MA’s Casino Rules Are Getting Stricter Once Again

Governor Charlie Baker

Massachusetts is home to some fantastic commercial casinos. As most already know, these casinos have seen large drops in revenue and visitation rates this year. Unfortunately, MA’s casino rules are becoming stricter once again and a complete shutdown could be on the horizon.

All US casinos have been suffering throughout 2020. This industry could be facing its toughest test to date over the next few months. Today, we’ll be talking about what new rules are being implemented in Massachusetts.

Let’s check it out.

Casino Revenue Continues to Plummet in November

For decades, lawmakers in the state of Massachusetts were against the legalization of casino gambling. Gambling proponents were working hard to allow commercial casinos, yet these efforts continued to fail. Finally, in 2011, a law was passed to allow casinos in the state.

It didn’t take long for major casino companies to express interest in operating here. MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts both secured licenses to open casinos in MA. Now, MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor are two of the biggest casinos in this state.

2020 has been an extremely difficult year for these casinos. They’ve both seen massive revenue drops almost every single month. November proved to be a particularly rough month for the state’s casino industry. .

Recently, reports surfaced that claimed the casinos here earned just $45 million in November. That was a huge drop from the $69 million seen in October. It proved to be the worst-ever month for MGM Springfield in terms of revenue.

Many believe that December will end up being an even worse month. Massachusetts has been implementing more intense restrictions lately. Very few residents here are choosing to visit and gamble inside a crowded casino.

Many analysts expected to see more intense regulations be placed towards casinos. We’re now beginning to hear about these new rules being set in place.

Here’s an Update on MA’s Casino Rules

It’s been tough to see the casino industry in Massachusetts take so many hits this year. Prior to 2020, this state had one of the fastest-growing gaming industries in the country. Now, some fear the casinos here could be forced to permanently shut down.

Lawmakers now feel that more rules need to be set in place. Officials here announced a new set of regulations towards businesses this week. As you might expect, MA’s casino rules are getting more intense and will likely result in even larger drops in revenue.

Moving forward, casinos in this state must be limited to just 25% capacity. This will be set in place for at least two weeks. Governor Charlie Baker claims this is necessary to protect the state’s hospital system.

“Our hospitals are now under significant pressure and we’re heading toward another period over this holiday stretch where we’re likely to see another significant increase in cases and hospitalizations unless everybody plays a very different game than the one we all played at Thanksgiving,” Baker said. “We think it’s appropriate to take action now to slow that spread and we must do so in a way that can avoid overrunning our hospital system.” 

This seems to be the last step before completely shutting down casinos. Obviously, it will be extremely difficult for the gambling venues here to generate revenue at just 25% capacity. In the end, however, the owners seem happy to be able to keep operations running at all.

Governor Baker claims that more intense regulations could still be on the way. If another spike in Covid-19 cases is seen after the holidays, it seems highly likely that we’ll see casinos close their doors again. Stay tuned for updates!

Pennsylvania’s Casino Industry Remains Shut Down

Massachusetts isn’t the only state seeing its casino industry take a hit recently. On December 12, lawmakers in Pennsylvania ordered all commercial casinos to officially close their doors. This was done in an attempt to lessen the number of hospitalizations in the state.

It’s been nearly two weeks and all of the casinos in PA remain closed to the public. It’s an extremely difficult situation for the huge number of gambling venues here. Many of these casinos were seeing low revenue figures prior to the shutdowns.

The current plan is for casinos to begin reopening on January 4. If Covid-19 cases continue to increase, this date will be pushed back.

Fortunately, Pennsylvania is benefiting from its online gambling industry. Both online casino gambling and sports betting are regulated in this state. Many of the casino companies based here are seeing much-needed money come in from these online gambling platforms.

MA’s casino rules could begin looking like Pennsylvania’s soon. There’s even a chance that the country’s biggest casino hubs such as Las Vegas could order another round of shutdowns sometime in the future. The next few weeks will tell a lot about how things will look next year.

Do you think Massachusetts’ casinos should be ordered to shut down? When do you expect the US casino industry to recover? Let us know in the comments section below!