Massachusetts casinos had a solid increase in handle and revenue in February compared to January. In fact the three commercial casinos recorded the best numbers in both categories since October 2020.
MGM Springfield, Plainridge Park in Plainville and Encore Boston Harbor in Everett combined for $591.2 million total handle in February, 13.5% higher than the $520.9 million recorded in January.
The revenue jumped even more, increasing 17.1% from $57.6 million in January to $67.4 million in February.
Gov. Charlie Baker loosened restrictions on the hours of operation in late January, so the state’s casinos could go back to operating around the clock in February.
Massachusetts casinos, like everywhere else in the country, were shut down about a year ago as states tried to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Before that January edict allowing 24-hour operations to resume, a 9:30 p.m. curfew led to a 33.9 percent drop in casino revenue for November. Both handle and revenue figures have been steadily climbing back up since then.
The February numbers are drawing closer to the state’s levels in October, when handle hit $606 million and revenue topped $68.7 million.
As usual Encore Boston Harbor, about a 15-minute drive from downtown Boston, was the top Massachusetts casino in February with nearly $41 million in gross revenue from slots and table games combined. Its handle of $235.194 million was also highest among the three casinos, and an increase from the $196.641 million in December 2020, according to numbers that the Massachusetts Gaming Commission reported.
MGM Springfield posted the state’s second-highest revenue number in January, collecting $14.498 million, $12.631 million of that from slots and $1.867 million from table games. At $297.5 million in handle, Encore Boston Harbor is getting back near its post-pandemic peak of August to October 2020, when its handle was a bit more than $300 million each month.
Plainridge Park had gross gaming revenue of $9.56 million for February, all from slots. That was down slightly from $9.79 million in January but is close to the $10 million figures from August and October last year.
MGM Springfield drew nearly $17 million in February revenue — like the other two facilities, MGM is very close to regaining the levels from last summer. In August 2020, combined slot and table games GGR topped $18 million for the only time since the coronavirus pandemic hit.
Pre-pandemic levels are still a bit of a pipe dream as long as there are still capacity limits in place. MGM Springfield was accustomed to banking $20 million or more in revenue every month, and Encore exceeded $50 million in three separate months between its opening in June 2019 and March 2020.