Encore Boston Harbor received a Notice of Non-Compliance from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) after an investigation of an Aug. 16 party revealed more than 100 people in a suite and startling party conditions – including adult dancers and a DJ.
Since that time, Encore has quickly instituted the changes suggested by the MGC, and gone even further in implementing more strict measures for safety and crowd control in hotel rooms – including a $3,000 fine for breaking the occupancy limits.
However, the MGC said several miscues resulted in a party that got out of control last month – being broken up at 3:10 a.m. by State Police and Everett Police.
Bruce Band, assistant director of the Investigations and Enforcement Bureau (IEB), said when police and security finally went in, they found more than 110 people in a suite that had an occupancy limit of 10.
He said they discovered a Dracut man rented the suite on Aug. 15, and starting at 6:30 p.m. began to bring people up the 1st and 2nd floor elevator to the room in small groups. At around midnight, a call came in from outside the resort warning that social media posts from the hotel showed a very large party occurring.
“Fifteen minutes later, an Encore Boston Harbor butler made a report to the front desk that he had delivered something to the suite and saw more than 30 people,” said Band, noting that another call from outside also came in about social media posts and that they would alert the Everett Board of Health.
Nothing was immediately done, however, until after 3 a.m.
State Police reported that at 3:10 a.m., they responded to Suite 1201 for the loud party potentially violating the governor’s COVID-19 orders. The Troopers and Everett Police officers found 112 people identified using video, a DJ and adult dancers. A large amount of alcohol was observed, and the smell of marijuana was noted. With assistance from hotel security, Troopers and Officers shut down the party and evidenced all occupants from the room and property.
The room was registered to a 23-year-old Dracut man, to whom Troopers issued a criminal summons for disturbing the peace, due to excessively noisy behavior and creating conditions that inconvenienced or annoyed others. The man was also determined to be in violation of Massachusetts Executive Order 46, limiting gatherings to 8 people per 1,000 square feet and requiring all attendees to wear face coverings. A video review determined that at one point there were 112 people in the 3,000 square foot room. Few, if any, attendees were wearing face coverings. We issued the man a civil violation of the executive order, which carries a fine of $500.
The man’s name was withheld until arraignment and a criminal complaint had been submitted to the Malden District Court.
IEB Deputy Director Loretta Lillios said Encore has taken the Notice of Non-Compliance seriously and came up with a number of remedies very quickly, including monitoring social media, more surveillance of the hotel floors by security and posted guards at the elevators looking for suspicious activity. They have also instituted the $3,000 fine for anyone violating strict occupancy measures.
“They are taking it very seriously and they have made it known as well that flouting safety measures is unacceptable to the property and they have put significant measures behind that,” she said.
Band said the measures put in place in late August have already steered some away at the front desk upon checking in. Others have been removed from the hotel for violating the resort occupancy limits.
“Eight different people were already evicted for violating these measures and fined as well,” he said. “Encore is adhering to the measures they put in place. I can empathize with them because it’s not east to do with loyal guests.”
Chair Catherine Judd-Stein said she was bothered by the fact that there was ample warning of the party from inside the resort and outside, but little was done to break it up.
“What was problematic for me here is this happened and our licensee got reports over three hours and one employee – the butler – did the right thing and notified his fellow employees to the actions,” she said. “What’s important for the licensee is to not only enforce these new measures…but to make sure to keep channels open to make sure they are hearing their employees when they report instances that could cause harm.”