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Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore

Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore

It was just announced that Genting, the parent company for Resorts World properties in Singapore, the Phillipines and New York City (Queens) to name a few, is planning a Resorts World property in Las Vegas at the site of the Echelon property which was never completed. This could mean big things for an already massive worldwide powerhouse, but there are mixed feelings from the Las Vegas community.

There is some fear that a $2 to $7 billion dollar property will add to a market which some say is already over-saturated with hotel rooms. In a recently published article,  by 2016 when the property is slated to open Las Vegas would “need to add at least 800,000 more visitors per year to maintain current hotel occupancy levels.”

resorts world manila

Resorts World Manila

Additionally, the former Sands is undergoing renovations and will open as the new SLS Resort, owned by the Los Angeles based SBE Entertainment company. This will add more hotel rooms and another entertainment option for visitors to Las Vegas.

The combination of these two upcoming openings could pose a problem for existing Strip properties like Caesars Palace, the Venetian/Palazzo, the Wynn/Encore and the Bellagio who count on the high end Asian Baccarat business that they attract from China and the Far East. This is especially true if the Resorts World property does open. Genting is an Asian powerhouse gaming and entertainment company with many high end Asian customers. Last year alone Resorts World Sentosa brought in almost $3 billion in in gaming revenues. That’s just slightly more than all of MGM Resorts Casinos combined made in 2012.

Resorts World New York City

Resorts World New York City

The Sahara of the 60s

The Sahara of the 60s

It’s been all over the news today, SBE Entertainment has secured the last few million ($415 to be exact) it will take to proceed with the full remodel of the Sahara on the Las Vegas Strip. The Sahara is a Las Vegas legend, which just as its predecessors has fallen from grace. It sits on the Northern part of the strip, a portion of the strip that has seen better days. The portion of the Strip that lies between the Wynn/Encore and the Stratosphere is largely a wasteland, with the exception of the Circus Circus and the Riviera. If you drive between the two properties, there is a collection of run down properties, closed facilities or deserted construction projects. It is not a friendly area that you’d want to walk down in the dark, or even in the middle of the day if you’re a young female.

A more recent photo of the Sahara while still in operation

So hearing the news that this part of the Strip hasn’t been forgotten is a welcome tidbit…if it really happens. The Sahara was in operation for 59 years, from 1952 until 2011. Of the pre-1960 Strip properties, only the Tropicana, Flamingo and Riviera remain open. SBE has owned the property since 2007.

A model of the new SLS Las Vegas

A model of the new SLS Las Vegas

The plan includes a 1,620 room boutique hotel-casino which is scheduled to open in late 2014. The question remains whether this plan, which has been talked about and rumored for years now, will happen. There has been much speculation on whether SBE would follow through on the plan, especially after they owned it, and then closed it and it has sat empty for the last nearly two years. However, with thisnews today that SBE has obtained the last of the funding they needed, it seems that this just may happen.  As a longtime resident of Nevada, I take pride in this industry and always continue to hope for the best. This part of the Strip is in great need of a facelift and this Los Angeles based company may be just the one

to complete that task.

As many of you have probably heard, the gaming industry and the University of Nevada suffered a huge loss today with the passing of Professor Bill Eadington. He had been battling cancer since mid-2011 and was a true fighter until the end. I had the great pleasure of studying under Bill since 2001, when I started my undergraduate degree at UNR. I continued to take his classes in Economics and Gaming Management all the way through my MBA. I feel so honored and blessed to have been able to learn from him and be mentored by him throughout the years.

The first thing I remember about Eadington is that I was in one of his Econ 101 classes on 9/11. The class was at 9am, and I remember waking up, seeing the news and thinking…GREAT class will be cancelled for sure. This may seem vastly insensitive, but you must remember I was 18 and 9am was EARLY. Of course, class was not cancelled, and true to form Bill spent the entire 50 minutes teaching Economics. Never a moment to be wasted when we could be learning. This was a quality that he never lost throughout the years.

I took every available Gaming Management class that I could from Bill. Even though he also taught Economics, he was truly passionate about the subject as anyone who came across him would acknowledge. I had friends and classmates who would take these classes because they heard that he taught you how to count cards and figured it would be an easy pass. Of course they were dead wrong. Bill always held his students to the highest standards, and even though he did teach about card counting, his classes were always challenging because he would never want a student walking out with a free pass. If you were in one of his classes, you WERE going to learn something.

In October 2011, Bill was selected to join a very elite group and was inducted into the Gaming Hall of Fame. This was a BIG deal. Previous inductees include legends such as Steve Wynn, Bill Harrah and Phil Satre. The group of inductees with Bill included: Sheldon Adleson of LV Sands, the Blue Man Group and Charlie Palmer. I remember reading about this, and thinking that it was shortly after he was diagnosed with cancer and was undergoing chemo. I sent him a congratulatory email and hoped that he would be well enough to attend, which he was. I am so proud to have known him and so happy that he was able to enjoy this great honor while still alive.

Through friends that had classes with Bill after his diagnosis I had heard that he actually taught a class through Skype from his hospital room. This would not surprise anyone who actually knew Bill, he never wanted to miss a class. He taught one of my classes via Skype while in China on business. If he did have to miss a class and couldn’t remotely teach, he would always schedule a guest speaker. Never waste a moment not learning.

Bill will take with him a wealth of knowledge that will not be easily matched by one mind. I count myself lucky to have been able to know him, call him a mentor and in his memory I am committed to making myself a smarter, better representative of the gaming industry.

RIP Bill, you will be missed.

I wrote a blog back in April 2011 when the NFL was still in a lockout and nobody was really sure if there would be a season. Now that the 2011/2012 season has ended, and the New York Giants have been crowned the champs, let’s take a look back and see just what we would have missed out on without an NFL season:

1. Let’s start off with the big one – Super Bowl Sunday. Just last Sunday, the Super Bowl generated $93.8 million in bets in Nevada sports books. That is a huge number! This was the second highest reported number of all time, just behind the 2006 Super Bowl…generating $94.5 million. The sports books ended up winning $5 million from those wagers this year. You don’t have to be a math genius to figure out that Nevada is pretty glad the NFL got their stuff together and played a season. Source.

2. During the regular season, sports books generate an average of $725 million annually on regular season games. In the postseason this year, sports books in Nevada collected just under $15 million on the playoff game featuring Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos taking on the NE Patriots. This is about 5x the average of a normal NFL regular season game. Source.

3. Forget about the casinos, what about the Super Bowl city? Indianapolis was the host city this year for the Super Bowl. The NFL predicted that the SB would generate between $150-400 million for the city. This comes in the form of cash flow to businesses such as hotels, restaurants, car rental companies and bars. I’ve been to Indy and have family there, and let me tell you, they need it. I’m glad the city could be showcased and get some much needed cash flow. Source.

Clearly we’re all glad that the NFL figured out their business and we moved on with the season. There were ups and downs, I lost several if not most of my parlays, and my Colts had a devastating Manning-less year…but all in all I’m glad they were back and I had a great season. Can’t wait until September!

As you may have heard today, Caesars Entertainment has again announced plans to go public and offer an IPO in the near future. So, how about a little history to get us started on how this began:

In 2005, Harrah’s aquired Caesars Entertainment in a $9 billion buyout, the largest at that time.

In January 2008, Harrah’s Corporation was purchased by two private equity firms and was removed from the New York Stock Exchange. In December of that same year, Harrah’s announced plans to change its name to Caesars Entertainment.

In late 2010, Caesars began the IPO process. They initially valued the stocks at $15-17 per share, hoping to raise over $500 million, however the company ended up not going forward with the process, citing market conditions.

Fast forward back to today. The IPO process was started back in November of 2011, and today the announcement was made that the company is indeed moving forward with the IPO next week. They plan to sell 1.81 million shares at about $8-10 per share for a total of $18.1 million.

Project LINQ. Click for credit...

Going public will allow the company to move forward with some new projects it has planned, including Project LINQ in Las Vegas, casinos in Ohio and possibly a casino in the Baltimore area. I read an article that Caesars is the only company that has actually been expanding since the recession hit in 2008.

So, do you think that this IPO is a good idea for Caesars Corporation?

So, it’s unfortunately been quite a while since I’ve blogged and I just realized the other day that it’s sad because I think I had a pretty good little page going here. I have spent some time talking to my co-workers about different gaming topics from Internet Gaming to customer loyalty programs and as I was talking to some people the other day I realized that I had a lot of knowledge about our topics because I had previously blogged on almost every single topic of conversation! With that said, I think I’m officially back.

A lot has happened since I’ve been away. I am proud to announce my new position as Events and Promotion Specialist for Caesars Entertainment, Nevada Region! I have relocated to the Las Vegas area and have been at my new position for going on three weeks. So far it’s very interesting. I kind of get to see a new side to the business. At my former position in Reno, I was in charge of events from their conception to execution. Now, I am getting to actually help brainstorm the ideas and plan them all the way up to execution and then it gets passed off to the properties for execution. It’s very different than what I’m used to. It’s also very new to me to work for such a large corporation. I worked for a large property but Caesars is a HUGE company with a very far reach. I see good things in my future here.

There is a lot going on in the industry today. Some new stuff and some stuff like Internet gaming which has been a hot topic for some time. I’m glad to be back and hope there are still some of you out there to read my stuff!

Or maybe that was an apple a day. Either way, the marketing world has been taken by storm recently with daily deal websites. From Groupon to Living Social to Deal Chicken, people are becoming obsessed with the newest daily deal. Google is at this time pondering purchasing Groupon for upwards of $6 billion. But this begs the question, should casinos get in on the “daily deal” action? I have occasionally seen casinos such as the Nugget in Reno and the Hard Rock Hotel Casino in Las Vegas on these daily deal sites offering things like room deals, or room and show ticket offers for 50% or more off retail. But does it make good business sense for casinos to be offering such deals?

The first question is will this drive incremental revenue to the property or will it simply encourage existing customers to get a discount on their next trip, which likely was already planned? The answer is that it probably depends first on what kind of offer you’re putting out there. A simple dining offer will probably get you a few extra customers, however it will also probably take away from space available for your regular gaming guests. So, that’s a bust. A room offer could be a good idea, if you make sure good controls are in place. The idea behind a room offer would be to drive cash revenue on rooms that otherwise would be empty. This can be done with certain restrictions or availability periods, however, be careful of making too many rules and regulations or you could turn off potential repeat customers. If your casino has entertainment, offers on show tickets is another option for a daily deal. These offers should be released when you know that you have extra tickets that would not normally sell at full retail. Then, at least you recover a portion of ticket sales that you would not have normally collected. Finally, and obviously, are gaming deals. These deals should only be directed and redeemable by “new” customers. The whole idea of offering 50% or more off of gaming is to encourage brand new customers to come in and try out your gaming product. It does your casino absolutely no good at all to offer deep discounts to your already loyal customers through daily deal websites. This is what you use direct marketing for.

So all in all, using daily deal websites can work for your casino if used properly. These deals should be evaluated heavily prior to entering any agreements with the deal companies. Take into consideration all possible problems that could arise from executing a daily deal. What happens if you sell more than you think you can handle? What if customers find a loophole in the fine print that allows them to take advantage of you? Think and rethink the deal before issuing it. And keep in mind, you do not want to drive your regular customers in with daily deals. Use your direct marketing for this. Daily deals should be used solely to drive new business.

Have you ever used a daily deal, or launched one through your company? How did it work? Do you think they are a good idea for casinos?

About Me

This blog is devoted to the gaming industry news and information - keeping you up to date on the happenings in the gaming world. My personal expertise lies in event planning and entertainment in casinos.

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