Massachusetts gaming revenue proceeds surpassed $1 billion in taxes and assessments, according to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s (MGC) February 2022 revenue report.
“My colleagues at the MGC and I are pleased to highlight this milestone,” said MGC Chair Cathy Judd-Stein in a press release. “When the legislature passed the Expanded Gaming Act in 2011, they envisioned a regulated gaming industry in the Commonwealth that would serve as an economic driver while promoting responsible play.”
Massachusetts’ $1 billion gaming revenue is a milestone
Massachusetts casino gambling has been legal in Massachusetts for 11 years. In 2011, Gov. Deval Patrick signed the Expanded Gaming Act (EGA) into law. As a result of the legislation, casino resorts were legalized for each of the state’s three regions (east, mid, and coastal).
The EGA entitled the state to 25% of gross gaming revenues, with 40% of revenue from slots facilities. Additionally, it required the three casinos to pay a minimum licensing fee of $85 million.
The terms of the EGA have proven profitable for the state. Since its inception, the act has generated $1.018 billion in revenue. That revenue has funded:
- Local aid
- Transportation Infrastructure Fund
- Community mitigation initiatives
- Education Fund
- Public Health Trust Fund
- Local capital improvements Fund
- Race Horse Development Fund
- Massachusetts Cultural Council
- Massachusetts Tourism Fund
According to Judd-Stein, the passing of the $1 billion mark is a testament to a team effort between the MGC, casinos, and citizens.
“This is a marker of the success of the law and the commitment of our licensees, my fellow commissioners past and present, the MGC staff, and residents of the Commonwealth to a safe and vibrant gaming industry in Massachusetts,” she said.
Casinos near pre-pandemic revenue levels
Another significant indicator in the February 2022 revenue report was the casino-by-casino revenue numbers. They demonstrate that the state’s three gaming epicenters have gritted their way through the difficulties of the pandemic. Now, it appears that the casinos are nearly back to or beyond their February 2020 gross gaming revenue numbers:
- MGM Springfield: $19.9 million in Feb. 2022, $21.9 million in Feb. 2020
- Encore Boston Harbor: $54.7 million in Feb. 2022, $52.5 million in Feb. 2020
- Plainridge Park Casino (slots only): $11.0 million in Feb. 2022, $11.7 million in Feb. 2020
Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, and Plainridge Park may be able to breathe a cautious sigh of relief. Clearly, the past month’s revenue numbers were encouraging. The rebound, though, goes beyond the February numbers.
Encore Boston Harbor’s revenue numbers for October, November, and December 2021 totaled more than $180.3 million. However, during the same stretch in 2019, the casino’s gross gaming revenue was just over $147.1 million.
Encore’s revenue trend also held true for MGM Springfield. From October 2019 to December 2019, the casino posted $60.1 million in gross gaming revenue. That number jumped to $65.3 million for the same time frame in 2021.