Despite restrictions, casinos generated $16.75 million in January taxes

Colin A. Young
| State House News Service

BOSTON — The state’s three gambling halls generated a cumulative $57.6 million in gross gaming revenue last month, with nearly 60 percent of it coming from Encore Boston Harbor in Everett.

The Gaming Commission said Tuesday that the state’s cut of the gaming revenue totals $16.75 million in tax revenue.

January’s revenue haul for Plainridge Park Casino, MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor represents an increase of about $7.77 million, or 15.6 percent, over December but is still down more than $11 million, or 16.2 percent, from what the gaming centers pulled in during October, the last full month before casinos became required to close by 9:30 p.m. each night. That requirement ended earlier this month.

Of January’s gross gaming revenue, the state is due $16.75 million, up about $2.1 million from December but still almost $3 million less than the $19.6 million in taxes generated in October, the commission said.

Encore Boston Harbor in Everett generated about 58 percent of all gross gaming revenue last month, approximately $33.3 million. The state’s 25 percent tax on gross gaming revenue for casinos means Encore was responsible for $8.33 million in state tax revenue, almost exactly half of the monthly total.

MGM Springfield took in $14.5 million in gross gaming revenue in January, which generated about $3.62 million in state tax revenue.

The slots parlor at Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville reported $9.79 million in gaming revenue, $4.8 million of which is due to the state.

Since Plainridge Park Casino opened in 2015 as the first establishment under the 2011 expanded gaming law, Massachusetts state government has collected just shy of $700 million in tax revenue from gaming.

The two casinos and one slots parlor closed mid-March as the COVID-19 pandemic hit its first peak here and have been operating under health and safety restrictions since re-opening in July.

Right now, the facilities are operating under a Gaming Commission formula that determines maximum capacity based on the number of gaming positions, number of employees and more. None of the three facilities are allowed to go above 40 percent of their maximum capacity, similar to a restriction the governor has imposed for other businesses.

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