“There were people here at all hours of the day and night.”
By JOSH RESNEK
Covid restrictions are hampering the comeback at Encore.
Earning results for the gaming and hospitality giant are expected on Thursday – and they are expected to reveal the continued extent of the disaster caused by the pandemic.
Although earnings are expected to be terrible, there are some rays of hope.
A comeback is right now taking place despite or because of the pandemic. Encore did steady business over the weekend, the first in many months when the casino was allowed to remain open 24/7.
“There were people here at all hours of the day and night,” said an attendant familiar with the flow of business into the casino.
Although the casino is allowed only 25% of its normal capacity, the extension of hours approved last week by the state and the Gaming Commission is destined to increase revenues.
The casino is also adamant about Covid rules and regulations being followed.
Encore is a relatively safe environment; made safer by excessive company efforts to create a bubble of its own for gamblers and employees.
Revenues are everything to the casino and hotel.
Casino consultants and gaming experts across the board all agree – the return of Encore to 24/7 status and the hotel reopening is the beginning of the post Covid period.
In fact, most consultants believe Encore’s gaming numbers will rise significantly in February.
They believe that pent up demand for a place to go, for a safe place to go, will test the casino’s 25% capacity rule – that numbers of those wishing to get in will exceed the 25% that is now allowed.
The near-complete collapse of the revenue stream during the past year has caused Encore serious bumps along the road to success.
What was originally a five-star facility has morphed into just another casino.
With airline travel bringing tourists and business visitors to Boston dramatically down and almost non-existent, tourist interest in the Encore has never materialized.
With the continued inability of corporations to plan for conventions at the Encore, a great deal of anticipated business dollars have been lost.
In addition, the casino’s infrastructure and the corporate dream of a money-making giant have been severely impacted by the layoff of about 4,000 full-time employees.
Now comes the potential for yet another obstacle to success; the trade problems the United States is experiencing with China.
Gambling journals and online magazines are all indicating that Wynn Resorts operations in Macau – about 35 miles from Hong Kong – right now run the risk of being compromised by the Chinese government.
The government, it is believed, may or may not renew gaming licenses for the giants that operate there – and this includes Wynn Resorts.
Wynn Resorts generates 75% of its revenues from the Macau operations.
Any disruption in that cash flow beyond what has already been lost due to the Covid would be disastrous to the company’s future.
Again and again, gaming consultants agree across the board – casinos and their hotels will be doing bang-up numbers by the time 2027 rolls around.
It is expected that casino and hotel revenues will rise significantly in the second half of this year and into 2022.