Encore Boston Harbors Early Success Overshadowed by Cheating Accusations
During the first week of business, Encore Boston Harbor took in a whopping $16.8 million. The casino was so successful, they almost made in a week what MGM Springfield does in a month. The opening week shows a promising start for the casino, but their success has quickly been taken over by new reports of cheating by the venue.
Class Action Suit Filed
A class action suit was filed by the Law Offices of Joshua N. Garick on behalf of a player who claims the casino is cheating players at the blackjack tables. The suit also claims the casino is withholding a portion of casino winnings from players.
In the suit, it claims that Encore has set odds of 6 to 5 when players earn a blackjack, when the state law requires 3 to 2 odds payout when 21 is earned. According to the lawsuit, the minor difference could result in annual revenues increasing by as much as $30 million.
The casino says they are not doing anything wrong and are operating based on state regulations. In response to the suit, the Encore Boston Harbor said they follow the regulations set by the Gaming Commission for blackjack payouts.
On top of the blackjack issue, the lawsuit also claims that Encore is not providing the full payout for slot wins. According to the filing, when a player cashes out at the slot games, they are given a ticket. The ticket is then taken to a redemption machine, with several located throughout the venue. These machines payout only whole dollar amounts. The change of a win is not provided and there is no instruction from the machine on how to obtain the balance.
Based on this process, the suit claims that the unredeemed change is going to be added to the coffers of Encore. The player will never see the change returned to them. While this might not seem like a lot of money, thousands of players would be missing change which would result in a larger sum for the venue.
Unfortunately, the timing of the lawsuit is not so good for the casino. It was announced at the same time as the revenue reports for the state’s casinos. Encore did surprisingly well and if players believe the lawsuit, they might have negative feelings towards the brand feeling that they already make enough money and are trying to be greedy by taking even more based on the points of the lawsuit.
According to the revenue reports, Encore was able to earn close to $7.7 million from their table games. Slots did even better at $9.1 million. These totals were from a time frame of June 23rd to June 30th. The MGM Springfield Casino was open for three weeks more in June than Encore and only made $4 million more in revenues.
Plainridge Park Casino raked in just over $13.5 million in revenues, so they were outdone by Encore Boston Harbor. However, it should be noted that Encore Boston Harbor pays only 25% taxes while Plainridge must pay 49%.
It will be interesting to see how the lawsuit plays out and if Encore will have to make any changes regarding their blackjack games or slot payouts. The casino operator claims they are following the regulations of the Gaming Commission, so if they are, then they shouldn’t have to make any change in the future.