Introduction to Massachusetts Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2018
Massachusetts slot machine casino gambling consists of the MGM Springfield, a slot parlor in Plainridge, and a cruise ship sailing to international destinations.
Massachusetts has set a legal minimum payout return for slot machines. No actual payout returns are made publicly available.
This post continues the weekly series Online Resource: A State-By-State Slot Machine Casino Gambling Series, an online resource dedicated to guiding slot machine casino gambling enthusiasts to success. Each weekly post reviews slots gambling in a single U.S. state, territory, or the federal district.
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Relevant Legal Statutes on Gambling in Massachusetts*
The minimum legal gambling age in Massachusetts depends upon the gambling activity:
- Land-Based Casinos: 21
- Poker Rooms: 21
- Bingo: 18
- Lottery: 18
- Pari-Mutuel Wagering: 18
In late 2011, the Governor approved a bill allowing three land-based casino resort gaming licenses to be located in three gaming regions of Massachusetts:
- Eastern Region A: This license went to MGM, who constructed a casino in downtown Springfield. It opened on August 24, 2018.
- Western Region B: This license went to Wynn Resorts, who is constructing Encore Boston Harbor in Everett. It is planning to open in the summer of 2019.
- Southeastern Region C: This license has not yet been awarded
Massachusetts gaming regulations define Category 1 and Category 2 casinos as follows:
- Category 1 casino:
- Pay a daily tax of 25% of gross gaming revenue
- Appropriate documentation of infrastructure improvements onsite and around the vicinity of the gaming establishment
- Category 2 casino:
- Pay a daily tax of 40% of gross gaming revenue
- Pay an additional daily assessment of 9% of its gross gaming revenue
- Appropriate documentation of infrastructure improvements
- Limited to 1,500 gaming positions
Massachusetts law, Section 97 of Chapter 194, includes a research initiative. This section is a legal requirement to collect customer tracking data from:
- Loyalty programs
- Player tracking software
- Player card systems
- Online gambling transactions or any other information system
Interestingly, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has engaged a nonprofit research group to make this player data anonymous by removing personally identifying information such as player name, address, and bank or credit information.
Further, the gaming manufacturers also have their data removed to protect corporate intellectual property. This includes game identifying information such as device game name and the name of its manufacturer.
Gameplay data kept includes player characteristics. The law is clear that Massachusetts is not legally limited to collecting only the following:
- Frequency, length, speed, and the denomination of play
- Amounts wagered including the number of lines and hands played
- Reel configuration, return-to-player (RTP), the volatility index, and denomination
This anonymized behavioral data will be sent to a research facility to conduct analyses to improve the understanding of how gambling addiction grows and changes, help develop strategies to minimize harm to players and to develop systems to monitor, detect, and intervene in high-risk gambling situations in an ongoing manner.
*The purpose of this section is to inform the public of state gambling laws and how the laws apply to various forms of gambling. This information is not intended to provide legal advice.
Slot Machine Private Ownership in Massachusetts
It is legal to privately own a slot machine in Massachusetts if it is 30 years old or older.
Gaming Control Board in Massachusetts
Mass Gaming has an extensive Frequently Asked Questions section useful to players, but also those wishing to be approved by the state to work or have a career, in the Massachusetts gaming industry.
Casinos in Massachusetts
There is currently one non-tribal casino, zero American Indian tribal casinos, one non-tribal racino, and one cruise ship based in Massachusetts.
The largest casino in Massachusetts is MGM Springfield having 2,500 gaming machines and 125 table games.
The second largest is currently the only other casino in Massachusetts, Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville having over 1,200 gaming machines and electronic table games.
Once it opens, Encore Boston Harbor will be the largest casino in Massachusetts. If the tribal casino ever opens, Project First Light Resort & Casino will be its second largest casino.
List of Casinos in Massachusetts
There are currently two open casinos in Massachusetts offering slot machines plus a planned casino:
- Encore Boston Harbor is a planned casino expected to open in the summer of 2019. It is located 5 miles north of downtown Boston.
- MGM Springfield located 92 miles west of Boston and 26 miles north of Hartford, Connecticut a few miles from the Connecticut border.
- Plainridge Park Casino located 36 miles southwest of Boston and 22 miles northeast of Providence, Rhode Island near the border to Rhode Island.
The cruise ship out of the Port of Boston is NCL Dawn from Norwegian Cruise Lines, where international gambling is allowed, with 199 slot machines.
List of Tribal Casinos in Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe have signed a tribal-state gaming compact governing tribal gaming in Southeastern Massachusetts, which includes Bristol, Plymouth, Nantucket, Dukes, and Barnstable counties. This compact was approved, as required, by the U.S. Department of Interior.
The First Light Resort & Casino by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has been planned for Taunton. However, progress on this tribal casino resort has been the subject of lawsuits. Construction has been on hold since mid-2016. It is uncertain whether the casino will ever be completed.
Other Gambling Establishments
As an alternative to enjoying Massachusetts slot machine casino gambling, consider exploring casino options in a nearby state.
Massachusetts is bordered by:
- North: New Hampshire Slots and Vermont Slots
- East: Atlantic Ocean
- South: Connecticut Slots and Rhode Island Slots
- West: New York Slots
Each of the links above will take you to my state-specific blog for that bordering state to Massachusetts.
Payout Returns in Massachusetts
Massachusetts law has set a minimum payout return percentage of 80% for gaming machines, established through modification of LLC Standard GLI-11: Gaming Devices from Gaming Laboratories International.
This minimum limit is calculated to include:
- Acquisition cost of complimentary merchandise
- The value of promotional gaming credit
Monthly revenue reports from Mass Gaming provide actual payout returns for each of Massachusetts’ open casinos. These reports are currently available for MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park Casino.
The MGM Springfield revenue report shows a November 2018 payout return of 92.10%. The payout return for this casino has increased month-over-month since the casino opened in August 2018, starting from a slot payout of 89.88%.
The Plainridge Park Casino revenue report shows a November 2018 payout return of 92.20%, the highest slots payout percentage for this casino since November 2016, two years earlier.
Our Massachusetts Slots Facebook Group
Are you interested in sharing and learning with other slots enthusiasts in Massachusetts? If so, join our new Massachusetts slots community on Facebook. All you’ll need is a Facebook profile to freely join this closed Facebook Group.
There, you’ll be able to privately share your slots experiences as well as chat with players about slots gambling in or near Massachusetts. Come join us!
Summary of Massachusetts Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2018
Massachusetts slot machine casino gambling consists of one casino resort, a slot parlor, and an international cruise ship. MGM Springfield opened in August 2018, with Encore Boston Harbor planned for mid-2019.
The minimum limit for slot machine payout return is 80%. Monthly actual payout return statistics are publicly available for each of the open casinos in Massachusetts.
Annual Progress in Massachusetts Slot Machine Casino Gambling
In the last year, the MGM Springfield in downtown Springfield opened in southern Massachusetts near the Connecticut border.
Related Articles from Professor Slots
Other State-By-State Articles from Professor Slots
- Online Resource: State-By-State Slot Machine Casino Gambling Series
- Previous: Maryland Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2018
- Next: Michigan Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2018