Massachusetts' three casinos are expected to cease gambling operations by Sunday morning after a unanimous vote from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission Saturday prompted by the spread of the new coronavirus.
Gaming floors at Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park Casino are expected to close to gamblers at 6 a.m. Sunday, the commission announced.
"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," the commission said in a statement.
The closure will be re-evaluated in two weeks.
Encore, which has already had a guest later test positive for the coronavirus disease, COVID-19, confirmed Saturday that it would be closing gaming floors Sunday morning at 6 a.m. and all other operations at midnight Sunday.
Full-time employees will be paid during the two-week closure, the casino resort said in a statement that noted, "The health and welfare of our guests and employees has been our primary concern throughout this health crisis."
The gaming commission's announcement came as Gov. Charlie Baker announced that Massachusetts has created a coronavirus response command center and is relaxing requirements on who can be tested for COVID-19.
The commonwealth has among the most cases in the United States, 123 as of Friday.