LOOKING AT THE NEWS

More black eyes for Encore

By Josh Resnek

Do you know anyone who goes to a casino or hotel intending to start a fight on the gaming floor?

I don’t.

Frankly, the idea of fighting inside a casino is as alien to me as fighting in public anywhere.

Last weekend, several folks showed up at the Encore Casino who were headed for very different and difficult experiences.

To be perfectly honest, there was no way for the Encore operators to stop what happened over the weekend.

It is, after all, impossible to police people bent on creating havoc in places meant for fun.

Saturday night, two State Police troopers and an Everett police officer were injured in separate chaotic scenes leading to the tasering and arrest of one man and the arrest of another.

Around 2 a.m. Saturday night, a man identified as Brandon Wangoon, 25, of Brockton was being led from the gaming floor by Encore security when he became irate and aggressive.

When police arrived, he apparently took it to another level and violently attacked the police.

A trooper used a stun gun to disable Wangoon and to handcuff him. Wangoon again became assaultive, according to police, and had to be tackled.

A trooper struck his head taking down Wangoon and was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital where it was reported he had suffered a concussion.

Continue reading LOOKING AT THE NEWS

— Eye on Everett —

Seeing Red

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By Josh Resnek

Since opening at the end of June, the casino has not come close to reaching income estimates established by the pro’s running the place who gained much of their experience in Las Vegas and Macau.

The Everett Encore Casino and Hotel is not Macau or Las Vegas. The masters of gaming and entertainment there have not achieved mastery here.

Boston and the cities around it like Everett are places unto themselves.

People here, people coming here, tend to enjoy themselves in environments that have little to nothing to do with casino gambling.

The leadership of Encore has come to understand this in a few short months of operation.

Nearly everything having to do with excessive pricing and higher prices have come down since the June opening.

In fact, there is a sign in Medford atop a great pole advertising Encore’s new specials – $15 gaming tables and free parking.

That’s down from $50 gaming tables and $40 parking charges when the doors first opened.

Room prices for the hotel – inarguably about the most lavishly appointed and conceived structure of its kind in New England and originally hailed as the most expensive– now features rooms for $100 or even less for Red Card holders during certain times.

All the room prices have fallen – even the larger rooms and suite pricing have not fallen, they have collapsed.

Occupancy is lower than expected.

The big numbers expected just aren’t being generated.

Continue reading — Eye on Everett —

Steve Wynn to be Banned from Owning Casino License in Nevada

By Josh Resnek

The founder and former owner of the Wynn Company, whose vision and energy and money built the Encore Boston Harbor Hotel and Casino is being banned from owning a casino license in Nevada by the Nevada Gaming Commission.

Although Wynn Company was fined $35 million before they opened their doors here in June, Steve Wynn’s status was not determined in a legal way by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission except to note that he would not be allowed to be the licensee of the Encore facility and that his name could not appear on the facility identifying it.

The Nevada action now being taken comes as a result of a new spate of lawsuits against Wynn as well as a spate of older ones.

Continue reading Steve Wynn to be Banned from Owning Casino License in Nevada

Wynn sends $35.5 million fine to state

By Josh Resnek

One of the sticking points that has so far prevented Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox from paying the fines that are due on May 31 are highlighted beautifully in the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s seeking bids for an independent monitor to watch over Maddox and what he does.

The MGC is right now advertising for an independent monitor.

Without an independent monitor, the casino will not open.

A central finding of the commission’s investigation stated: “Over a course of years, a limited group of executives and employees in positions of authority at the Company, including in the legal division, were aware of certain allegations of sexual misconduct against Mr. Wynn involving employees, but they disregarded Company policies when it came to handling those allegations. The investigation also shows that in some instances particular Company executives, with assistance of outside counsel, were part of affirmative efforts to conceal allegations against Mr. Wynn. Their efforts at secrecy made it exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, for gaming regulators to detect potentially derogatory information through typical regulatory means.”

This is why as part of the MGC’s decision, Maddox must be followed around for the next 3 years.

Continue reading Wynn sends $35.5 million fine to state

Will they or won’t they?

By Josh Resnek

A spate of articles in the national and local press, and online throughout the media, are speculating about whether or not Wynn Resorts is going to sign the adjudicatory judgment made against them, pay the $35 million fine and send its CEO Matt Maddox to training school after he pays his $500,000 fine.

In Nevada, at the major daily in the state, the Las Vegas Review Journal’s Rick Velotta has suggested that paying the fine immediately and getting on with business is not so easy for the gaming giant – that there actually might be the possibility that Wynn Resorts won’t agree to the judgment or will pursue legal remedies in court.

The largest fine ever levied against a gaming corporation by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission needs to be paid within 30 days of the judgment.

Continue reading Will they or won’t they?