Encore crushes local rivals

By Charlotte Lee Updated
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Massachusetts’ newest casino had its best month ever in December, while the state’s other two properties sunk to new record lows.

Calvin Ayre reports that figures released this week by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission show Wynn Resorts’ Encore Boston Harbor casino generated gaming revenue of just over $54 million in December, beating the six-month-old property’s previous record of $52.5 million set last August.

December was Encore’s second-lest slots revenue month with $22.6 million, about $200,000 below November’s record, while table game revenue also had its second-best month with $31.4 million, about $850,000 below August’s high-water mark.

Encore’s tables have been on the rise ever since the property announced that it was cutting its table game bet minimums from $50 to $15 after realising that Boston was neither Las Vegas or Macau, and thus cutting the property off to anyone but high rollers was hurting its bottom line.

It was a vastly different story over at MGM Resorts’ MGM Springfield property in the state’s southwest corner.

MGM Springfield, which opened in August 2018, saw its total gaming revenue sink to $18.95 million in December, nearly $1 million below November’s total and around $750,000 below the previous record low set in January 2019.

The same sad song was being sung at Penn National Gaming’s slots-only Plainridge Park Casino, which reported revenue of $10.2 million, nearly $800,000 below its previous worst showing in November.

The full year 2019 figures show that Encore handily surpassed MGM with $314 million compared to $252.6 million, despite Encore having only opened its doors in the final week of June.

With MGM publicly musing about selling the Springfield real estate to pad its balance sheet, it would make sense to do that deal ASAP to ensure the price doesn’t fall too far.

Plainridge Park’s 2019 financial year revenue total came to $151.9 million, down 11.4 per cent from the 2018 total.

Penn National executives have previously suggested that the slots-only venue will likely continue to suffer indignities at the hands of its two state rivals, making the future of the property questionable.

Rhode Island casino struggles with Encore Boston’s success

The recent opening of Encore’s Boston Casino could force layoffs at the nearby Twin River Casino in Lincoln due to the poorer performance of its table games in recent weeks.

Casino News Daily reported in August that the property, which is owned by gaming and hospitality operator Twin River Worldwide Holdings, is one of Rhode Island’s two operational casinos, the other being Twin River Casino in Tiverton.

A spokeswoman for the Lincoln venue said earlier this week that up to 30 table games supervisors could be sacked as a result of the property’s failure to perform according to expectations.

Ms Doyle went on to explain that they are “effectively staffing to the present volume of business on the table games.”

The property’s spokeswoman also revealed that they are exploring voluntary reduction of hours in a bid to prevent massive layoffs.

Hopes are that business will pick up after the upcoming Labor Day weekend and that they will be able to re-employ some of the sacked workers.

The announcement about Twin River looking to reduce staff comes shortly after the company released its financial report for the second quarter.

The performance of table games was in fact worse than expected, while the performance of its slot machines was in line with projections.

In July, revenue from table games at the property recorded a 34 per cent annual drop to $7.6 million, while slot machines NTI decreased 17 per cent year-on-year to $32.2 million.

Twin River attributed the slowing business at its Lincoln business to the recent launch of the $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbour integrated resort in neighbouring Massachusetts.

The Wynn Resorts-operated mega complex was launched in late June and recorded $16.8 million in revenue during its first week of operation.

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