July 14, 2020

MGM Springfield reopens but must abide by strict state laws

MGM Springfield reopens but must abide by strict state laws

Massachusetts casinos have finally reopened after four months of being shut down due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. The state has one of the strictest and most detailed health and safety regulations in the country.

“This is a big day for us,” MGM Springfield’s president and chief operating officer, Chris Kelley, said in an interview with CNBC. “The opportunity to welcome back our guests and service this community again is a wonderful feeling,” he added.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission set the limit of occupancy at 25%, and it remains to be seen whether or not the casinos can generate profit with such strict limits on visitation.

Jay Snowden, CEO of Penn National Gaming, estimated that he could break even at roughly 25% to 30% of pre-pandemic revenue. Penn’s Plainridge Park Casino reopened just last week, and like MGM Springfield, and Wynn Resorts’ Encore Boston Harbor, they have also set up new safety measures in place.

Penn’s properties in Ohio and Indiana have seen daily gross gaming revenue increase between 25% to 75% year-over-year since it reopened.

“We reconfigured our floors significantly. Patrons who came here previously will notice a lot of changes. We had to actually physically move a lot of machines around to free up some of the more popular machine so that they’re more socially distant,” Seth Satton, MGM Springfield’s vice president and legal counsel, said.

“We want to reopen the right way,” Kelley explained. “By placing health and safety as a top priority, we think we have created a compelling option to our guests to make that choice in a safe way,” he added.

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