Those who say every penny counts would be happy to know that Encore Boston Harbor has collected more than $13,000 in pennies over the first month of a new program that looks to use change from the casino’s cash redemption machines to benefit local charities.
The program began on June 27 and is called Change for Charity, according to Jacqui Krum of Encore. The idea is that at the cash redemption machines on the casino floor, many customers get small amounts of change within their winnings that they don’t want. Now, Encore has adopted a program on the machine where customers can opt to donate the change in their winnings to four local charities – and so far that has added up to thousands of dollars in a short period of time.
“We have $13,000 in donations to since starting the program on June 27,” Krum told the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) at its July 29 meeting. “Some customers donate as little as two or three cents and the average donation is just 19 cents. There have been 66,566 donations since we started.”
The four charities include Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA), Bread of Life food pantry, Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center.
Bread of Life said Encore has been a great charity partner since they opened, and they are very excited about the new program as well.
“We at Bread of Life are so thankful for the tremendous support from Encore Boston Harbor,” said Spokesperson Patty Kelly. “Since their opening day, Encore has been a great advocate for Bread of Life and our mission. From employees donating their time volunteering, to donating much needed funding and food items, and serving on our recently launched Young Professional Advisory Board, Encore gives back to our Bread of Life community in many ways. We are honored that Encore continues to support Bread of Life and we are grateful to be included as a recipient of Encore’s innovative Change for Charity cash- out program.”
Patrick Herron, executive director of MyRWA, also said his organization has been the beneficiary of multiple gifts from Encore Boston Harbor over the past few years. They were on of the beneficiaries of their three-day practice opening in 2019, when they donated all proceeds to a few non-profits, including more than $100,000 to MyRWA. He said they have regularly contributed $25,000-$50,000 in annual support for improvements to the local environment and parks too.
He said while we have been alerted that they are a beneficiary of the change program – the program is new enough that they have not yet received any funds from the program.
“The program is in the early days, so it is too early to know at what scale this will impact MyRWA, but we are certainly excited,” he said. “MyRWA applauds the efforts of Encore-Boston Harbor to direct the funds from this change program to these community efforts. The success of their gaming operations will translate into a greater contribution to a healthy and vibrant watershed.”