Encore Boston Harbor Resort Opening Soon

It’s been less than a year since a new casino opened in New England. But within days, Encore Boston Harbor Resort Opening. The opening of MGM Springfield and legalized sports betting in Rhode Island bumped up gambling interests in New England. But, Encore Boston Harbor raises the bar far above the other gaming properties in many ways.

With a sluggish first quarter, Wynn Resorts hopes their new Boston resort will be a huge boost for their bottom line. According to the Motley Fool’s post VIP Aren’t Betting Like They Used to at Wynn Resorts,  it’s “still unknown whether Boston will attract the highly profitable baccarat players that have thus far driven [Wynn Resorts] Las Vegas and Macau’s profitability.”

NETimeGambling is a believer that Encore Boston Harbor opening will be a huge success, to the dismay of the other eight casinos in New England.

Related Post – Steve Wynn’s Everett Casino Will Happen

Previous head and namesake of Wynn Resorts, Steve Wynn, always said he was “in the resort business, not the casino business.”  The past year has been a rather volatile one for Mr, Wynn. Wynn Resorts ban its founder and former boss Steve Wynn from all its properties.It was part of the company’s efforts to keep its gaming license in the Massachusetts gaming market. While his name removed from the original project, his premier plans for this resort will soar above all that the northeast has to offer.

The WOW Factor

Wynn Las Vegas

Wynn resorts has always had a passion to “wow” guests. His resort design in Boston will offer amazing amenities, fine dining, premium retail offerings, and incredible entertainment. His vision for the Boston area will arrive with the same posh elegance seen in Las Vegas, Cotai & Macau China.

The resort lies on the Mystic River in the city of Everett. It will feature more than three million square feet/13 acres of gross floor area. Let’s take a look at what we can expect at Encore Boston Harbor.

27-floor hotel with 671 rooms, including 104 luxury suites –

Luxury is what we think of  when we hear the name Wynn Resorts.  According to PRNewswire.com, in April of 2019, “Wynn Resorts ….. earned the distinction of being the highest-scoring hotel company in the world as rated by Forbes Travel Guide. They outranked all other luxury hotel brands the company rates, representing a total of 1,105 hotels in 58 countries. Wynn Resorts exceeded each and every other luxury hotel brand including The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company, The Peninsula Hotels, and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, among others.”

Encore Boston Deluxe King Room

The Everett property’s “smallest room,” the 650 square feet Premier King, is not only the largest standard hotel room in the Boston area, it is also the largest in New England. Wynn resorts always pays attention to the highest in quality and innovation. This hotel includes 507-thread-count linens, overstuffed pillows and shams, state-of-the-art conveniences voice-activated lights, curtains, heating,  air-conditioning, and privacy settings. The highest quality suite will be the Signature Harbor View Suite, combining the comfort and amenities of a 1,350-square-foot Signature Suite with a pristine view of Boston Harbor and the city skyline.

15 restaurants and lounges ranging from waterfront casual to fine dining

Sinatra Wynn Las Vegas

The list includes a steakhouse, two Italian restaurants, a craft beer garden, a sports bar, a nightclub, a Vegas-style buffet, and, of course, Dunkin’ Donuts.  The Buffet will most likely be similar to Wynn Las Vegas. It will include beautiful decor, over 120 different food items ranging from the usual fare to unusual delights. The buffet area will be a fresh, clean, flower-adorned room, accompanied by a price double that of the buffets at Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods. Considering the Wynn Las Vegas Buffet is one of the best on the Strip, this buffet will surely not disappoint.

Successful restaurants from Wynn and Encore in Las Vegas will be available at Encore Boston Harbor. The acclaimed Sinatra restaurant and Rare Steakhouse, inspired by the SW Steakhouse at Wynn Las Vegas, will headline the dining options. Encore Boston Harbor will also place a heavy emphasis on locally inspired venues ,including Fratelli, a casual Italian restaurant and bar created by Boston North End entrepreneurs Frank DePasquale and Nick Varano.

Related Post – A Taste of the North End Is Headed for the Everett Casino

State-of-the-art convention and meeting space

Ballroom area rendition.

A 37,000 square-foot waterfront grand ballroom with10 break-out rooms, (total of over 50,000 sq. feet) and promenade. All meeting space is on the ground level. The space is  only 1/6th the space of the new massive Mohegan Exposition Center. However, being located near Boston will certainly translate to a major convention option as the largest ballroom space in Boston outside of the Boston Convention and Exhibition.

Harborwalk, Park & Shuttles, oh My

The 6-acre, four-season public Harborwalk and park will be open for all to enjoy.  Shuttle buses and boats will transport employees and guests to and from major transportation hubs in the area, as well as points across Boston Harbor. The intention from the beginning was to offer “Boston’s most magnificent outdoor gathering spot.” Public amenities will include a picnic park, paths for bikers and pedestrians, as well as viewing decks, waterfront restaurants and retail. The plans also include a performance lawn and boat docks. Custom-built European-style water shuttles will transport guests year-round from Boston directly to the resort.

Encore BosTon Harbor opening Casino with Flair

Elegance is the word most used in describing Wynn & Encore Las Vegas casinos. And the same magnificent gaming floor, with more than 4,000 gaming positions, will be in Everett. According to TravelPulse.com, “The 210,000-square-foot casino is divided into two spacious sections, with high ceilings and hand-assembled red Murano glass chandeliers transplanted from their original home at Encore at Wynn Las Vegas.” The casino features:

  • more than 3,000 classic and state-of-the-art slot machines
  • 143 table games
  • a stunning casino bar are centrally located beneath a grand staircase
  • secluded terraces offering high-end poker, VIP and private-gaming experiences

Casino rendition, courtesy Eventbrite.com

However, gambling rules & conditions have always seemed an after thought. The resort comes first. Gambling in a Wynn casino can be a financially tight experience, especially for low to mid rollers. In Vegas, Blackjack pays 6-5 for its $15 tables, but you can get 3-2 on its $100, $50, and $25 tables. The dealer must hit on soft 17 at all tables. Expect the same at Boston Harbor.  Encore’s Poker Room should rival the likes of all New England’s casinos in comfort and amenities.

According to Massachusetts Gaming Commission guidelines, the casino will be non-smoking, with no ATMs available on the casino floor. Cash Advance is not available Massachusetts casinos according to MGC guidelines.

WHO WILL VISIT?

The clientele will be an eclectic mix of worldly travelers, gamblers, foodies and and vacationers. Wynn Resorts reduced its expected luxury brand retail area by 80% making more meeting and convention space. With an already vibrant club scene in Boston, two venues at Encore will make quite a splash to compete. “Mystique and Memoire are destined to be flagship destinations at Encore Boston Harbor,”  Big Night Entertainment Group principal Ed Kane said. “We are thrilled to be able to deliver the premier, first-class experience that guests will expect at the resort.”

CONCLUSION

I visited and stayed at both Wynn and Encore Las Vegas. Steve Wynn’s previously-owned groundbreaking properties, such asMirage, Bellagio, are iconic, inspiring so much of the Vegas Strip’s landscape.

Encore Boston Harbor will be that inspiration for Northeast casinos. And it all starts this June, and NETimeGambling will be there.

Binbin

 

 

 

New England Casino Expansion – A Look at Past and Present

 

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New England Casino Coverage!

The dust is beginning to settle in New England’s State legislatures. As gambling continues to expand in the northeast, there are bound to be winners and losers. It’s hard to say who will be the real winners and losers in the New England Casino Expansion story. At this point, I can at least speculate, can’t I?

New England Expansion Winners

Massachusetts is a big winner with MGM Springfield & Encore Boston Harbor anchoring the Bay State. They are two of the biggest players in the casino industry.and brings lots of advantages to this young gambling market.

Rhode Island casinos are winners with the addition of sports betting. Unfortunately, the revenue from sports betting hasn’t lived up to expectations, but it is improving.

But, the New England Casino Expansion has produced one major group of winners – New England’s resident gamblers.  Competition between the three southern New England states has given New England residents new gambling options & conditions to choose from.  Links to reward clubs such as MLife, Wynn Red Card, and the change of Penn National to Choice Rewards gives a national connection coast to coast. Promotions and entertainment offerings have also seen a greater competition, which only translates as a positive for consumers.

New England Expansion Losers

Who are the potential losers in this expansion?  Well, depending upon future growth, some of the winners may also be partial losers.

Connecticut casinos have been seen as the biggest losers by the yearly decline in revenue of approximately 7-9% each month. But, because of recent talks with Bridgeport and the CT legislature, the future seems brighter.  With the federal approval for the casino venture in East Windsor, Connecticut could have a third casino on the Massachusetts border, just 10 minutes away from MGM Springfield. The two CT tribes – Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegans – could have their joint venture, Tribal Winds, up and running by 2021.

And Connecticut could reverse the tables on MGM International.  Recent talks with Bridgeport & CT legislators could continue the monopoly of gaming and the expected revenue in the state.  With an open bidding process, the Constitution State would lose 25% of all slot revenue from both Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun.

An artist’s rendering of the proposed MGM Bridgeport casino. (Image: MGM Resorts International)

Plainridge Casino’s Caught In Between

Plainridge Park Casino and Raceway could the biggest loser.  This quaint first Massachusetts casino in Plainville Massachusetts opened in 2015.  Penn National has been building loyal patrons ever since, slowly increasing revenue to surrounding communities and the Bay State. Plainridge has one glaring problem – its slots only, and has no hotel. And they are surrounded by competition. Twin River Casino & Hotel is ten minutes away with over twice the slots, tons of table games, and more dining options. Remember, they also have legalized sports betting.

The New England Casino Expansion of Encore Boston Harbor will also present a huge problem for Plainridge. The newest New England Casino is only 50 minutes away –  a big, beautiful resort offering all the amenities and gambling options you’d expect from from Wynn Resorts. Also, the CT casinos are just over an hour away.

How will Plainridge survive? The Massachusetts Gaming Commission must change the original gaming rules so it can expand, include table games, and add a hotel. However, it doesn’t look to happen soon. Let’s hope that this Plainville Property hangs until then.

The race to more Sports Betting

I believe the finish line to the Legal Sport Betting finish line will be as follows:

Win – Rhode Island, if they add mobile online betting in Rhode Island.

Place – Massachusetts.  It will take longer than expected, but eventually they will get it right. As heard on the Art In The Game podcast recently, guest Dustin Gouker suggested multiple vendors would be best, giving competitive lines and bonuses to MA residents. RI uses only one, William Hill, and is run by the RI Lottery.

Show – Maine & New Hampshire. (tie)  Yes, they both will beat out CT.  Again, it will  be a slow process, but the Maine legislature is more apt to pass it before a third casino for their tribal communities.  New Hampshire has already passed a beginning bill concerning legal sports betting.

NO Show – Connecticut.  It’s very complicated. If the tribes don’t get the sole ownership of legal sports betting, they see it as breaking the gaming pact first established in 1992. So many want a piece of the sports betting pie – OTB, KENO operators, and the LOTTERY. We will see a prolonged stalemate on this one.

Related Post – Gambling Legislation Updates in New England

THE ORIGINAL WINNERS – ONCE ENEMIES

The Pequot and Mohegan Tribes were once one tribe. But war with colonists, differences with other tribes, and different tribal and colonial alliances caused a split that continues to this day. Over 250 years after the Pequot War (which almost eradicated the entire Pequot Nation), a bingo hall rose on what was left of the Mashantucket Pequot reservation in 1985.

Previous to 1992, both tribes fought for federal & state recognition as well as keeping land claims. Then governor Weicker agreed to give the Pequots a monopoly on slot machines in return for 25 percent of the slot machine revenue with the state guaranteed $160 Million. A year later, in 1993, the Pequots  agreed to share the gaming business with the Mohegans, a tribe with whom they have lived for centuries, but the Indian monopoly is extended to all casino games.

NEW ENGLAND CASINO EXPANSION – 1992 to the PRESENT

Foxwoods started it all with a Bingo hall.

Foxwoods started it all with a Bingo hall.

  • 1992 – first New England Casino as Foxwoods opens its doors in Mashantucket, CT
  • 1992 – Rhode Island approves VLT gaming machines (class II) at Lincoln Greyhound Park & Newport Jai Alai
  • 1996 – the Mohegan Tribe opens the second NE casino in Uncasville, CT
  • 2005 – Hollywood Slots Hotel & Raceway opens in Bangor, Maine
  • 2007 – Lincoln Greyhound Park turns into Twin River Casino with class III gaming; Newport soon follows
  • 2008 – MGM joins Foxwoods with additional hotel / casino
  • 2011 – MA legislature approves construction of 3 casinos
  • 2012 – Oxford Casino opens in Oxford, Maine, making two casinos in Maine
  • 2015 – Plainridge Park opens in Plainville, MA, first of three casinos  at – slots only.
  • 2017 – Oxford Casino opens Hotel and casino expansion
  • 2018 – Newport Grand closes; MA opens 2nd Casino, first full casino, in Springfield; Twin River Group moves Newport Grand operations to newly opened Tiverton Casino & Hotel; Twin River Casino opens new hotel; RI casinos offer first legal sports betting
  • 2019 – MA opens third casino in Everett, Encore Boston Harbor

Related PostNew England Casinos – How Many by 2022?

Gambling Options Before 1992

Casino gambling found a home in the 1800’s in Newport, Rhode Island, not to mention the numerous greyhound, horse tracks and  parimutuel parlors throughout New England. Jai Alai frontons in Milford & Hartford CT, and Newport, RI were also popular for a while in the 1970 – 90s until Foxwoods opened. Rhode Island’s Lincoln Greyhound Park became Twin River Casino later.greyhound

The Many Casinos That Never made it

New England has had more casino proposals not come to fruition than the Las Vegas Strip. For those of you living here, remember these possibilities?

  • Penn National Casino in Springfield, MA (2013)
  • Caesars Casino proposal in Boston, MA (2013) partnering with Suffolk Downs
  • Mohegan Sun Casino proposal in Palmer MA (2013)
  • Hard Rock International Casino proposal in West Springfield MA (2013)
  • Mashpee Wampanoag “First Light” Casino in Tauton MA (2013) [not daed yet]
  • Nunes/Foxwoods Casino proposal in Milford MA (2013)
  • Rush Gaming Slots-only proposal in Worcester MA (2013)
  • Racino proposal in Scarborough ME (2013)
  • Cordish Gaming Slots-only proposal in Foxboro MA (2013)
  • Penn National opts out of Casino in Springfield, MA, to set sites on slots-only in Plainville (2013)
  • New Hampshire proposes three separate casinos (2012, 2013, 2015), but none to show for it.
  • The Passamaquoddy Tribe and the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians casino proposals ME
  • Mohegan Sun Casino proposal for Revere MA (after MGM chosen for Springfield (2014)
  • Maine Casino Proposal @Scarborough Downs (2014)
  • Foxwoods Casino Proposal in New Bedford MA (2014)
  • Rush Gaming Casino in Brockton MA (2014 – 2018)
  • York Casino Proposal ME (2015, 2017)

    Foxwoods New Bedford (top), Rush Gaming’s Brockton Proposal, which is hanging on by a thread.

For now, there are  9 casinos when Encore Boston Harbor opens. And now, the plot thickens………

Binbin

Encore Boston Harbor – What Can We Expect?

It’s been less than a year since a casino has opened in New England, but none with the anticipation and excitement of Encore Boston Harbor.  We see fabulous additions in CT and Springfield, and sports betting in Rhode Island. Beautiful interior designs found at Mohegan Sun, great thrill rides at Foxwoods, the wonderful exterior retrofit of Springfield’s MGM downtown  and beautiful hotels, new and old from Maine to the CT shoreline have been visited by millions.

Encore Boston Harbor raises the bar far above the rest in many ways.  Today’s post will be a positive look of anticipation. Wynn Resorts hopes their new Boston resort will boost their own sluggish first quarter, which included their Las Vegas & overseas gaming volume down and the company’s key VIP market weak compared to rest of the market. According to the Motley Fool’s post VIP Aren’t Betting Like They Used to at Wynn Resorts,   it’s “still unknown whether Boston will attract the highly profitable baccarat players that have thus far driven [Wynn Resorts] Las Vegas and Macau’s profitability.”

Previous head and namesake of Wynn Resorts, Steve Wynn, always said he was “in the resort business, not the casino business.”  While the past year has been a volatile one for Mr, Wynn, the fact that the birth of modern Vegas being traced back to many of his buildings and innovations cannot be taken away from him. Though banned with his name taken off the original project, his plans for this resort will soar above all that the northeast has to offer.

The WOW Factor

Wynn Las Vegas

Wynn resorts has always had a passion to “wow” guests by designing resorts that offer amazing amenities, fine dining, premium retail offerings, and incredible entertainment.Now, his vision for the Boston area will finally arrive with the same posh elegance seen in Las Vegas, Cotai & Macau China. The resort lies on the Mystic River in the city of Everett. It will feature more than three million square feet/13 acres of gross floor area. Let’s take a look and compare to Wynn & Encore Resorts on the Las Vegas Strip to get an idea of what to expect.

27-floor hotel with 671 rooms, including 104 luxury suites –

Luxury is the first consideration when with Wynn Resorts Hotels.  According to PRNewswire.com, in April of 2019, “Wynn Resorts ….. earned the distinction of being the highest-scoring hotel company in the world as rated by Forbes Travel Guide, outranking all other luxury hotel brands the company rates, representing a total of 1,105 hotels in 58 countries. Wynn Resorts exceeded each and every other luxury hotel brand including The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company, The Peninsula Hotels, and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, among others.”

Encore Boston Deluxe King Room

The Everett property “smallest room,” the 650 square feet Premier King, is not only the largest standard hotel room in the Boston area, it is also the largest in New England.” Attention to the highest in quality and innovation includes 507-thread-count linens, overstuffed pillows and shams, state-of-the-art conveniences voice-activated lights, curtains, heating,  air-conditioning, and privacy settings. The highest quality suite will be the Signature Harbor View Suite, combining the comfort and amenities of a 1,350-square-foot Signature Suite with a pristine view of Boston Harbor and the city skyline.

15 restaurants and lounges ranging from waterfront casual to fine dining

Sinatra Wynn Las Vegas

The list includes a steakhouse, two Italian restaurants, a craft beer garden, a sports bar, a nightclub, a Vegas-style buffet, and, of course, Dunkin’ Donuts. If we look at their Vegas offerings,  The Buffet will most likely be similar to Wynn Las Vegas – beautiful decor, over 120 different food items ranging from the usual fare to unusual delights. All in a fresh, clean, flower-adorned room. This upscale affair will be pricey, however, probably double the price of the buffets at Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods. Considering the Wynn Las Vegas Buffet is considered on of the best on the Strip, this buffet will surely not disappoint.

Successful restaurants from Wynn and Encore in Las Vegas will be available at Encore Boston Harbor, including the acclaimed Sinatra restaurant and Rare Steakhouse, inspired by the SW Steakhouse at Wynn Las Vegas. Encore Boston Harbor will also place a heavy emphasis on locally inspired venues ,including Fratelli, a casual Italian restaurant and bar created by Boston North End entrepreneurs Frank DePasquale and Nick Varano.  .

State-of-the-art convention and meeting space

Ballroom area rendition.

A 37,000 square-foot waterfront grand ballroom with10 break-out rooms, (total of over 50,000 sq. feet) and promenade will surely serve many conventioneers. All meeting space is on the ground level. While this is only approximately 1/6th the space of the new massive Mohegan Exposition Center, location near Boston will certainly translate to a major convention option as the largest ballroom space in Boston outside of the Boston Convention and Exhibition

Harborwalk, Park & Shuttles, oh My

The 6-acre, four-season public Harborwalk and park that will be open for all to enjoy.  Shuttle buses and boats will transport employees and guests to and from major transportation hubs in the area and points across Boston Harbor.  The intention from the beginning was to offer “Boston’s most magnificent outdoor gathering spot.” Public amenities will include a picnic park, paths for bikers and pedestrians, viewing decks, waterfront restaurants and retail,  a performance lawn, abundant floral displays as in Vegas Wynn resorts and boat docks. Custom-built European-style water shuttles will transport guests year-round from Boston directly to the resort.

Casino

Elegance is the word most used for Wynn & Encore Las Vegas casinos, and the same magnificent gaming floor, with more than 4,000 gaming positions, will be presented in Everett. According to TravelPulse.com, “The 210,000-square-foot casino is divided into two spacious sections, with high ceilings and hand-assembled red Murano glass chandeliers transplanted from their original home at Encore at Wynn Las Vegas. The first-floor features more than 3,000 classic and state-of-the-art slot machines, 143 table games and a stunning casino bar centrally located at the heart of the floor beneath a grand staircase. An 88-table Poker Room on the second floor is flanked by secluded terraces overlooking the gaming floor, offering high-end poker, VIP and private-gaming experiences.”

Casino rendition, courtesy Eventbrite.com

However, gambling rules & conditions have always seemed an after thought – remember,” resorts, not casinos”  Gambling in a Wynn casino can yield very tight gambling, especially for low to mid rollers. In Vegas, roulette tables have 3 zero spots on them (traditional 2 zero tables at $25 and above) and Blackjack pays 6-5 for its $15 tables, but you can get 3-2 on its $100, $50, and $25 tables. The dealer must hit on soft 17 at all tables. Expect the same at Boston Harbor.  Encore’s Poker Room should rival the likes of all New England’s casinos.

According to Massachusetts Gaming Commission guidelines, the casino will be non-smoking, with no ATMs available on the casino floor. Cash Advance is not available at MGM Springfield due to GameSense rules, so, I would expect the same at Encore Boston Harbor Casino.

WHO WILL VISIT?

The clientele will be an eclectic mix of worldly travelers, gamblers, foodies and and vacationers. It’s typical Wynn Resorts luxury brand retail has been reduced to make more meeting and convention space, but will still entice the fashionable elite. The 36K SF ballroom will be the second-largest in the city, after one at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. While competing with an already vibrant club scene in Boston, two venues will be the place for people watching, dancing and partying all night long. “Mystique and Memoire are destined to be flagship destinations at Encore Boston Harbor,” Big Night Entertainment Group principal Ed Kane said in a prepared statement. “We are thrilled to be able to deliver the premier, first-class experience that guests will expect at the resort.”

CONCLUSION

I visited and stayed at both Wynn and Encore Las Vegas. So many of Steve Wynn’s previously-owned groundbreaking properties – Mirage, Bellagio – are historically iconic,  inspiring so much of the Vegas Strip’s landscape.

Encore Boston Harbor will be that inspiration for Northeast casinos. And it all starts this June, and NETimeGambling will be there.

Binbin