Encore Boston Harbor unveils sparkling new sports bar, minus sports betting



As Massachusetts lawmakers continue to drag their feet and haggle in their rooms to get a sportsbook bill across the finish line, people at Boston Harbor again are advancing at full speed.

Like all the other amenities of the lavish $ 2.6 billion resort that opened just outside the city limits of Boston two years ago, the new WynnBET The sports bar is spectacular.

With over 60 TVs, a striking 10-foot-high by 123-foot-long video wall that spans the entire site, new on-the-go food and beverage options, comfortable seating, VIP sections and an atmosphere vibrant, the ultramodern space, located in the former home of The Buffet just steps from the casino’s ground floor, offers everything a sports fan could ask for.

Except, of course, sports betting.

Since the United States Supreme Court abolished the national sports betting ban in May 2018, Massachusetts has embarked on the proverbial sports betting. Meanwhile, sports betting has been legalized in 32 states and records are regularly broken across the United States. especially in the past two weeks as the NFL season has kicked off.

As recently as last week, the opening NFL game schedule attracted 58.2 million legal online sports betting transactions in the United States, a 126% increase year over year. other, according to GeoComply.

Meanwhile, Massachusetts House passed legislation legalizing sports betting in July, but the bill has yet to go to the state Senate. While the bill remains inactive, the betting windows at WynnBET Sports Bar are ready, willing and able to start accepting bets when legal to do so.

According to Jenny Holaday, president of Encore Boston Harbor, if a sports betting bill in Massachusetts passes and all the regulatory paperwork is resolved, those betting windows would be occupied and take action within four weeks.

“We did the organization chart, we did the job descriptions and they were approved by the (Gaming) Commission,” she said with conviction. “All we would have to do is hire and train and we would be good to go. “

Holaday looks a lot like the many sports bettors in Bay State who find it hard to believe that Massachusetts does not offer a legal and regulated sports betting market, while neighboring states like Rhode Island, New Hampshire and, in As of two weeks, Connecticut is already benefiting from the gold rush. Sixteen of the 23 states with NFL teams have launched a regulated market, and as Holaday pointed out, Boston is one of the few major cities in the United States with four professional sports teams that do not accept betting and benefit from tax revenues.

“How not to have it yet?” We give it away, ”she said. “We have sports bettors who cross state borders to bet. Think about all these states, they don’t even have professional teams. They want our teams.

Still, the lack of legal sports betting in the state certainly hasn’t taken away the luster from WynnBET Sports Bar. Business has been booming since it officially opened on September 11, particularly during New England Patriot games.

“As I keep telling everyone, the only difference between now and when we have sports betting is that those windows would be open,” said Holaday, who was previously executive vice president of Encore Boston Harbor operations and also worked as a senior marketing manager. for Caesars Entertainment in Atlantic City and MotorCity Casino in Detroit. “I think this is the most beautifully designed space we have ever delivered.”

In addition to providing a glamorous space to watch sports, the creation of the WynnBET Sports Bar allowed the resort to introduce a few features it previously lacked, particularly more casual dining and drink options and additional bar seating.

Locals Frank DePasquale and Nick Varano, who have a dozen Boston-area restaurants in their portfolio, including Fratelli in Encore Boston Harbor, opened Frank & Nick’s, dubbed an “accessible and relaxed dining concept,” at WynnBET Sports Bar where customers order by counter service or take out. The menu features a selection of Boston’s North End favorites, such as Rosetta’s Meatball Sub, Eggplant and Chicken Parmigiana, and homemade roast beef paninis, but it’s oven-baked pizza. brick that stopped this pizza lover in his tracks.

“It’s so exciting for us to be a part of this,” Varano said with a glint in his eye as he watched the giant screen showing a Red Sox game. “This place is already electric. Can’t wait to see it once we have sports betting. This city is crazy about sports. It will be amazing once we finally open those windows.

On the other side of WynnBET is a new Shake Shack featuring its ‘modern day burger stand’ menu and a must-have rectangular bar with video poker machines and dozens of TVs.

Speaking of bar seating, right in the middle of WynnBET there’s a full-service 15-seat bar with table top video poker that sits right under an extra-large spherical digital screen that scrolls nonstop with sports scores. and odds.

“We were definitely ‘under-barred’ before that and Boston can always use another location to watch a game,” added Holaday. “So I feel like we’ve ticked a lot of boxes.

“It’s so much better than sports betting in Vegas. It’s smaller. It’s more charming and accessible. It’s beautiful,” she added. “We’ll just have to be very patient while we wait for those windows to be occupied. In the meantime, I don’t think there is a better place in town for Boston sports fans to watch their teams.

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