By Josh Resnek
Encore Boston Harbor raised $669,019 during three test nights before opening day, the company has revealed.
Those three test nights were great successes all around and encore is going to be dividing up the spoils of those test nights among a host of charities and public organizations, according to company officials.
The company plans to send the money to six local nonprofits: Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, Bread of Life, Everett Community Schools, Malden YMCA, Mystic River Watershed Association and the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts.
Each organization will get a check for $111,503.16, according to a news release.
By itself, the check going to the Everett Public Schools for $111, 503.16 is found money, funding that could likely never be raised following the school’s yearly budget creation.
The power of the casino to produce funding for the local schools and charities is quite unlike any other corporation functioning in the city or the area.
Encore held three test nights the week before its Sunday morning launch on June 23, an unusual time for a casino opening.
Wynn Resorts set the date after working with public safety officials to mitigate it’s traffic impact. Traffic was indeed mitigated by the Sunday morning opening.
Traffic flew by the casino several hours after its official opening. Traffic has continued to flow without serious stoppages or bottlenecks since that opening day extravaganza.
Despite opening on Sunday morning, the casino is off to an extraordinary good start as the Everett Leader Herald has reported. Encore took in more than $16 million in the last week of June, according to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s monthly report.
It took in more gaming revenue in 8 days than MGM Grand in Springfield took in during the entire month! Encore said it will give a full report of its casino and resort revenue on a quarterly basis.
Initial projections suggested the $2.6 billion Everett casino would make more than $800 million a year. In fact, company officials are not denying that the casino and hotel could take in more than $1 billion during its first twelve months of operation.
Company officials were ebullient about the success of the test nights.
“Giving back to the communities in which we live and work is a large part of who we are as a company,” Encore President Robert DeSalvio said in a statement. “We are humbled that our friends and families came out in droves to support the opening of Encore Boston Harbor and helped us create an opportunity to make a meaningful impact with these worthy local organizations.”
The test night is like a dress rehearsal for the grand opening. Casinos typically hold a couple of test nights so regulators can determine whether the facility is ready to receive its permanent operating certificate. Wynn Resorts officials announced June 21, the day after the last test night, that the casino received its permanent operating certificate.
At the time, no one locally except for casino and hotel employees knew about the extent and the success of the test nights.