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Amidst Controversy, Wynn Boston Harbor Contemplates A Name Change

Encore Casino in Las Vegas

What’s in a name?

If you’re Wynn Resorts, quite a bit is riding on the name of its Boston Harbor casino project. In fact, the future of the company’s $2.4 billion resort casino in Everett, Massachusetts could very well hinge on the name that adorns the side of the building.

Wynn Resorts has come under fire to remove the name of its beleaguered former CEO from the side of its Wynn Boston Harbor project. Both the public and Massachusetts public officials, including the Governor and Attorney General, are calling for a name change.

After originally dismissing the idea, there is an increasing amount of evidence that points to a name change being in the cards.

Confirmation of the potential blockbuster development first came to light after Wynn executives appeared before the Massachusetts Gaming Commission after allegations against the company’s former CEO Steve Wynn came to light.

Following a Massachusetts Gaming Commission hearing last week, Wynn Boston Harbor President Robert DeSalvio confirmed the rumors.

“We are absolutely considering a rebranding of the project and we’ll have an announcement on that at a later date.”

Local press uncovers possible new name: Encore

The Boston Herald is reporting that Wynn Resorts recently registered several website domains that indicate the company’s “Encore” brand is the leading candidate for a new name.

The Herald reports Wynn Resorts registered the following URLs:

  • encorebostonharborcasino.com
  • encorebostonjobs.com
  • encorebostonresort.com

Despite the very visible breadcrumb trail, a Wynn spokesperson pumped the brakes on the name-change speculation. They told the Herald:

“Whenever we open a new resort, it is both policy and a good business practice to secure the domain names of all our branded business units.”

“There’s no truth that we’ve finalized the name,” the spokesperson added.

Will they stick with Wynn?

Not everyone is convinced the property needs to rebrand.

  • Steve Wynn is out of the picture and is in the process of divesting his stock in the company.
  • The company is forecasting a very strong 2018.
  • Wynn Boston Harbor is still over a year away from opening, at which point the scandal might have fallen off the general public’s radar screen.

Encore is the frontrunner

If the property rebrands, Encore is the obvious choice.

Encore is the sister property to the Wynn on the Las Vegas Strip as well as in Macau.

That said, without a Wynn casino to play off of, the Encore brand is entirely untested. It would have minimal brand recognition outside of Las Vegas and Macau.

Even though it may not carry the same brand recognition as Wynn, right now, a clean, unknown brand like Encore is probably a better option than the well-known, but highly controversial Wynn brand.

Still, I wouldn’t expect a decision in the immediate future. The company has enough time to weigh its options and take stock of the damage Steve Wynn’s alleged misbehavior has caused to the Wynn brand before it decides if a name change is in its best interest.

Photo by Robert Cravens / Shutterstock.com

Steve Ruddock

About

Steve Ruddock is a veteran of the poker media, contributing to offline and online publications centered on the regulated US online gambling industry. These include OnlinePokerReport.com, PlayNJ.com, USPoker.com as well as USA Today. Steve is based in Massachusetts and is also a poker player.