Casinos in Massachusetts listed a strong month of earnings in March, together with totals hitting pre-pandemic amounts for the first time because COVID-19 brought the gambling sector to a halt last spring.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission said Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, and Plainridge Park Casino had brought in a combined $84 million Final month. That is more than any month since February 2020.

The totals are an encouraging indication for the industry, which faces capacity restrictions and has to follow strict public health protocols after months of anemic enterprise. Casino operators throughout the country have for months been expecting to find a spike in visits as vaccinations rise.

Paul DeBole, a political science professor at Lasell University who follows the nation’s gaming industry carefully, stated he sees indications of pent-up demand in the most recent numbers. But he said it’s too soon to assess the post-pandemic prospects of the Massachusetts facilities.

If a number of the increase was composed of one-time traffic, DeBole explained, that might not assist the casinos much. And any drawback in the fight against COVID-19 could hurt businesses everywhere.

“I am encouraged. We have experienced a year of being in the doldrums,” DeBole explained. “If they bounce back to pre-pandemic numbers, that is good — bearing in mind that the pre-pandemic numbers were not anywhere near what was anticipated.

Even before COVID-19, the casino industry in Massachusetts had not been generating the level of revenue that was expected when the state legalized gambling expansion in 2011, typically nothing compared to the likes of giant as Online Casino Canada real money

In March, Encore Boston Harbor brought in $49.7 million in gaming revenue, the majority of that money coming from slot machines. Ahead of the pandemic, table matches had generally been the key driver of revenue at the Everett casino. It had been Encore’s biggest earnings month since February 2020.