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MGC Votes to Expand Blackjack-Style Tables and Reopen Craps at Category 1 Gaming Licensees

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) today voted to approve a request from MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor, the Commonwealth’s two Category 1 Gaming Licensees, to reintroduce a 4th player position at blackjack-style tables, and to reintroduce the game of craps at their respective gaming establishments.

In a 3-1 vote during the MGC’s remote public meeting on March 11, 2021, the Commission approved the Minimum Requirements for Expanding Blackjack-Style Tables to Include a 4th Player Position, as laid out by the MGC’s Investigations and Enforcement Bureau.

Those requirements state that player positions would continue to be separated by plexiglass dividers not less than 5’10” tall, separating the dealer from players and between player positions. A minimum of approximately three feet between player positions would be maintained, measured from the center of each seat. Chairs for unavailable positions will be removed.

In a 4-0 vote, the Commission also approved the Minimum Requirements for Craps, featuring a maximum of six players per table with three players maximum on each side of the table.

The requirements related to craps state that players must remain seated while gambling, and no patrons will be permitted to stand or congregate around tables. Plexiglass dividers not less than six feet tall will separate the dealer from players, and plexiglass dividers will also separate players from each other and the table itself. A minimum of approximately four feet between player positions would be maintained, measured from the center of each seat.

Dice shall each be sanitized between shooters, and the reintroduction of craps will be accompanied by a temporary change to the licensee internal controls, to be applicable in conjunction with COVID-19-related health and safety measures. That temporary change states that: All bets must be placed before the dice are sent out. Signage to the same effect is required on each craps table.

Overall capacity limits will continue to be capped at approximately 40 percent, despite the increase in player positions and the reintroduction of craps.

View the complete list of minimum requirements approved by the Commission on March 11, 2021 here.

The MGC previously approved the “Minimum Requirements for the Initial Phase 3 Opening of Gaming Establishments” on June 23, 2020, outlining the minimum requirements for the reopening of the state’s two resort-casinos and single slots facility amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

About MassGaming

The mission of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is to create a fair, transparent, and participatory process for implementing the expanded gaming law passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor in November 2011. In creating that process, the Commission will strive to ensure that its decision-making and regulatory systems engender the confidence of the public and participants, and that they provide the greatest possible economic development benefits and revenues to the people of the Commonwealth, reduce to the maximum extent possible the potentially negative or unintended consequences of the new legislation, and allow an appropriate return on investment for gaming providers that assures the operation of casino-resorts of the highest quality. For more information on MGC, please visit MassGaming.com or connect and share on Twitter (@MassGamingComm) or Facebook www.facebook.com/MAGamingComm.

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