Encore president says casino will open on time
Regulators approve drinks for gamblers until 4 a.m.
THE TOP OFFICIAL at Encore Boston Harbor told state regulators on Wednesday that the Everett hotel and casino will open on schedule at 10 a.m. June 23. It will also be allowed to serve complimentary alcoholic drinks to active gambling customers until 4 a.m., thanks to a ruling by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
The opening plans announced by Robert DeSalvio put to rest all the hemming and hawing coming out of the Wynn Resorts corporate headquarters in Las Vegas, where President and CEO Matt Maddox had previously indicated the opening might be delayed by one or two weeks. He had also considered selling the casino to MGM Resorts, but those plans were dropped by both parties on Tuesday.
While the opening appears to be a go, there was still no word on when Wynn Resorts will comply with the terms laid out by the Gaming Commission for the company to retain its Massachusetts casino license – a $35 million corporate fine, a $500,000 fine on Maddox, executive coaching for Maddox, and an independent monitor who would set a number of human resource policies. All of the terms arose out of a lengthy investigation by the Gaming Commission into the company’s handling of Steve Wynn’s sexual misconduct.
Maddox earlier this month told financial analysts that he may challenge some of the “secondary and tertiary conditions imposed by the commission.” He said he did not think an appeal of some of the conditions would prevent the casino from opening.
Most of the commissioners approved the extended timing after being assured that protocols are in place for limiting alcohol consumption (no more than 1 ounce per drink and no more than three drinks per hour) and for monitoring to make sure no gambler has overdone it.
Law enforcement and Gaming Commission officials said there have been no serious problems so far at the MGM Resorts casino in Springfield, which has been serving alcohol to active gamblers until 4 a.m. since it opened.Jacqui Krum, a vice president at Encore Boston Harbor, assured the commissioners that between wait staff, security officials, and video monitoring employees there will be lots of safeguards in place to check for over-consumption of alcohol.
“This building has eyes on it like nowhere else,” she said.