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All Shiny And New: Encore Boston Harbor Enjoys Promising First Week

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Encore Boston Harbor

Massachusetts’ newest casino definitely has that shiny luster to it. The first week of Encore Boston Harbor revenue nearly matched MGM Springfield’s revenue from the entire month of June.

June is normally a down month for MA casinos and gambling overall. The new slot and table game facility did very well despite that.

The details on Encore Boston Harbor revenue, so far

Encore Boston Harbor was only open for the last week of June, but it made little difference. According to a Massachusetts Gaming Commission report, that was a week investors hope will see an encore.

From June 23-30, Encore’s gross gaming receipts totaled almost $16.8 million. Its slots were responsible for nearly $9.2 million of those receipts.

It’s too early to tell if this means doubts about the Encore’s long-term success were overstated. Although how its good opening week was became obvious when the numbers were compared to other gaming facilities in the state.

June numbers at MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park

For the entire month of June, MGM Springfield took in almost $20 million. Its slots brought in nearly $14.7 million of that total.

Plainridge Park Casino, which doesn’t have table games, reported gross gaming receipts of just over $13.5 million in June. While making a comparison between the three facilities is tempting, it must be kept in context.

Encore has the advantage of pulling from a larger population base than either MGM or Plainridge. It’s also the latest and greatest thing in the northeast as far as gaming goes.

It isn’t clear how many of the patrons who helped Encore take in over $16 million in one week will be regular guests. What is clear is that if a majority of them are, there is a beneficiary of that even bigger than the owners of Encore.

The biggest winner if Encore continues to rake it in

If Encore’s numbers are sustainable, it is the state that will be celebrating. As with MGM and Plainridge, Massachusetts gets a nice cut.

Encore paid Massachusetts almost $4.2 million from that first week of operation. Adding that to the near $5 million from MGM and over $5.4 million from Plainridge makes June a great month for the state treasury.

Even if Encore only brings in a quarter of that first week’s revenue on a dependable basis going forward, that would make that $4 million in tax revenue equally dependable for Massachusetts.

While the last week of June was undoubtedly a good one for Encore, it wasn’t so great for MGM and Plainridge in comparison to earlier returns.

MGM and Plainridge down in annual and monthly comparisons

After a May that saw MA casino revenues rebound, those gains disappeared in June at MGM and Plainridge. Both facilities saw a typical June in their numbers.

MGM’s receipts were down 10.3% from May, a significant percentage in the gaming industry. The drop-off was less at Plainridge as compared to May at 8.8%.

Plainridge’s receipts were down nearly $400,000 from June of 2018, a difference of 2.9%. June is normally a down-month for casino revenue. Patrons tend to devote expendable income to other purposes and have less free time to visit casinos because of familial duties or summer vacations.

Those things didn’t stop Encore from putting on a show in June’s final week. It will be interesting to see how long the newness of the facility can continue to produce impressive numbers and contribute to the overall revenue for MA casinos and gambling.

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Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Kansas City, Mo. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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