About half of the people who have visited the state’s slots parlor or casinos since the recent lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, including the requirement to wear a mask, have worn a face-covering regardless, a gaming regulator said Thursday.
Plainridge Park Casino, MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor were allowed last Saturday to return to pre-pandemic operations as Gov. Charlie Baker and the Gaming Commission lifted the numerous restrictions and mandates that had been imposed since the gaming centers reopened last July.
“Everything seems to be going pretty well transition-wise,” Bruce Band, assistant director of the commission’s Investigations and Enforcement Bureau, told commissioners Thursday morning. “The casinos have been 100 percent cooperative.”
Band said Encore in Everett has 200 tables games and all of its slot machines open, and that MGM Springfield has its table games and about 80 percent of its slots open — neither casino has kept any of the plexiglass barriers that were used at table games for the last year.
“It seems like when they were taking it off the tables, the patrons almost helped them remove it,” Band said.
Plainridge Park has not yet removed any of its plexiglass barriers and Band said the Plainville slots parlor has been slower to return machines to active use as it deals with a “little bit of a staffing shortage” in its slots area.
Band said “masks are about 50/50” for players across the three properties and that gaming agents “don’t see a lot of masks being worn by employees at this point.”
He said most casino employees have been vaccinated.
(Copyright (c) 2021 State House News Service.