MGM Springfield Continues to Lag Behind Pre-Market Gross Gaming Revenue Expectations

Posted on: June 17, 2019, 12:34h. 

Last updated on: June 17, 2019, 12:34h.

MGM Springfield, the $960 million integrated casino resort that opened last August, continues to trail far behind its pre-opening gross gaming revenue (GGR) projections.

MGM Springfield casino gaming revenue
MGM Springfield isn’t living up to the hype casino executives promised. (Image: Gillian Jones/The Berkshire Eagle)

Data released Monday by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission shows that the MGM Resorts property won $22.28 million in May, a 2.14 percent bump on the previous month. Plainridge Park – the other commercial casino in the state that operates as a slots-only facility, won $14.84 million.

Through its first 10 months in operation, MGM Springfield has total GGR of $212.5 million. During the bidding process for the casino license, MGM officials told the state the casino would win a minimum of $416 million in year one.

We continue to be pleased with our performance. We’re capturing market share and growing loyalty,” MGM Springfield President Michael Mathis told The Republican.

But with just 60 days remaining, the Springfield casino is short more than $200 million of where company executives predicted.

Competition Increasing

In a crowded environment, market share is critical for success. And Mathis’ casino has benefitted from being the state’s only table games operator for nearly a year without competition.

That will soon change when Encore Boston Harbor, the $2.6 billion integrated casino complex, opens on June 23.

MGM Springfield has also successfully thwarted a planned satellite gaming venue in northern Connecticut that was approved by state officials there in an effort to keep crucial gaming dollars from flowing across the border. MGM Springfield is just five miles north of the Connecticut-Massachusetts line.

But Encore is soon opening, and construction is expected to soon begin on the East Windsor, Connecticut, satellite. That will only make things more difficult for MGM if it hopes to achieve those lofty pre-opening GGR forecasts.

Bridgeport Plans

Connecticut’s two tribes – the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Indians – are jointly building the $300 million satellite casino in East Windsor. The two Native American entities are operating under a partnership called MMCT, and are in the process of securing funding for the property.

It might not be the final casino in Connecticut. State and local officials in Bridgeport have been discussing whether a commercial casino in the fiscally troubled seaport town should be approved.

After Connecticut signed off on the East Windsor satellite, MGM interjected and said if the state wanted to expand gaming, it should do so with a competitive bidding process that allows outside companies such as itself to participate. Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim (D) wants to only work with the tribes.

Governor Ned Lamont (D) favors a more open process, saying such a sweetheart deal between the tribes and state could result in fewer tax dollars. MGM proposed a $675 million Bridgeport property, and CEO Jim Murren – a Connecticut native – came to town in 2017 to meet with area officials.

The tribes and Ganim have suggested they instead build a $350 million resort in Bridgeport. Under the Ganim arrangement, the state would provide $100 million in financing to the Native Americans.