Encore Boston's casino president stepping down 

Robert DeSalvio

BOSTON  – Robert DeSalvio, the man who led Wynn Resorts' Boston-area enterprise from its earliest days through the first few months of operations at Encore Boston Harbor, is stepping down from his position and the company, Wynn Resorts announced.

The company said DeSalvio, president of Encore Boston Harbor and formerly senior vice president of development at Wynn, "decided to step down after leading the resort for the last five years, culminating in one of the most successful casino resort openings on the East Coast."

Before joining Wynn in 2014, DeSalvio served as executive vice president of Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut for about 10 years and was president of the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, from 2006 to 2014. He was often the point of contact for local officials and regulators during the licensing and construction phases.

"Bob DeSalvio's ability to partner with community leaders and elected officials, assemble a world-class team and lead them to produce and launch a project of the highest quality is remarkable," Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox said in a statement. "His unique talent to both manage a complicated construction process while listening to the needs of key stakeholders was essential to our success."

In a press release announcing a series of changes atop the Everett casino's executive structure, Maddox said DeSalvio "leaves Encore with a hand-selected team prepared to take on the challenges ahead."

Brian Gullbrants, a Wynn executive vice president who has most recently led all hotel and food and beverage operations at Encore, will take over as president of Encore Boston Harbor. He has worked for Wynn Resorts since 2008 and worked alongside DeSalvio to open Encore Boston Harbor.

The casino is also adding a former senior marketing officer for all Caesars Entertainment casinos in Atlantic City, Jenny Holaday, to its team to lead all gaming and casino marketing functions as executive vice president of operations. And Eric Kraus, who previously worked as global corporate communications and public affairs for The Gillette Company, has been hired as senior vice president of communications and public affairs.

The additions of Holaday and Kraus are contingent upon approval of the Mass. Gaming Commission, which must certify that top executives at gaming companies are suitable to work in the industry.

On Tuesday, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission reported that Encore Boston Harbor took in $48.9 million in gross gaming revenue last month, down 6.7 percent from August's revenue. About $21.8 million of that revenue was generated by the casino's slot machines.

Through three full months of operations, the Everett casino has generated just more than $150 million in gross gaming revenue. If the casino continues at the same pace, it would generate about $600 million in revenue over the course of a full year.

Encore executives, including DeSalvio, have previously said they expected $800 million in revenue for the casino's first year and that the property would ramp up over a period of about three years.

We "believe that with our property's location, with our management team and with our product, that we will continue to ramp that property and take share in the Northeast," Maddox said during an August earnings call.

Maddox also said in August that table games have been a bright spot at Encore Boston Harbor and that promotions around the casino's hotel and slot machines are in the works as the casino looks to establish a foothold in the region's gambling market.

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