Encore Boston Harbor, the $2.6 billion Everett casino, reported $175.8 million in operating revenues for the third quarter.
Wynn Resorts, the casino’s parent company, reported on Wednesday that the majority of the operating revenue came from the casino, which made $114.9 million for the third quarter.
Encore officials acknowledged for months its slots numbers were low, but Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox told investors that he’s not concerned with the slots revenue.
“We’re at the beginning of the ramp, we’re not at the end,” Maddox said during Wednesday’s earnings call.
Wynn Resorts’ total operating revenue was $1.65 billion, a 3.6% year-over-year decrease from the third quarter 2018 operating revenue of $1.71 billion. The company attributed those decreases to lower revenues at Wynn Palace and Wynn Macau overseas.
While Encore’s revenue made up a small portion of Wynn Resorts’ total earnings, Wynn Resorts officials said it helped offset the decrease in operating revenues from Macau.
“Each quarter, we’re going to be tweaking our marketing, we’re going to be focusing on growing our database, working on controlling expenses and growing revenues,” he said. “So I am very excited about the transition that we’ve been through and the future of this company as we move forward into 2020.”
Maddox announced that Encore will launch a tiered loyalty card program in Boston, noting that the program is crucial to capturing the regional market. Tiered card programs typically offer more rewards to members who play more.
He expects the program to launch in early 2020.
Maddox was silent about Encore president Bob DeSalvio’s resignation. He welcomed the new president, Brian Gullbrants, without so much as a mention of his predecessor.
“He’s been with us for over a decade, and I know and we all know that he is the exact right person to lead that project,” he said.
Long before Encore opened, some market analysis suggested the Everett casino’s games would make almost $800 million a year. State lawmakers have a much more conservative projection of $540 million in annual gambling revenue.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission, which releases a monthly revenue report, reported that Encore earned $48.9 million in gross gaming revenue in September. That was slightly below its August revenue but still higher than in July, its first full month of operation.
Encore has struggled with its slots revenue since launch, as it made less than half of its total gaming revenue from slots play, an unusual ratio. In September, the Everett casino made $21.8 million in gross revenue from slots — still less than half of the total gross gaming revenue, but $2 million more than slots made in August.
When DeSalvio was president, he acknowledged to the commission that Encore’s slots numbers were “soft,” but noted that table games had fared much better.
Over the past four months, Maddox said, Encore has worked on catering to locals’ feedback and tweaking its menus to make the Everett resort more appealing to them. The company recently added a water shuttle to East Boston, starting at $7 one-way, and for Red Card members, free bus service to the casino from Londonderry, New Hampshire, Millbury and Rockland, Massachusetts as well as from Patriot Place in Foxborough.
“We’ve been open for 136 days in Boston‚ and we’re learning each and every day how to become more local,” he said.