Reopened casinos collect $45M in July

  • A view inside the casino at MGM Springfield.  GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

State House News Service
Published: 8/17/2020 4:28:48 PM

State tax revenue from gambling began to trickle back in last month as the state’s slots parlor and two casinos reopened their doors for the first time since March, generating about $45 million in revenue including about $13.2 million for the state.

The Mass. Gaming Commission reported July revenue at the three facilities – Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor in Everett – Monday and noted that the July report does not account for a full month since all three gambling halls were closed for at least the first week of July.

All three facilities closed March 15 as the coronavirus pandemic took hold. Plainridge Park Casino reopened July 8, Encore Boston Harbor reopened July 12 and MGM Springfield reopened July 13. All three are operating under capacity limits and the two casinos are not allowed to offer popular games like poker, roulette and craps.

State government can expect to collect about $6.74 million in July taxes from Encore Boston Harbor – more than half of the monthly total – and another roughly $2.68 million in taxes from MGM Springfield. Combined, the two full-scale casinos generated about $9.42 million in tax revenue for the state last month. The two full-scale casinos in Massachusetts are taxed at a rate of 25% of their gross gaming revenue.

Massachusetts is also entitled to more than $3.09 million of Plainridge’s July revenue in the form of taxes intended for local aid and another roughly $696,678 for the Race Horse Development Fund. That works out to a total tax or assessment hit of about $3.79 last month, according to the Gaming Commission. Plainridge is taxed on 49% of its gross gaming revenue, with 82% of the levy going to local aid and 18% to a fund set up with the goal of supporting horse racing.

Typically, before the pandemic, the state could rely on at least $20 million in monthly tax revenue from gambling. Before they closed on March 15, the state’s casinos and slots parlor collected roughly $35 million in gross gaming revenue for that month, generating just under $10 million in tax revenue for the state.

Massachusetts has collected a cumulative $595 million in taxes and assessments from the three gaming facilities that have opened under the 2011 expanded gaming law, the Gaming Commission said.

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