Encore Boston Harbor Casino Opens in Massachusetts

  • The Encore Boston Harbor Casino opened its doors on June 23
  • It cost $2.6bn to develop and contains 3,158 slot machines, 143 tables games, and 88 poker tables
  • Wynn Resorts owns the casino but its license was in danger because of an investigation
  • The company was fined $35m by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission for systemic failures relating to sexual misconduct allegations concerning the company founder Steve Wynn
Encore Boston Harbor Casino
The Encore Boston Harbor Casino, which recently opened its doors, is the second resort casino up in Massachusetts.

Opening of the new casino

The Encore Boston Harbor Casino opened its doors on June 23 after an extensive battle by the operator, Wynn Resorts, to hold onto its license. This is the second resort casino up in Massachusetts; the MGM Springfield opened in August 2018.

The new casino is located on the Everett waterfront, just north of Boston. It will be open on a 24/7 basis, all year and expects as many as 23,000 visitors on a normal day, with this figure rising to about 50,000 on peak weekends.

This project cost $2.6bn (£2.0bn) to develop. The property encompasses 33 acres and includes everything from a hotel to numerous nightlife and dining choices, conference areas, boutique stores, a park, and a spa. Casino owners believe that it is the only “true Vegas casino” in the northeast section of the US.

The casino’s head of table games, Doug Williams, said: “I’m not saying the other casinos aren’t nice, but if you come here you will see the Wynn attention to details and the brighter lights and the chandeliers and the flowers and the carousel — everything that is known for the brand that you wouldn’t get at the other properties.”

What does the casino look like?

The new resort casino boasts 3,158 slot machines, ranging from classic titles to revolutionary new video slots titles. You can play slots for as little as $0.01 up to high-roller slots that have minimums of $500 per spin. Many extremely popular themed slot titles are offered, such as Game of Thrones, Wheel of Fortune, and Monopoly.

There are 143 table games, with the standard options of roulette, blackjack, baccarat, and craps as well as having some more unusual options, such as war. Among the table games are some with $5 minimums, which are ideal for beginner players. Complimentary drinks are served at these tables, which also feature phone chargers.

Most of the table games do have a $25 minimum bet, for the first few weeks after opening at least. The second floor will have tables with higher minimums of up to $500. The second floor also contains the poker room. This room has 88 tables, including 11 high-limit options. Buy-ins for these games will range from $100 to $1,500.

High roller section

The Encore also has an exclusive section for high rollers containing six private rooms that, on average, will have a minimum of $1,000. These rooms will be manned by some of the most experienced dealers in the country and butlers will be on hand to wait on every need. Under Massachusetts laws, players cannot use cash advances on credit cards or checks when placing bets, so cash is key and many ATMs are on site.

With sports betting potentially on the horizon in the near future in the state, there reportedly is an area in the casino set aside for this eventuality.

Overcoming controversy

There have been doubts about Wynn Resort’s ability to operate this new casino resort. The company was fined $35m (£44.6m) by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission but was allowed to keep its casino license.

The fine arose from allegations of sexual misconduct by the founder and former CEO of the company, Steve Wynn. The allegations came to light in January 2018 in a Wall Street Journal report. This led to Wynn’s resignation and several investigations into the company.

The Encore Boston Harbor Casino was to be called the Wynn Boston Harbor Casino before these allegations. The Massachusetts fine was imposed because the company failed to disclose the allegations during the bidding process for the casino. Several key figures in the company were personally fined and the state of Nevada also fined Wynn Resorts $20m (£25.5m).

In May, Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts International discussed a possible sale of the casino resort but the two sides could not reach an agreement, so Wynn remains the owner and operator.

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