Following month after month of record-breaking dollar figures, the casino gambling industry in Massachusetts finally cooled off in June.
The Bay State’s three casinos combined to take in $709.392 million in handle and $84.082 million in gross gaming revenues for June. That comes on the heels of a May where Massachusetts set state records in both handle and revenue, recording $724.9 million and $86.68 million, respectively.
That May handle figure broke the mark that had been set in March, while the revenue number broke a record established in February 2020. The state’s June numbers represented drops of 2% in handle and 3% in revenue from those all-time highs, according to the latest report from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
Encore Boston Harbor in Everett led the way in June, recording $348.083 million in handle and $52.559 million in revenue. The handle represented a drop of 0.7% from May, just the casino’s second monthly decline in that category since November 2020. The revenue drop of 0.7% from May came on the heels of six consecutive months of gains.
MGM Springfield reported $199.050 million in handle, which represented a 2.6% drop from May and followed three straight months of gains. The casino also reported $20.206 million in revenue in June, a 4.92% drop from May and MGM Springfield’s third straight month of small revenue declines since earning $22.063 million in February.
Plainridge Park in Plainville reported a handle of $162.231 million in June, a 4.5% decline from May, which had represented a second straight month of gains. The slots-only casino also earned $11.317 million in revenue in June, down 9.4% from its May figure.
Encore Boston Harbor had a slight increase in table game revenue in June, rising to $23.204 million from $22.433 million the month prior. The Everett casino also earned $29.355 million from June slot play. MGM Springfield in June earned $16.534 million in revenue from slots and $3.672 million in revenue from table games, both declines from the month before.
Despite the declines, Massachusetts casinos have come a long way from last June, when they were shut down at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Encore Boston Harbor, which opened in June 2019, has now gone over $50 million in revenue for three straight months, a first for the facility. MGM Springfield has gone over $20 million in revenue for four straight months, a first since early 2019. And Plainridge Park has gone over $11 million in revenue for four straight months, a first since late 2019.
The spring gambling boom in Massachusetts was fostered when the state eased COVID-19 protocols after a substantial drop in coronavirus cases throughout the state. In January, retail casinos in the commonwealth were allowed to return to 24/7 operations, and then given the green light to increase floor capacity. Those changes led to a March that was the Bay State’s best since the onset of the pandemic.
In May, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted unanimously to rescind further coronavirus-related measures, which restored gaming floors and casino restaurants to previous occupancy limits. Coronavirus cases in the Bay State have dropped substantially thanks to 62.9% percent of its population being fully vaccinated, a rate that ranks second nationally behind Vermont.