Mayor Walsh Not in Favor of Late Liquor License for Encore Boston Harbor Casino
Everett, MA– The Encore Boston Harbor casino is expected to open on June 23 (maybe). As permitted under Massachusetts law, casino operator Wynn Resorts has requested an extended hour liquor license that would allow them to serve alcoholic drinks until 4 a.m. to active participants on the gaming floor. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh isn't in favor, reports Boston Magazine.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is in the process of deciding whether a later liquor license will be approved for Wynn Resorts' Encore Boston Harbor casino in Everett, as it was two years ago for MGM casino in Springfield. The commission is currently accepting public comments to help sway their decision.
Mayor Walsh may be reaching out to them directly with his own weighty opinion. He stated in an interview with the Boston Herald, “I think at this point in time, we should get the casino open, see how the 2 o’clock license works, if there’s a need, if there’s a desire, if there’s a concern that it hampers the business, then I think we should explore the opportunity of maybe going to 3 or 4 o’clock. But, right now, open it until 2, see what it looks like.”
The thought process behind the late bar operations is to keep the drinks coming for gamblers that would like to continue drinking while playing. Casinos correctly assume that if the late-night Jack and Cokes, Gin and Tonics, beers, and wines keep coming, the gamblers will continue to keep placing bets.
Mayor Marty Walsh wants to wait and see whether there's an economic reason to grant a late liquor license for the casino. It's posisble he’s worried about people in Boston heading to Encore to keep drinking until late in the morning hours, after Boston bars have shut down, which could mean that around 4 a.m. there will be a bunch of noisy people coming back home for Boston to deal with.
Many other businesses have openly shared their concerns that they would lose business to Wynn Resorts if it receives the later liquor license. Walsh echoed these concerns, stating that this might put "a lot of businesses in surrounding areas including Boston at a severe disadvantage" since non-casino bars and clubs can only remain open until 2 a.m.