VIDEO: MGC Gaming Agent Training Academy prepares new class for Encore Boston Harbor opening
As part of the state’s ongoing regulatory preparations for the opening of its second resort casino, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission recently trained a new wave of gaming agents, set to become the eyes and ears of Encore Boston Harbor.
The $2.6 billion casino will feature 143 table games, 88 poker tables and 3,158 slot machines, and the new agents will be there to oversee it all, ensuring compliance with laws, regulations and the overall integrity of the gaming activity.
This was the third training academy for gaming agents at the commission, overseen by Gaming Agent Division Chief Bruce Band, with earlier classes in preparation for Plainridge Park Casino and MGM Springfield since their openings in 2015 and 2018, respectively.
“As Encore Boston Harbor gets ready to open to the public, we are focused on ensuring that our policies and procedures protect the integrity of the gaming industry and safeguards fair play for patrons. That is the mission of our gaming agents, day in and day out. ” Band said. “This training teaches our incoming agents about slot machines, all the accounting procedures, how to look for cheating, etc. While it is a lot of work, it is truly a fun experience.”
MGC’s Gaming Agent Training Academy is a seven-week course. A diverse group of gaming agents, along with other participating law enforcement agencies, recently completed the intense training in preparation for their roles at Encore Boston Harbor.
Gaming agents are on-site 24/7 and oversee all aspects of the casino floor to ensure the integrity of the environment and strict compliance with rules, regulations and procedures.
At Encore, gaming agents will perform a variety of tasks including slot machines moves and inspections, table game monitoring, operational audits, compliance reports, patron complaints, machine jackpots over certain thresholds, and tips from the Fair Deal tip line.
To learn more about the MGC’s completion of slot machine and table game installations and inspections at Encore Boston Harbor, click here.
“We look for a person who represents themselves well, can speak freely with strangers,” Band said. “We look for staff with a variety of backgrounds so that our group becomes well-rounded.”
Gaming agents come under the purview of the MGC’s Investigations and Enforcement Bureau, the largest unit within the Commission comprised of a team of Massachusetts State Police, civilian financial investigators and civilian agents.
Agents undergo weeks of wide-ranging training at the commission’s office in Boston, transforming MGC’s public meeting room into a pop-up casino to get hands-on training before they head to the casino.
During their casino crash course, agents built up their gaming floor instincts, learning every detail of each game, all the way down to the dealer’s actions to ensure they’re complying with the rules, as well.
The class learned about frequent techniques players attempt to use to get an upper-hand, such as filming illegally or stealing chips from the table, and were taught how to inspect IDs to confirm legitimacy.
“One of the things that I’d like to stress in our positions is the excitement of the job when we come to work,” senior supervising gaming agent Angela Smith said. “We don’t really have a routine that we stick to because every day is different, and every day is a new challenge and new experiences for all of us.”
In less than two weeks, the eagle-eyed gaming agents will turn their eyes and ears away from their teachers and towards their new assignment, looking to ensure the public’s confidence in the state’s gaming industry.