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Mass. casinos continue to struggle amid pandemic restrictions

Gambling revenue was up slightly in December, but it was still way down from the same month in 2019.

Plainridge Park and the state's other two casinos reopened in July, but still face some restrictions because of the pandemic.
Plainridge Park and the state's other two casinos reopened in July, but still face some restrictions because of the pandemic.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Business at Massachusetts casinos improved slightly in December, though it remained stuck significantly below pre-pandemic levels as state public health restrictions continue to limit gatherings and public events.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission on Friday reported that Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, and Plainridge Park Casino last month collected a total of $50 million in gambling revenue, up from $45 million in November.

In December 2019, when all casinos were fully operational, the casinos generated $83 million in gambling revenue.

The state’s casinos were closed from March into July, and have faced capacity limits and other restrictions since they reopened after undertaking costly upgrades intended to contain the virus. In November, they were ordered to close during their lucrative nighttime hours as part of another state public health measure.

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The Massachusetts properties may have benefited somewhat from a decrease in regional competition, as Rhode Island casinos were closed for several weeks.

Plainridge in Plainville, not far from the Rhode Island border, made $9.2 million in December, up from the previous month’s $7.6 million. The casino, which unlike the other two in Massachusetts does not offer table games, recorded $10.2 million in gambling in December 2019.

Encore Boston Harbor in Everett collected $29.3 million in gambling revenue in December, up from $27.3 million a month earlier. In December 2019, Encore reported $54 million in revenue.

MGM Springfield took in $11.4 million in December, up from $10.5 million in November. The casino’s revenue was $19 million in December 2019.



Andy Rosen can be reached at andrew.rosen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @andyrosen.