The Encore Boston Harbor has only been open a short time, but the venue is already in the process of making changes. Owned by Wynn Resorts, the property has struggled from the very beginning to avoid the reputation of the brand that was recently tarnished by sexual harassment allegations against the former CEO of the company, Steve Wynn. The property could have lost their license but were able to maintain it after an investigation. Now, the brand is looking to make a few changes to provide an upscale gaming experience and avoid the poor reputation connected to the Wynn name.
Changes to Come
Encore Boston Harbor has decided to stop charging parking fees for self-parking and remove their $50 table game minimums. The $2.6 billion hotel and resort now provides free parking, which guests are sure to be pleased with. The table game minimums dropped considerably to just $15.
Since opening, the table games of the property have easily outperformed their slot games. And this is quite unusual for the United States gaming industry. In general, casinos tend to see higher revenues from slot games due to player traffic. Up to 70% of overall revenues can be generated from the slots. For Encore, the table games have produced over half of the venues revenues since it opened.
Analysts feel the table game domination at the Encore is due to the reputation of Wynn Resorts as an upscale gaming operator. They tend to cater to high rollers at their venues in Macau and Las Vegas. During a meeting this past week with the Gaming commission, the new president of the Encore, Brian Gullbrants, stated that they do not want to be a Vegas casino in the Boston area. They want to be a Boston Casino in Boston.
Even though Wynn Resorts are well-known for luxury resorts, residents of the Boston area have not been happy with the costs and fees associated with a visit. They felt the charges were high for the casual gambler. According to Gullbrants, the goal of the company is to create a hometown casino for the region. They want everyone to visit and have a great time, whether they are playing or not playing the games.
Apparently, there is also more to come. The changes to parking fees and table game minimums are already in place and the company is now working on their tiered loyalty card program for the regional market. The program will provide various rewards for players based on their gameplay.
Different from traditional loyalty cards, the Encore card will also reward players for other spending onsite. The program should be launched by early 2020.
The changes for the resort could not come at a better time. According to new data from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, the month of October was the weakest for Encore since the property opened. The resort earned only $22.5 million from table games which was a $5 million drop from September.
For slot games, the property brought in $22.2 million last month. This was surprisingly an increase from the previous month by around $500,000.
It will be interesting to see if the changes drum up more business for the property. The removed parking fees is certainly a plus as players will be more willing to visit if they do not have to pay for parking. This is a cost that could spell the difference between something visiting or not.