According a report from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, nearly a quarter of a million dollars has gone unclaimed by casino jackpot winners in Massachusetts in fiscal year 2023.
Unfortunately, those winnings have expired for the winners who did not come forward to claim their prizes.
The exact figure of unclaimed winnings — $244,435.05 — is more than double the unclaimed amount at Massachusetts casinos for the same time period in FY2022 ($105,804.81), a difference of $138,629.24. FY 2023 runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.
Various reasons for unclaimed winnings
Customers who have winning chips or tickets at a casino have various amounts of time to cash them in before they become invalid. Reasons for not cashing in winnings can vary from consumers losing their winning verifications, to forgetfulness. In some cases, the winnings are small amounts and the consumer chooses not to claim them.
Data from the MGC reveals that $4,555.51 has been won by underage customers who had to forfeit their winnings at casinos so year in FY 2023. That figure is down 31% from the last fiscal reporting period. Plainridge Park Casino had the largest amount of that figure, at $2,557.
According to the MGC, so far in FY2023, the three casinos in the Commonwealth have taken charge of $200,987.78 in “Lost and Found” monies. State regulations say the casinos can keep that money after 60 days without a claim for them.
Gaming vouchers also unclaimed
The three Massachusetts casinos also reported nearly $1 million in expired gaming vouchers so far in FY2023. The exact total is $950,145.13, which represents a 34% jump from FY2022.
A casino voucher is a token or ticket that allows a customer a free play either on a slot machine or at a table. It’s often rewarded for visiting the casino, or for playing a certain number of times using a loyalty or membership card.
Vouchers come with an expiration date in order to encourage players to use them quickly.
Taxes paid by MA casinos in FY2023
Massachusetts is home to three retail casinos: Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, MGM Springfield in Springfield, and Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville.
The three casino operators are required to report their approximate spend on local services. For the three facilities, from April to June, that figure was nearly $20 million spent with vendors located inside the Commonwealth.
Casino activity in Massachusetts has been key to economic development of jobs, private revenue and tax revenue for the state. A total of $79.9 million was paid by the three Massachusetts casinos in taxes for April-June 2023.