• The Encore Boston Harbor is starting work on its sports betting lounge.
  • Sports betting is not yet legal in Massachusetts.
  • State lawmakers have until December 31 to legalize the popular pastime.

BOSTON – After several years, a few serious hurdles, and a big fine, the Encore Boston Harbor opened to the public on June 23, just as expected.

But even as construction on the massive Wynn Resorts project was officially completed just a few weeks ago, one area of the resort is still being built out: its sportsbook.

Of course, sports betting is not yet legal in Massachusetts.

However, executives at Wynn believe that’s likely to change in the near term, and they’re trying to get ahead of any favorable legislation. The goal is for the Encore’s on-site sports betting lounge to be ready to go as soon as the state formally gives it the green light.

The Encore has a 210,000-square-foot gaming floor, 3,100 slot machines, 144 table games, and an 88-table poker room. With a 27-story hotel tower and 671 rooms, the venue is the “largest private single-phase construction project” in Massachusetts history.

The Encore is located in Everett, situated on a 33-acre parcel of land along the shores of the Mystic River. It was built for a cost of $2.5 billion and is Wynn’s first US property outside of Nevada.

Currently, there is little public information about the details of the legal sports betting experience in store. The Encore’s On Deck Burger Bar is a robust sports bar with “panoramic views of the gaming floor,” so a betting lounge extension there could make sense.

However, the Encore sports betting experience is more likely to mirror that at the Wynn Las Vegas’ Race & Sports Book. That dedicated, purpose-built facility is 1,600 square feet in size, offers movie-theater-sized viewing screens, lounge seating, personal monitors, and more.

Legislators have many moving parts to consider before Massachusetts sports betting is legalized. Fortunately, lawmakers have until the end of the current session (December 31) to legalize the activity.

Until then, the Encore Boston Harbor will be putting the finishing touches on its sportsbook.

Per its grand opening press release, Wynn is promoting sports tie-ins with the property at nearby stadiums.

“Encore Boston Harbor even touches the city’s local sports scene with private box suites at Fenway Park, Gillette Stadium and TD Garden, designed to mimic the opulence for the resort and elevate the guest experience into the city and beyond.”

Depending on how progressive Massachusetts lawmakers wish to be, it’s possible that these suites could also host sports betting in the future. On the sports gambling front, the Encore Boston Harbor seems ready for anything.

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