Massachusetts is home to a growing land-based casino industry. Some of the most powerful gaming companies in the country own casinos here. Unfortunately, they’ve been struggling to generate revenue for nearly a year. These casinos are now hoping to see sports betting in MA sometime in the near future.
Several lawmakers are pushing to get sports betting legalized and regulated here, as well. Many believe 2021 is the year this finally happens. Today, we’ll talk about how a sports gambling industry could help the state’s casinos.
Let’s get into it!
Casino Revenue in Massachusetts Increased in January
For decades, lawmakers in Massachusetts took steps to prohibit casinos. The state had a long history of anti-gambling legislation and pushed against even allowing tribal casinos. Finally, in 2018, the first casino opened its doors here.
That was the MGM Springfield, owned and operated by MGM Resorts International. This venue instantly became a massive success with gambling fans around the state. It was one of the most popular gambling venues on the East Coast.
A year later, Wynn Resorts opened the Encore Boston Harbor. This was a state-of-the-art casino resort built not far from Boston. It became the next big thing in the state and quickly captured a huge percentage of MGM Springfield’s patrons.
In March of 2020, all of the progress being made here came to a halt. State officials ordered all of the casinos in the state to shut their doors. It would be months before any of the state’s casinos were able to operate again.
Even after reopening, revenue was dropping throughout 2020. Things are beginning to improve, though. This past January, the casinos in Massachusetts brought in $57.6 million in revenue. That’s a more than 15% increase when compared to December.
When compared to January of 2020, however, these revenue figures are still very low. Many of the casinos here are now hoping to see legal sports betting become available to make up for some of these losses.
More Are Pushing to Regulate Sports Betting in MA
Casino revenue has been dropping across the United States for almost an entire year. That doesn’t mean people aren’t gambling, though. Sports betting revenue has been on a steady incline since major sports leagues resumed their operations in mid-2020.
This is proving to be very profitable for states with regulated sports betting industries set in place. It’s also been a valuable source of money for casinos, most of which are seeing large drops in their land-based gaming revenue right now. Many are now pushing to see sports betting in MA sometime soon.
Richard McGowan, a professor in the Carroll School of Management at Boston College, also believes online sports betting is a necessity for MA’s casino industry to survive. He gave his take on this situation to the media earlier this week.
“If they don’t get sports gambling at the casino or online, I don’t see much of a future,” he said. “They are in way too much debt. The future of gambling looks like it’s online. What will make or break MGM Springfield is what the Massachusetts Legislature decides to do with sports gambling.”
McGowan may certainly have a point. The land-based gambling industry was changed forever after the events that unfolded in 2020. Many people are no longer willing to play in-person and instead want to make their bets from the comfort of home.
Lawmakers in Massachusetts continue to discuss sports betting legislation. We’ll be sure to offer updates on the progress being made here over the next few months!
States Report Big Sports Betting Earnings in January
It’s no wonder why casinos and lawmakers are pushing so hard to get regulated sports betting in MA. This industry is a proven money-maker. It benefits virtually everyone and can now be found in more than half the country.
The revenue isn’t slowing down, either. Many states reported huge sports betting earnings for the month of January. It’s clear that this industry will continue to bring in large revenue earnings for the foreseeable future.
Michigan is seeing large earnings from this industry right now. This state didn’t launch its online sports betting operations until January 22. In just ten days of being live, the state saw an astounding $115.2 million in sports betting handle.
Pennsylvania also saw massive sports betting revenue figures this past January. This state saw a sports betting handle of $615.3 million. Sportsbooks here brought in $33.9 million in revenue.
Las Vegas has a struggling casino industry. Tourism rates are beginning to increase and more entertainment options are coming here, yet land-based casino revenue remains low. Fortunately, a huge amount of money will come in here from Super Bowl wagers.
Do you think we’ll see sports betting in MA anytime soon? Let us know in the comments section below!