So recently I went to two of the east coast's best and more well known casinos: The Borgata in Atlantic City and Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. It was the first time I had been to either, and I was quite impressed with both. They are very different though, and for those looking to hit one of these soon, but can't decide if you should go north or south, I thought I'd give you a little compare and contrast.
Let me preface by saying you should definitely hit both.
First off, Borgata is a high class act all the way. It's without a doubt the slickest casino in AC. Beautiful chandeliers adorn the ceilings giving you that feeling that you are somewhere special. I almost felt under dressed in my dress shirt and jeans. Not that Mohegan Sun isn't high class, but Borgata just has this ritzy feel that MS doesn't.
The Sun, on the other hand, is more like a theme park. For those familiar with Vegas casinos, I imagine it's similar in vein. MS, built on a Native American reservation, and I believe run by the res as well, really puts the NA culture at the forefront of design. This makes it abit gimmicky, albeit a very well gimmick. I'd definitely give the designers the advantage in the creative department though. MS is just a marvel to behold inside and out. You feel like you are gambling out in old west with caves, wolves, and various other scenic accoutrements.
Service wise, Borgata wins hands down. Not only are the Borgata waitresses a sight for sore eyes, which borderlined ridiculous, they are constantly on top of you, stop that. We were never lacking for a drink at Borgata, which was excellent. At MS, unfortunately, this was not the case. Me and Marilyn were severely lacking in the drink department all day long. Service just never came over to us, sans when we first arrived. Borgata wins in every way in this department.
I won more money at Borgata so as far as games go I'd go with them, but honestly slots wise it felt all the same. I just liken someplace where I win money, any money, than not. Being a much bigger casino though, the Sun has more to choose from, and they separate their giant rooms with a nice mall area.
Mohegan Sun definitely wins in that department though. More shops for those tired of gambling, but still looking to get rid of some cash. There was a general store type place we stopped in that really fit the motif of the casino.
It's hard to say which had more restaurants though, which isn't a plus for MS since it was bigger, although there were more affordable variety there. Borgata had this cool cafeteria area though with cheap, but excellent, food alternatives. Me and my cousins enjoyed some excellent cheese steaks, roast porks with broccoli rabe, and fancy burgers there. At the Sun, me and Marilyn classed it up at Todd English's Tuscany. Both had enough choices to make one happy. I gotta say I think I saw more places at Mohegan that I would go to.
Traveling there, for us being Brooklyn, it's quicker to AC than to the Sun, but also we don't have to drive through the city to get to AC. Just a jump over the Verranzano and Outer bridges, and it's pretty easy from there; almost a straight 2 1/2 hour shot down the Garden State Parkway. For the Sun, once you bob and weave out of NYC traffic, it's about an equal trip up I95 to the res. And its a much more interesting trip site wise, I think. You get to see some cool Con cities plus a fair amount natural sites. It maybe slightly longer, but I dug the drive to the Sun more.
One very cool thing about the Sun was that we got to hear/see Big Bad Voodoo Daddy playing a free show right there in the casino. Free! For me this was a treat because I was big into the rebirth of the Swing scene in the 90's. Borgata had nothing like that, and while we saw a pretty good Bob Saget stand up show, the price for it was very inflated. Free wins in the entertainment department.
I think that's all I have, so who wins? It's hard to say, both were very good. As far as sheer spectacle, I say Mohegan Sun, but for pure gambling experience go to Borgata. The choice is yours.