Greater Boston Casino Closes Hotel in Response to New Covid-19 Restrictions

By Ucatchers

Encore Boston Harbor, the $ 2.6 billion Wynn Resorts casino complex that opened in the summer of 2019 near Boston, closed its hotel amid a new series of immediate restrictions on nonessential businesses as Massachusetts struggles to control a rebound in new cases of Covid-19.

In a note emailed to employees Monday, Encore President Brian Gullbrants said the hotel would close effective immediately and the complex would operate reduced hours beginning Friday.

Under normal circumstances, the Encore casino is open 24 hours a day. However, customers from 9 am to 9 pm on Saturdays and Sundays and from noon to 9 pm from Monday to Friday starting next Friday. Without an overnight gaming operation, Encore has decided to shut down its hotel service until at least December 15.

Mr. Gullbrants said in his email to staff that the changes reflect their “initial business needs assessment” and that they will continue to “adjust and refine” to meet guest demand.

Encore’s parent company lost more than $ 637 million during the second quarter of the year when its properties in the United States were closed to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Encore itself lost $ 99.4 million during that period.

Will Encore lay off more staff?

Encore did not specify whether closing its hotel would affect staffing. The property dismissed little less than 400 staff members in August they had been on leave for months. At that time, about 2,700 people had retained and returned to their jobs, while 915 employees remained on leave.

Encore and the other Massachusetts casinos closed their doors in mid-March and remained closed for four months as part of the state’s efforts to abort the spread of the coronavirus. Encore was recently given the green light to bring back board games like craps and roulette. However, the property’s casino still operates with a limited range of games.

It should also be noted that the resort hotel had already been operating at reduced capacity even before the new set of restrictions announced by state legislators. When Encore resumed operations in July, its 671 rooms were only available four days a week.

As part of Massachusetts’ new series of measures, restaurants in the state are required to end table service at 9:30 p.m. every day. Other facilities such as theaters, gyms and casinos will also need to close at the same time.

Aside from Encore, Massachusetts has two more commercial gambling venues – MGM Springfield in downtown Springfield and the Plainridge Park Casino, only for slots, in Plainville.

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