Encore casino to open 24-7 again

Friday 22nd January 2021

Late-night gamblers delight: the Encore Boston Harbor casino will return to 24-hour service Wednesday.

The large resort that looms over the banks of the Mystic River in Everett spelled out "SOON" in lights on the side facing the highway.

Encore said in a release that it "will begin re-opening with a phased plan which will allow guests to safely enjoy extended hours and amenities that have been previously closed due to COVID-19."

On Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, it will be open from 9 a.m. through midnight -- and then it won't close, switching back to its normal 24-7 schedule.

Gov. Charlie Baker has lifted his order mandating many businesses to close at 9:30 p.m. He'd put that back into place as the coronavirus pandemic worsened again.

But it will be far from a full house, as Encore says it will continue to operate under a 25% capacity model, as the state requires. It will keep up temperature scans at all guest and employee entrances, and will mandate face coverings for all employees and staff.

The casino, which opened in June 2019 and hired 5,000 workers, laid off 400 in September, dropping to 2,700 employees, plus another 915 on furlough.

The casino started cracking down on social-distancing issues in its hotel rooms over the summer, evicting groups as large as 110 people from the hotel after they were found violating gathering limits and mostly not wearing masks. Encore also began to issue fees and threatened legal action against people who weren't abiding by the regulations.

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