ccording to numbers released Tuesday by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, gaming revenue dropped in November at the state's three casinos, as they dealt with Covid-19 restrictions.
MGM Springfield hit a new low for a full month of operations with $10.5 million in gross gaming revenue, down from $17.5 million in October.
That $10.5 million number was lower than the $10.7 million MGM Springfield took in during July when it wasn’t even open a full month following a coronavirus shutdown, MassLive reports.
In contrast, a year ago in November 2019, MGM Springfield took in nearly twice as much from the tables and slots: $19.9 million.
Before MGM Springfield opened in late August 2018, the company told the state and city it would bring in an average of $34.8 million a month in gross gaming revenue from slot machines and table games like poker. Instead, the average over its first 18 full months was $21.5 million. The peak was $26.9 million in September 2018, its first full month of operation.
MGM Springfield is open but its 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 and of its slot machines 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.
Together, Plainridge Park Casino, MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor generated approximately $45 million in gross gaming revenue in November. That is compared with approximately $69 million in gross gaming revenues in October, according to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
Encore reported $11.8 million in gross gaming revenue in November, down from $17.4 in October and from $24.5 million a year ago.
Plainridge reported $7.6 million in gross gaming revenue in November, down from $10 million in October and nearly $11 million a year ago in November 2019.
Nationally, the casino industry appeared to be making a comeback this fall. October was the sixth consecutive month of recovery following April’s historic low-point, according to the American Gaming Association. Gaming revenue rose 6.3 percent from September to $3.38 billion in October, reaching 93.0 percent of the industry’s revenue levels from October 2019. The October numbers are the most recent ones available from the national trade group.
From July 1 to Sept. 30, MGM Springfield's gross gaming revenues totaled $46.8 million. The casino reported 911 employees on the job, including 839 full-time and 72 part-time.
The toll taken by the pandemic is evident, especially when it comes to hiring numbers. In the same quarter in 2019, there were $61.6 million in gross gaming revenues and 2,040 employees. The workforce consisted of 1,495 full-time employees and 545 part-time employees a year ago.
In November, MGM Springfield warned 273 employees they could be laid off or have their hours cut because of new curfews imposed to fight the growing COVID-19 surge.