Encore Boston Harbor accused of cheating customer
Encore’s great start may have been at the expense of gamblers in more ways than one
Perhaps it was a way for Wynn Resorts to try to recuperate the $40 million it’s having to pay in fines for the actions of its founder and former CEO, Steve Wynn, but the recently opened Encore Boston Harbor is being accused of cheating. The venue got off to a good start when it launched late last month, taking in $16.8 million in a single week, and already started to give the MGM Springfield across the border in Illinois a run for its money. However, a lawsuit filed this past Monday is calling into question the casino’s operations, accusing it of cheating at blackjack and withholding winnings from slot machines.
The lawsuit states that Encore has intentionally been playing customers “odds of 6 to 5 when a player is dealt a ‘blackjack,’ when Massachusetts law clearly and unambiguously states that a player who is dealt a ‘blackjack’ shall be paid at odds of 3 to 2.” At this rate, it would give Encore an additional $30 million in revenue each year, according to the lawsuit. Coincidentally, this is almost the amount Wynn Resorts has been fined by Massachusetts gaming regulators, not counting the personal fine levied against CEO Matt Maddox.
According to Massachusetts gaming laws pertaining to blackjack, “All winning wagers made in accordance with (a) above shall be paid at odds of 1 to 1 with the exception of standard blackjack which shall be paid at odds of 3 to 2, or at odds of 6 to 5 for the 6 to 5 blackjack variation.”
With regards to the slot machine operations, the lawsuit asserts, “When a slot player cashes out his or her winnings at a ticket redemption machine positioned throughout the casino, these machines only pay out in whole dollar amounts, without paying change, and without instruction on how to obtain the balance. The unredeemed change, therefore, is never returned to the player and is simply added to Encore’s coffers.”
It’s now becoming more obvious why Encore has been able to perform so much better out of the gate than its area rivals. MGM Springfield, which has been open since August of last year, only made $20 million during the same period.
Wynn Resorts is denying the claims, of course, but will have to prove its innocence in front of a judge.