Around New England

Arcades Closed In Massachusetts, But Casinos Are Open

August 18, 2020

Want to go to a casino in Massachusetts? That’s allowed.

How about an arcade? Not so fast …

Although casinos are allowed to stay open during the coronavirus emergency as long as they adhere to proper social distancing regulations, the same cannot be said for arcades.

Joe’s Playland in Salisbury tried re-opening in July, but got shut down by the state shortly thereafter. As a result, the business had to lay off its 25 employees. Since arcades cannot open until Phase 4, that means a vaccine will have to put coronavirus on the run before arcades can resume, according to

That’s the case despite the mortality risk of COVID-19 being much lower for younger people (who make up most of the arcade clientele) than it is for older ones (who make up a greater portion of the casinos’ clientele).

From June 23, 2019 through July 31, 2020, one casino — Encore Boston Harbor, in Everett — brought the state $115.6 million in state taxes, according to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.



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