Revenue Rises at Massachusetts Casinos in June Despite Reduced Handle

Revenue Rises at Massachusetts Casinos in June Despite Reduced Handle
By Jim Tomlin
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

The three Massachusetts casinos had a mixed month in June, with revenue going up and handle dropping compared to May.

Meanwhile, the deadline to legalize Massachusetts sports gambling in 2022 is drawing ever closer.

The three commercial casinos in the Bay State – MGM Springfield, Encore Boston Harbor in Everett and Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville – combined for about $93.1 million in revenue for June.

That was a 2.5% increase over the $90.9 million reported in May.

Here are three takeaways from the month in Massachusetts gaming.

Breakdown of Numbers by Casino

Encore Boston Harbor, close to downtown, accounted for about two-thirds of the statewide revenue in June, drawing $60,057,316 of the $93,170,764 total.

Encore split its revenue nearly in half among table games and slots, with $31.5 million in gross gaming revenue (GGR) coming from the machines and $28.6 million from table games.

At MGM Springfield, $16.9 million in revenue was derived from slots and $4.2 million from table games.

Plainridge Park, which only offers slot machines, accounted for nearly $12 million in June revenue.

The total June revenue represented a 10.8% increase from 12 months earlier; the state took in $84.1 million in casino revenue in June 2021.

Handle Drops from May

The June combined handle was $744,379,433, a 2.4% decline from May in a month-over-month comparison, according to numbers from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

Encore Boston Harbor drew about half of that action, with $382.6 million in wagers placed. MGM Springfield had $191.65 million in handle and Plainridge Park took in $170.1 million.

The handle did increase in a year-over-year comparison. In June 2021, the three casinos combined for $709.36 million, so last month’s total represented a 4.9% rise.

Urgency for Massachusetts Sports Betting

The Boston Celtics’ run to the Eastern Conference title and their trip to the NBA Finals (where they lost to the Golden State Warriors) generated a ton of interest in The Hub and everywhere else in Massachusetts.

Just no sports betting dollars.

Ditto for the U.S. Open golf tournament, which took place in June at The Country Club in Brookline.

Both events passed by without any opportunity for Massachusetts residents to place wagers in the state. Their New England counterparts in New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Connecticut were able to bet on those events and many others, including the ever popular, playoff-contending Boston Red Sox.

Time seems to be running out to rectify that situation, at least in 2022.

The Massachusetts General Court is schedule to end its current session on July 31. A six-person committee began meeting last month – with three members each from the state House and Senate – to try to work out differences in sports betting bills advanced in the two legislative bodies.

The differences are major – the House sports betting proposal would allow wagers on college events; the Senate version would not. Also, there are steep differences in the tax rates between the two bills.

Those legislators are running out of time to get a compromise worked out and a bill sent to Gov. Charlie Baker, a known proponent of sports betting in the state. Baker has said he would sign a sports wagering bill if one hits his desk.

But will it do so in time for the next Celtics title run?

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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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