Massachusetts to Allow Casino Reopening Despite New Covid Challenges

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Encore Casino

There’s a lot going on in Massachusetts right now, as the state is facing the new strain of the coronavirus, which recently landed its soil and started spreading among the population. This new strain is believed to be more contagious than the type that was circling in 2020. With many restrictions imposed, the public tension has never been higher.

As of yesterday, however, Gov. Charlie Baker decided to remove the 9:30 PM curfew that had been active since November 2020. This is good news for all casino properties operating in Massachusetts, as they will now be able to operate 24/7 every day of the week. However, nothing is certain at this point, as the new strain could mean that Covid-19 is returning to the state big time.

Starting on November 6, all casinos in the Bay State had to make sure that there are no customers on the gaming floor after 9:30 PM. Massachusetts is home to three big casinos — Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, and Plainridge Park. All of the three casinos have been struggling to operate throughout 2020, but their future is still not really certain — pretty much like the future of all land-based casinos around the globe.

Their revenue throughout 2020 was record low simply because they were instructed to operate with reduced capacity. On December 26, all gambling properties had to switch to operating at just 25%. As the result, Encore and MGM had to shut down the doors to their hotels, and they haven’t been able to recover ever since.

Governor Baker now hopes that the residents of Massachusetts will be responsible enough to follow all the guidelines regarding social distancing. If they behave responsibly, all commercial activity will be able to resume peacefully.

Apart from casinos, many other properties are allowed to open their doors to visitors, including gyms, restaurants, movie theaters, and more. Baker explained that he was aware that the state is not “out of the woods yet by any means.” He, however, kept a positive attitude, stating that things looked brighter and better in the state of Massachusetts. Baker also added that the past days were “long and hard for everybody.” He concluded that the hospital system in the state had been able to provide adequate medical care for all residents.

Demand for Land-Based Gaming Still High

Almost all casinos throughout the US were closed for the better part of 2020. Some of them were allowed to operate but at a very limited capacity.

However, there was one brief period during the summer of 2020 when certain casinos had no restrictions, and they saw a huge increase in revenue, which was even bigger than before Covid. This meant that there was still plenty of demand for land-based gaming. The casinos in Massachusetts hope that the same thing will happen to them and that customers will start visiting these properties in big numbers very soon. Still, they have to adhere to stringent coronavirus health and safety measures and maintain the operating capacity to 25%.

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