Massachusetts’ gaming market is officially open for business as all three of its casinos have reopened.
Gov. Charlie Baker announced on July 6 that the Bay State would enter Phase 3 of its reopening plan that would allow “higher-risk” indoor businesses to reopen, including casinos, according to a Boston.com report.
Casinos would be forced to operate under what Baker called “strict new guidelines” that included operating at 25 percent capacity and implementing enhanced cleaning procedures and social distancing requirements.
Hand sanitizer stations and disinfectant wipes are placed throughout the gaming floor, masks are mandatory for anybody on the gaming floor and will be provided by the casino, slot machines in service are at least four feet apart with plexiglass dividers between them, and blackjack tables will have a maximum of three players at a table, also with plexiglass dividers.
For the time being, casinos are not allowed to spread craps, roulette and poker. Those games will be allowed when the gaming commission feels it is safe to do so.
Plainridge Park Casino was the first to reopen, opening its doors last Wednesday morning. Encore Boston Harbor followed suit on Sunday and MGM Springfield was the final casino to reopen yesterday morning.
Massachusetts is one of the final states to officially reopen its commercial casinos. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy allowed Atlantic City casinos to reopen July 2, albeit without food, beverage and smoking indoors.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has yet to announce a date when the state’s three commercial casinos in Detroit could reopen. Many tribal properties, which do not have to abide by state mandates, have already opened.
According to the American Gaming Association, of the 989 tribal and commercial casinos, 840 are now open for business.