MGC drafts stricter health and safety protocols for Massachusetts casinos set to reopen this July

After a lengthy closure of operations Massachusetts’ three casinos will resume operations later this July 

The Plainridge Parklocated in Plainville, is the first Massachusetts casino to reopen, with reopening scheduled on Wednesday (July 8), followed by Encore Boston Harbor, scheduled to reopen next Sunday (July 12), and then MGM Springfield which will resume operations on July 13, a day after the Encore Boston Harbor reopens. The reopening plan and dates are subject for final approval by the MGC before operations resume. 

Encore Boston Harbor is a luxury resort and casino located in Everett, Massachusetts, and owned by Wynn Resorts.

The three casinos could have reopened as early as Monday (July 5) based on last week’s decision by the MGC, but the casinos have yet to prepare the safety requirements, guidelines and other reopening efforts and thus needed more time. 

Plainridge Park Casino is a harness racing track and slot machine parlor in Plainville, Massachusetts, owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) has outlined health and safety protocols for the casino operators, such as restricting the crowd to 25% capacity, ensuring appropriate distancing among players and workers, implementing the use of face masks at all times, checking body temperatures with a non-invasive thermal scan (with a temperature no more than 100.4 will be permitted into the complex), number of slot machines and table games (with Plexiglases installed) available to players will also be restricted, and there will be hand sanitizer stations and hand wipes available for guests, McGowan explained. 

MGM Springfield is a hotel and casino complex situated in the heart of Metro Center, Springfield, Massachusetts, owned and operated by MGM Resorts International.

The MGC has also announced that playingpoker, craps, or roulette, are strictly prohibited, as well as with the new rule – guests carrying drinks with them from point a to point b – will be prohibited as that would lead to a setting that resembles a bar.  

Bars in Massachusetts cannot reopen until Phase Four of Gov. Charlie Baker’s reopening schedule for the state’s businesses. Restaurants have reopened for indoor and outdoor dining in the Phase TwoPhase Three commences on Monday (July 5) and Phase Four has yet to start. 

In a June 23 statementMGC Chair Cathy Judd-Stein announced, “The MGC is working to ensure a safe and sustainable reopening, issuing guidelines … that will no doubt shift to reflect the changing public health data over time,” 

“We are confident that our three licensees will work in good faith to implement and enforce these measures” she added. 

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