Wynn Resorts Admits Las Vegas Doesn’t Work in Boston, Reduces Casino Table Game Minimums

Posted on: November 22, 2019, 09:00h. 

Last updated on: November 22, 2019, 10:20h.

Wynn Resorts told Massachusetts gaming regulators this week that it has realized the company’s ways of doing things in Las Vegas don’t necessarily work in other places, such as Boston.

Wynn Resorts Encore Boston Harbor
Wynn Resorts says there’s been a bit of a learning curve at Encore Boston Harbor. (Image: Jesse Costa/WBUR)

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) held a public meeting Thursday to discuss the quarterly performances of the state’s two integrated casino resorts – MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor. Both casinos have repeatedly missed gross gaming revenue (GGR) targets.

Encore Boston Harbor President Brian Gullbrants told the MGC that the Wynn property is still learning the market. The casino is Wynn Resorts’ first domestic property not in Las Vegas. However, the company is heavily invested in China’s Macau.

“The last thing we want to do is be a Vegas casino in Boston. We want to be a Boston casino in Boston,” Gullbrants stated.

“We want to be Greater Boston’s hometown casino. And we want everyone to come and feel welcome and like they can have a great time there, whether they are playing or not playing,” he added.

Massachusetts Masses

Wynn Resorts is known for opulence. The company’s founder, Steve Wynn, helped drive the Las Vegas Strip towards becoming a more luxurious destination.

In Macau, Wynn’s two multibillion-dollar integrated resorts cater to the highest of rollers. In Las Vegas, the five-star Wynn and Encore Strip properties offer guests an elegant experience in Sin City.

But in the cities surrounding Boston, such as Everett, where the company’s casino resort is actually located, there’s more of a blue-collar sentiment, where perhaps people aren’t as willing to spend lavishly.

We thought we could charge for parking here in Boston, and we were wrong,” Gullbrants said. “We have now made self-parking free for all guests, 24/7.”

“We thought we could charge for some of the transportation like boats and premium buses. We were wrong,” he added.

Encore Boston Harbor has also adjusted its table game minimum from $50 to $15. With free parking, Wynn Resorts is hoping its casino is more appealing to a wider demographic.

Encore Oddity

Slot machines are still king in the US gaming industry. The vast majority of land-based casinos throughout the country make much more money on slots than table games. Slots typically account for 60-70 percent of a casino’s GGR.

But Encore is winning more money on its 166 table games than its 3,100 slot machines. In October, the casino reported its lowest monthly GGR win since opening in late June. Slots won $22.28 million, and tables $23.52 million.

Opening to date, Encore Boston Harbor has won $94.65 million on slots, and $117.98 million on tables – respectively 44.5 and 55.5 percent of the total $212.62 million GGR.

During its bidding for the property, Wynn Resorts told the MGC that it would expect to win $800 million on its casino floor in year one.

“We’re learning each and every day to become more local, make sure we’re giving the customers what they want,” Wynn CEO Matt Maddox said during the company’s earnings call this month.