As MA Casinos Await Sports Betting, Financial Numbers Dip in August

As MA Casinos Await Sports Betting, Financial Numbers Dip in August
By Jim Tomlin
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

There are three casinos awaiting sports betting in Massachusetts to launch.

But while they wait, the revenue reports for August are in.

MGM Springfield, Encore Boston Harbor in Everett and Plainridge Park in Plainville combined for about $800.9 million in handle (amount wagered) for August, and just over $92 million in revenue.

The exact handle figure for August, $800,890,670, was an increase of about $38 million from 12 months previous; the figure was $762.7 million in August 2021. The revenue of $92,038,630 was almost identical to the $92.3 million in a year-over-year comparison.

However, the August handle was down -1.4% from the $812 million in the July Massachusetts revenue report. The revenue dropped 6.8%, from July’s $98.74 million, in a month-over-month comparison.

Breakdown of Massachusetts Casino Numbers

Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, near Harvard University and Bunker Hill, had $428 million in handle for August. MGM Springfield had just over $200 million. Those two facilities have both table games and slot machines. Plainridge Park, which has only slots, recorded $172.64 million in handle last month, according to numbers from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

The revenue for August was $58.1 million at Encore, $22 million at MGM and almost $12 million at Plainridge Park.

At Encore, the gross gaming revenue (GGR) for slots was $35.4 million and for table games it was $22.7 million. At MGM, the breakdown was $17.5 million from slots and $4.5 million from table games.

Encore and MGM pay 25% of GGR in taxes so they contributed $14.5 million and $5.5 million, respectively, to the state. At Plainridge Park the rate is 49% so that facility paid $5.86 million in taxes.

All three casinos are among the five retail sports betting applicants who made presentations to the MGC in August regarding future sports betting operations. MGM and Encore have lounges ready to go when the state launches sports wagering. Plainridge Park will use a temporary space while it builds a permanent one.

Massachusetts Sports Betting Latest

The advent of mobile MA sportsbook apps is an ongoing process.

The complexities of the process came to light again in a meeting of the MGC on Thursday.

There are a lot of issues to be settled before sports betting can launch in the Bay State, but an unusual one cropped up in that meeting – namely, the concern that there were plans to issue perhaps up to 30 temporary licenses could be issued, but that the operators could lose those licenses within a year, with the possibility that customers will have to close their accounts. Under state law, the number of mobile sportsbooks with a permanent presence is capped at 15.

That Massachusetts temporary licensing issue became the focal point of the meeting, with MGC chair Cathy Judd-Stein calling the situation “untenable.”

Massachusetts is among 30-plus states that legalized sports wagering since 2018. Going back to the three brick-and-mortar casinos in the state, all have deals with sportsbooks Plainridge Park partnered with Penn National’s Barstool Sportsbook, Encore Boston Harbor has Wynn Sportsbook branding at its sports betting lounge, and MGM Springfield, as one would expect, would offer access to the BetMGM Sportsbook.

When online sports betting launches in the state, rely on BetMassachusetts.com for the top MA sportsbook promo codes.

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Contributors

Jim Tomlin edits and writes about sports, gambling and the intersection of those two industries. He has 30 years of experience and has worked for the Tampa Bay Times, FanRag, Saturday Down South and Saturday Tradition. Now he lends his expertise to BetMassachusetts.com, among other sites.

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