EVERETT, Mass. (State House News Service) — The slate of games offered at Massachusetts casinos will not expand as two of the facilities had hoped, at least not in the immediate future.
Massachusetts Gaming Commission members declined Thursday to take up a request from MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor to authorize revival of craps and roulette, agreeing that the statewide public health outlook does not support changing the limited operations at the casinos at this time.
"In light of some of the increase in COVID things at this time, we didn't really feel it was appropriate to add new games, so we're going to continue reviewing this and keeping an eye on the COVID numbers and consider that at a later date," MGC Investigations and Enforcement Bureau Assistant Director Bruce Band told the commission.
Band also said poker does not appear viable currently because officials think it could only operate safely with a maximum of four people per table, a limit that casino heads do not see as worthwhile given the game's comparably low profit margin.
After nearly four months of forced closures during the pandemic, the state's three licensees reopened last month with restrictions aimed at limiting public health threats, including stricter capacity caps and mandatory face coverings.
By Chris Lisinski, State House News Service
(Photo: Carl Stevens/WBZ NewsRadio)