Massachusetts casinos report stronger December revenue; MGM Springfield gross gambling revenue up $900K from November

Business at MGM Springfield and the state’s other two resort casinos rebounded in December, according to figures released Friday by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission — but revenue still remains well below pre-COVID levels.

Plainridge Park Casino, MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor generated about $50 million in gross gaming revenue in December 2020, according to the Gaming Commission, which releases updated revenue figures on the 15th of each month.

The three casinos reported about $45 million in gross gambling revenue for the month of November.

But the December figures don’t offer a full picture of the impact of the state’s tighter 25% occupancy restrictions, which took effect Dec. 26. Those rules remain in pace until at least Jan. 24.

MGM Springfield reported $11.4 million in gambling revenue in December. That’s up about 8.5% from the $10.5 million MGM reported in November.

In December 2019, though, MGM reported $19 million in gross gambling revenues. In December 2018 it reported $21.6 million.

At Encore, the Gaming Commission reported gross gambling revenue of $29.3 million, up about 7% from $27.3 million in November.

At Plainridge, gross revenue from slot machines was $9.2 million in December, up about 20% from $7.6 million in November. Plainridge does not have table games.

November was historically bad for MGM Springfield, with a revenue figure that was even lower than the $10.7 million recorded for July, when it wasn’t even open a full month following the state’s shutdown.

State regulators said Thursday that crowds at casinos aren’t even big enough to cross the new, lower, thresholds.

MGM Springfield’s biggest crowd in recent weeks was 22% of its capacity for its “Winning Wonderland” new car drawing Dec. 26, which was a Saturday and the day after Christmas. After the promotion, occupancy fell back to about 19%.

MGM is operating under strict COVID precautions. Hours are only from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily and with only about a third of the spots at its gambling tables. Many of its slot machines are not available. There is no hotel, no movie theater, and no spa. Food service is limited, with Chandler Steakhouse open only from 4 to 9:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday.