SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s been one year since the way we viewed entertainment changed, specifically when going out.

One year ago, 22News was reporting on MGM’s increased sanitation practices due to the virus. MGM Springfield is back open to 24-hours, but services and amenities are limited. MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor were cleared Thursday to resume offering craps games and to add a seat for a fourth gambler at blackjack tables and other games.

Back in August, some six months into the pandemic, MGM Resorts announced they were officially laying off 18,000 employees who were not able to be brought back since the onset of the pandemic. Locally at MGM Springfield, 1,000 employees were impacted.

Earlier this month, the casino reopened its hotel and TAP Sports Bar. But they didn’t specify how many people would be returning to work.

According to MGM Springfield Spokesperson:

“The last year has been unquestionably difficult for our team members, our guests, and our communities, but we look to the remainder of 2021 and the future beyond with hope. We are immensely proud of our team members and community partners who saw MGM Springfield through this difficult time and came together to support and care for one another.”

Many of the restaurant owners downtown are also feeling hopeful. At the beginning of March the state’s re-opening plan moved forward to Phase 3, Step 2 – which meant the elimination of capacity limits in restaurants.

According to MGM Springfield, there is no specific opening date for Wahlburgers, but is expected to open this spring.