assachusetts casinos have been free since last Monday of the requirement that they limit occupancy to no more than 25 percent, but none of the three properties had crossed that threshold as of Thursday morning, gaming regulators said.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission heard an update Thursday from Investigations and Enforcement Bureau (IEB) Director Loretta Lillios, who told commissioners that the revocation of Gov. Charlie Baker’s 25 percent restriction effectively means Plainridge Park Casino, MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor will go back to using the formula the commission adopted in June to determine their maximum capacity, SHNS reports.
Lillios said the formula, which takes into account the number of active gaming positions, the approved capacity of non-gaming parts of the casinos, and the number of employees, would allow at least one of the properties to go above the 40 percent level, but that the commission is going to impose a maximum allowable capacity of 40 percent for all licensees in keeping with the restriction Baker imposed on many other businesses.
Bruce Band, assistant director of the IEB, said that as of Thursday morning “nobody’s gone over the 25 percent” threshold. While the 25 percent capacity limit was in place, Lillios and Band regularly updated the commission and said none of the three licensees even bumped up against 25 percent capacity.
Band said the closest any casino came to 25 percent capacity was when “they have a car giveaway or something like that.” The increase in allowable capacity, Lillios said, means that at least some of the licensees will be bringing some employees back from furlough.
She said that Encore Boston Harbor has already reopened its hotel and MGM Springfield anticipates reopening its hotel on a limited basis next month.