MGM Springfield breaks up party planned at hotel

Coronavirus Local Impact

BOSTON (SHNS) – Beginning Tuesday, the state’s newest casino will begin operating as a COVID-19 vaccination site.

Loretta Lillios, director of the Mass. Gaming Commission’s Investigations and Enforcement Bureau, said Monday that Encore Boston Harbor will host a vaccination site in one of its ballrooms and that shots will be available to casino employees and the general public. Lillios said appointments to get vaccinated at the $2.6 billion gambling hall on the banks of the Mystic River in Everett will be available on the state-run vaccine-finder website.

During a Gaming Commission meeting Monday morning, Lillios said that among the state’s three gambling centers, there has been “continued adherence to the measures that have been put in place for health and safety and they really haven’t let up.” She said there have been no issues of concern in recent weeks, but told commissioners that MGM Springfield had stepped in to break up a party that the casino learned was planned for its hotel.

“Late last week, they were able to intervene in what would have been a party, a large indoor gathering,” she said. “That did not happen, their measures allowed them to intervene on that.”

Assistant Director Bruce Band said Monday that Friday, April 16 and Friday, April 23 were the two busiest days for Plainridge Park Casino, topping out at 31 percent occupancy.

Saturday, April 17 and Saturday, April 24 were the busiest days for both Encore and MGM, he said. MGM hit 21 percent occupancy both Saturdays and Encore maxed out at 19 percent each day, he said. All three gaming centers have been open since July with limits on the number of guests, masking requirements, plexiglass installed between gaming positions, a limited offering of table games and no poker rooms.

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