Boston casino returns to 24/7 operations

by Mia Chapman Last Updated
Man caught carrying drugs and firearms at Boston casino

Encore Boston Harbour has been given the green light to reopen its casino floor 24/7.

Biz Journals reports that the gaming floor at the Massachusetts venue, which spans 210,000 square feet and includes poker machines and table games, has been reworked to cater to social distancing requirements.

The move, which requires approval from the state’s Gaming Commission, comes as the state governor Charlie Baker said it is lifting curfew regulations that were aimed to bring down coronavirus case numbers and hospitalisations.

Baker pointed to positive trends in making the change.

A 9.30pm curfew on restaurants and other businesses that was enacted on November 6 will be lifted as of Monday, January 25.

Alcohol sales were prohibited after that time and casinos, as well as gyms, had to close at that time.

“On Monday, January 25 and Tuesday, January 26, the casino will extend its hours from 9am until midnight,” a casino spokeswoman said in an email.

“Starting Wednesday, January 27, the casino will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“The hotel will begin hosting guests Thursday through Sunday evenings starting on Thursday, February 4 and The Spa will reopen on Saturdays and Sunday beginning Saturday, February 6.”

Encore Boston Harbour is owned by Wynn Resorts and in December, when the virus-induced restrictions were in place, revealed that it took in $29.3 million in gross gaming revenue.

About $16 million came from people playing poker machines, while table games brought in $13.1 million.

The casino plans to continue to operate at 25 per cent capacity as required by state regulations.

Face coverings are mandatory for all employees and guests.

MGM flags interest in buying Ladbrokes

MGM Resorts International is seeking to buy British gaming company Entain, owned of popular gaming brand Ladbrokes.

Yahoo Finance reported in January that the latest move from MGM would double down on its online gambling business.

The Las Vegas-based company recently offered roughly $10 billion all cash for Ladbrokes, with the overture rebuffed.

The exact details and value of the new bid is not known, but is above the $17.55 a share MGM had previously offered late last year.

Entertain has more than 3000 betting shops under the Ladbrokes and Coral brands.

It rivals William Hill and Flutter Entertainment in Britain.

Media mogul invests in MGM Resorts

A media mogul has purchased a near $1 billion stake in MGM Resorts.

CNN Business reported in August that the stake was purchased by Interactivecorp (IAC), a conglomerate run by media mogul Barry Diller.

The amount purchased amounts to about a 12 per cent interest in the Las Vegas-based global casino and hotel giant.

Shares of MGM Resorts surged nearly 15 per cent on the back of the news, while IAC’s stock was down about two per cent.

IAC has been actively shaking up its portfolio in recent months.

The company completed its sale of Match shares last month after announcing plans to do so in December.

It also agreed in December to buy Care.com, a company that helps people find caregivers and housekeepers, for $500 million.

IAC also owns digital content brand DotDash and video tools firm Vimeo.

But the MGM Resorts investment could be Diller’s boldest move yet.

He said in a press release the new IAC has a healthy balance sheet and “its opportunistic zeal intact.”

“We are energised and excited to make this investment in MGM,” he said, adding that IAC is particularly interested in “an area that currently comprises a tiny portion of its revenue – online gaming. 

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