Encore reopening important step for city’s financial future

Encore Boston Harbor casino and resort July 18, 2020. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)


Encore has successfully traversed the new normal we are all living with by opening for a full week following a four-month shutdown due to the Coronavirus.

While the jury remains out on exactly how successful a week it was, company officials are ebullient that the casino and hotel have reopened, and that a semblance of normalcy has returned to the gaming floor and hotel.

The casino is open 24/7. The hotel has reopened four days a week – Thursday through Sunday.

This translates into positive news for Everett City Hall.

Encore’s in lieu of tax payment to the city brings in $30 million yearly according to the host agreement.

Encore closed, and the city cannot survive financially in its present iteration.

Encore open and doing business, well, that’s a reason for relief, at least for the moment.

Encore has rehired as many as several thousand employees – or called them back after furloughing them – in order to meet the crush of new and costly COVID-19 regulations.

Casino analysts point out that the cost of doing business right now for Encore, and all casinos in the region, is weighted down by the heavy price for having so many employees to watch over hygienic issues when so few people are tending to come to the reopened casinos.

Casinos in Massachusetts and Connecticut are not allowed full occupancy.

The Encore Boston Harbor casino. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Occupancy during the first week after the shutdown amounted to about 1/3 occupancy, according to casino analysts.

The exact amount of wagering will be announced in August by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on the 15th.

It is a wild guess, according to casino experts, what exactly will be generated by Encore during the first month reopen.

There is unanimous agreement it won’t be anywhere near the $42 million to $52 million average monthly wagering take the casino was generating before the shutdown.

Unless and until tourists begin flocking to Boston and the region again, casino income will be flat, casino analyst predict.

It is expected to be the same in Las Vegas and in Macau, where Wynn Resorts has major stakes responsible for much of its income.

National economists are now all speaking about the impossibilities posed by the presence of the virus, that unless the virus comes under control, the economy cannot run upward by its side.

The two are incompatible, according to experts.

Stock market analysts are looking at the long term for casinos rather than dwelling on the short term.

The long term looks rich with income and profits, higher employment figures and sound economic health.

Casino stock analysts have been looking ahead as far as 2025.

By then, a vaccine is assured, and a greater sense of normalcy will have returned to the marketplace. Right now, everything appears tenuous and difficult.

The virus growing geometrically in the Sun Belt states cannot be allowed to go on out of control.

Such a situation puts the short-term economic future of the city at risk.

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