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Massachusetts casinos hit hard by COVID-19 shutdown

15 April 2020

(PRESS RELEASE) -- The Massachusetts Gaming Commission reported today that 1-15 March 2020 generated approximately $35 million in Gross Gaming Revenue at Plainridge Park Casino, MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor.

In response to the global outbreak of COVID-19, the five gaming commissioners voted unanimously to temporarily suspend operations at the state’s three casino properties, including Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield and PPC, during an emergency public meeting on 14 March 2020. The decision, which took effect at 6 a.m. on 15 March, was made in collaboration and cooperation with the licensees to prioritize and safeguard the health and well-being of casino guests, employees, and regulators.

On 3 April, the Commission voted unanimously 5-0 to extend the temporary suspension of operations at the three gaming establishments to 4 May 2020 at noon, consistent with Governor Charlie Baker’s order issued on March 31, 2020 and the Commission’s statutory obligations. The Commission will continue to review and assess the public health conditions in cooperation with appropriate authorities and the gaming licensees and make a determination as to the status of operations in advance of 4 May 2020.

The temporary suspension until 4 May also applies to the state’s simulcasting facilities.

PPC, a category 2 slots facility, is taxed on 49% of GGR. Of that total taxed amount, 82% is paid to Local Aid and 18% is allotted to the Race Horse Development Fund. MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor, category 1 resort-casinos, are taxed on 25% of GGR; those monies are allocated to several specific state fundsas determined by the gaming statute.

To date, the Commonwealth has collected approximately $582 million in total taxes and assessments from PPC, MGM and Encore since the respective openings of each gaming facility.

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