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Massachusetts Casinos Expand Offerings For First Time Since Reopening

Spas, Steakhouses And 24/7 Operating Hours Were Among The Changes Made By The Three Casinos

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Massachusetts’ three casinos are expanding their offerings for the first time since reopening in the wake of coronavirus shutdowns.

According to The Daily News of Newburyport, Encore Boston Harbor reopened its spa Thursday, MGM Springfield is opening its steakhouse on weekends and Plainridge Park Casino, a racino, will be resuming 24/7 service.

Gov. Charlie Baker allowed casinos to reopen in mid-July, about four months after he forced them to close in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Regulators told the Massachusetts newspaper that since the reopening, there have been very few compliance issues with the three gambling facilities.

“On the safety and health measures, things are continuing to go well at each of the three properties with continued broad compliance by the casinos with the health and safety requirements, continued dedication of resources for sanitization, hygiene, the enforcement of mask protocol with their employees and with guests, enforcement of the beverage requirement limited to those seated while gaming, and overall acceptance by the patrons has been good with no significant issues to report at this time,” said Loretta Lillios, the deputy director of the gaming commission.

Encore Boston Harbor is also planning to add 87 more gaming options by the end of October. When it opened, it had 2,449 options with 1,882 slot machines and 567 table games. Not every machine and table was reopened at the start to ensure social distancing. This is the first planned addition of gaming since July.

Despite operating at half capacity, Bay State casinos have still outperformed the restrictions. In August, the three properties totaled about $71 million in revenue, which represents 83 percent of their output from a year ago when it was operating at full capacity.