The MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts on Tuesday unveiled two new luxury sports lounges, one of them designed for betting, featuring theater seats and an HD video wall.
The amenities are part of the casino’s celebration of its three-year anniversary and would favor sports betting should it become legal in the state, which has not been approved it yet, reports WWLP.
One of the new lounges is located on the casino floor, featuring a 45-foot HD viewing wall that can show 16 channels simultaneously and counts with space for more than 70 people, while the other VIP sports venue is within the TAP sports bar. Both opened at the casino past Tuesday, although sports betting would not be available on the TAP sports bar.
On whether Massachusetts will finally pass legislation to incorporate sports betting, Chris Kelley, President and COO of MGM Springfield, said: “If there is one question I get more than any other it’s when will we be able to place a bet at MGM Springfield.”
The President of the casino remains “optimistic” about seeing a legislation to allow sports betting later this year, which would allow the company “to move forward.”
The casino is a $1 billion resort complex in downtown Springfield, and since its opening three years ago faced the hardships experienced by the industry due to the coronavirus pandemic, closing operations for four months during 2020.
“Our best days still lie before us,” said Kelly, who expects a strong comeback from the casino, which counted $23.71 million in gross gaming revenue in July, its best monthly result since June 2019.
The newly opened venues are expected to become strategical assets in the race to remain competitive within the casino industry in Connecticut, expected to soon have sportsbooks. “In the event we have the opportunity to start taking bets this is the room,” said the casino’s COO, describing sports betting as “meaningful amenity” to drive revenue, reports WAMC.
House Bill No. 3977 was amended and then passed by Massachusetts representatives last month, by a vote of 156-3, and has now headed to the state’s Senate for further study. Should it be approved without further amendments, it can be sent to the governor’s desk to be signed into law. The Senate also has its own sports betting-related legislation it could tackle instead.
“The fact is that our Massachusetts residents are already betting on sports. They’re either taking that short drive up to New Hampshire or to Rhode Island, where it’s legal, or they’re also going on their phones and using offshore applications, said Rep. Jerald Parisella, who chairs the Committee on Economic Development, in July.
Besides offering sports betting, the casino is also preparing the return of poker to the property after receiving a tenfold increase in complaints due to lack of poker options in the state. The game will likely be available at a reduced capacity, with only 10 to 12 tables in Q4 of this year.