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Encore Boston Harbor restructures its business strategy amid lower-than-expected revenue


Encore Boston Harbor may have created 5,000 new jobs. But not all of them are set in stone.

Amid lower-than-expected revenue in its opening months, the Everett casino is in the process of “right sizing” its business operations. According to a Boston 25 report Tuesday, Encore officials told 70 bartenders, apprentices, and casino workers last Friday that their jobs were being cut — and at least some were being replaced by automated drink dispensers.

The casino, however, is disputing those figures.

“It has been inaccurately reported that 70 positions have been eliminated and/or replaced by automated beverage dispensers,” Wynn Resorts, the company behind the Encore brand, said in a statement Wednesday to Boston.com.

Officials did acknowledge that some casino jobs would be affected by the addition of automated, back-of-house beverage dispensers, which have been in use at other casinos.

“We are currently right sizing our business as we continue to make adjustments to our organization based both on customer feedback and how best to meet our business needs,” the statement said, adding that it was unclear how many employees would ultimately lose their jobs.

“Should any employee become displaced, we do everything we can to provide alternate job opportunities for them within our organization,” the statement said. “Given the amount of related openings in other areas of the business, we cannot project the number of positions that will be impacted as a result of the automated beverage dispensers at this time.”

Encore’s website showed 84 open positions Wednesday. And according to Boston 25, the casino held a job fair Monday for affected workers, though there weren’t enough full-time or comparable jobs for everyone. The cuts reportedly take effect next Friday.

The news follows a tough season for casinos across the state, with the hyped, new Boston-area casino struggling to live up to early revenue projections. Wynn CEO Matt Maddox stressed in November that the $2.6 billion project is still ramping up, after it reported a third-quarter operating loss of $41.7 million following the casino’s debut in June.