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.
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.