The state released the first full month of gaming revenue figures for Encore Boston Harbor on Aug. 15, and it revealed that the resort casino is showing strong on table games, is a little weak on slots and had almost $300 million wagered in the month.
The first revenue reports for Encore last month contained only one week’s worth of revenues, so the July report was much anticipated and showed overall strength in total wagers and in table games.
The casino had $289.4 million wagered in slots and table games, and logged total gross gaming revenues of $48.5 million. That resulted in $12.1 million going to the state for taxes.
In particular, the table games showed strength, reporting gross gaming revenues of $27.4 million.
The slot gross gaming revenues were at $21.15 million, with a 90.5 percent payout. There was a total coin in amount on the slots at $262.4 million.
At the same time, MGM Springfield showed a total wager amount of $184.5 million, with gross gaming revenues of $20.39 million – less than half of what Encore produced in the same period. Noticeably, MGM’s table games were far lower than Encore, coming in at $4.88 million, which was nearly seven times lower than at Encore.
Paul DeBole, a professor at Lasell College and a gaming expert, said he viewed the results with interest. He said the table games were very strong, but the slot revenues were weaker than expected.
“The table games number is much larger than was anticipated,” he said. “A good number for table games is around 25 to 33 percent. They were at 56.45 percent. That gives the indication there is a lot of table game traffic.”
However, he said the opposite is true for the slot machines.
“Logging $21 million for the slot machines was pretty unimpressive for the first month,” he said.
He said they averaged about $216 per machine per day, with the gold-standard of success in the industry being about $300 per machine per day.
“If a gaming machine is doing $300 per machine per day, they are happy,” he said.
The same weakness showed in Springfield too, with them coming in at $196 per machine per day. Contrary to that, he said Plainridge Park did well on its slots (it is only allowed slot machines). That facility did about $323 per machine per day, subtracting out the 50 multi-game station from the total of 1,250 machines.
“Plainridge Park is doing well and I think they’ve turned the corner in getting people through the door,” he said.
He said he will be watching to see how the Encore casino performs in cold weather, as things such as that are known to drop off in the winter months. He said other facilities showed a small loss in December, January and February, and then a pickup in activity around March.
“We’ll have to watch it over time to see how it fluctuates and what the seasonal variations are,” he said. “They don’t have a cold weather casino where they are subject to winter weather storms. We’ll see how that plays out and how they’ll handle that.”
Another key thing to watch, he said, is the activity of the Connecticut casinos. He said they are down now 13 of the last 13 months