In Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Sun and Review reported this week that older gamblers have started to return to the Wynn properties there in far greater numbers.
The return of older gamblers, one of the pillars of everyday business that is done at casinos wherever they exist, is a key component of the rising revenue figures recently reported here and in Las Vegas.
Last month, revenues rose by almost $7 million at Encore Boston Harbor in Everett.
Activity at the casino according to several employees the Leader Herald has spoken with is markedly improved.
This is because of two reasons – vaccinations against the COVID shielding the elderly from sickness, and expanded hours of gambling allowed by the state as restrictions are being removed in tandem with infections and hospitalizations going down.
“Traffic inside Las Vegas casinos is picking up again, but it’s not all driven by young travelers with pent-up demand,” it was noted in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Casino operators say customers 65 and over have started to return, spurred by the growing availability of COVID-19 vaccines across the country.
“As more of the older end of the customer spectrum receives vaccines and becomes more comfortable with leaving their houses … that for sure means they’ll start to step out and go back to their favorite casinos again,” said gaming consultant Josh Swissman of The Strategy Organization, as reported in the Review-Journal.
In a sign of much better times likely to follow, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is allowing Encore Boston Harbor to reintroduce a 4th player position at blackjack-style tables, and in a bigger concession to the retreat of the virus, is allowing the reintroduction of the game of craps.
This not only applies to Encore but to MGM Springfield.
The curtailment and restriction of those games were regarded as a knife into the heart of the local gaming industry as those are two of the most hotly played games at Encore and wherever casinos exist.
Their return should have just the opposite effect.
The MGC ruled last Friday allowing for a 4th blackjack player but requires that layer positions would continue to be separated by plexiglass dividers separating the dealers from the players and between players’ positions.
Each week, I deliver newspapers to the media office at the Encore Boston Harbor Casino and Hotel.
I park my car out front, run inside with the papers, drop them at the hotel desk, where a reservations expert folds them and delivers them to the head media lady.
I have come to know all the guys out front, and the ladies and gentlemen working inside.
Everyone is always cheerful, pleasant and professional.
I do not spend much time in Five Star hotels but whenever I step inside the Encore Hotel I take a careful look at the surroundings.
The surroundings, in short, are spectacular. There is nothing mediocre about the place. Everything shines. Everything radiates a warmth and over the top elegance. There is nothing quite like this in the country except in Las Vegas, and after that, in Macau.
The night before Christmas Eve, my two sons and I continued a longstanding tradition by getting together with five friends for a night of gambling at the casino.
Gambling revenues at Encore Boston Harbor last month were off by more than $3 million from August, according to figures released by the Gaming Commission last week.
August revenues had risen to more than $52.5 million but dropped to $49 million for September.
Casino analysts all agreed, Encore has plenty of time to perfect its gaming operation and to grow it, although there was the fear that a soft September would be followed by a softer October and an even softer holiday period in November and December.
The holiday period is traditionally the weakest part of the year for gaming revenues.
Gaming revenues at all the states casinos and slot parlors were off just a bit although slots were slightly higher at Encore rising to $21.9 million.
A disgruntled gaming customer at the Encore Boston Harbor Casino who filed a lawsuit claiming he was being robbed of his winnings among a flurry of other allegations led to an immediate investigation by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission last week.
The president of Encore Boston Harbor fired back at the lawsuit against the casino before the Massachusetts Gaming Commission Thursday, which claims that customers are being short-changed. “Every single customer gets every dollar and every penny they have coming due to them,” Robert DeSalvio said.
“At no time did we ever round and not give customers back the money that they truly deserved.”
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission agreed.
Following a preliminary investigation, the MGC determined and reported on Thursday last week that Encore Boston Harbor is in compliance with all regulations.