Number of Poker Tables in Massachusetts May Increase, Says Report

Report Suggests Massachusetts Casinos Face New Gambling Reality

Although there are plenty of gambling options for casino visitors of Massachusetts’ three casinos, the options for poker fans remain limited.

MGC Continues to Receive Inquiries about Poker

Just before the global pandemic, Encore Boston Harbor and MGM Springfield offered a combined number of 95 poker tables. Those tables operated 24 hours, every day of the week. After various COVID-related restrictions were implemented, the two venues temporarily stopped offering poker. In January this year, Encore reintroduced poker as a part of its offering, while MGM reinstated poker last year in October. Now, considering the limited number of poker tables, a new report suggests that the regulator in the state may seek to increase that number.

Members of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC), met with representatives of the three casinos earlier this week. According to a report released by The Sun, the regulator may be looking into options to increase the number of poker tables available at the three gambling venues in the state. MGC’s Chairwoman, Cathy Judd-Stein, revealed that the Commission continues to receive inquiries from residents, asking when poker would be expanded. She said: “That’s just anecdotal, but we do receive many, many inquiries…about the need for expanded access.”

Number of Poker Tables, Working Hours May Increase

Brad Hill, Commissioner of the MGC, added that the number of tables statewide is concerning. Since the activity was restarted, there are only 29 poker tables available. MGM Springfield offers 14 poker tables, while Encore Boston Harbor offers 15 poker tables.

“I hope that we’re sending the message loud and clear to our licensees that, at least as one commissioner, I would like to see those numbers continue to rise when possible.”

Brad Hill, Massachusetts Gaming Commission member

Hill explained that the number of those tables “seems very, very small.” Moreover, he stressed that the MGC is trying to send a clear message to the licensees in the state, that it is looking to have the number of poker tables continue to increase.

“I think our constituents and the citizens of Massachusetts would like to be able to do a little bit more poker-playing at these facilities than they’re being allowed to now,”

added Hill

According to Encore Boston Harbor’s website, the poker room at the venue is open Monday through Thursday. The working hours for the 15 tables are set between 10 AM and 8 PM. On the other hand, MGM Springfield offers poker daily between 10 AM and 3 AM. With that in mind, Hill pointed out that soon, the working hours, as well as days, may be extended.

Author: Ian Douglas