MGM Springfield Reports Third Consecutive Monthly Revenue Decline, Connecticut Tribes Renew Satellite Casino Push

Posted on: December 18, 2018, 09:11h. 

Last updated on: December 18, 2018, 09:11h.

MGM Springfield has won fewer gross gaming revenue dollars in each month since it opened in August. The $960 million integrated casino resort reported a roughly 4.5 percent decline in November compared to October.

MGM Springfield Massachusetts casino revenue
As colder temps have set in, crowds have moved out of MGM Springfield. (Image: MGM Resorts)

Gross gambling revenue (GGR) totaled $21.2 million last month, a nearly $1 million drop from October. Since opening in late August, gaming win has declined in each of the resort’s three full months in operation.

Despite the financial data, property president Michael Mathis says all is well at the Massachusetts casino. He said November was “another solid month.”

MGM Springfield shares 25 percent of its GGR with the state. Since its August 23 opening, Massachusetts has collected almost $20 million from the casino.

Cold November

MGM Springfield opened to much fanfare and long lines. The casino won almost $9.5 million in its first week, and in September, its first full month, the resort reported GGR of $27 million.

But as temperatures have cooled outside, so has gaming inside. Far away from the Mojave Desert where the Las Vegas Strip is located, MGM is realizing the fall and winter months in New England play a hand in keeping gamblers at home.

Plainridge Park, the slots-only facility that’s the only other Massachusetts casino currently in operation, has seen GGR decline from October to November in each of the venue’s three years. However, Plainridge has posted an increase in December in previous years, and that’s something MGM Springfield hopes to achieve this holiday month.

The third largest city in Massachusetts, the average daily temperature falls from 83 degrees Fahrenheit in August, to 52 degrees in November.

Connecticut Fight

MGM Springfield is located just 13 miles north of where two tribes in Connecticut are trying to build a satellite casino. The goal is to keep gaming dollars and valuable tax revenue from flowing across the Massachusetts-Connecticut border to the MGM casino.

The gaming expansion law passed in Connecticut requires approval from the US Department of the Interior (DOI), but Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke never signed off on the revised tribal gaming compacts. Zinke announced his resignation this week, and that’s giving new life to the satellite casino planned for East Windsor.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) said the incoming interior secretary should make it a priority to swiftly approve of the East Windsor casino.

The decision about the compact was legally, completely misguided and wrongheaded,” Blumenthal said of Zinke’s refusal to approve. “It ought to be a new day for the new casino and this tribal initiative.”

Politico reported in April that the DOI had written approval letters, but Zinke then intervened and reversed course. The news outlet additionally states that the secretary had met with several lobbyists who have worked for MGM Resorts.

MGM is doing everything in its power to stop the East Windsor casino. The company unsuccessfully sued Connecticut on grounds that it unlawfully legalized commercial gambling by permitting the two tribes to build a casino on non-sovereign land.