Massachusetts set to open casinos despite COVID-19 related issues
Recent reports have proven that Massachusetts could possibly be facing a new COVID-19 problem. This new strain of the coronavirus that is assumed to be a lot more contagious than the previous one has arrived in the state, but public tension is reaching a boiling point.
As of now, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker is getting rid of the 9:30 PM curfew that was imposed last November, which is great news for all casinos in the state. They will now be able to operate 24/7, except if things spiral out of control and COVID-19 makes a massive comeback with a new wave.
Since the 6th of November, Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park have been forcing gamblers outside of the doors dutifully every single day at 9:30 PM. The casino revenue in Massachusetts suffered a massive drop last year before dropping even further when the gambling properties were forced to decrease their capacities to only 25% on December 26. That led to two of them, Encore and MGM, shutting down their hotels and the results of those actions continues to cause an impact until this day.
Baker is now hoping that people will be responsible enough to follow obligatory social distancing guidelines in order to allow commercial activity to recommence. Apart from casinos, restaurants, gyms, movie theaters and more are now allowed to go back to regular operations, with Baker explaining:
We all know that we are not out of the woods yet by any means. But things do appear to be getting a bit better here in Massachusetts. These have been long and hard days for everybody. But our hospital system was able to continue to provide medical care for residents.
For the short amount of time that gamblers had been able to go back to casinos across the U.S. last year, in between mandatory prolonged restrictions, many gambling venues enjoyed a sudden boost in revenue that was larger than what they had seen while operating at full capacity.
This led to the conclusion that there had been major repressed demand for gambling during the multiple lockdowns, and Massachusetts is most likely hopeful that the same trend will continue now. By reopening its commercial sector and allowing businesses to resume as usual, the state is likely to see a boost in consumer activity, which will help it begin the post-COVID-19 recovery process and go back to the way things used to be.
While the casinos are now allowed to operate around the clock, they still have to stick to state and local coronavirus policies and regulations. Among these is a requirement that they keep up the current 25% capacity limits, but at least there will be more hours in the day that gamblers can spend on the slots. Since the most recent restrictions were put in place back in December, not one of the casinos in Massachusetts reached its 25% limit, which means it should have no difficulty complying with that requirement now.