The state-imposed strict operating restriction last year due to the increased risk of Covid-19 will end soon, casinos of Massachusetts will soon be working freely.
Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) voted on Wednesday 26th May 2021 to ease the Covid-19 related restrictions for gaming establishments that were permitted when the three casinos, MGM Springfield, Plainridge Park, and Encore Boston Harbor, decided to reopen in July 2020.
As per the Massachusetts Gaming Commission statement, “Starting Saturday, 29th May 2021 at 12:01 AM ET, patrons and employees who are vaccinated can freely walk inside the casino without wearing a face mask. The three gaming floors no longer need to practice social distancing when it comes to slot machines and table games, plexiglass barriers can be removed, and bar seating can resume. Vaccinated visitors can also drink and eat while walking.”
Guests are adhered to follow the regulatory system to provide legit information when it comes to whether they are vaccinated. Those guests who have not been vaccinated have to wear face masks.
Considering the safety of employees, MGM and Encore say that their human resource team is working on tracking the number of employees that are vaccinated and those who are not vaccinated.
Plainridge Park claims that the firm will continue to use the honor system because the company policy does not allow the extraction of such health information of the employees.
Casinos reopening news
Massachusetts had to fully close its three casinos during mid-March 2020 and the closure continued till July 12, 2020. During last fall season, gaming operators were forced to suspend all gambling activities from 9:30 PM to 5:00 AM. The regulated curfew was suspended in January 2021.
After a long wait of 14 months, casino operators are excited to reopen and serve their customers again.
Senior vice president at Encore Boston Harbor, Jacqui Krum, said, “This means opening up every slot machine, every gaming table, restoring our restaurants to the previous occupancy, restoring the occupancy of the gaming floor. We will allow fully vaccinated guests to not wear a mask, but we will continue to make complimentary masks available for guests to use. ”
Massachusetts casinos seem to rise in terms of their casinos. The Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) for the last month was calculated to be $85 million and is considered as the best monthly performance in Massachusetts history.
The total GGR of the casinos was $0 in April 2020 and $36 million in April 2019. Encore Boston Harbor didn’t gain any revenue since the casino was closed, while Wynn Resorts reopened and welcomed guests in July 2020.
Returning to the full operation has its challenges for casinos. Vice President and General Counsel of MGM Springfield, Seth Stratton, informed the Massachusetts Gaming Commission that because of the long shutdown many employees have joined other sources of employment.
He explained to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, “The competition to bring those workers back is strong. Part of our phased reopening is hiring, It is about bringing folks back and hiring. “