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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

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!

In celebration for acheiving AAA Five Diamond status for the third year running, The Venetian Las Vegas and the Palazzo Las Vegas, owned by Las Vegas Sands, are running a “Five Day Five Diamond” promotion through social media. All you have to do to join is follow @VenetianVegas and @PalazzoLasVegas on twitter and throughout the week this week they will be tweeting clues with the hashtag #5day5diamond about where on their properties you can find a “diamond.” Then, you have to snap a photo of yourself with the diamond when you find it and post it to Twitter with the hashtag and the Twitter handles of one of the properties. Prizes include high end gifts like a diamond necklace, spa getaway and free hotel stays at either property.

I think this is a pretty clever promotion. I am loving the use of social media to get cusomers involved. Yesterday, there were a series of clues posted such as, “#5day5diamond Scavenger Hunt – Hint #1 looking for this Diamond might involve water. Hope you don’t get seasick. Rules: http://t.co/wItq1Wy” Yesterday, they included 4 separate clues, and based on the posted picures I saw, the diamond was somewhere along the canal, I believe in the Venetian, on a light post. If I lived in Vegas, I’d probably take a day this week to go scope out the property and try to find the diamond. It’s also a great way to promote the fact that your company just earned such a prestigious award. It gets people through the doors that may not already be venturing there, and it’s a good way to get your name buzzing on Twitter.

Overall, a solid promotion. Who doesn’t love diamonds?

Man, you’d think now that school is out I’d have more time on my hands to blog! But between moving, and work, and unpacking my life is more hectic than ever! So, I return to the blog-o-sphere with more news about Internet Poker.

Yep, that’s right. The Department of Justice handed down more indictments for operators of online poker and ten more domain names were seized, including most notably doylesroom.com which is run by poker great Doyle Brunson. Now, the newest word from online poker players in the US is that many of them are considering a move to Canada in order to continue their online poker careers. According to an article on casinocitytimes.com, Daniel Negraneu, who is a dual citizen of the US and Canada is considering splitting his time between his homes in Las Vegas and Toronto in order to continue his online poker career. Currently, all online poker players in the US who earned their living by playing poker online have been unemployed since April and roughly $400 million is tied up in the poker sites that have been seized. Initially, it was thought that American online poker players would start to bring their business to live games, however, it seems here that with no legislation in sight they are more interested in fleeing the country to continue their careers.

In more local news, the Nevada Senate committee has approved an internet poker bill. According to an article published in the Las Vegas Review Journal, the bill “authorizes the Nevada Gaming Commission to adopt regulations and to grant licenses to casinos to be ready to offer online poker if Congress passes an Internet gambling bill or if the U.S. Department of Justice says online gaming is allowed under federal law.”

What remains to be seen is when and if the government is going to take some action on this issue! Some say that the indictments are the stepping stone on the way to legislation, others say the issue will get so locked up in the political system that we may never see legislation. I am tending to lean towards the latter. Of course, we are approaching an election year, and lord knows people don’t want to rock the boat when they’re up for re-election. Which is just stupid in my decision, as are most things in politics, but I guess that’s a topic for another day.

So, I pose the question to you, my readers…how do you feel about this issue now that it’s had some time to sink in? Do you think the government will move forward with legislation or do you think the issue will never get through the legal system and made into law? Do you think the US will see a “mass” exodus of poker players to countries where this is legal? Or do you think the creative minds will find some way to still play online for money despite the domain seizures and lawsuits?

You know that old saying, opposites attract? Is that really true? Well, in terms of Poker players we’ll soon find out. Now that the dust has settled from the Internet Poker indictments, we will begin to see whether or not Internet Poker players will trek into brick and mortar poker rooms to feed their need for poker.

One of the main reasons that people play online is because they are able to play multiple games and tournaments at once. In a regular poker room, you are only able to play one game or tournament at a time, and a tournament can last hours on end without any payoff when its over. Imagine being able to play 10 or more tournaments at once. You’ve just increased your odds ten-fold. Also, the people who are attracted to online games generally come from a generation of very computer savvy, video game playing folks. They are able to work very quickly and efficiently to play as many games as possible at once and they can be very effective at this tactic. That is part of the rush for them. Imagine playing all those games online, then having to sit at a table in a poker room somewhere not in the comfort of your own home and be locked up in one tournament for 8 solid hours. BOOOORING. (See this blog post and the comments that follow for a good feel on what went down immediately following “Black Friday”) However, some big name players were requesting games in Vegas immediately following the events of “Black Friday.” So, it might be helping some rooms a little bit.

Online poker is an industry that has grown exponentially in the past ten years. It is estimated that since 2007 the number of online poker players between the ages of 18-34 grew by 27%. The draw of online poker is that players of any skill level can enter a low stakes game and learn to play without the intimidation of having to go into a live poker room and potentially be judged or laughed at by so-called “poker pros.” Poker is a very intimidating game for those who do not know how to play or who are not confident in their skills. One of the main drivers of online poker popularity was the rise to fame of Chris Moneymaker, who, after honing his craft online went on to win $2.5 million in the World Series of Poker in 2003.

However, it still remains to be seen whether or not these hard core internet poker players will end up in a brick and mortar facility, because it’s just such a different environment and is not comparable on many levels.

Do you think that brick and mortar facilities will see a spike in revenues now that the dust has settled from “Black Friday” and it doesn’t look like Internet Poker will be legalized anytime soon?

I talked a little about problem gambling during National Problem Gambling week, but other than that, I haven’t really approached the subject. I feel that it’s important to do so now, because of new reports that states are starting to cut gambling addiction programs – and Nevada is one of the states who has cut the most out of problem gaming programs.

First of all, Nevada doesn’t have the most glowing record when it comes to problem gaming funding. In fact, up until 2006, the state hadn’t spent one penny on problem gaming programs. There were other non-profit organizations like Gamblers Anonymous that dealt with these problems, but nothing coming directly from the state. On the flip-side, by 2006, Oregon had an annual budget of $4.5 million dedicated to problem gambling services. Nevada passed a law in 2005 that would allow for the collection of $1 per slot machine in 2006 and $2 per machine in 2007 forward to fund public assistance for problem gamblers. That was a huge victory for the state in my opinion. Problem gaming is a widely under-reported and under-treated problem that wasn’t really even viewed as a legitimate mental illness until just recently and is still not accepted by the entire mental health community.

The cost of problem gambling. Click for credit...

Last year alone, Nevada cut spending on problem gaming assistance programs by more than half – from $1.7 million to a mere $600,000. This is a state who reported that almost 6% of the population has a gaming problem. That is not an insignificant number by any means. Sure, it’s likely not as high as alcohol abuse, but it is still a legitimate problem in this state. In comparison to alcohol addiction, in which 1 in 14 receive state-funded treatment, only 1 in 240 people with pathological gambling problems are treated through state-funded programs. And that will probably only get worse with these cuts.

However, this is not a problem that all states are facing. In fact, funding for gaming addiction programs in the United States is expected to rise to $56 million this year, which is an increase of about $7 million since 2008. The increase in funds can be mostly attributed to California and Pennsylvania, which have expanding gaming industries. The chart below shows funding for gambling addiction services in certain states.

What do you think a state like Nevada, who is in a devastating budget crisis, should do about funding for problem gaming programs?

Click for credit...


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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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