Encore Boston Harbor President Jenny Holaday said it all about the opening of the WynnBET Sportsbook Tuesday at the five-star resort/casino in Everett.
“It’s sports betting in the nation’s best sports town,” remarked Holaday. “Everyone is thrilled and excited it’s here.”
Holaday was joined by Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria, Speaker of the House Ron Mariano, State Reps. Joseph McGonagle and Dan Ryan and an array of professional athletes at the grand opening of the new sportsbook which is another step in Encore bringing a spectacular Las Vegas-style experience to Everett.
“This has been long overdue,” said DeMaria, who led the way for the Encore resort/casino to be built in the city. “People have been able to go to other states to wager on sports. We made the same argument when we were bringing the casino to Everett – why not keep the money here in the community? This sportsbook is a very nice facility.”
DeMaria said he had the opportunity to chat with Johnny Damon, one of the sports celebrities in attendance at Tuesday’s event. “I thanked him for breaking the Curse of the Bambino,” remarked DeMaria.
An Historic Day for Massachusetts
Boston sports fans, who have enjoyed several championships by the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, and Boston Bruins in this century, can now legally wager on professional and college sports at Encore – and they’re excited about the opportunity.
Mike Capone of Malden was one of the first patrons to wager after Holaday personally led the countdown to the 10 a.m. launch of the betting kiosks inside the casino.
“I bet a couple of Super Bowl props and parlays tonight for hockey, college basketball,” said Capone. “It’s fantastic to be a part of history. Encore did a great job with this. It’s really a good time.”
Artie Ells, a Chelsea resident, wanted to be a part of an historic day for Massachusetts.
“This is just another great day for the area,” said Ells. “This resort is a beautiful place. It still amazes me that it’s here. Everything here is first-class.”
Sports broadcaster Sean McDonough served as the master of ceremonies for the event. “It’s great to see so many people here as we commemorate the first sports bets in Massachusetts,” said McDonough.
Holaday told the large gathering, “I want to thank you, ladies and gentlemen, fans, for coming out to celebrate this historic moment with us. This has been a wonderful team effort, and we’re really excited to bring legal sports betting to the Commonwealth.”
Wynn Vice President of Trading Alan Berg expects the WynnBET Sportsbook to be a very successful operation. There are WynnBET Sportsbooks in ten states.
“I think it’s going to be phenomenal,” predicted Berg. “Boston is one of the biggest sports cities in the world as far as I’m concerned. So, the pent-up demand – I think we’ve been hearing about for so long – and the excitement have reached a big pitch at this point. We’re trying to give Boston the best product possible, and I think we’re ready to do that.”
State, Local Officials Excited About Launch of Sports Betting
Rep. Joe McGonagle of Everett attended the grand opening ceremonies for the WynnBET Sportsbook.
“I’m excited to see the launch of legalized sports betting betting in Massachusetts,” said McGonagle, who supported the legislation. “Sports betting in Massachusetts will be creating more jobs, and we’re hoping they will be jobs for Everett residents.”
Rep. Dan Ryan of Charlestown supported the effort to bring legalized sports betting to Massachusetts.
“Sports betting is here. The Legislature, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, and the state’s constitutional officers have weighed this possibility with great diligence to ensure that the jobs, revenue, and entertainment created by this venture will have a positive impact on our local cities and towns,” said Ryan.
State Rep. Jessica Giannino of Revere was also a supporter of the legislation to allow legalized sports betting in Massachusetts.
“Massachusetts residents are passionate about their sports. This legislation will allow fans to bet on their favorite teams but do so in a regulated manner that promotes responsible gaming, while bringing in millions of dollars of revenue that has previously been going to our neighboring states or to illegal operations,” said Rep. Giannino. “I was proud to serve on the Economic Development Committee under the leadership of Chairman Jerry Parisella and work on this important legislation. I am thankful for the work of Speaker Mariano and his tireless effort in getting this bill across the finish line.”
Rep. Jeff Turco of Winthrop voted in favor of the legalized sports betting bill in Massachusetts. “To be blunt, I’m sort of gaming skeptic, but the simple reality of gaming in Massachusetts is it’s here. We have the most successful lottery in the country. Our gaming industry is doing very well. It’s simply doesn’t make any sense to have all the gaming we do and exclude one of the more profitable elements, not just for the casinos, but also for the Commonwealth. The decision on gaming was made decades ago, and this is just a natural expansion of it, and I supported it, and proudly so.”
Rep. Adrian Madaro of East Boston said he voted in favor of the legalized sports betting bill.
“Legalized sports betting means fans can enjoy games in a whole new way,” wagering responsibly while creating jobs and raising revenue for important state services,” said Madaro. “I was please to vote in favor of this bill. I look forward to seeing the economic growth that comes from this new industry in Massachusetts.”
Lynn City Councilor Brian LaPierre said, “This is awesome. Today is an historic day for Massachusetts. Sports wagering has been a long time coming for our state. It’s going to bring in millions of dollars in new state revenues that can go to our schools, our roads, and housing concerns throughout the Commonwealth. This is a great, one-stop shopping experience for anyone who likes to dabble a little bit on sports betting. You can bet all the games and come and have a great time at the beautiful Encore resort.”