Over the past decade, Massachusetts has developed a successful casino industry. Like all other states, however, Massachusetts has forced all of its gambling venues to shut down. Some states are opening up their casino industries, yet reopening casinos in MA is taking a little longer than many expected.
This week, members of the Massachusetts Gambling Commission met to discuss the reopening plans. Many are still concerned about safety. Today, we’re going to talk about the state’s plans to get its industry back up and running.
Let’s get into it!
Massachusetts Casinos Have Been Closed Since March
The East Coast of the United States has slowly grown into a major gambling destination. When most people think about gambling hubs here, Atlantic City comes to mind. Over the past few years, Massachusetts has also grown a successful gambling industry.
The first major gambling venue built here was the MGM Springfield venue. MGM Resorts International invested a huge amount of money into this property and many felt it would be one of the company’s top revenue earners. Unfortunately, this casino hasn’t brought in quite as much money as many anticipated.
Much of that is due to the opening of the Encore Boston Harbor. This property was opened near Boston back in June of 2019. It became an instant success and has begun to earn the majority of gambling revenue in the state.
Back in March, all of the properties in this state were forced to shut down to the public. No one knew how long things would take to get back to normal. It’s been three months and the casinos in this state remain closed to the public.
For weeks, casino owners here have been looking at ways to safely reopen back to the public. State officials have been extremely hesitant to lift restrictions and fear that reopening casinos could lead to a spike in new Covid-19 cases. This week, members of the state’s gambling commission met to discuss plans for the future.
Commission Officials Are Starting to Look at Reopening Casinos in MA
Closing down casinos has been extremely difficult for states around the country. That’s especially true in small communities where the gambling venues are a source of valuable revenue. It’s not a surprise to see a massive number of different states allow their casinos to open back up again.
This week, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission met with casino owners to discuss plans for the future. Chairwoman Cathy Judd-Stein commented on this situation.
“We want to be fair but we obviously need more information if this today presents a real challenge for you with your business model,” she said.
Lawmakers here are proving to be much more cautious than those in other parts of the country. At the moment, reopening casinos in MA can’t take place until June 29th at the earliest. These venues will look considerably different than they did at the start of this year.
The current plan is for poker, craps, and roulette tables to be shut down. These casinos will need to limit blackjack tables to just 3 people per table. All slots will be separated by 4 to 6 feet.
“We are trying to bring some sense of normalcy,” Commissioner Enrique Zuniga said. “We’re going to have to see how it goes.”
Waiting to see how things go is all we can do right now. It remains to be seen how much revenue the casinos here will generate once they begin accepting guests again.
Atlantic City Casinos Are Finally Given Support
Massachusetts isn’t the only state on the East Coast that has yet to get its casino industry back on track. Many have been keeping a close eye on Atlantic City, where some of the biggest and best casinos in the country are located. Lawmakers in this state have been very hesitant to open casinos again while cases of Covid-19 remain high in the state.
This has taken an incredible toll on Atlantic City. A huge number of businesses here rely on tourists and without casinos, tourism into this city has been virtually nonexistent. Some express fear that the city couldn’t last much longer under the current scenario.
Recently, the NJ State Senate officially approved a bill to help the casinos in this state. This piece of legislation is also intended to help local businesses here. As of now, the current plan is for the casinos in AC to open by the Fourth of July.
Reopening casinos in MA is expected to happen later this month. Based on the state commission’s meeting, it’s clear that everyone understands how important this really is. We’ll be sure to report on revenue earnings as soon as the reports are released.
It’s a difficult time for casino companies around the country. In places like Las Vegas, this industry seems to be getting on track.
Are you surprised to see how long reopening casinos in MA is taking? Let us know in the comments section below!