MGM Springfield welcomed 150,000 visitors during its first weekend of operation, owners of the $960-million hotel and casino resort said on Wednesday. The property, a first of its kind in the state of Massachusetts, opened doors on Friday, August 24 to massive interest.
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MGM Springfield President Michael Mathis said on Wednesday that the busy three days of operations exceeded their expectations. The casino official thus touted the property’s opening weekend as a pure success.
Photos and reports from the resort’s opening weekend showed crowds stretching all along Springfield’s Main and State Streets. The opening of the actual property was preceded by a street parade that involved construction workers and casino employees, musicians and entertainers.
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Mr. Mathis further commented yesterday that hotel rooms and dining facilities at the resort were fully booked during the first weekend to contribute to what the official described as a “historic opening”. The MGM Springfield President said that they expect average attendance of 15,000 visitors per day.
MGM Springfield is the state’s first integrated resort with a commercial Las Vegas-style gaming floor. A second property of this king – the $2-plus-billion Encore Boston Harbor, currently being developed in the Greater Boston area by Wynn Resorts, is slated to open doors next summer. Massachusetts also has a slots-only gaming hall, Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville.
That facility opened doors in 2015. The two integrated resorts and the slot machine parlor are part of a casino gambling expansion process that Massachusetts residents approved through a statewide referendum in the early 2010s and lawmakers crafted a relevant regulatory framework for.
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MGM’s Presence in Massachusetts Could Bode Well for Sports Betting
The opening of MGM Springfield represents MGM Resorts International’s entry into Massachusetts’s nascent casino market. And according to many, the Las Vegas-based gaming and hospitality giant could help the state introduce sports betting following the recent annulment of the federal ban on wagering on professional and amateur sports.
In an industry first, MGM recently penned a multi-year partnership to become the official gambling partner of the NBA and the WNBA. According to sports betting aficionados, the agreement could have a positive impact on the legalization of this type of gambling activity and the successful creation of a profitable industry in Massachusetts.
State lawmakers are expected to introduce a legislation allowing sports betting during the 2019-2020 legislative session. In a series of comments on the matter, House Rep. Joseph Wagner, who chairs the House Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, has said that the Legislature has begun work on the creation of a wagering-focused bill and that the matter has been moved to the front burner, but legislators are not planning to act too quickly in order to avoid “getting it wrong”.
According to a 2017 report commissioned by the American Gaming Association and compiled by Oxford Economics, Massachusetts could collect around $8.6 million in tax revenue every year if it legalizes sports betting at its land-based casinos only and taxes the activity at 6.75%. Tax revenue of more than $61 million could be generated if sports betting gets legalized across casinos, retail locations, and online and is taxed at 15%, per the recent study.
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