he Massachusetts Gaming Commission has scheduled a meeting for Thursday to discuss whether to allow for the return of roulette and craps games during the coronavirus pandemic.
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. by teleconference.
Encore Boston Harbor and MGM Springfield, the two casinos in the state with table games, have made the request, as these games have not been allowed since casinos were authorized to reopen last month.
"We appreciate the Gaming Commission’s consideration of our request as we progress through a phased reopening with the health and safety of our employees and guests at the forefront of any decisions," said MGM Springfield in a prepared comment.
The casinos had been closed since mid-March due to the pandemic, and then were allowed to reopen under extensive guidelines approved by the Gaming Commission. Those guidelines have not allowed roulette, craps and poker games.
Encore and MGM specifically requested the restart of roulette and craps, a spokeswoman said, and the vote could come Thursday. The status of poker is slated for discussion.
Gaming Commission Executive Director Karen Wells will provide a general report to the commission on the reopening of the casinos and possible expansion of gaming, according to the agenda.
MGM Springfield reopened over the weekend of July 10-13, after the four-month, state-ordered shutdown. Encore and Plainridge Park reopened a few days earlier. Plainridge is a slots parlor with no gaming tables.
The guidelines for reopening have resulted in the casinos reopening with approximately one-third of their pre-pandemic capacities. The guidelines include spacing requirements; plexiglass dividers; masks worn when not outdoors, eating or drinking; and other safety precautions.
The MGM Springfield request for roulette and craps also includes plexiglass installed at tables and physical distancing similar to other permitted table games.
In Springfield, the casino had 819 slot machines and 90 seats at table games, according to a recent report.