Revenue drops at MGM Springfield casino

Gambling revenues have dropped at MGM Springfield in the third month of operation at the Massachusetts’ first resort casino. The state Gaming Commission reported Monday the casino generated $21 million in revenues from gambling in November, down from October’s $22 million and September’s $27 million. MGM Springfield President Michael Mathis said the company is pleased with the casino’s ‘‘overall performance’’ and that November represented ‘‘another solid month’’ for the property, which also generates revenues from restaurants, bars, a hotel and other attractions. Regulators also reported Monday that Massachusetts’ other casino, Plainridge Park, saw another month of gambling revenue declines. The slots parlor and horse racing track generated $12.8 million in November, down from October’s $13.5 million and September’s $14.3 million. A casino spokesman didn’t immediately comment. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



MassChallenge picks 21 companies for program

The nonprofit startup accelerator MassChallenge on Monday said it had selected 21 young companies to participate in its first-ever program for financial technology startups. The companies, many of which focus on using artificial intelligence to automate or streamline time-consuming business processes, will work with MassChallenge from January to June. At the end, the organization will hand out $250,000 in prizes to a handful of the firms.


Israeli nonprofit says moonshot will be delayed a month

An Israeli nonprofit on Monday said it has pushed back the launch of what it hopes will be the first private spacecraft to land on the moon until February. Officials from SpaceIL and its project partner, the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, announced that the landing craft, dubbed ‘‘Beresheet,’’ or Genesis, will ship in February to Florida. Propelled by a SpaceX Falcon rocket launch, the robotic lander will then commence its months-long voyage to the moon. It had been slated to launch this month. SpaceIL said it had no control over the launch’s delay, and that SpaceX, the private space exploration company founded by entrepreneur Elon Musk, notified them that its rocket will now lift off in February 2019. Israel Aerospace Industries manager Opher Doron stressed that the small craft, roughly the size of a washing machine, faces a ‘‘difficult, arduous journey’’ because it will have to make several orbits before touching down on the moon. Upon landing, the craft is to relay photographs and collect data about the moon’s ever-changing magnetism for research by Israel’s Weizmann Institute and NASA. SpaceIL was founded in 2011 and originally vied for Google’s Lunar Xprize, which challenged private companies to try to land an unmanned spacecraft on the moon. But the $20 million competition was scrapped by the tech giant earlier this year when it became clear none of the five companies would meet a March deadline. SpaceIL has vowed to continue the mission. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Amazon says German strikes won’t affect holiday deliveries Inc. said strikes at two of its German logistics sites won’t affect deliveries over the holiday period in the retail giant’s second-largest market outside the United States. About 350 workers who want better pay and conditions temporarily stopped work at sites in the eastern German city of Leipzig and in Werne in North Rhine-Westphalia, Amazon spokesman Tobias Goerke said in an e-mailed statement. “We’re well prepared for Christmas,” Goerke said. “The strike has no effect on fulfilling our delivery commitments as the overwhelming majority of our employees are working normally.” Thomas Schneider, a spokesman for the Verdi labor union, said disruption to Christmas deliveries cannot be ruled out. Pre-Christmas shopping is the busiest time for the firm’s 12 German logistic centers. Last year, the retailer sent 402 million items to 65 million customers in 150 countries via its European network. Amazon usually hires temporary staff to handle the peak in orders. Verdi has been trying to persuade Amazon to sign a collective wage agreement for the past five years, with thousands of staffers joining walkouts across Germany. Around 2,000 people work at the Leipzig site, which is about the size of 11 soccer fields. Some 200 Leipzig workers joined a walkout that started Monday and will last until Dec. 24., according to Verdi’s Schneider. About the same number of staffers at the Werne facility have stopped work until Tuesday evening, Verdi said. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



California officials drop plans for a ‘text tax’

California regulators have canceled a plan to charge a fee for text messaging on mobile phones. The California Public Utilities Commission reversed course after a Federal Communications Commission ruling last week classified text messaging as an information service and not a telecommunications service. The Federal Telecommunications Act limits state authority over information services. Regulators announced that CPUC commissioner Carla Peterman withdrew the text proposal ‘‘in light of the FCC’s action’’ on Dec. 12. California officials said the tax would help support programs that make phone service accessible to the poor. The wireless industry and business groups were against the plan. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


New York public transit official warns of a ‘death spiral’

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which manages New York’s transit system, is at a crossroads after decades of underfunding and neglect. It either invests as much as $40 billion over the next decade in an overhaul, or it descends into a “death spiral,” says Andy Byford, who oversees the subways and buses. That’s the pitch Byford, 53, is making to disgruntled riders and taxpayers at town hall meetings, to the City Council during hours of testimony, and to business executives at breakfasts and other gatherings. New York voters in November flipped control of the state Senate, putting Democrats in charge of both houses of the Legislature and increasing the chances of approving transit funding. Many support Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan to charge motorists “congestion pricing” fees to enter Manhattan’s business core. Still, the MTA — which controls the subways and buses along with commuter trains and some bridges and tunnels — faces a $991 billion deficit looming in 2022 and political arguments over who will pay to close it and how. On Dec. 13, Moody’s Investors Service revised its credit-rating outlook on the MTA to negative from stable, noting how deteriorating service has produced lower-than-expected revenue as subway and bus ridership declined. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Airbnb says it hasn’t reversed West Bank policy

Airbnb says it hasn’t reversed its plan to stop listing properties in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. Israel’s tourism minister, Yariv Levin, on Monday had said Airbnb pledged ‘‘not to implement’’ its decision during a meeting between the two sides. Airbnb’s plan would affect around 200 properties. But Airbnb says that report was inaccurate. The San Francisco-based company says it is developing the tools needed to implement its policy while it continues to talk with stakeholders. The company announced last month that it would stop listing properties in the settlements, which are considered illegal by most of the world. The decision prompted uproar in Israel. Officials accused the company of anti-Semitism and threatened to impose taxes on its operations in Israel. Lawsuits were filed in Israel and the United States. — ASSOCIATED PRESS