The torrid pace of Massachusetts casino wagering in March didn’t quite sustain itself in April, but last month was still a strong one.
The three commercial casinos in the state combined for about $792.7 million in handle and $99.2 million in revenue for April, with both numbers down slightly from the state records set in March.
Here are three takeaways from the Bay State’s gambling figures in April.
Handle Ranks No. 3 All Time
The exact combined handle of $792,716,352 in April at the trio of gaming facilities in Massachusetts – MGM Springfield, Plainridge Park and Encore Boston Harbor – was a 3.5% drop from the record of $821.69 million in March.
The handle in April ranks third all-time in the state, behind only March 2022 and July 2021 ($807.9 million).
Those March numbers were revised downward in the latest report from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. The MGC’s website initially reported that the March handle at Encore Boston Harbor was $442.46 million, leading to total combined handle from the three casinos of more than $836 million. But current figures on the site indicate that Encore’s handle that month was $427.73 million – still a facility and state record.
In April, Encore reported $408.94 million in handle, its second-best ever behind only March. MGM Springfield was at $205.1 million last month and Plainridge Park reported $178.7 million. Plainridge only offers slot machines; the other two casinos have both slots and table games.
The April handle was more than $80 million above the total of $709.9 million from April 2021 in a year-over-year comparison.
Revenue Close to $100M Mark
The state’s casino revenue hit its second-best mark ever in April, again only trailing the record set in March.
The combined $99,187,669 in revenue for April was a 2.8% decline from the previous month, but a 17.2% increase from the $84.6 million recorded 12 months earlier.
Just like in the handle category, Encore recorded its No. 2 month since opening in summer 2019, with $63.74 million for April (the facility set its mark of $64.87 million in March). MGM had $22.54 million in revenue last month and Plainridge reported $12.9 million.
Encore paid $15.9 million and MGM paid $5.6 million in taxes for April; those two facilities pay 25% of their revenue to the state. Plainridge pays 49%; its tax bill for the month was $6.3 million.
Massachusetts Sports Betting Still on Table
The fight to join a few of the state’s neighbors in having a legal, regulated sports betting market seems never-ending in Massachusetts.
The latest step came in late April, when the State Senate amended a sports betting bill, adding a ban on college sports betting and approving a 35% tax rate on revenue from online wagering.
The proposal was adopted after more than five hours of debate.
The measure, Senate Bill 2844, must now go back to the Massachusetts House. The House passed a bill in July 2021 to allow sports betting but its version of the bill differs from the Senate version. If a final bill is hammered out, it will go to the desk of Gov. Charlie Baker, a longtime advocate of legal sports betting, for his signature before it becomes law.
Neighboring states New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire have legal sports betting and Connecticut offers real money online gaming as well. New York shattered the U.S. record for most handle in a single month immediately upon launching legal online sports betting in early January, surpassing $1.68 billion in less than a full month.