MGM Springfield Endures Worst Month Ever, Encore Boston and Plainridge Also Struggle

Posted on: December 15, 2020, 01:51h. 

Last updated on: December 15, 2020, 03:20h.

MGM Springfield had little to be thankful for in November, the casino reporting its worst full-month performance in the property’s history.

MGM Springfield Massachusetts casinos revenue
New COVID-19 regulations at MGM Springfield led to the casino suffering its worst month on record. (Image: New England Public Radio)

Gross gaming revenue (GGR) totaled just $10.5 million last month. The $960 million integrated resort casino was opened by MGM Resorts in August of 2018.

November’s casino performance is a 40 percent decline from October when the casino won $17.5 million. November 2020 also represents a 47 percent year-over-year downturn compared with November 2019, when MGM Springfield kept more than $19.9 million of gamblers’ money.

MGM Springfield and the state’s two other commercial casinos — Encore Boston Harbor and Plainridge Park — were forced to close in mid-March. They remained shut until early July.

November 2020 was the least amount of money the MGM casino has won in a full month. Casino win totaled $9.3 million in March, but it was only open for half of the month. GGR totaled $0 from April through June, as the gaming floor was closed.

COVID Curbs Casino Revenue

Since Massachusetts’ casinos reopened in July, they’ve been operating under numerous COVID-19 protection measures. Most notably, the three gaming floors are limited to 25 percent capacity of their fire code. Table games are restricted to three players each, and slot machine positions must be separated by six feet of space or a plexiglass divider that is at least six feet high.

Despite the constraints, MGM Springfield posted GGR of $18.5 million in August, $17.6 million in September, and $17.5 million in October.

November’s numbers retracted due to a surge of coronavirus spread and new state orders. Since November 6, the casinos must suspend their gaming operations nightly from 9:30 pm until 5:00 am.

The directive hurt Encore and Plainridge, too. The Wynn Resorts casino in Everett reported a GGR of $27.3 million in November, down 33.5 percent from October and 42 percent from November 2019.

Plainridge, the slots-only casino, saw its terminals win $3.7 million last month. That’s a 25 percent month-to-month loss, and a 31 percent year-over-year tumble.

Tax Hit

COVID-19 is hurting the Bay State’s gaming industry, which is subsequently delivering far fewer tax dollars.

From March through November of 2019, MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park generated tax revenue of a little more than $105.3 million. Encore Boston Harbor only opened in June of 2019. Paired with Encore’s tax revenue for June through November, the total tax generation was $170,322,000.19 for the nine months.

That number has plummeted to $68,743,626.46 in the same nine months in 2020 — a tax revenue loss of more than $101.5 million.

Encore and MGM, being a Category 1 resort casino, have their GGR taxed at 25 percent. Plainridge Park is taxed at 49 percent.

The tax revenue is allocated for numerous programs. Twenty percent of Category 1 tax receipts, and 82 percent from Plainridge, go to local aid. Fifteen percent of Encore and MGM taxes go to the Massachusetts Infrastructure Fund, and 14 percent to the Education Fund.