Casino open but quiet, smaller crowds so far

“Everyone is wearing a mask”

Cars drive into the reopened Encore Boston Harbor casino July 13. (Photo By Jim Mahoney)


The first part of the first week reopening after four months of being shut down produced slimmer crowds of gamblers than hoped for, and only several dozen rooms rented at the hotel, according to an Encore executive who wished to remain unnamed.

He said by his observation that The Boston Harbor Casino and Hotel is very likely among the safest public places to be in Everett, or anywhere in the Greater Boston area.

“I felt very safe. I know the employees felt safe. Our customers felt safe,” he told the Leader Herald.

“Everyone was wearing masks. Nearly everyone was socially distancing. Employee requirements to clean and reclean and to note the cleaning was checked hour to hour by employees,” he said.

He described the scene at the casino as “definitely not bustling, but that executives were pleased to have the casino open again and generating income. Managers were happy and pleased to be back at work and for the doors to be open,” he added.

He said there is some “trepidation” about the hotel, which is open again but only Thursday through Sunday.

“It is like starting all over again,” said the executive. “I noticed some big money players among those walking through the doors but without poker, without hundreds of people playing poker, the place seems without excitement,” he added.

“The business needs to be built up again. With a bunch of specials aimed toward health care heroes, Everett residents and the such, business will increase. With specials and giveaways, more people will come. This is certain.”

He said hygiene efforts are over the top, with hand washing, social distancing, cleaning protocols and precautions of every kind to keep crowds from forming seemed to be working.

“There are reminders and signage posted everywhere about distancing, hand washing and how the games must be played by those who have come to gamble.”

He said the look and feel of the casino remains colorful, impeccably appointed.

“If you didn’t know there was an epidemic going on, the place in its appearance does not look to have changed very much. It remains a pleasing, exceptionally clean and safe place to be if you’re going to spend time inside,” he said.

“Overboard” is how he described the general overall effort to reopen the casino and hotel.

He said that most staff have not been recalled or scheduled yet for work.

At first, he added, work schedules will be reduced to come in line with the amount of business and income being generated.

“We are all thinking about the longer term. The longer term will be better than the shorter term,” he said.

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