For now, only three casinos are operating in the state of Massachusetts. One is located in Everett, near Boston. The other is found in Springfield and another is located in Plainville. Recently, officials in a different part of the state began pushing for the right to open another casino. It may be some time before a gambling venue in Southeast MA is able to operate, though.
This state’s gambling industry is in an unusual place. Today, we’re going to talk about how the current casinos here are performing. We’ll also look at the likelihood of this new casino opening in the future.
Let’s get into it!
The Casino Competition in Massachusetts Continues
Not long ago, Massachusetts had no gambling venues operating. Lawmakers here took steps to ban traditional casino gambling. Finally, in 2011, state officials passed a set of laws to allow three land-based casinos to start operating.
The first to open was the MGM Springfield, run by MGM Resorts International. At first, this venue was expected to be hugely successful. As time went on, this casino resort began to lose a significant amount of revenue.
Part of the reason for this revenue decline was the opening of the Encore Boston Harbor, owned by Wynn Resorts. This new casino captured a huge portion of the state’s gambling market, including many individuals who previously made bets inside the MGM Springfield. Since opening, this venue has earned more revenue than all of the other state’s gaming properties.
Things began improving for MGM Springfield in January. That month, this property saw its revenue increase by $2 million. The Plainridge Park Casino, MA’s third gaming venue, had a revenue increase of $1 million.
Not everyone is pleased with the way things are. Many individuals in parts of the state without a gambling venue feel the laws set in place are unfair. Here’s what’s happening with this situation.
New Push for a Gambling Venue in Southeast MA
As of now, only three casinos are legally able to operate in Massachusetts. Some state officials feel this is unfair. Back in October, a new bill was introduced to allow a new gambling venue in Southeast MA to begin operating.
The South Shore Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors recently endorsed this bill. Peter Forman, South Shore Chamber President and CEO, commented on these plans to the media this week.
“We find it troubling that Southeastern Massachusetts is almost effectively blocked under current law from even considering a gaming option,” he said. “Your legislation will enable an open and competitive process that will lead to the best possible solution for the region, one that compliments the tourism industry and the region’s economic strength.”
Promoting tourism in this area is one of the main reasons why people are pushing for a gambling venue in Southeast MA. Under the current bill, the state’s Gaming Commission could offer a slots-only license for this new property.
There are still many steps that need to be taken for this venue to be approved. Most analysts feel it will not begin operating for at least a year. It will be interesting to see how lawmakers feel about these new plans.
Coronavirus Already Affects Massachusetts Casinos
Back in December, a new coronavirus called Covid-19 emerged in Wuhan, China. Since that time, the virus has spread to countries all over the world and has affected more than 100,000 individuals. The death toll from Covid-19 is now nearing 4,000 individuals.
There are serious concerns that the virus will become uncontainable. As of now, efforts to prevent its spread have been largely ineffective. Unsurprisingly, many people are choosing not to travel due to fears of this virus.
It’s also taking a serious toll on the country’s gambling industry. People are less willing to gamble inside casinos, where a huge number of people are crammed into a small area. According to some reports, the casinos in Massachusetts are already experiencing revenue drops due to the coronavirus.
Interestingly, more people are now choosing to play casino games online. Sites like Bovada, which offer a huge number of different casino games online, are growing more popular every single month. This trend is likely to continue as the virus spreads.
We’ll need to wait and see whether or not the gambling venue in Southeast MA is approved. Stay tuned for updates over the next few months!