Everett, MA– Opening day is getting closer for Encore Boston Harbor casino in Everett, especially after the Massachusetts Gaming Commission ruled last week that casino operator Wynn Resorts could keep its casino license (despite the actions of ousted executives to cover up sexual misconduct by ex-CEO Steve Wynn). At a meeting with the commission on Monday, Wynn Resorts asked for special permission to serve alcohol to customers on the gaming floor until 4 a.m., two hours beyond the state law for most establishments.
This would not be the first time for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to bend the drinking hour rules for a casino; MGM Springfield was granted permission by the gaming regulator to serve drinks until 4 a.m.
Right now, Massachusetts’ general laws prohibit businesses from serving alcohol before 8 a.m. or beyond 2 a.m., but there is an exception for casinos. MGM Springfield is allowed to continue its alcohol sales through 4 a.m. on a nightly basis, but only for the customers that continue to gamble and participate in games. The Encore Boston Harbor will have the same rules for their location, and according to WCVB, the casino's cash bars would use "tap locks and technological means to stop service after 2 a.m."
Governor Charlie Baker signed legislation in 2017 which allows casinos to request extended alcohol service hours. As Everett Mayor Carlo Demaria Jr. said in 2017: “You want to get someone to come to Boston to game, telling them at 3 a.m. you can’t have a drink when they’re spending $100,000 on a table, is going to be detrimental for a facility.”
Though the extended last call hours may grant more business to areas of the casino, it may also carry negative side effects, too. Including encouraging more gambling by people who should maybe just go to bed.
Other topics discussed at Monday's meeting between the state gaming commission and representatives from Encore Boston Harbor included the number of police officers on-site for security and transportation plans during the opening of the new casino.
The Everett casino, which is still under construction, is scheduled to open its doors on June 23.
Image via Wikimedia Commons / JOJOtheWhale.bronxtale