Massachusetts is home to three popular casino-resorts. That includes MGM Springfield, which for years was the most popular gambling venue in the state. This week, the sale of MGM Springfield was finally confirmed to the public.
MGM Resorts International has officially decided to part ways with this venue. Some felt it was a long time coming when considering its struggle to compete with other casinos in the state. Today, we’ll talk about the details of this major casino sale.
Let’s get into it!
Massachusetts’ Casino Revenue is Still Fluctuating
The US casino industry remains in a precarious position. Throughout 2021, casino revenue has been steadily rising around the country. Many states have recently begun to see their casino revenue figures begin to fluctuate, though.
Massachusetts fits into that category. There are currently three major casino-resorts operating in this state. These properties were seeing major revenue surges early in the year, yet they have recently begun seeing some slight fluctuations in these numbers.
This past June, MA’s casinos managed to bring in $84 million in gross gaming revenue. That represents a slight drop from the $86.68 million earned in May and the $84.63 million brought in during the month of April. It’s not a major drop, however, and doesn’t reflect any major downward trend for the casinos operating here.
Many have expressed disappointment to see that poker is still not available inside the state’s casinos. Last month, regulators confirmed that poker games will not be coming to these properties for a few months. This is due to the continuing struggle to deal with Covid-19.
There have also been rumblings about a new wave of restrictions coming to the casinos in Massachusetts. As infections increase, calls to implement tougher health regulations intensify. Of course, ordering more intense restrictions inside the state’s casinos will likely lead to a major drop in revenue.
It seems that one company has decided to bow out of its operations in this state. Here’s what we know about MGM Springfield’s recent sale.
More Details on the Sale of MGM Springfield are Coming Out
For many years, Massachusetts prohibited commercial casinos from operating within the state. Things changed about a decade ago, and several companies immediately expressed an interest in operating here. That includes MGM Resorts, one of the biggest gaming companies in the world.
MGM Resorts opened its casino in Massachusetts in 2018. This property, called MGM Springfield, quickly became a major hit with gambling fans in the area. It continued to set new revenue records for months after opening to the public.
In recent years, this venue has struggled. This is largely due to the opening of the Encore Boston Harbor in 2019. This property quickly captured a large share of the market and took away from the revenue being earned at MGM Springfield.
MGM Resorts has been voicing its concern with this situation in recent months. It now appears this company wants to take a different approach with this venue. New reports surfaced today that confirmed the sale of MGM Springfield to Vivi Properties for $17.2 billion. Bill Hornbuckle, CEO and resident of MGM Resorts, spoke about this sale to the media this week.
“This transaction unlocks the significant real estate value of our assets, enhances our financial flexibility and strengthens our ability to execute key growth initiatives. We look forward to our long-term partnership with Vici,” Hornbuckle said.
This sale is expected to close in 2022. Interestingly, MGM Resorts will continue to operate this property under a long-term lease. It’s an effective way for the company to gain money while maintaining a presence in Massachusetts. We’ll be sure to offer more updates on the revenue situation here over the next few months!
Sports Betting May Soon Become Legal in Massachusetts
Many states around the country have been working to pass sports gambling legislation in 2021. Some of these states are making more progress than others. Based on the current progress, it seems likely that Massachusetts will approve this form of gambling before the end of the year.
A couple of weeks ago, the House formally approved a sports betting bill by a 156-3 margin. This bill is now making its way to the Senate. Members of the Senate are on break and are set to review the contents of this bill upon their return.
There are a few problems that could arise with this bill. Most notably is the discussion of whether or not to allow betting on college sports. Some believe the Senate could demand that this is not allowed before approving any legislation.
There is reason to believe that sportsbooks will launch here in early 2022. The current legislation making its way through the state allows for both online and land-based sportsbooks to operate in the state. This could allow for MA to quickly develop one of the largest sports betting markets in the country.
It’s an exciting time for sports fans here. If all goes according to plan, the first wagering options will launch here by the end of the 2021/2022 NFL season. Stay tuned for more news on the sports betting bill here as the year goes on.
Are you surprised to hear about the sale of MGM Springfield? When do you expect sports betting to become available in Massachusetts? Let us know in the comments section below.