First look inside new Encore Boston Harbor casino

First look inside new Encore Boston Harbor casino

Encore Boston Harbor offered reporters their first tour of the new casino and resort Friday.A walk-through of the 3 million square foot, $2.6 billion resort took several hours while staff showcased the facility's gaming, restaurant and hotel features.The casino features 3,158 slot machines, 143 table games and 88 poker tables. Resort features include a spa, salon, fitness center, convention center, 11 restaurants and three bars.The casino opened to the public at 10 a.m. Sunday. Regulators with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission granted approval Friday for the grand casino software

Casino officials expect 50,000 people or more could show up for opening day and plans for parking and transportation to and from Encore Boston Harbor are being closely watched by surrounding towns and cities.Encore and city leaders are encouraging people to take alternative transportation because there are only about 3,000 parking spots on the casino's property. Parking in those spaces will cost $22 for six hours and $42 for 24 hours.

If successful, Wynn Resorts hopes the new building can be a model for the company's future expansion. Company CEO Matthew Maddox says the company envisions opening resorts similar to Encore Boston Harbor in New York, Chicago and other major U.S. cities.

"What I see going forward is building these kinds of resorts within the city fabric, not as something an hour and a half away," he said of the Massachusetts casino. "This can be our calling card to other cities and destinations around the world, really."

Maddox said the company is also moving past the scandal that nearly crippled it last year: the allegations of sexual misconduct against Steve Wynn, the company's founder and namesake. Steve Wynn has denied the misconduct allegations, but resigned as CEO and sold off his company shares last year.

Maddox, a longtime confidante of the casino mogul, took over as CEO and oversaw the overhaul of its executive team, its board of directors and its sexual harassment and discrimination policies.Casino regulators in Massachusetts and Nevada hit the company with more than $50 million in fines and other penalties this year after determining company officials had for years failed to investigate or act on allegations and complaints against Steve Wynn.

The company paid the fines to both states and is in the process of meeting the other mandates imposed by Massachusetts, Maddox said.Among those are requirements that Maddox take training on leadership, communication and sensitivity. The state's Gaming Commission will also appoint an independent monitor to track the progress of the company's internal reforms."The controversy is behind us. The transition is finished," Maddox said. "Our eyes are on the future."

Wynn Resorts, the parent company of Encore Boston Harbor, provided most of these photos and videos from inside the new facility. Members of the media were permitted only to record a short look at the casino floor.