MGM Springfield Reopening Poker; Another MA Casino Will Not
Two Massachusetts casinos have made different decisions regarding their live poker rooms. This is pertinent for poker players in the state because Massachusetts does not have an online poker option.
MGM Springfield, in the west part of the Bay State, informed the Massachusetts Gaming Commission last week that it plans to reopen its live poker room in the fourth quarter of 2021.
"We have plans that it will come back in Q4 of this year,” MGM Springfield compliance director Daniel Miller told the commission, according to a report in The Berkshire Eagle.
Encore Boston Harbor has decided at this time not to reopen its poker room, instead keeping high-stakes slot machines in the room, according to the Berkshire Eagle story.
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The other commercial gaming facility in Massachusetts, Plainridge Park in Plainville, only has slot machines.
During the coronavirus crisis that badly damaged the casino industry in 2020, casinos (and thus poker rooms) closed all over the country and Massachusetts was no different. In 2020, for states with legal online poker such as New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, online poker saw a surge in interest. That spike has continued into 2021 as Michigan launched online poker.
Massachusetts Casinos Coming off Record Month
MGM Springfield, Encore Boston Harbor and Plainridge Park combined to set a state record for revenue in July.
Both Encore and MGM set single-month records for handle and the state also set a gaming handle record at $807.9 million in July, a 13.9% boost over June. Encore exceeded $400 million in handle for the first time at $402.8 million, and MGM set a mark of $219.4 million.
The state’s casino revenue also broke a monthly record with $95.7 million for July. That included another record at Encore, with the facility in Everett taking in $59.07 million in revenue for the month.