Earlier this week, an individual filed a lawsuit against the Encore Boston Harbor, alleging that the casino offered illegal odds and withheld slot payments. It was a serious accusation against one of the fastest-rising casinos on the East Coast. Now, regulators in Massachusetts claim that the Encore Casino is abiding by all of the state’s gambling laws.
This is great news for the Wynn-controlled Encore Boston Harbor. The last thing this gaming establishment needed was a reputation for cheating. Let’s take a look at why this lawsuit was filed, and how the Encore and state regulators are responding.
Encore Boston Harbor Hit With Lawsuit
This casino officially opened its doors on June 23rd of 2019. It opened in the town of Everett, which was previously known as an industrial, non-tourist area. The Encore hoped to change this perception.
Fortunately, this casino’s efforts paid off. In their first few weeks of operating, the Encore Boston Harbor generated more than $17 million. It’s one of the highest-earning new casinos in recent US history. Based on reports, it’s becoming one of the most popular casino gambling options in Massachusetts.
One individual claimed that these revenue earnings were not all that they appeared to be. Richard Shuster, a casino patron here, filed a lawsuit that claims this casino offers blackjack odds of 6 to 5. Under Massachusetts gambling laws, these odds must be offered at 3 to 2. This may not seem important, yet it could save the casino millions every year.
Shuster also claims that the Encore rounds up slot winnings to the nearest whole dollar amount. It keeps whatever change is left over. This too could result in millions of dollars over a long period. These accusations were serious enough to permanently cause damage to the casino’s reputation. State regulators got involved, and have determined that the casino is operating by the book.
Encore Casino is Not Cheating, Says State Regulators
It’s not a surprise to see Massachusetts’ gambling authority get involved. This casino represented a serious investment for the state, and any reports of cheating are taken very seriously. Immediately after the lawsuit was set forward, officials began looking into the casino’s operations.
Massachusetts’ Commission Investigation and Enforcement Bureau quickly began reviewing these claims. In a “preliminary” report, these investigators claim that the Encore Casino is abiding by all state laws. Chairwoman of the group Cathy Judd-Stein claims the casino will be monitored for the next several weeks to ensure these operations are all legal.
The slot machine issue is still ongoing. These slots do not pay winnings to the exact amount because they only dispense dollars. Encore’s President states it’s a matter that company officials realize and are looking into.
It has to be a relief for this casino. The state feels that all operations taking place here are legal. Whether or not this lawsuit will continue is unknown.
Encore President Claims this Lawsuit is Unfounded
Bob DeSalvio, President of Encore Casino, was quick to dismiss this lawsuit. Speaking to the media this week, he claims that all claims made by Shuster are false.
“The claims in the lawsuit are false and unfounded,” he said. “Every customer gets every penny that they deserve at Encore Boston Harbor, and never would we engage in a practice that would actually keep any of our customers’ money.”
Mr. Shuster’s attorney, Joshua Garick, is disappointed in the way state regulators conducted their investigation.
“If the Commission’s goal is to ensure gaming in Massachusetts is conducted with integrity, we question why Encore representatives sat with the (Investigations and Enforcement Bureau) investigators and participated in the presentation, while we were not contacted or invited to participate in any way,” he said.
The Encore casino is winning this battle. With the state’s gambling authority on the casino’s side, it’s going to be extremely difficult to win in court. Make sure to stay tuned for updates on this situation as they come out!