fb-pixelWe were at the Encore for its first 24 hours. Here are the most interesting things we saw - The Boston Globe Skip to main content

We were at the Encore for its first 24 hours. Here are the most interesting things we saw

The Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, as pictured Monday. Greenhouse/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

After about seven years of intrigue and controversy, the Encore Boston Harbor in Everett finally opened with fireworks, fanfare, and Frank (Sinatra) on Sunday morning.

However, with the many thousands of people traversing the casino complex’s grounds on opening day, there were bound to be some interesting vignettes.

Here’s a look at some of the more curious things our reporters saw, heard, or found out:

People were so excited to gamble, they were waiting in the wings Sunday night for $100 blackjack hands

Work night, be darned: Around midnight Sunday into Monday, seats were filled at blackjack and baccarat tables with $100 minimums. Observers even stood behind the players, either eager to take an opening spot or simply watching the game at hand.


Even when other gambling died down, poker remained a main attraction.

Two people have already tried to cheat at roulette — and promptly got caught.

The casino saw a total of four arrests in its first 24 hours: “Very limited problems,” said Everett Police Chief Steven A. Mazzie. “Overall, we feel good.”

Of those arrests, one person was arrested for trespassing after they were asked to leave and then came back; another was arrested for disorderly conduct at about 2:30 a.m. Monday; and two men from New York were arrested after allegedly cheating at roulette, according to police.

Jankelli S. Volquez, 27, and Hector Hernandez, 66, were charged with cheating and conspiracy after being observed cheating at a roulette table, Massachusetts State Police spokesman David Procopio said. (Procopio couldn’t divulge any more information other than that the pair were allegedly “working in concert in an attempt to cheat.”)

One of the first people in line waited 17 hours for the opening.


Glenn Reynolds held up an Encore sign.ERIN CLARK FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

Glenn Reynolds, a 65-year-old retired truck driver from Quincy, started camping out on the grounds of Encore Boston Harbor at 5 p.m. Saturday, a full 17 hours before the casino and resort’s grand opening Sunday morning.

“I can’t sit at home when that adrenaline’s going, no way can I sit there,” he said.

Wynn officials are apparently pretty superstitious.

There were already some pretty big wins right off the bat.

Diane G. Sawyer felt pretty lucky while gambling on opening night. “I just won $8,000 over here,” Sawyer, 65, said, though she lamented that $8,000 after taxes isn’t a lot. “I bring a couple of thousand dollars with me. The last time I went, I went to Foxwoods and won $68,000 there. I had my backyard done over with the money that I won — I make good use of it.”

Of course Dunkin’ was among the most popular eateries — especially overnight.

Yes, even the Dunkin’ coffee shop has marble floors.

And then there were the “slippery little suckers” at the buffet.

On the list of DJs for Memoire nightclub this week: Shaquille O’Neal.

Even exhaustion couldn’t keep some patrons away.

On the main casino floor around 2:30 a.m., Antonio Amado, 29, had fallen asleep on the cushioned chair of a video poker machine while waiting for a friend to finish playing. Security woke him up — but not before a few people took pictures of him mid-nap.

“It’s my first time in a casino, so I didn’t play,” Amado, who drove to Encore with a friend from Randolph, said. “I got something to eat and tried to go to the club, but it was all sold out. I walked around everywhere to see the place, but I’m getting tired and want to go home.”


He arrived at around 10 p.m. hoping to try the burger bar, but was too late and settled for Dunkin’ instead.

Workers were already touching up paint on Monday morning.

The wares and services being hawked aren’t exactly cheap.

Joshua Miller, Mark Arsenault, Deanna Pan, and Felice Belman of the Globe staff and Globe correspondents Lauren Fox and Diamond Naga Siu contributed to this report.