The Wynn-owned Encore Boston Harbor opened its doors to the public in late June. It’s quickly grown to become one of the most popular gambling venues on the East Coast. Interestingly, the massive hiring spree that his casino is on is hurting Boston’s local restaurant scene.
Finding staff to work in restaurants in this city has been difficult for years. With thousands of workers now being hired to the casino, this is more difficult than ever before. Let’s look at how the success of this casino is affecting the local community.
Encore Boston Harbor Proves Successful
Gambling fans have been calling for a casino in Boston for years. Finally, Wynn Resorts decided it was time to act. The company began construction on the Encore Boston Harbor casino-resort in August of 2016 and opened it to the public in June of this year.
There was some concern about the casino’s location. Wynn built the Encore Boston in Everett, an area known for its industrial businesses. It’s not a place typically thought of as a major tourist destination. Of course, this casino is located just five miles from Logan International Airport, making it an easy stop for tourists.
Fears of the casino opening in Everett have proven to be unwarranted. This casino has managed to attract a huge number of gamblers and is now one of the top gaming venues on the East Coast. In its first eight days of operating, Encore Boston Harbor managed to bring in $16.79 million.
To put that into perspective, the Encore in Boston managed to earn more money in eight days than MGM Springfield, the state’s first casino, earned over an entire month. Now, some restaurant owners in the Boston area are complaining that the casino is taking in too many employees.
Boston Restaurants Hurting From Encore’s Hiring Spree
This major casino-resort employs more than 5,000 workers. For an already tight restaurant labor market, this has led to sparse pickings for local businesses. Many locals now fear that small restaurants in the area will be forced to close their doors. The Boston Herald listened to many individuals give their take on how the casino is affecting them.
Bob Luz, Massachusetts Restaurant Association chief, commented on many people’s fear that local businesses will have to close shop.
“That’s one of the fears that we have,” he said. “You reach a breaking point because you can’t just keep passing it onto the consumer.”
Encore Boston Harbor feels that their casino is benefiting the community. Spokesperson Rosie Salisbury gave an official company statement to the media this week.
“We received 135,000 applications for positions within the resort and are pleased with the caliber of candidates that we have been able to attract,” she said.
The Encore currently employs 5,200 individuals. Rosie Salisbury claims the casino is now looking for an additional 200 workers to help with day to day operations.
Changes Coming to Massachusetts Gambling Laws
Regardless of how it’s affecting the local restaurant scene, it’s great to see the Encore Boston Harbor generate so much revenue. Lawmakers in this state are now taking a close look at how to capitalize on the gambling industry. Based on numerous reports, it looks like sports betting may be legalized here in the near future.
In February of 2018, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission released a 31-page paper that provides an outline to legalize sports gambling. In January of this year, several politicians in the state introduced bills to have this popular form of gambling legal. Many are also calling for this state to begin regulating online gambling
Fortunately, there are already a huge number of great gambling sites available in Massachusetts. Most of the top sites offer both casino and sports betting options. These sites are not regulated by the government, yet offer players safe payment options and a wide range of gambling odds.
Encore Boston Harbor isn’t going anywhere. It’s already the most successful gambling venue in Massachusetts with millions of dollars coming in each week. We’ll need to wait and see how exactly this major casino affects local restaurants businesses. Stay tuned for updates over the next few weeks!