The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) is considering Encore Boston Harbor’s plan for alcohol service within the facility, including a special 4 a.m. license for those engaged in gaming on the gaming floor.
Of the 23 alcohol venues (three of which are leased to outside providers) that will be licensed to serve, most all of them have had a closing time of 2 a.m. requested, though many of the restaurants like Sinatra’s and Rare Steakhouse predict a true closing time of 10 p.m.
The most controversial license of the 23 revolves around the 4 a.m. license for the gaming floor. That license is only available to gaming facilities – with almost all other licenses in the state good for a 2 a.m. closing. Already the 4 a.m. license is in place at MGM Springfield, and the MGC put out Encore’s request for the extended license to the public for a two-week comment period.
“We are planning on having a last call of 1:30 a.m. at most of our venues with the taps shutting off at 2 a.m.,” said Jacqui Krum, senior vice president of Encore. “With respect to the gaming floor, if approved, we would have a last call of 3:30 a.m. with the taps being shut off at 4 a.m.”
The 4 a.m. license would be very specific, she said, and would only be for those actively gaming.
“That would be for actively gaming guests only,” she said. “It’s not guests sitting next to someone actively gaming, but guests who are truly engaged in gaming. You can’t just put a dollar into a slot machine to get a drink. That is how our servers and our security personnel will be trained with respect to that license.”
Krum shared that all of the taps, except those on the gaming floor, will be controlled by a central computer that cannot be overridden by anyone except IT computer personnel. That is the same case for the point of sale machines – where buttons used to sell alcohol would be disabled when serving hours are done.
She said the protocol for the extended hours would be at the Center Bar, which is located in the middle of the massive gaming floor. Servers would take an order from an active gaming guest and would swipe their ID card and give an alcohol order to a bartender. The bartender would provide the drink and the server would deliver it to the guest.
However, if a guest is no longer gaming, they can’t have the drink.
“If that guest is no longer gaming when the server comes back, with the alcoholic drink, the server wouldn’t be permitted to sever that drink to a guest,” said Krum.
She said there would be a last call at 3:30 a.m., and guests would be able to order and get their last drink within that last half-hour.
For the comp drink policy, there could be no free drink costing more than $25, and servers could only provide a free drink for every 20 minutes of active gaming by a guest.
The other venues are listed as 2 a.m. licenses, and there are 15 on the ground floor.
•Sinatra’s (formal Italian)
•Mystique (casual Asian fusion)
•Waterfront (shared plates, snacks, craft beer)
•Oyster Bar (casual dining)
•Red 8 (Chinese Casual, open until 3 a.m. for food)
•Grand Buffet (all you can eat casual dining)
•Fratelli (casual dining adjacent to the gaming floor)
•Bru (grab and go, 24 hours a day food)
•Rare Steakhouse (Classic formal steakhouse)
•Center Bar (gaming floor bar, 24 hours)
•VIP Registration Desk and Lounge
•Retail sales (wine and champagne)
•Meeting and Convention Space (portable bars)
•HarborWalk Concessions (portable bars outside on the gazebo and events lawn)
•Five back of house bars serving the gaming floor.
The second floor/mezzanine includes:
•Garden Café (casual dining)
•Garden Lounge (upscale craft cocktails, bottle service)
•In Room Dining (delivered)
•Memoire (nightclub/lounge, bottle service)
•On Deck Burger Bar (casual sports bar)
The third floor includes:
•The Beauty Salon (wine and champagne)
•The Spa (wine and champagne)