Encore Boston Harbor in Massachusetts is still struggling to find dealers for its casino table games, including poker. The lack of sufficient dealers is not a surprise considering what’s happening in the gambling industry.
According to Reverend Richard McGowan, gaming facilities may have to pay dealers and other casino workers. The finance professor at Boston College said that casinos would have to raise salaries for dealers so that they can stop depending on tips to make a living.
McGowan said that dealers get a low income and have to depend on tips to make a living. He explained that it was impossible for dealers to take such jobs, primarily because what they make depends on a table having more guests.
At this time, there are still a few guests returning to casinos. Moreover, dealers are afraid to provide services to patrons fearing they might catch the Coronavirus from them.
The Casino Is Training New Dealers
Encore Boston Harbor is training dealers to join their employee team. The casino’s vice president and general counsel told Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) that despite training dealers, the casino is yet to get enough workers.
Jacqui Krum told State House News Service that the casino’s school had been operating all through. Yet, the casino has not opened its poker room for its lack of dealers.
Both Encore Boston Harbor and MGM Springfield are yet to open live poker. The two closed their poker rooms following the spread of the Coronavirus. Even after gradual reopening, neither of the two is offering live poker games.
This had led to multiple complaints from poker enthusiasts to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. But, if Encore Boston Harbor was to offer live poker, it would mean closing other casino games to get enough dealers.
Krum also told State House News Service that her casino had limited space. She added that the space that previously hosted live poker was now hosting high-performing slot machines. Krum confirmed that opening a poker room would lead to the closure of other table games, as the casino could not manage both.
Krum told MGC that it is paying the training fee for people willing to take training for dealing table games. She also added that the casino would add another gaming floor if it was possible. Krum insists that the casino has jobs but not people to fill the positions.
“Return Poker Games”
On Thursday, July 29, 2021, the chief of the gaming agents division reported to the commission that complaints about the lack of poker games at encore had increased from 4-5 to 45-50 per month. Bruce Band is also the assistant director of the Investigations Enforcement Bureau. He had to report his findings before the MGC gave a directive.
Once it has all the facts, MGC will issue a directive requiring the casino to resume poker. However, MGC Chairwoman Cathy Judd-Stein promised to monitor the situation and not micromanage Encore Boston Harbor.
Cathy noted that she had heard that poker games were replaced by slot machines generating better revenues. She appreciated the move because it maximizes revenue collection. However, she noted that table games provide more jobs compared to slot machines.
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