No jackpot for Encore June revenues

JULY 17: Encore looking down Dexter Street past the newly acquired piece of property on the right Wynn bought. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Casino analyst, Wynn execs surprised by earnings drop, wonder if post-pandemic boom over

By JOSH RESNEK

A slight downturn in June earnings at Encore Boston Harbor has casino analysts and Encore executives wondering what exactly happened.

June figures came in almost $400,000 less than May’s figures, which were up dramatically over April’s.

Business had seemed robust for most of May and into June, with huge gains in income.

June’s final figures showed Encore generating $52.5 million in table games and slot machine revenues.

This was down from May’s $52.9 according to a release of the figures by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on July 15.

By contrast, MGM Springfield’s earnings tumbled by $1 million from May to June.

MGM Springfield’s earnings went from $21.2 in May to $20.2 in June.

Plainridge Park Casino also dropped $1.1 million from May to June, reporting figures of $12.4 million in May and $11.3 million in June.

Continue reading No jackpot for Encore June revenues

Encore opening soon with restrictions, but longterm viability is in question

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The Boston Harbor Encore Casino is scheduled to reopen on June 29. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

BY JOSH RESNEK

If everything goes according to current plans, Encore Boston Harbor Casino could be opening again on June 29. Last minute changes and additions to health and safety standards by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, all part of the new normal caused by safety measures the state is imposing, could cause the reopening to be put off a few days or even a week or two.

Shortly, however, one way or the other, for better or worse, the casino will be reopened, thus ending a closure which began on March 15 and which has resulted in tens of millions of dollars of losses on a variety of fronts. When the doors open, the casino operation will be a vastly different venue than before the Coronavirus changed our world.
No poker, craps or roulette will be allowed. Blackjack style gaming tables will be capped at three players, and slot machines will be separated with some sort of barriers between them to protect players from contracting the virus.

The MGC is also weighing occupancy limits, an issue the licensees have raised issues about.

At a fraction of occupancy, Encore, and the other casinos operating in Massachusetts, cannot possibly generate the income needed to meet their obligations and to turn a profit.

Encore’s question to the MGC: “Will reduced capacity include taking into consideration employee counts?”

Continue reading Encore opening soon with restrictions, but longterm viability is in question

Mass Gaming holds closed door hearings on land lawsuit

By Josh Resnek

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) announced last week that it will be holding closed door hearings to discuss issues surrounding a multi- million lawsuit between it, the MGC, and the original owners of the land, FBT Realty.

Claiming public discussions might have a detrimental effect on the bargaining position of the Commission, the MGC opted for an executive session.

It is believed at least two executive sessions were held last week by the MGC.

What is at risk for the MGC?

It is very likely the MGC will be forced to payout millions of dollars to FBT and that Wynn Resorts will be forced to do the same, to satisfy claims by FBT that the MGC reduced the price of the land from $75 million to $35 million to seal the deal for Wynn Resorts to  acquire it.

A source familiar with the lawsuit has estimated that a settlement might pay back FBT partners as much as $20 million of the $40 million reduction.

Wynn struck a deal with the partners of FBT for $75 million when the initial option to purchase was executed in December 2012.

A year later, after MGC accused certain FBT members of altering documents to hide the interest of a convicted felon, a person law enforcement believed was associated with organized crime. The acquisition was put into jeopardy.

Continue reading Mass Gaming holds closed door hearings on land lawsuit

Mass Gaming’s Decision Offers Peril And Opportunity For Wynn Resorts

By Walter Pavlo
For the Leader Herald

Wynn Resorts CEO Matthew Maddox took over the company in a crisis that would have tested the most seasoned executive. As the right-hand-man to Steve Wynn for nearly 20 years, Maddox not only learned from the casino magnate but earned his respect. Now Maddox is considering whether the company stays in Boston or moves on.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) gave its decision on Wynn’s suitability last week with a number of conditions, including a fine of $35 million for the company and $500,000 for Maddox. While one would think Wynn/Maddox would cut the checks and move on, MGC’s wording in its decision may cause problems for Wynn down the road … or it could offer a way for Wynn to bow out gracefully.

Continue reading Mass Gaming’s Decision Offers Peril And Opportunity For Wynn Resorts

Stop the grandstanding; Sign and pay $35 million

If Wynn Resorts wants to go a long way in rehabilitating itself then it must sign the Massachusetts Gaming Commission judgment, agree to all of it, and send the $35 million to the state.

Claiming their lawyers must carefully scrutinize every word of it before signing, or that they might not sign it is rubbish.

This should have already been done.

The money should already have been transferred into the Massachusetts Treasury.

Instead, Wynn Resorts does not want to seem too hasty before agreeing and sending in the money to gain their suitability to be acceptable to hold a license.

The MGC is allowing Wynn Resorts to buy its license with a $35 million payment.

Pay the money and everything is forgotten.

Continue reading Stop the grandstanding; Sign and pay $35 million