The commercial casinos in Massachusetts were constructed to offer entertainment 24/7. Players have traveled to the MGM Springfield, Encore Boston Harbor, and Plainridge Park at any time, day or night, to take part in gambling, dining, and other entertainment. Starting today, the three casinos will now have to limit the hours they are open due to new COVID-19 restrictions. Instead of offering services all the time, the casinos will have to shut down at 9:30 pm.
This week, Governor Charlie Baker announced new COVID-19 restrictions as the state has seen an increase in positive cases of the virus. As part of the new restrictions, there is a stay at home order from 10 pm until 5 am. During the nightly hours, only people who are considered essential workers can be out and about.
The new rules are enforced starting today, November 6. For casinos, this change is going to be tough. When the announcement was made, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission acknowledged the difficulty that venues are facing due to the new curfew.
Cathy Judd Stein, the Gaming Commission Chairwoman, said: “We know that the later hours are so important to their business. We can stay its part of the greater good. The casinos have to be part of a puzzle here in the response to what is a sustained uptick.”
Massachusetts state police worry that this weekend might be difficult, as casinos try to get gamblers to leave on time for the curfew. Officers from the state police and the Gaming Commission will be traveling to the casinos this weekend to help.
MGM Springfield’s Plans
MGM Springfield sent a memo to the Commission, outlining its plans for the curfew. The casino plans to open at 10 am and then provide last call for beverages at 8:45 pm. Staff members will stop all services at 9 pm. A closing time announcement will then be made and continued every 10 minutes.
The wait staff of the casino will move about the casino floor and remove all beverages starting at 9:15 pm. MGM will be closing its hotel and TAP sports bar until further notice.