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Encore Slots Save Massachusetts Casino Revenue In November

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Encore slot revenue lifts Massachusetts casino revenue

While November 2019 was no banner month at any of the three gaming facilities in the Bay State, it could have been far worse. November casino revenue in Massachusetts owed a lot to slot players at Encore Boston Harbor.

It’s a small sample, as November 2019 was just Encore’s fifth full month of operation. Regardless, it was the best month so far for the casino in terms of money collected in slot play.

How Encore’s slots lifted November casino revenue

Last month, Encore’s slots accounted for over $22.78 million in revenue. That represented 48.1% of the whole and nearly $500,000 more than any of the four previous full months.

It also represents a third consecutive month of growth in that vertical for Encore. While Encore’s table games fared better in November than they did in October, November’s total was inferior to the monthly totals from July-September.

Because of its strong slots, the casino’s revenue for the month was mediocre rather than dismal in comparison to earlier returns. The total of $47.31 million was about $1.3 million off Encore’s mean monthly income so far.

Returns elsewhere in the state for November 2019 weren’t as middle of the road. The slot revenues at MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park weren’t as hot.

Diminished returns for other Massachusetts casinos

In its 15th month of operation, MGM Springfield posted its lowest monthly revenue since January. Its slots performed worse than in three of the four previous months. The table game total of $5.2 million was MGM’s worst for a full month.

Plainridge Park felt the hurt in November as well. Its slots brought in the lowest-ever revenue in a full month at that facility. Here’s a look at the three Massachusetts casino overall revenues for November, along with slot revenue for the month.

  • Encore Boston Harbor collected $47.31 million in revenue with over $22.78 million coming from slots.
  • MGM Springfield reported revenue of $19.94 million, over $14.73 million of which was slot revenue.
  • Plainridge Park tallied $10.98 million in revenue, all from slots.

While these correlations suggest a relationship, it’s hard to definitively state causation. In simpler terms, this data alone isn’t enough to suggest that gamblers in Massachusetts left the MGM and Plainridge to play the slots at Encore last month.

It’s possible that the customers at Encore simply played more games with higher stakes during the month, while their counterparts at the other facilities did the opposite, for example. It’s most likely that a number of factors contributed to the differences in the facilities.

For the state’s part, the treasury is glad it was a record month for slots at Encore. If not for that, the state’s cut of the action might have been quite meager.

The big picture on Massachusetts gaming for the month

Total revenue from all three operators for November 2019 was about $78.2 million. That’s pretty stagnant compared to the previous month, down just about $400,000.

While any decrease is less than desirable for everyone involved, the rate at which revenue dropped slowed. Total revenues were down about 3.1% in October from September, and that decline shrank to just a tenth of a percent for November as compared to October.

It’s hard to tell if that will translate into actual growth in December, but what’s clear is that Encore is doing something right with its slots. If the casino could translate some of that success over to its table games, it could become the true dominant operator in Massachusetts.

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Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Kansas City, Mo. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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