After gaming revenue failed to meet expectations, MGM Springfield has a new man at the helm.
Chris Kelley, the former president of Ohio’s MGM Northfield Park, was named president and chief operating officer of the Massachusetts property Tuesday morning. Predecessor Mike Mathis will be taking on a new role as senior vice president of business development.
A recent report from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission showed MGM Springfield’s gross gaming revenue in December was $18.9 million, down from $21.6 million a year ago.
The $960 million, 250-room MGM Springfield opened in August 2018, promising to stir economic investment, new visitors and bring in new jobs.
But after only a year of operations, the property appeared to be struggling. It had shed hundreds of jobs, going from about 3,000 workers to roughly 2,300 in the summer of 2019. And although it was projected the property would make more than $400 million in its first year of operation, MGM Springfield made just under $265 million between September 2018 and August 2019, according to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
These numbers come as the property faces competition from the $2.6 billion, 671-room Encore Boston Harbor, which opened in the summer of 2019 and sits about 100 miles east, as well as tribal casinos in Connecticut. In December, gross gaming revenue at Encore Boston Harbor was $54 million, nearly triple MGM Springfield’s $18.9 million.
A new head
Kelly first joined MGM Resorts International in 2017 as vice president and chief financial officer of the MGM Detroit. He moved to MGM Northfield Park in April 2019, where he led its transition from a Hard Rock entity to an MGM Resorts International property. He has previously worked with Viejas Casino and Resort in San Diego, according to a Tuesday statement from MGM.
“We are excited to have Chris lead the MGM Springfield team,” said Jorge Perez, MGM’s regional portfolio president, in a press release. “Chris’ experience in Ohio, rebranding and integrating a property and introducing MGM to the community, will be an asset for Springfield.”
Kelley said he’s “thrilled” to start working in the Springfield community, and is excited to return to the area after having grown up in New England.
“MGM Springfield has so much to offer its guests and the property has made an extraordinary impact on the city,” he said in the release.
Meanwhile, Mathis’ role will have him report to MGM Resorts president and chief operating officer Bill Hornbuckle’s office and work on “various company initiatives.”
MGM Resorts shares closed down 6.2 percent Tuesday to $32.39.