Casino News

Mass. Lottery Expects No Revenue Loss from Upcoming MGM Springfield

The Massachusetts Lottery saw increased revenues after the opening of Plainridge Park Casino in 2015 and expects no harmful effects to its sales from the upcoming MGM Springfield. The $960 million casino resort, set to open this week, covers 14 acres over 3 blocks in downtown Springfield and targets a different group of customers. The high-end resort will offer high-rollers various gambling options, as well as high-end retail shops and luxury dining and spa.

The Massachusetts Lottery worth approximately $5 billion has, until recently, saw casinos and other gaming venues as a competition. In an interview with the Boston Herald, however, State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg said she was “cautiously optimistic” about the introduction of a new casino. Prior to the opening of Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, she believed land-based casinos could reduce lottery revenues by up to 10 percent. Those concerns turned out to be unfounded, however, after a study revealed the casino sold a decent amount of lottery tickets to its patrons.

The new MGM Springfield will have six kiosks where lottery products will be sold. As per state gaming regulations, casinos have to provide space for lottery sales, which should compensate for any potential competition. According to the results of a study commissioned by the Massachusetts Lottery, Plainridge Park Casino generated $3.7 million in lottery sales in 2017. While Goldberg’s positive outlook for MGM Springfield suggests she expects similar financial results from the new property, the reality may be very different.

Some experts, including Rev. Richard McGowan, a Boston College professor and gaming analyst, warn that patrons at the upcoming casino will represent a different demographic. MGM Springfield targets more affluent customers with its luxury, high-end offerings, in contrast with Plainridge slot players, McGowan says. The different socio-economic status will result in different outcomes because Springfield’s high-rollers are not very likely to be interested in the lottery products, the expert explains.

Increased Competition from Fantasy Sports, Sports Betting

The lottery’s modernization is key when it comes to maintaining its market share and sales, Goldberg believes. With the increasing popularity of daily fantasy sports and the upcoming sports betting, the State Lottery should take steps to stay up to date with the shifting needs and interests of its customers. According to her, launching online games is a successful strategy, although such a proposal did not make it through during the last legislative session.

Many towns and communities across Massachusetts rely on the share of revenues they receive from the State Lottery. The money from tickets and other lottery products go to various public projects and cover many city expenses. Sports betting and online gambling, on the other hand, will probably be legalized during in the coming months. There is a concern, therefore, that the access to these new gambling options would lead to a decrease in lottery sales.

Meanwhile, the $960 million MGM Springfield Casino and Resort welcomes thousands of patrons on Friday. The grand opening will feature a street parade, a sold-out Dropkick Murphys show on August 25, and a lot of festivities. First-time visitors will enjoy various restaurants, a 250-room boutique hotel, a movie theatre and a spa. The 125,000-square-foot gaming floor will have around 2,550 slot machines, 120 gaming tables, a poker room and high-limit VIP gaming area.