Encore Boston Harbor receives green light for expansion

10 February 2023
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted Wednesday to allow Encore Boston Harbor, which sits just outside of the Boston city limits, to begin construction on a new gaming facility across the street from its current location.
This new site will include a parking garage, sports bar/sportsbook, poker room, nightclub, a roof deck, theater, and comedy club, in the parking lot across the street from its current location at 1 Broadway.
At the heart of the vote was whether or not gaming could take place at the expansion site. Originally, Encore’s plan was to make the expansion a non-gaming facility, but later went back to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to request gaming at the proposed property. The Commissioners had to make that decision and decide if an additional vote by the City of Everett was required, which it was determined that it was not.
Currently, Encore Boston Harbor features the WynnBet Sportsbook with 70 televisions, including a 10-foot high and 123-foot -long video wall, and 10 betting windows. Additionally, the resort houses 120 kiosks strategically placed throughout the casino grounds, including a room of 20 in what’s known as the WynnBet Express Sportsbook located on the B1 level of the North parking garage. Sports bettors are able to drive up and park in one of the designated 49 spots for a maximum of 15 minutes while they pop into the room and place their bets. Encore also offers BYOD, also known as Bring Your Own Device, which allows bettors to create any type of sports bet on their personal mobile device. From there they can save or copy the generated bet slip QR code and upon entrance into Encore, they can scan it at any WynnBet Sports Kiosk.
Earlier this month, Casino City had the opportunity to ask Jenny Holaday, President of Encore Boston Harbor, her thoughts at the time about the proposed expansion.
“So, assuming we pass all of our permitting, we hope to have a shovel in the ground this June,” Holaday said. “We have a beautiful sportsbook here [at the current location] for a city that has over 4 million people who are over the age of 21. So, if we get what we are petitioning to have across the street, also being designated as gaming space, and if we pass that hurdle, there will be a second sportsbook over there. We won’t close this one. We will need two for Boston. It will probably be about the same size. The difference over there is right now the plan is for the food and beverage to be integrated into the room. Here we took advantage of having food outlets flank us, but it will all be part of one. It will be like the ultimate sports bar/sportsbook.”
Massachusetts launched retail sports betting nearly two weeks ago at its three casinos – Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, and Plainridge Park Casino – and just yesterday the Bay State moved closer to mobile sports wagering when the state’s Gaming Commission Executive Director Karen Wells proposed a tentative launch date of Friday, 10 March.

Jarrod LeBlanc

Jarrod serves as Casino City's associate editor and helps produce and edit all of our weekly newsletters, as well as the GPWA Times Magazine. He has more than six years of experience as a writer and editor and enjoys playing fantasy sports, but spends most of his time with his family, running and coaching youth sports. Contact Jarrod at jarrod@casinocity.com and follow him on Twitter at @CasinoCityJL.