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Posts Tagged ‘gambling

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.

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!

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?

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?

It’s definitely important to be knowledgeable of what your competitors are up to, but how much time, energy and cash should your company devote to chasing them? With the recent declining economy and especially the hard hit the casino industry has taken, it is very important to stay on top of your game and fight for customers. In markets like Reno, and to a lesser extent, Las Vegas, it’s a fight with the guy down the street for business. But, I’m left wondering how much attention a company should focus on what the competitor is doing, and how much time a company should spend actually coming up with their own ideas or perfecting on ideas that are currently working?

For example, if a certain event or promotion is doing well down the street, should you spend tons of time and effort trying to copy that idea? Or just create your own idea and blow the guy down the street out of the water? I tend to lean towards the latter. Being innovative and creative is SO important when your industry is suffering as the casino industry is. I mean, to draw a parallel, if McDonald’s launches a new salad line, should Burger King IMMEDIATELY scramble to launch a competing salad line? Or should they try something new, like a new smoothie line (assuming that McDonalds has not already taken that approach). You get what I’m saying. I strongly feel that creativity is the key to success. Being innovative. Trying something new and different, not just copying someone else.

In the technology industry, the newest thing is tablets. Well, who created tablets? Apple of course. They came out with the iPad. Then, HP had a tablet. Then, Sony had a tablet. And so on and so on. Apple is the only one who did it right! They came up with the idea, did it right, and everyone else is left catching up. When Apple came out with the iPhone, it was super innovative, and the other companies I mentioned above followed suit and came up with new touch screen smart phones to imitate the iPhone. Then, Apple spent the next few years creating the iPad. If even ONE of these companies had skipped the step of the smart phone and basically INVENTED the tablet concept, they’d have a huge head start. But instead, technology companies are just waiting for Apple to come out with the newest, greatest thing and then they follow suit. Of course, I’m leaving out the fact that Apple is very trendy, and very good at what they do. They have incredible brand loyalty as well which is also very important. But the concept remains. When should a company forge their own course and stop following their competitors so closely?

The answer I’m sure is very complicated, and involves needing very smart, dedicated people on staff. What do you think about this situation? When is it prudent to be a follower and when is it more valuable to be an industry leader?

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?


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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