The fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor was definitely the Fight Of The Century for 2017. Bets on the fight were flying into sports books all week and got progressively larger as the week went on. There were more than a few wagers over a million dollars.
The official numbers will be tallied soon but early reports have the number of wagers on the fight coming close to the the Super Bowl! Beyond the gambling there were just a lot of fight fans in Las Vegas for the weekend. Here are a few McGregor supporters.
The buzz around the fight was big but there was one real sign that this fight was a big deal. The Las Vegas casino operators decided that it was best to keep most of the news quiet. There was almost no news coming out of Las Vegas last week. Get ready for a short Las Vegas News roundup.
Golden Gate Expansion Opens Softly
The Golden Gate casino closed for a few days last week to complete the expansion into the part of Fremont Street that used to be home to La Bayou. The official unveiling of the expansion will take place this week (possibly because of the fight?). The new part of the casino looks great. It feels similar to the slot machine area next to American Coney Island at The D.
The expanded casino at Golden Gate features only new slot machines melds seamlessly into the existing casino but feels separate at the same time. The original casino area still has plenty of the old favorite slot machines. The centerpiece of the expansion is the TV tower shooting out from a pod of BUFFALO slot machines. I’ll have more pictures and details on the renovations at Golden Gate later this week.
Related: Hotel Review: The Golden Gate Suite at the Golden Gate Las Vegas
Pay For Almost Everything At MGM Resorts Properties With Your Phone
MGM Resorts International rolled out a Las Vegas-wide program to accept a variety of digital wallets for payment via mobile devices. All of their 12 MGM Resorts hotels will accept Apple Pay, Google Wallet, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay in lieu of cash or credit and debit cards. Digital payments will be accepted for hotel rooms, at restaurants and other parts of the properties.
According to an article in the LA Times there are a few limitations. While this is available at most businesses in 11 resorts, it’s not available at every business inside Circus Circus. Additionally, the digital wallets can’t be used to fund your next gambling session. Cash is still king for gamblers.
This is a great addition for younger customers who prefer paying for anything with their mobile phone. I use digital payment for specific retailers and will use it more often in the future as more accept this form of payment. It’s always nice to see a casino operator ahead of the curve from the masses.
Palazzo Casino Floor Renovation
The Palazzo is cleaning up its casino floor. They’ll be changing carpet, painting walls, switching light fixtures, and rearranging the walkways. The games may relocate around the casino but there’s nothing too crazy planned for the gamblers.
I didn’t notice this on my recent visit but Eater Vegas says the escalator on the north area of the property (near Carne Vino) that connects the casino to the Grand Canal Shops has been removed. Guests now have to walk into the esplanade connecting The Palazzo and The Venetian to reach the bulk of the shops and restaurants.
Olives Out, Spago In At Bellagio
Todd English’s Olives at Bellagio will be closing sometime this winter. Spago by Wolfgang Puck will open in the same space sometime next spring. You may be familiar with Spago as a Los Angeles hot spot or as one of the first restaurants you see when you walk into the Forum Shops from the casino at Caesars Palace. The restaurant will close its location in the mall to make the switch.
Beyond some cosmetic changes, it appears as though the new Spago will have a similar footprint as Olives. Of course, the best seats at the restaurant will be outside on the patio overlooking Lake Bellagio and the famous fountain shows.
Virtual Reality Coming To MGM Grand
MGM Grand will be debuting Virtual Reality Powered by Zero Latency in the Level Up gaming lounge on September 8. This gaming area will occupy 2,000 of the 20,000 square feet of Level Up. Here’s a sales video for operators that shows how players and the games look in action.
There are three virtual reality challenges available for players to choose from. Prices haven’t been released officially but I’m told that each 30-minute session will cost $50 per person:
- Zombie Survival – The team is trapped in a zombie apocalypse. Watch the trailer here.
- Singularity – Something has gone wrong in a secretive military research space station. Watch the trailer here.
- Engineerium – This puzzle adventure is set in a fantastical world with flying whales, giant parrots, and colorful creatures. Watch the trailer here.
Level Up is becoming a really interesting part of MGM Grand. The casino is so big that it can devote 20,000 square feet to experiment with new attractions for customers. I might prefer traditional gambling but there could easily be a couple hundred people on weekends who enjoy drinking, playing bar games, virtual reality and maybe even even a little gambling.
Rumor of the week: Fontainebleau Sold
Vital Vegas blog posted that the big blue eyesore on the north end of the Vegas Strip, Fontainebleau, has been sold. They say this sale will become public soon. Even though a Fontainebleau sale has been rumored for over a year this might be the time where the rumor is true.
You may remember that MGM Resorts CEO, Jim Murren, said that there was significant interest in Fontainebleau on the company’s most recent earnings call. Perhaps, this will be the final rumor about the sale. Keep your eyes peeled for more information.
Like I said, it was a light news week. Here are a couple leftovers.
- Paul Shaffer and The Shāf-Shifters will do an extended run of shows at Cleopatra’s Bar inside Caesars Palace Las Vegas. See dates and details here.
- In & Out Burger is opening two new stores in Las Vegas. Read more here.
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