Massachusetts casino revenue down to $88M in Nov. amid voluntary self-exclusion milestone

Gross gaming revenue dipped by approximately $8 million in Massachusetts in November when compared to October, according to figures reported by the state Gaming Commission. Combined GGR from all three casinos -MGM Springfield, Encore Boston Harbor and Plainridge Park Casino- was $88 million in November, down from $96 million the prior month.

MGM Springfield was the sole casino to post an increase in revenue during November. The venue generated about $21.7 million in GGR, up from $21.4 million in October. The casino posted $5.7 million in table games revenue, and nearly $16 million from slot machines.

Meanwhile, both Encore Boston Harbor and Plainridge Park Casino posted lower GGR in November. Encore had $55.2 million in revenue, down from $62.8 million in October, while Plainridge posted nearly $11 million in GGR, slightly down from $11.7 million in the prior month.

The three venues paid a total of $24.6 million in taxes to the state in November. MGM Springfield and Encore are category 1 resort-casinos, taxed on 25% of their GGR, while Plainridge is a category 2 slots-only casino taxed on 49% of its gross gaming revenue.

The lower revenue posted in November comes after a record-setting October, a month in which the state’s three casinos reported an all-time high revenue of nearly $96 million. Casino handle was also down 6.2% to $703 million, from over $750 million in October.

However, the numbers were still up versus November 2020, when restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic severely impacted land-based venues’ operations. Revenue for November 2021 was 93% higher than the $45.4 million posted in the same month last year.

But most significantly, despite revenue in November being down from October, it was still up from pre-pandemic 2019. In said month, casinos added up to $78.2 million, while posting a handle of $611.4 million – both figures lower than November 2021.

In addition to gambling figures for the month of November, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission also announced that more than 1,000 people in the state have sworn off gambling at casinos.

The Commission said it has reached a voluntary self-exclusion milestone, with 1,020 active individuals, reports WWLP. People who enroll in the program aren’t able to enter any state casino: breaking the rules and getting caught implies forfeiting winnings.

“This milestone is significant but represents a small percentage of those struggling to control their gambling,” said Mark Vander Linden, MGC’s Director of Research and Responsible Gaming. “The VSE program is designed to honor and support a person’s decision to stop gambling.”

“We know that problem gambling can have devastating consequences, not just to the individual but everyone around them,” added Marlene Warner, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health. “Enrolling in the VSE program can be a significant step towards better health and relationships.”

All three casinos in Massachusetts have an info center on VSE. Moreover, problem gamblers in the state can call the 24-hour Safer Gaming Education Line.