Massachusetts’s Casinos Suffer Losses In November Because Of Pandemic Measures

Article by : Helen Dec 30, 2020

New pandemic restrictions have not been without consequence, and MGM Springfield casino has taken the bullet. In November, gamblers were kept at bay, meaning three casinos in Massachusetts received fewer revenues. According to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s data, combined gaming revenue generated by MGM Springfield, Plainridge Park Casino, and Encore Boston Harbor was about $45 million. It is 30% less than in October when three casinos altogether brought in $69 million.

MGM Springfield, the property of MGM Resorts, received $10.5 million in November, while October’s revenue was 7 million more. In July, when the casino worked for less than 3 weeks, it received $200,000 more than in November.

Generally, there have been two months only when the property got worse figures than in November 2020. The first case was in August 2018 when the property generated $9.5 million only because it was newly established and worked for 8 days. Another case happened because of Covid-19 measures. That’s why MGM Springfield was forced to close in the middle of March 2020 and ended up with $9.3 million for that month.

Currently, the property can’t work at full strength and has a limited schedule: guests can visit the casino from 8 am to 9.30 pm. Like in Encore Boston Harbor, the Wynn Resort’s property, three players only are allowed to play at one blackjack table, and one-third of all slots is available. Moreover, blackjack tables are a single option as far as playing at all the other tables has been put on hold.

Not all the companies faced such difficulties as MGM Resorts. Wynn, for example, was less affected by the current situation. In November, Encore received $27.3 million and 33.5% less than in October and 43.6% less than in November 2019. This loss was evenly distributed between tables and slots, so it wasn’t a strong blow for the company.

Penn National Gaming owns Plainridge Park Casino that offers only slot games. During November the property received $7.6 million, while in October it earned $11.1 million. One-third of the total of gaming positions in Plainridge is available for guests. Moreover, there must be a six-foot space between the slot players; otherwise, they should be separated by a 5’10 tall wall made from plexiglass.

Taking into account the situation with frequent casino closures, it would be nice to offer online casino games and mobile sports betting. Last month Minority Leader Bruce Tarr tried to make an amendment to make sports wagering legal and add it into the 2021 budget, but the Massachusetts State Senate rejected this offer without a roll call vote.

Massachusetts is losing all of this revenue that we are going to need as residents find other states that will take their bets.

Senator Marc Pacheco

If the amendment hadn’t been rejected, online operators, casinos, and racetracks would have applied for a license. The state’s budget receives around $21 million each month thanks to slot machines and casinos, but the Senate isn’t interested in legalizing sports betting. “If we don’t do it in this bill, we should absolutely get to work before we end this year to make sure this is done. I am very concerned that we are going to be missing the boat on this,” said Pacheco.


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