Happy Christmas Eve! Believe it or not, Las Vegas can get chilly in the winter. Not only did I buy a sweater this week but I turned the heat on for the first time this winter so my laptop didn’t freeze. If you’re bouncing from casino to casino the cold temperatures shouldn’t feel too bad if you’re from a city where it really gets cold. However, everyone will feel the chill in the air if you plan on being outside for a while.
So, that’s the weather. Brr. Let’s move onto the news.
National Casino Consolidation
The casino news week started with a bang when Penn National Gaming announced it was purchasing Pinnacle Entertainment. In the agreement, Penn National Gaming sold four Pinnacle casinos to Boyd Gaming. You can read details about the three-way deal here. Later in the week, Boyd Gaming announced that they were also purchasing Valley Forge Casino in Pennsylvania.
These deals could have an impact on Las Vegas visitors all around the country. Pinnacle Entertainment has casino locations from Colorado to Pennsylvania. Once the deal is complete and the players clubs are combined with Club Marquee (Penn National Gaming) or B-Connected (Boyd Gaming) all of these guests will have a direct connection with a Las Vegas players club in their hometown. Ameristar casinos should see better benefits than the previous partnership with Mlife Rewards.
Penn National properties can access Las Vegas through the Tropicana and M Resort. Boyd Gaming properties will have access to eight casino resorts around town. It’s always nice to play at a local casino that can help provide a discount or complimentary rooms and more in Las Vegas. The deals should be approved in three to six months.
Two More Casinos Going (somewhat) Cardless
Last month we told you about Station Casinos implementing IGT’s Cardless Connect in video poker and slot machines at some properties. They’ve announced that the next two properties to have the technology. Green Valley Ranch and Sunset Station are now using the new system. This isn’t life-changing technology but it’s pretty cool. I’ll just sit by patiently waiting for this to be installed at Red Rock Casino.
The IGT machine gaming systems are pretty rad. If you’re a nerd like me, you’ll find the bonusing systems pretty cool. If you live in Las Vegas, you may have seen this in action at your favorite Station Casino. You can check out the video here.
Caesars Quick Hits
There are more than a few news bites from Caesars Entertainment this week. I’ll just consolidate into some quick(ish) hits.
- Total Rewards Quest For Rewards 2018 – This promotion seems like a relatively easy way to earn some extra tier credits. It begins on January 1, 2018.
- Total Rewards Downgrades For 2018 – You may have seen this on TravelZork earlier in the week. Consider this your ICYMI.
- Caesars Entertainment’s REIT Goes Public – You may remember that Caesars announced that they were selling Harrah’s. Well, they sold the casino to themselves and now the company is going public.
- Fizz At Caesars Palace Is Closing – The champagne bar closes this week. It’s not much of a surprise to see the bar created by Elton John’s partner leaving Caesars Palace Las Vegas just before Sir Elton ends his residency at the casino.
- Paul Shaffer Begins Extended Run Of Shows At Caesars Palace – This extended run started this week and goes through the first week of January.
- Renegades Opens In 2018 At Caesars Palace – This one is for the sports fans. Jose Canseco, Jim McMahon, and Terrell Owens highlight a tell-all show at Cleopatra’s Barge. It’s going to be a train wreck, awesome, or both.
Park MGM Sports Bar Taking Shape
This summer Eater revealed some details on a new sports bar being built at Park MGM. The 12,101-square-foot bar should cost around $4 million when complete. Vital Vegas recently revealed, even more, information about the new sports bar. The blog post mentions a few possible names and shares some pencil drawing renderings from a top secret survey.
While this information is great, they don’t offer anything about betting on sports. The Monte Carlo sportsbook is still open. An email to MGM Resorts didn’t return any new information. I haven’t heard anything official but I expect to hear that the sportsbook will close when the bar is finished early next year. If there isn’t an answer by the Super Bowl, there should be an answer in time for the first weekend of March Madness.
VR Star Wars Is Coming To Las Vegas!
A new location for Void Entertainment Center will be opening in the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian next year. The virtual reality venue will feature the critically acclaimed hyper-reality experience Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire.
The specific opening date for the venue or if they will offer other experiences hasn’t been revealed. You can learn more about The Void here and read the press release for the new location in Las Vegas here.
For some reason, there has been a lot of news out of Las Vegas recently. Here are some quick hits with a few more things to look for.
- Project Blue confirms that they’ll start construction in 2018. Read more here.
- The pedestrian bridges at Tropicana Ave are open again. Hopefully the escalators last more than a few months. Read more here.
- A sangria bar is opening at Paris Las Vegas. I only drink the red sangria but I’ll take a look. Read more here.
- Speaking of wine. You can now buy Vegas Golden Knights wine. Read more here.
- Lady Gaga is starting a two-year residency in Las Vegas in 12 months. Read the press release here.
- Lardo is opening at the Cosmopolitan in 2018. I’m down to try a fancy pork sandwich. Read more here.
- Unikrn will be hosting esports events at Level Up inside MGM Grand next year. Read more here.
- Jose Andres’ company will be providing food for the Esports Arena at Luxor. I’m told the food will be affordable for younger customers. If so, that could make these a legit destination just to eat great food. We’ll see. Read more here.
- Check out this list of Super Bowl parties in Las Vegas if you plan on visiting for the Big Game.