Massachusetts Casinos Set Combined Handle Record in March
March was a splendid demonstration of how well Massachusetts casinos can fare when they’re operating at full capacity.
MGM Springfield set a monthly record for coin in, or handle, and the other two commercial Massachusetts casinos had their best month in a long time. Both revenue and handle saw a dramatic spike in March compared to the February numbers.
The total combined handle at the three casinos — MGM Springfield, Encore Boston Harbor in Everett and Plainridge Park in Plainville — was a state record $718,472,705 in March, 21.5% higher than the $591,210,796 in February.
Combined revenue rose even higher from month to month – 24.5%, from $67,441,216 in February to $83,957,100 in March, according to figures reported by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. That was the third-highest total in state history; the record is just over $86 million in February 2020.
Gov. Charlie Baker lifted coronavirus-related curfews in late January, so the casinos could revert to operating around the clock in February.
The increased handle and revenue — the highest totals since before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the whole American casino industry — reflect the fact that demand at Massachusetts casinos is rebounding to pre-coronavirus levels.
March was the fourth consecutive month that Massachusetts saw a spike in handle and revenue numbers at its casinos.
Massachusetts Casino Breakdown for March
Since Encore Boston Harbor opened in summer 2019, giving Massachusetts a third commercial casino, the state record for combined handle had been $701 million, set in August 2019. The March combined handle broke that record by about $17.4 million.
MGM Springfield’s handle of $215.57 million set a record for the facility, which opened in August 2018. The highest handle had been $203.17 million in March 2019. The combined slots and table games revenue of $22 million in March was the highest at MGM since the Springfield gaming facility recorded $22.2 million in May 2019.
At Encore Boston Harbor, just outside downtown Boston, the handle was $337.48 million, the second-best total there. In August 2019, Encore had $359.21 million in handle, just two months after opening. Encore’s total revenue (both slots and table games) was $49.67 million for March, the most there since a $52.5 million month in February 2020.
Plainridge Park, the oldest of the three (opened in June 2015) had $165.4 million coin in (handle) for March, its best mark since it recorded more than $174.6 million in June 2019. Plainridge Park has only slots. The revenue of $12.26 million was the highest at the casino since July 2019, when revenue hit $12,5 million.
Jim Tomlin has more than 30 years of experience in sports journalism as an editor and writer. He has covered pro and college sports from football, baseball, basketball, soccer, golf, motorsports and more for publications such as the Tampa Bay Times, SaturdayDownSouth.com, SaturdayTradition.com and FanRag Sports. He now lends his expertise to TopUSCasinos.com, among other duties.