MGC approves alcohol sales from 2-4 AM at Encore casino

MGC approves alcohol sales from 2-4 AM at Encore casino

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has approved a measure to allow the Encore Boston Harbor casino to serve alcohol between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., later than bars and restaurants.

The 4-1 vote approves a measure, despite opposition expressing concerns about OUI and intoxicated patrons creating security risks -- all issues the casino will be tasked with preventing.

"We do not want anyone getting behind the wheel of a vehicle if they’re impaired in any way shape or form," Encore Boston Harbor President Robert DeSalvio said.

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The casino's food and beverage director was also quick to allay the concerns of the commission, saying managers will pace customers at three drinks per hour.

"If a guest is exhibiting those clear visual signals then we hit a moment of pause," Warren Richards said.

Gaming Commissions investigators said customers heading to the casino after other bars closed at 2 a.m. was an issue when MGM Springfield first opened.

"We did see increase crowd coming in, but word got out quickly you had to be actively gaming," Det. Lt. Brian Connors said.

Casino officials say June 17, 19 and 20 will be 'test days' as the team prepares to launch operations on June 23. The doors will open for business at 10 a.m. that day, according to the Encore's construction manager.

Meanwhile, MGM Resorts International says it will no longer pursue buying the Encore Boston Harbor from Wynn Resorts.

Wynn Resorts says it agreed to end discussions and remains "committed to opening and operating Encore Boston Harbor as only Wynn Resorts is able to do."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.