Casino revenues, amid constraints, do fairly well in July
Fewer games, fewer days – 56% of July 2019 revenues
THE STATE’S THREE CASINOS performed fairly well in July, bringing in 56 percent of the revenue they did in July 2019 despite operating far fewer games and slot machines for fewer days.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission said on Monday that Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, MGM Springfield, and Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville brought in nearly $45.4 million in gross gaming revenue between July 10 (July 8 for Plainridge) and July 31 compared to nearly $81 million for the whole month of July in 2019. July 2019 was the first full month the facilities were open.
Encore Boston Harbor’s revenues totaled just under $27 million, or 59 percent of the total, with $10.7 million from table games and $16.3 million from slots. MGM Springfield’s revenues were $10.7 million, with $1.7 million from table games and $9 million from slots. Plainridge brought in $7.7 million from its slot machines.
All three facilities are operating with restrictions on the number of guests and gaming stations. Poker, craps, and roulette games are not allowed. Officials said the three facilities as a group are operating with less than half of their regular gaming positions and the number of guests has rarely hit half of the occupancy levels.
At Encore, the facility is operating with 60 percent of its available slot machines and 32 percent of its table game positions. A smaller percentage of slots and table game positions are open at the other two casinos. Encore’s $27 million in revenue represents 59 percent of the $48.6 million in gross gaming revenues in July 2019.
The three casinos were closed in April, May, and June and part of March due to COVID-19 restrictions. They reopened as part of the Phase 3 of the Baker administration’s reopening plan.
In a conference call with financial analysts on August 4, Matt Maddox, the CEO of Wynn Resorts, described the facility’s slots volume as good — up over last year even with fewer machines. Officials said table game revenue was off 30 percent even as the number of table game positions was down more than 50 percent.Wynn officials said they have cut operating expenses at the Everett facility from $1.3 million a day to $830,000 a day and should be able to break even if they can bring table game revenue up. “There is more demand than supply for our table games there,” said Craig Billings, the company’s chief financial officer.
Maddox said a major challenge is to bring back non-gambling revenues, which have been hard hit by the pandemic. He said he was proud of the company’s efforts to create a safe environment at its resorts. He noted all employees were tested for COVID-19 before returning to work and 500 to 600 employees are tested every two-weeks as part of a surveillance testing program. He said the company employs 10 contact tracers. As of the conference call, Maddox said 16,750 employees had been tested, 98 percent were negative ,and 2 percent, or 300, were positive. He said contact tracing indicated 99 percent of those who tested negative were exposed outside the casino.