Massachusetts Gaming Commission Shuts Down State’s Casinos

(Bloomberg) --

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted unanimously Saturday to temporarily suspend operations at the state’s three casino properties, according to a statement.

Wynn Resorts Ltd.’s Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield and Penn National Gaming’s Plainridge Park Casino will close at 5:59 a.m. on Sunday.

“As we all continue to navigate this unprecedented and rapidly evolving situation, our agency and our licensees will remain in close consultation with public health authorities and government officials to determine safe protocols for resuming operation,” it said in the statement.

Like all travel and leisure related businesses, casinos have been particularly hard hit by the virus and the precautions taken to prevent its spread. MGM Resorts International has had guests and employees who have contracted the illness. The company implemented layoffs as well the closure of its casinos in New York and Ohio on Friday.

Moody’s revised its outlook on the U.S. gaming sector this week to negative from stable because of the outbreak.

Casino operators in Macau, the world’s largest gaming market where MGM and Wynn run gaming resorts, closed under a government order for two weeks last month. That’s led to a loss of business -- all while companies have to keep paying staff and maintaining their properties.

Las Vegas, where MGM is the biggest operator, is also taking a hit. Last month, MGM withdrew its earnings forecast for 2020, citing the impact of the virus on its casinos in Macau and Las Vegas.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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