BOSTON (CBS) — The three casinos in Massachusetts will temporarily close amid the coronavirus outbreak. The Gaming Commission announced Saturday that operations at Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park Casino will stop Sunday at 6 a.m.
The decision will be re-evaluated in two weeks, said the commission. During the closure, the casinos will undergo a deep clean.
“In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the decision was made in collaboration and cooperation with our licensees to safeguard the health and well-being of casino guests, employees, and regulators. 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. As we develop the appropriate course of action, we will keep you informed of next steps,” said a statement.
Everett City Councilor Michael McLaughlin said he supported the decision
“Having a facility like this where there will be tens of thousands of people a day coming into this facility, in the crisis we’re in right now, we can’t allow people to keep coming into this facility,” McLaughlin said. “We need to keep everyone safe, and I don’t think you can measure that in dollars.”
Wynn Resorts said they would pay all full-time Encore employees during the two-week closure.
Long-time Everett resident Tom Rogers said he was surprised the casinos didn’t close earlier.
“Once they found out that it was as severe as it was they should’ve done it right away,” he said. “This isn’t about money anymore. This is about life and death.”
This comes one day after Encore announced they would close their nightclubs, buffets and theaters.