On Thursday, MGM Springfield President Michael Mathis told state regulators that attendance at MGM’s new casino in Massachusetts is better than expected, and revenues are strong.
The casino, which cost almost $1 billion to build, is welcoming around 50,000 daily visitors on weekends and around 25,000 daily visitors during the week since it opened on August 24th. Early projections estimated only between 15,000 to 20,000 visitors daily to the huge 14-acre facility.
Massachusetts’ Gaming Commission will release its monthly casino revenue report on Monday, so we will have to wait until then to see specific figures. The state takes 25 percent of the facility’s gross gambling revenues.
Projections from four years ago put revenue around $500 million a year from the casino, but it’s too soon to tell right now. Mathis said not to jump to conclusions when these figures are released. He said, in an interview with StarTribune,
“Nothing meaningful, in our view, can be taken from such a short window.”
He also told the regulators that the casino has been more than successful at hitting most of the hiring targets that it agreed to in its arrangement with the city of Springfield which included hiring at least 35 percent of its staff from the city. Right now, approximately 38 percent of the MGM employees at the new casino are from the city. So far, the only target not yet met is the number of women on staff; the target was 50 percent but right now only 46 percent of its staff are female.
MGM is also working to provide at least 54 percent market rate housing units downtown as part of its agreement with the city.
Since the casino has opened, they’ve had problems with unattended minors: officials keep finding children left in parts of the casino while they go to gamble. In response, MGM has instituted new rules. All children under 16 have to be accompanied by an adult no matter where they are on the property. There’s also a curfew: no one under 21 is allowed in the resort after midnight except for patrons of the movie theater, which will open later in September, or guests of the hotel.
Staff members of the Gaming Commission are investigating Wynn Resorts, which is building a casino worth almost $2 billion, across from Boston. It’s scheduled to open in 2019. The investigation is looking at how the Las Vegas company handled sexual misconduct allegations against founder Steve Wynn that came out earlier this year.
Wynn denied the allegations but resigned as chairman and CEO of the company. The casino in Everett was changed from Wynn Boston Harbor to Encore Boston Harbor as part of its rebranding attempt.
The investigation may result in sanctions for the company. State Gaming Commission Executive Director Edward Bedrosian said the investigation is wrapping up but has not yet given a date when those findings will be released.
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