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Encore Boston Harbor Pacing Below First-Year Revenue Forecast

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Encore Boston Harbor Pacing Below First-Year Revenue Forecast
Encore Boston Harbor

The $2.6B casino resort just north of Boston is coming in below revenue projections after its first full quarter of being open, but the CEO of its parent company promises changes are underway to fuel growth. 

Before the first slot machine whirred to life, Wynn Resorts claimed Encore Boston Harbor would bring in $800M in first-year gaming revenue. After its first three months, the casino has brought in $175.8M. Almost $115M of that comes from gaming, according to Wynn Resorts’ Q3 earnings call Wednesday. 

That figure puts the Everett casino on track to miss Wynn Resorts’ pre-opening forecast, but company CEO Matthew Maddox said there are growth plans to put the casino on a better business path. 

“We've been open for 136 days in Boston, and we're learning each and every day how to become more local,” Maddox said on Wednesday’s earnings call. “We've been tweaking our food and beverage product to make sure we're giving the customers what they want. We've been working on our messaging and we now have new messaging out to the market.”

One tweak the company made came last month when Encore Boston Harbor President Robert DeSalvio stepped down and was replaced by Brian Gullbrants, who had overseen Encore's food and beverage operation. 

Maddox also outlined plans to build a sports bar at the casino that could turn into a sportsbook if Massachusetts legalizes sports betting. He also said the company is in talks with developers to potentially build hotels, retail and more on 11 acres it owns across the street from the main resort. Wynn Resorts would likely serve as landlord instead of a developer on any project there, Maddox said. 

“First, we're going to ramp up Encore Boston Harbor and then we're going to watch the neighborhood build up,” he added.

Table games have outperformed slot machines at Encore Boston Harbor, but the company now has a database of 250,000 people from its first four months of being open. Wynn Resorts plans to use that data for a more localized marketing push, Maddox said. 

Encore Boston Harbor leads Massachusetts’ gaming industry, making $49M in gross gaming revenue for September compared to MGM Springfield’s nearly $20M. But Encore hasn’t drawn in the entire Northeast casino market. 

Connecticut casinos Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods drew Massachusetts gamblers before the Bay State legalized gaming in their own state. Massachusetts’ casinos have negatively impacted Mohegan and Foxwoods. September gross gaming revenue at Mohegan was down 5.5% and down 5.6% at Foxwoods, according to Casino.org. But the casinos are still posting strong numbers compared to Encore.

Mohegan’s gross gaming revenue on slots alone was $44.6M and Foxwoods’ was $35.9M. The two tribal casinos do not report table game revenue because they only pay taxes to Connecticut on slot revenue. Encore made nearly $22M on slots during the same month.