including all of MGM’s properties with poker rooms. This includes MGM Springfield’s 23-table poker room. But the app didn’t have any games running at MGM Springfield on Wednesday afternoon.

It’s technically possible that the room was empty. But none of the MGM-owned rooms throughout the country was showing a game anywhere. If that were true, MGM would stop spreading poker games.

The games are tracked with Bravo Poker software on the poker room’s computers. The app then aggregates and displays the data to prospective players in the area. If the games aren’t showing up on the app, then there are still some bugs in MGM’s computer network.

On the bright side, local poker players likely know there are games running in the room. But the stakes and number of operational tables are an unknown when they leave for the poker room.

Will MA take measures to address cybersecurity concerns?

To make matters even worse for casino industry, it was revealed that Caesars Entertainment properties were similarly targeted by hackers earlier in September. According to Bloomberg News and other news agencies, Caesars paid a ransom to rid itself of ransomware and gain control of its systems a few weeks ago.

The tech news site Wired reported that Caesars was attacked by the same hackers that preyed on MGM last week.

This pair of cyber attacks on two of the biggest gaming companies in the country has thrust the issue of security and data privacy into the headlines.

MGM Springfield representatives have yet to be called to the carpet by regulators in Massachusetts, but it may be only a matter of time. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission had two hearings last week about the cyber attack at MGM.

But the MGC performed both under “executive session.” In other words, regulators held the entire meeting in private. At some point, the MGC will likely have a statement about the security implications of hacker attacks on casino resorts in the commonwealth.

Massachusetts regulators have shown the temerity to question and hold operators accountable.

The five-person MGC does have the authority to fine or even suspend licensure for operators, though a severe penalty for a ransomware attack would be unlikely. Coincidentally or not, on Tuesday, the MGC held a three-hour public session with industry representatives and operators on the topic of data privacy in regard to online sports betting.

Photo by AP Photo / Charles Krupa
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Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes is a Staff Writer for PlayMA with plenty of experience under his belt. Dan has written three books about sports and previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. He also has extensive experience covering the launch of sports betting in other states, including Ohio and Maryland. Currently, Dan is residing in Michigan with his family.

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