The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) issued regulatory approval June 21 for Encore Boston Harbor’s public opening on June 23.
Under the close observation of MGC staff, Encore Boston Harbor successfully completed test play nights on June 17, June 19 and June 20. MGC staff monitored and evaluated the practice events for strict adherence and compliance with state law and MGC’s internal control regulations. MGC’s Investigations and Enforcement Bureau (IEB), the Information Technology Services Division (ITSD) and the Finance Division worked together to supervise gaming systems and procedures to ensure the integrity of the games, compliance with regulations and overall adherence to Massachusetts’ strict gaming standards.
“As Encore Boston Harbor prepares to open its doors, the MGC remains focused on ensuring that our policies and procedures protect the integrity of the industry and safeguard fair play for patrons,” said Commissioner Eileen O’Brien, who observed the test nights and was delegated by fellow commissioners to issue opening approval. “I want to commend the dedication of the IEB, ITSD, finance and all additional MGC staff for their commitment to the highest standards of regulatory compliance.”
At a June 12 public meeting, the five-member Commission authorized the test nights and determined that Encore Boston Harbor demonstrated “material compliance” with the gaming law, commission regulations and the terms and conditions of its license. The MGC’s extensive review of the overall project acknowledged that Encore Boston Harbor had met or exceeded requirements in areas including construction commitments, regional marketing and economic development, diversity, employee and vendor licensing, responsible gaming and numerous other license obligations. The MGC will continue to closely monitor licensee commitments post-opening.
“The gaming law and commission regulations set extraordinarily high standards to ensure that the Commonwealth would receive maximum benefits from the gaming industry, while also addressing any potential impacts. Extensive reviews conducted by the MGC for more than four years provide strong evidence that Encore Boston Harbor has not only met the necessary requirements, but in many instances has exceeded its commitments and expectations. Encore Boston Harbor has delivered a property of superior quality, has provided numerous transportation options to access the site and has cleaned up a waterfront that has not been accessible to the public in more than 100 years. Encore has demonstrated a relentless commitment to diversity, the promotion of regional tourism, a commitment to local hiring and vendor utilization and has provided substantial mitigation funding to host and surrounding communities,” said Chair Cathy Judd-Stein. “I commend the MGC team, the many state and local agencies and community participants who have played a major role in the work leading to today’s approval.”
The Commission anticipates that it will issue Encore Boston Harbor’s final operations certificate during a public meeting in June on a date to be determined.