πŸ– COVID Updates and Alerts - Massachusetts Gaming Commission

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The Boston area's only full casino plans to reopen this month. Encore Published July 2, β€’ Updated on July 2, at pm. encore.


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Casino Reopenings On Track To Lag Connecticut Competitors. May 21, Colin A. Young, State House News Service. The Encore Boston Harbor Casino in​.


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EVERETT, MA – JUNE Encore Casino is seen on June 17, in Everett, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Angela Rowlings/MediaNews.


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By Colin A. Young, State House News Service June 18, at am Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor in.


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By Colin A. Young, State House News Service June 18, at am Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor in.


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Latest Gambling & Casino News. Steve Bittenbender β€” July 4, Massachusetts Casinos at 'Disadvantage' if Guests Banned from Carrying Drinks​.


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United in a shared goal of preventing the spread of infection, the MGC and our licensees view this immediate mitigation measure as our social responsibility to prioritize the health and safety of one another above all else. The MGC hopes this message finds you safe and in good health. The May 1 Meeting Archive is available here. These are uncharted waters. Our thoughts and concern remain with everyone who has been directly affected by the virus and with the frontline workers who continue to heroically protect and serve our community. Live harness racing at Plainridge was previously scheduled to begin on April 6 and discussions about postponement are currently underway. It outlined many critical issues, including physical distancing, meticulous cleaning procedures, PPE for guests and staff, reduced occupancy, and so forth. This decision will be reassessed in two weeks, while an orderly shutdown process is actively underway. We will revisit operational status before May 4 as we continue to take our lead from the Baker-Polito Administration and public health officials. Online account wagering remains available. The amendment clarifies that this one-year period shall not include any period of time that a casino is not in operation. In addition, a process is underway among stakeholders to research best practices and prepare for safe opening procedures. The gaming commission and its licensees knew that the decision to close casinos in mid-March would have a drastic impact on monthly revenue potential and acknowledge that financial uncertainties will continue to persist for now. The commissioners also committed to revisiting this decision at the beginning of May to assess the facts and circumstances available at that time. And to all on the frontline β€” our dedicated medical personnel and all those supporting their efforts as well as those ensuring our supply line β€” we again express our gratitude. This task force will also assist with oversight and planning for two primary areas identified as core to a safe and sustainable reopening plan:. The MGC and its three licensees are engaged in preliminary discussions about the development of reopening guidelines. The licensees jointly requested the delay, citing a need to postpone capital expenditure projects due to the COVID outbreak and the resulting suspension of operations. February gross gaming revenue is available here. As MGM and Penn have also publicly noted, these plans for all of the properties continue to evolve as new information and data becomes available. Encore has reported that this individual was present at the casino for one hour and had contact while there with a small number of individuals, currently determined to be seven. The Division of Racing notes that this is a very fluid and rapidly changing situation and will be re-evaluated as needed. MGC: In light of the mounting public health crisis, the MGC is informing the public that its physical office at Federal Street in Boston is closed until further notice. To review related memo, see page 82 of the commissioners packet. Our shared priority of public health remains paramount in our decision-making as we determine how best to proceed in a post-pandemic environment. To the MGC team, thank you for your continued, meaningful engagement and thank you for doing your part by staying home. These plans will vary from state to state and will unroll at various stages. Meeting Archive: The MGC is in the process of preparing the audio files associated with the public meetings that occurred remotely on March 14 and Those files will be posted in the corresponding dates in the meeting archive , as soon as they are available. The emergency regulation provides gamblers, whose unclaimed winnings are set to expire, with an extended period of time to claim cash or prizes. We will leverage our internal expertise and lessons learned from other jurisdictions. The Commission will continue to review and assess the public health conditions in cooperation with appropriate authorities and the gaming licensees and make a determination as to the status of operations in advance of May 4, Read the full letter here. I think it is also worth noting that these plans will require a robust public education campaign for customers and employees. Additionally, Encore has reported that, out of an abundance of caution, all identified individuals have agreed to self-quarantine measures. Learn more here. Topics will include, but not be limited to, enhanced sanitation procedures, employee training, physical distancing, occupancy limitations and any other guidance provided by public health authorities. If there is any technical problem with our remote connection, an alternative conference line will be noticed immediately on our website: MassGaming. The MGC is proactively engaged in frequent discussions with gaming licensees focused on prioritizing the health, safety and well-being of casino guests, employees and regulators.{/INSERTKEYS}{/PARAGRAPH} As so many have said, we are all in this together. Chair Cathy Judd-Stein offered the following remarks in regard to the budget discussion that took place during a remote public meeting on April 9, Given the rapidly evolving circumstances resulting from the wide-ranging impacts of COVID, our CFAO Derek Lennon urged the Commission to proceed as scheduled with a budget review as a prudent step and appropriate action, particularly in light of emerging fiscal considerations. DPH recommends that Encore continue its enhanced sanitization practices. On Saturday, March 14, the Commission held an emergency public meeting and voted to temporarily suspend casino and racing operations to take effect by 6 a. What we do know for sure is it will not be as simple as unlocking the doors and turning the lights back on. Additional information will be forthcoming as soon as more facts are established. To support the work already in progress under the leadership of Interim Executive Director Wells, an internal Restart Working Group will be convened. The global outbreak of the novel coronavirus continues to challenge us in ways unimaginable, both professionally and personally. In keeping with the guidance provided, the Commission will conduct a public meeting utilizing remote collaboration technology. Countless organizations around the globe are devising plans for post-pandemic procedures. When the time is right, the Commission and our licensees will have the benefit of lessons learned, along with strong, data-driven state and local leadership. Revenue: Several media outlets have inquired about the availability of the monthly revenue data. VOTE : The Commission voted unanimously to adopt the recommendations outlined in the memorandum from CFAO Lennon as included in the commissioners meeting packet, and take the steps necessary to effectuate those recommendations. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the decision was made in collaboration and cooperation with our licensees to safeguard the health and well-being of casino guests, employees, and regulators. The Commission will then evaluate the appropriate time to discuss the next steps at a future public meeting. We encourage you to visit massgaming. During this time of great uncertainty, our team is closely monitoring new developments and making every effort to effectively adapt to the changing environment. Operational status will be reviewed prior to May 18 as we continue to follow the orders issued by the Baker-Polito Administration. It is anticipated that the gaming floor will close to patrons at am on March 15, We are all doing our best to appropriately and thoughtfully respond to this highly complex and unprecedented set of circumstances and uncertainties. I anticipate, like many organizations, that we will be revisiting budget discussions routinely as the landscape continues to evolve, facts develop and financial effects come more clearly into view. Thank you for your understanding. Thank you to the MGC team and our licensees for your hard work and thoughtful diligence, despite this intense and challenging situation. Also, MGC is providing a list of resources now being offered by the Commonwealth to support small businesses. This difficult set of circumstances has presented an unprecedented global challenge. VOTE: The Commission voted unanimously via roll call to approve a request from the Division of Licensing to allow grace periods in day increments for casino employees and vendors whose license or registration will expire during the closure of the casinos. The MGC is making every effort to maintain a safe and healthy work environment, while closely following guidance issued by federal, state, and public health officials. The grace period allows the employee to remain in compliance and return to work when the casinos re-open. As we all continue to navigate this unprecedented and rapidly evolving situation, our agency and our licensees will remain in close consultation with public health authorities and government officials to determine safe protocols for resuming operation. The April 23 Meeting Archive is available here. The Commission will continue to review and assess the public health condition in cooperation with appropriate authorities and the gaming licensees and make a determination as to the status of operations in advance of April 7, Interim Executive Director Karen Wells recommended that given the current health emergency, MGC staff will provide recently submitted Region C-related RFI responses and public comments to the Commissioners for their review on a rolling basis. {PARAGRAPH}{INSERTKEYS}The Commission also voted unanimously to vacate the order of May 7, postponing horse racing at Plainridge Park from June 1, until further notice, subject to the COVID protocols that were passed July 2, by the Gaming Commission, effective July 6, View the minimum requirements adopted by the Commission here. Encore has reported that all of these individuals have been identified and alerted. As we develop the appropriate course of action, we will keep you informed of next steps. Pursuant to G. Meeting Archive: Review April 9 meeting archive here. The MGC understands and empathizes with the challenges that many small businesses and gaming industry workers face due to the hardships caused by COVID I continue to be inspired and grateful for the multitude of creative ways others rise to the challenge and lend a helping hand to the community. In addition, the MGC issued a series of blog posts aimed at keeping the public and key constituents and stakeholders informed about helpful resources and other COVID response activities, including:. We will provide an update when more information is available. The study represents a first look at lottery sales since the casino opened. The MGC is fully engaged with our licensees about forward-looking plans and a safe return to gaming operations. Executive staff is engaged in ongoing discussions with the appropriate stakeholders and officials. I appreciate that Wynn, MGM and Penn National have been industry leaders in this discussion, engaging top public health experts to establish best practices and preparing plans to ensure that patrons and employees feel safe. Its findings are important to the gaming landscape ahead. Public health authorities have informed the MGC and Encore that, based on their review of the facts, the individual was asymptomatic not exhibiting symptoms on March 5. At the time, the urgent circumstances required us to move quickly and decisively. Right now, the focus remains on staying home to stop the spread and flatten the curve, but as we look toward the next phase, whenever that may be, there will be no shortage of logistics to consider. They are providing guidance based on their assessment of critical health benchmarks. For more information visit MassGaming. The timeline to reopen is still uncertain; however, our attention is now focused on developing a responsible restart plan and maximizing this time to establish guidelines, in coordination and collaboration with key stakeholders, including the three licensees, state and local leaders, and public health officials. At the same time, the prudent next steps and Commission decision-making will be informed as scientific data and other relevant facts emerge, the landscape evolves, and the short and long term economic effects come more clearly into view. The employee will be required to file a license renewal upon return. The MGC is working in close consultation with public health authorities and with Encore and Wynn executives to identify the facts, assess the situation, and determine next steps. Since then, the Commission has voted to extend property closures in keeping with state mandates and will revisit operational status prior to May 4. The plan will also need to account for what procedures will be necessary in the event of a restart setback. An effective reopening plan will require sustained cooperation from all involved.