Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chastises Encore Boston Harbor for Oversize Hotel Party

Posted on: August 29, 2020, 07:15h. 

Last updated on: August 31, 2020, 02:47h.

Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) officials scolded Encore Boston Harbor after a large party took place in a hotel suite earlier this month. The crowd size violated state safety guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Casino Hotel Praised for Subsequent Response
Encore Boston Harbor was criticized by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission for the response to a late-night party. (Image: Boston Globe)

During Thursday’s meeting, the MGC reviewed the casino’s response to an August 17 to 18 late-night get-together which attracted over 110 guests, most of whom were not wearing face masks. The crowd size was far more than the 25-person indoor-limit now in place in Massachusetts.

An Encore butler notified his colleagues about the crowd size that night. But the conditions were not fully addressed until some three hours later.

In response to the incident, Commissioner Enrique Zuniga suggested that other guests at the party — not just the renter of the suite — be issued a $500 citation. MGC Deputy Director Loretta Lillios responded that expanding the number of party-goers who get fined could be considered.

The MGC issued a notice of non-compliance to Encore Boston Harbor for the incident, Lillios said. The renter of the suite not only got the $500 fine but was charged with disorderly conduct.

In the past year, the Encore Boston Harbor was the scene of multiple arrests. Among these were charges of disorderly conduct and assault.

MGC Praises Subsequent Steps

O’Brien and several other MGC commissioners did compliment Encore Boston Harbor for subsequent actions staff did take in response to the party and the prevention of future violations.

They’re getting this under control,” MGC Investigations and Enforcement Bureau Assistant Director Bruce Band said. “Encore seems to be holding fast to their new rules, really sticking to their guns.”

As a result of the new rules, multiple guests already canceled their reservations. This month, guests in eight different rooms also were evicted for breaking the casino hotel’s new rules. They were also fined, Bond said.

Rule Crackdown

The Encore itself issued a $3,000 fine against the August 17 renter of the suite, Lillios said. Any damage reimbursement would be above that.

In a statement provided to, Encore Boston Harbor said that effective immediately, all supplies taken to guest rooms are monitored to ensure there are no party materials or excessive quantities of food and beverages. Also, hotel hallways and elevator banks are getting monitored to ensure physical distancing and room occupancy rules are followed.

If parties are held with higher than allowed attendance in rooms or suites, the hotel will issue a $3,000 fine and the crowd will be dispersed.