EVERETT — It’s been a slow start for Encore Boston Harbor casino since its opening in June. In the wake of October's sudden resignation of Encore president Robert DeSalvio, reports of numerous arrests and first-quarter earnings of $175 million predict a deficit well below its initial projections of $800 million in revenue for the first full year. Reports have also surfaced that the $2.68 billion casino could be downsizing its staff in the coming months.

According to Fox 25 News, an unidentified source indicated that at least 70 workers were told during a mandatory meeting that their jobs were being eliminated. Among the more significant cuts alleged by the source were ‘back of house’ service bartenders, who would be replaced by automatic drink dispensers servers would operate themselves.

"The addition of the drink dispensers allows us the opportunity to significantly improve both the speed of service and provide a better guest experience,” a spokesperson from Encore confirmed. “These dispensers are not unique to Encore."

But Wynn Resorts, the parent company behind Encore, refutes the downsizing claims.

“It has been inaccurately reported that 70 positions have been eliminated and/or replaced by automated beverage dispensers,” read a statement from Wynn Resorts on Wednesday. 

“We are currently right-sizing our business as we continue to make adjustments to our organization based both on customer feedback and how best to meet our business needs.”

But revenue loss for casinos in Massachusetts isn’t unique to Encore. MGM Springfield Casino reported earnings of only $19.9 million for the month of November, while Plainville’s Plainridge Park Casino reported only $10.9 million; both figures indicating their worst months since opening.

Yet despite his claims that Encore was on the path the growth,  Wynn CEO Matt Maddox predicted the downsizing as early as November during a quarterly earnings call. 

"Clearly, when you open a property, you have more staff than you end up needing when you're operating in a very efficient way and also as well as how you procure items," Maddox said. "You just get smarter."

Smarter. Efficient. Like that $28 million Jeff Koons sculpture, Matt?

Image via Wikimedia Commons