Encore Boston Harbor’s Reopening Criticized by Local Poker Players
- Encore Boston Harbor will reopen in February 2022
- The poker room will only be running 12 tables
- Some locals slam the casino for lack of transparency over poker operations
Encore Boston Harbor will begin re-accepting poker players in February 2022, but not all locals are happy with its reopening.
This is because its poker room will operate with limited capacity, despite the rest of the poker scene returning to normalcy. The venue is home to 74 tables, but it will only be running 12 card tables as it goes back into operation for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020.
Casino Executive Puts the Blame on Staffing Issues
Encore Boston Harbor operates under the Wynn Resorts brand and was among the many properties forced to close in March 2020 due to COVID-19. The casino reopened in July 2020 but has yet to resume its poker operations. When the property announced that it will finally offer poker games starting February 2022 but with limited tables, many local players were left disappointed.
There are speculations on social media that the casino’s decision to reopen its poker room may have been made just to satisfy the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and not the players, a claim denied by Rosie Abrams, the company’s Executive Director for Public Relations.
Since March 2020, the live poker scene in Massachusetts had remained empty until MGM Springfield welcomed back poker customers on October 29. Shortly after, Encore Boston Harbor also announced that it’s targeting a February 2022 reopening.
Addressing the issue surrounding the limited number of poker tables and changes to operating hours, Abrams said they currently do not have the real estate on their gaming floor for its poker room to return to its pre-COVID capacity.
Before the pandemic, the Encore poker room was operating 24/7, but that will change starting February next year as the venue will only be offering poker games from 10 am to 8 pm Monday through Thursday, and it’s all because of staffing issues, according to Abrams.
Where Did the Bad Beat Jackpot Go?
Some players are also raising concerns over unpaid bad beat jackpot, claiming that the casino lacked transparency as to the availability of the funds. Abrams promised that the jackpot funds will be reimbursed when the poker room reopens and that they will use a high hand promotion in distributing the money.