Posted on: December 19, 2020, 12:03h.
Last updated on: December 18, 2020, 09:42h.
A study finds that Encore Boston Harbor has accounted for $1.6 billion in new economic activity throughout the state of Massachusetts.
Researchers at the UMass Donahue Institute released their report this week, titled “The Construction of Encore Boston Harbor: Spending, Employment, and Economic Impacts.” The review is part of the university’s Social and Economic Impacts of Gaming in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) program.
The researchers found that Wynn Resorts’ casino complex has created or supported approximately 2,500 jobs, generated cumulative personal income of $1 billion, and resulted in $1.6 billion of “net new economic activity” in Massachusetts. Net new economic activity is explained as “value added or gross state product.”
The release of today’s report on the economic impacts of the construction of Encore Boston Harbor is an important milestone for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and of our charge under the Expanded Gaming Act to design and execute on a robust research agenda,” said Cathy Judd-Stein, chair of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. “This research validates that both businesses and citizens of the Commonwealth were beneficiaries of this investment — in line with the goals set out by the Commonwealth with respect to casino gaming.”
Encore Boston Harbor cost Wynn Resorts $2.6 billion to construct and open. The integrated resort began operations in June of 2019.
Wynn Resorts said it invested $1.6 billion on the actual construction of Encore Boston Harbor.
The other roughly $1 billion was spent on first buying and prepping the site in Everett, which was formerly home to a chemical plant and backfill. The $1 billion was also used to cover the one-time $85 million license fee to the state, purchase neighboring buildings, hire casino workers, pay local host agreements, and fund area infrastructure.
Of the $1.6 billion construction spend, the UMass study found that nearly 69 percent — $1.1 billion — was awarded to Massachusetts contractors. And 40 percent of the contracts went to firms based in Middlesex and Suffolk counties.
“A tremendous team effort went into the construction of Encore Boston Harbor to achieve these results,” stated Encore Boston Harbor President Brian Gullbrants. “We are pleased to see that those efforts have made a significant impact on our local and state economies.”
During the roughly five-year construction period, more than 6,700 people at some point worked on the Encore Boston Harbor. The workers cumulatively spent 5.2 million hours on the job.
Minorities accounted for about 25 percent of the construction workforce, while more than 90 percent were male.
When Encore Boston opened in the summer of 2019, the casino set a goal of permanently employing over 5,000 people. Those jobs include both casino and resort operations. COVID-19 has greatly reduced the resort’s workforce in 2020.
In June, Encore Boston furloughed 3,000 people, while retaining 700 essential workers to maintain the property. Since November 6, Massachusetts’ three commercial casinos are required to suspend their gaming operations nightly from 9:30 pm until 5:00 am.
The casinos were fully closed between mid-March through the first week of July.