• The Encore Boston Harbor is primed to receive its gambling license before its June 23 grand opening.
  • Parent company Wynn Resorts could still be fined as a result of its founder’s alleged sexual misconduct.
  • Sports betting legalization is still being debated in the Massachusetts Congress.

BOSTON – Though its founder continues to be persona non grata in the casino world, Wynn Resorts’ Encore Boston Harbor appears to have survived an inquiry by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MCG).

The MCG recently concluded this week’s hearings into whether or not the massive project should be granted a casino operator’s license in the state.

Without receiving its gambling license, the nearly-completed $2.6 billion casino would have to change hands before opening as scheduled. The venue, Wynn’s only casino project outside of Nevada, would employ nearly 6000 employees.

The 210,000-square-foot gaming floor would offer upwards of 250 tables games, 3200 slot machines, and a 600-room, 27-floor hotel. The Encore Boston Harbor anticipates an opening date of June 23, and traffic is estimated to top 8 million visitors per year.

Naturally, if Massachusetts legalizes sports wagering, the Wynn resort would boast a world-class sports betting lounge in addition to its other amenities. Still, it will need to secure its operator’s license before broaching that subject.

Most industry analysts expect the company’s punishment to be limited to fines. The Nevada Gaming Control Board hit Wynn Resorts with a $20 million penalty in February as a result of Steve Wynn’s alleged sexual misconduct and subsequent executive coverups, which seems in line with what the MCG will do.

Sports Betting At The Encore Boston Harbor

Provided the casino indeed receives the requisite licenses to stay in business in the Bay State, sports wagering will be a popular draw once legalized. Wynn Resorts owns a 22.5 percent stake in online sportsbook operator BetBull, a European company with substantial bookmaking pedigree.

Wynn Resorts also has an agreement with Miomni Gaming for its various Nevada locations. Like BetBull, Miomni Gaming is a technologically-oriented brand. Miomni develops business-to-business solutions for online and mobile sports wagering platforms.

Despite these partnerships, Wynn’s plans for the Encore Boston Harbor’s on-site sports betting lounge remain unclear. To date, there are no allotments in the published floorplan to suggest where or how large the proposed wagering lounge would be.

Another potential pitfall is that Massachusetts seems to be doubling down on statewide mobile sports wagering. This would, as a matter of course, cannibalize at least a small amount of foot traffic at the Encore.

Fortunately, Wynn Resorts would still be in a place to operate one of the state’s online wagering platforms.

As for sports betting in Massachusetts generally, there are currently over a dozen bills being considered in Congress. These all have divergent strategies for implementing the regulated pastime, and there is no indication that the state will advance any of these during the current legislative session.

Nevertheless, when sports wagering is finally legalized in Massachusetts, you can expect the activity to be extremely popular commercially. The new DraftKings headquarters has already sparked a new agenda for legal sports betting in the state. As home to major iconic clubs and perennial contenders like the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, and Boston Celtics, there is no shortage of fandom – or sports betting – in Massachusetts.

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