March Madness, Indeed!
The first weekend of March Madness is more popular every year. Of course, sports books and parties were packed but this was one of the busiest weeks of the year in Las Vegas. MGM Resorts International once again says that their hotels were booked to capacity during the first weekend of March Madness. In addition to the sports fans spread around Las Vegas, spring breakers on vacation flooded the Vegas Strip casinos and locals went to casinos to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
Back to the sports betting action, David Purdum of ESPN tweeted that the South Point wrote as much handle on the first two days of the NCAA basketball tournament as they did for the Super Bowl. After the first day of action, Caesars Palace had written 20% more tickets than 2016.
The biggest action during the first week of March Madness might have happened shortly after the first round games were announced on Sunday. Derek Stevens, Owner of The D and Golden Gate, wagered $11,000 on each of the games in the first round. His record was 10-19-3 which turned the $352,000 wagered into a “loss” of $109,000. The wagers easily garnered Stevens that much money in local and national publicity, so it’s not a total loss. You can read a breakdown of his wagers at VSIN.
Looking forward, the first weekend of the NCAA basketball tournament in 2018 will take place from March 15 – March 18. You won’t have to make plans for next year today, but it’s something that should be on your radar after Halloween if you want to get the best hotel room rates. If you’re a gambler, you should try to arrive on March 14 to get your wagers in before the masses arrive on the first day of games. The lines on the first morning are incredibly long, especially if you’re on the Vegas Strip.
Las Vegas Breaks Tourism Records In 2016
Last week the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority was presented with a slew of information from 2016 by an economic analyst. The presentation confirmed previous estimates that Las Vegas broke a record for the number of people visiting in 2016. Last year 42.9 million people visited Southern Nevada.
The article doesn’t break down how visitors spent money in Las Vegas but there was a significant increase. On average, each visitor to Las Vegas spent $827 in 2016. That was an increase from $721 in 2015. The complete 2016 visitor profile by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority should be released shortly. You can read more about the presentation at the Las Vegas Sun website.
Wynn Resorts Not Being Sold
In the small circle of Las Vegas rumor mongering, it feels as though there have been rumors about Wynn Resorts being sold for more than a year. A rumor about Wynn Resorts being purchased by Las Vegas Sands (owner of The Venetian) hit the stock market last week and the price of $WYNN spiked.
The rumors were quickly shot down by a Wynn Resorts spokesperson. So, for the time being, Wynn Resorts isn’t being sold. This could have been the rumor of the week but it was squashed within a few hours.
No Longer A Rumor, CG Technology Is On The Market
A former rumor of the week has been acknowledged by Bloomberg News. While not confirmed by CG Technology, the report states that the sports book operator is on the market according to sources close to the situation. The article does into detail about the sale: “He’s shopping the business around in what is described as an informal process to gauge interest, according to a person familiar with the sale. Cantor’s internal merger and acquisitions team is handling the possible transaction, circulating a short description of the business, said the person, who was not authorized to speak because the discussions are private. While the company is losing money, the person said, it may fetch $50 million.”
There are supposedly four suitors in line to purchase CG Technology directly or by auction. This deal can happen within the next month or so. The Bloomberg article is a good look at CG Technology from the business side. This blog post on Gambling With An Edge looks at CG Technology from the customer side.
Betty White Slot Machine Hits Las Vegas
Last year at the Global Gaming Expo I shared pictures of a lot of slot machines that would be hitting casinos. There was one game that was way more popular I expected. The Betty White slot machines weren’t promoted before the show and were an unexpected hit. The slot machine from IGT is starting to land all over the country.
The first casino in Las Vegas to have the Betty White slot machine is the Suncoast. Expect this game to appear in other casinos around Las Vegas a few weeks. You can read about the two new slot games on the IGT website.
Million Dollar Bingo Coming To The South Point!
A few weeks ago I visited the Gold Coast to play bingo for the second time since moving to Las Vegas. I didn’t win but had a great time. The games we played cost $20 and kept us busy for an hour straight. Bingo isn’t for everyone but it’s a fun time and a nice break from traditional casino action.
Having said all that, I’m not sure I can handle the pressure of the $1 Million Extravaganza Bingo Event at the SOUTH POINT HOTEL CASINO AND SPA. While the money sounds great, I can barely daub my Bingo cards quick enough to keep up with normal games. You can read more about the big Bingo weekend at VegasNews.com.
Rumor Of The Week: No More Concerts At The Boulevard Pool At Cosmopolitan
The Las Vegas Weekly ponders that the end of shows for pool season at the Boulevard Pool might be more than just a summer break. This sounds entirely possible since there have always been summer shows at the Boulevard Pool.
The outdoor concerts at the pool in the summer were spectacular. The view of the Vegas Strip and warm fresh Las Vegas air were magical. Unfortunately, the current owners are more concerned with the bottom line than the previous owners and they don’t need an outdoor concert venue. Moving forward all concerts might stay inside at The Chelsea. It’s a beautiful theater, but it’s not magical. I think we all love Las Vegas because it can be magical.
The Who Residency At Caesars Palace Is Not A Rumor
First, note that a residency in 2017 isn’t what it was in 1997. Today a residency could also be considered a blast of shows in one venue. That blast might be a recurring group of shows like Pitbull at Planet Hollywood who does a couple weeks of shows a couple times a year.
Well, Caesars just announced that The Who will do the “first run” of shows at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace Las Vegas. These concerts will take place on July 29, August 1, 4, 7, 9 and 11. Ticket prices range from $76 to $501 and are on sale now.
If successful, The Who will probably return for another run of shows. While the shows should be a success, you never know the future for an aging rock band.
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