Encore Casino Looks to Replace Bar Staff with Automatic Drink Dispensers
Owner of Encore Casino in Everett, Boston, Wynn Resorts, is looking at replacing waitstaff with automatic drink machines. This is part of the company’s “rightsizing” process, which is an attempt at helping the struggling $2.6 billion casino. Since it opened six months ago, Encore Boston Harbor has so far fallen short of revenue projections, the company said on Thursday.
Encore Casino senior vice president of communications, Eric Kraus, told the Massachusetts Gaming Commission that automating bar services is one of the ways the casino attempting to fix the problems at the casino. They are hoping that it will speed up drink services for Encore patrons and also replace some “back of the house” bartenders and other staff. Currently, Encore Casino has 4,485 staff on its payroll.
Despite local news reports claiming that Encore Casino has been notifying dozens of workers that they’re out of a job, Kraus says Wynn Resorts hasn’t laid off any workers. However, he said they don’t know how many of Encore Casino’s employees’ positions will be redundant. Kraus did add that Encore Casino will be working to find other positions for those workers that will be affected.
The use of automated drinks machines is something that’s used at some casinos in the state, so Encore Casino pursuing this type of automation isn’t something new. However, getting a beverage machine will require approval from the state.
The planned rightsizing is in anticipation of the casino’s underperformance in terms of projected revenue. Encore Casino is making about $50 million in gross revenue each month. Unfortunately, this means that they are making less than the $800 million holding company Wynn Resorts projected it would make in its first year. In November 2019, it was reported that the casino had operating losses that totaled $42 million in its first three months of operation.
Things at Encore Casino haven’t been going well at all. In the fall, the casino’s president Robert DeSalvio resigned. He’s been replaced by Brian Gullbrants, who was overseeing hotels at Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas. Then, on Thursday, the Conservative Law Foundation announced that it was suing Encore Casino and its shuttle bus operator for excessive vehicle idling. This is in violation of the federal Clean Air Act and Massachusetts’ anti-idling law. This law limits the period of time a vehicle can idle to five minutes.
Furthermore, in an attempt to bring in more patrons to the casino, Encore Casino is reducing its table game minimum and scrapping parking fees.
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