Massachusetts casinos cleared to offer roulette games

Two Massachusetts casinos have been cleared by state gambling regulators to start offering roulette games again.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission on Thursday unanimously voted to allow Encore Boston Harbor in Everett and MGM Springfield to offer roulette with modifications, including a limit of three players per table divided by plexiglass shields.

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The state’s three casinos were closed for about four months because of the coronavirus pandemic, but were allowed to reopen in July at limited capacity.

Slots, blackjack and smaller poker games are now allowed, but capacity remains limited.

The state’s third casino, Plainridge Park in Plainville, offers only electronic games.

Casinos in nearby states have already started offering roulette safely, the commission noted.

A spokesperson for Encore welcomed the decision.

“To ensure the safety of our guests and employees, we will continue to implement extensive health and disinfection procedures at roulette tables that are similar to protocols in place at our other table games,” he said.

FALL SPORTS POSTPONED

The second largest city in Massachusetts has postponed all fall high school sports because the community’s coronavirus transmission rate remains high.

Worcester officials on Thursday said fall sports including football, soccer and field hockey could now be played during an abbreviated season scheduled to start in late February called Fall II.

Worcester is one of dozens of communities in the state considered high-risk hotspots for the disease, according to the state Department of Public Health, meaning that the city’s average daily case rate is higher than eight positive cases per 100,000 residents.

The decision affects six public schools and two parochial schools.

“I feel super bad for the kids and coaches,” Worcester Public Schools athletic director Dave Shea told The Telegram & Gazette. “It would have been more ideal to play now than in fall II, but when it comes to the safety and wellbeing of all our athletes, coaches and everyone involved, I have to side on caution and I have to listen to the people above me saying this is the best thing to do right now.”

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