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MGM Springfield Says It Lost About 200 Employees To Encore Boston Harbor

Mike Mathis.
Carmen Baskauf
Connecticut Public Radio
Mike Mathis.

MGM Springfield says it had slightly more than 2,000 employees at the end of June. That's according to the company's latest report to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

MGM Springfield head Mike Mathis told regulators in Springfield Thursday the casino lost about 200 employees to Encore Boston Harbor, mainly card dealers and managers, when its in-state rival opened this summer. 

"I certainly don't fault them," Mathis said. "You had great, trained employees that were already licensed — licensed being the key to some of the pre-opening timeline. And they got more aggressive with offering our folks opportunities."

Mathis called losing employees to Encore "a one-time hit." He said MGM Springfield is working to bring potential new employees through training school, and is trying to hire former employees who worked at other casinos who may have been laid off.

Besides losing workers to Encore, casino officials said they've been struggling with employee turnover.

MGM Springfield said it currently has about 125 job openings, and a similar number who are going through the hiring process. 

The casino's agreement with Springfield said MGM would try to have 3,000 workers when it opened, but that number has now dropped by about a third.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission listens to a presentation from MGM Springfield officials at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield.
Credit Adam Frenier / NEPR
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission listens to a presentation from MGM Springfield officials at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield.

After MGM's presentation, Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chair Cathy Judd-Stein insisted the Springfield casino is headed in the right direction. That's despite the size of the workforce going backwards, and the resort missing its first-year gambling revenue goal by more than $100 million.

Judd-Stein was asked if either of those issues concern her.

"With respect to economic development — I've said it before — it's a little bit of a long-term play," she said. "While it's been a full year, I think we continue to, and need to, look over more time to one, really understand our data, and then understand the trends."

Judd-Stein said the commission is satisfied with MGM, in terms of being what she called "a great partner for Springfield."

Copyright 2019 New England Public Media

Adam is based at New England Public Radio’'s Berkshire County news bureau in Pittsfield, where he has been since August, 2015. He joined NEPR as a freelance reporter and fill-in operations assistant during the summer of 2011. For more than 15 years, Adam has had a number stops throughout his broadcast career, including as a news reporter and anchor, sports host and play-by-play announcer as well as a producer and technician.

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