After suffering more than its fair share of setbacks and snags, Boston’s newest casino is ready for a grand opening this weekend.
The Encore Boston Harbor will open its doors on Sunday, June 23 at 10 a.m. to much fanfare amidst a crowd upwards of 50,000 people.
Some of the biggest concerns to locals is the amount of traffic that will be caused by the major event, to which the local mayor has replied by imploring citizens to “leave (their) cars at home.”
That should give an idea of the impact this $2.6 billion endeavor will have on the town of Everett, Massachusetts located minutes from Boston, the 21st most populous city in the U.S.
Despite the name, the premises will be located on the Mystic River about an hour walk from the heart of downtown Boston, making it easily accessible, yet far enough from the hustle and bustle to give it a sort of vacation-like appeal.
The license to the casino was almost sold to MGM International following internal turmoil from the top down at Wynn Resorts, but negotiations reached a fallout.
Now, Wynn owns a “virtual monopoly” on the Boston area and it could turn into a hotbed of activity both for gaming and other forms of entertainment.
The State of Massachusetts expects to take 25 percent of gross gaming revenue from the facilities and these funds will be put towards local cities and towns as well as the state’s emergency savings fund.
Traffic will be alleviated by the casino itself which promises to offer its own brand of luxurious options to be combined with local transit.
Obvious concerns over potential gambling addiction have been sorted out through the offering of a voluntary self-exclusion program provided by the state.
The program allows for self-imposed banishment from the casino’s floors for any given period of time. Even if they manage to sneak in and win, they will be unable to collect their winnings if they’ve signed up for the program.
The casino will feature such luxurious amenities as “European-style” water shuttles, hotel rooms starting at a modest $650 a night and even a $28 million statue of Popeye the Sailorman.
15 bars and restaurants will be located on the premises including Bru, a 24-hour coffee shop, an imitation of the The Buffet from the Wynn Las Vegas, a 650-guest night club, a robata grill, burger bar, oyster bar, steakhouse and, of course, a Dunkin’.
The 3.1 million-square-foot facilities will also feature a 17-treatment-room spa and 671 of those pricey aforementioned hotel rooms.
Restaurants and amenities are all well and good, but as far as the casino action itself, the casino will feature plenty to keep amateur to hardcore gamblers happy.
The casino floor will feature 88 poker tables where one of the most popular casino games in the country can be played wall to wall.
These will go nicely with 3,158 total slot machines and loads of table games including, but not limited to, Blackjack, roulette, Mini Baccarat, Crazy Four Poker and Three Card Poker.
Sports betting is not yet legal in Massachusetts despite the SCOTUS decision last summer that struck down PASPA, so there aren’t any plans for a sportsbook at the moment.
Only time will tell, however, if the sports-crazed town of Boston might finally get its chance to wager on the teams it cares so deeply about.
Smoking will not be allowed on the casino floors, as it is in many casino facilities around the country, although alcohol sales (and comped drinks) will be allowed until as late at 4 a.m.