Gaming Commission to consider COVID-19 rules at casinos

Coronavirus Local Impact

BOSTON (State House News Service) – The Massachusetts Gaming Commission plans to hold a special meeting next week to hear from Plainridge Park Casino, MGM Springfield, Encore Boston Harbor and racing and simulcasting stakeholders as it considers when and how to peel off the COVID-19 restrictions it has imposed over the last year.

The amenities at the slots parlor and casinos are subject to the COVID-19 restrictions imposed by Gov. Charlie Baker, almost all of which are scheduled to be repealed May 29. But the gaming areas are subject to the Gaming Commission’s own guidelines and restrictions, which must also be removed by the commission.

Chairwoman Cathy Judd-Stein said Thursday morning that the commission will call a special meeting at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 26 to address the COVID-19 guidelines the commission has in place for gaming and simulcasting establishments and for live horse racing at Plainridge Park. Representatives from Plainridge Park Casino, MGM Springfield, Encore Boston Harbor, the harness horse racing industry and the state’s simulcast wagering halls will participate in the meeting, the chairwoman said. She said the commissioners will also consider the impact of Gov. Charlie Baker’s lifting of his state of emergency order “on the commission’s future use of remote collaborative technology.” The commission has been meeting remotely since last March.

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