When it comes to casino gameplay, we all want to be winners. There is nothing like landing a big score and earning a huge payday from a slot machine or card game. For most people, a big win is cashed out after it occurs. However, for some, smaller prizes are held on to and claimed later. In the state of Massachusetts, players have a certain time frame in which to claim wins. The state’s Gaming Commission has decided to extend this time frame due to the shutdown of casino facilities due to the coronavirus.
Extended Time Frame
Many players were afraid that their winnings were lost, now that casinos have been closed for several weeks. In the past, state regulations had a one-year time frame in which players could claim a prize or cash wins. While this is a long time frame, it is unclear as to how long the casinos in the state, or the US for that matter, will be shut down.
Because of the closure, the Commission decided to approve a new caveat to the regulations. The one year period to claim prizes does not include any time that the gaming facilities were shut down. So, no matter how long the closure, players can consider that time frame null and void when it comes to claiming prizes.
Casinos in the state shut down back on March 15th and will remain closed through May 4th. During the Commission meeting, which was held remotely, the members concluded that the closure is an emergency situation and some players would be unable to claim prizes within the year deadline. With the change, unclaimed winnings will not expire based on the time of the closure.
Claims that do expire see the winnings go towards the gaming reserve fund set up by the Commission.
Reopening Date Unknown
While the casinos in Massachusetts have set a reopening date for May 4th and casinos in other states have opening dates as well, it is still unknown as to if they will actually reopen for business. The federal government seems to be leaning towards a May reopening of the country, at least to some degree. However, medical officials may not be on the same page.
If areas do open up in May, it is unclear if casinos will be part of the change and if players will even be willing to go back to the slots and table games due to the threat of the coronavirus. For areas that are hard hit, it may be some weeks yet before any type of business gets back to normal.
For now, we will wait and see what develops via the federal government. It seems most states are taking a cue from the Trump administration as to what they need to do. If the president recommends that businesses like casinos are to reopen then it is inevitable that operators will begin to open their doors once again.