Vegas News February 9th 2020
We’re going to jump right into the Vegas News this week because I found a new document just as I was sitting down. On Friday, the Nevada Gaming Control Board released the 179 page 2019 Gaming Abstract Report. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to go through the entire document yet so I’ll probably have some thoughts next week. For the time being, you can enjoy the two-page press release with some highlights here.
Oh, and this is the 888th article published on TravelZork!
Big Super Bowl Weekend In Las Vegas
“Vegas is doomed,” they said when PASPA was repealed and states outside of Nevada could legalize sports betting. The thought behind statements like this was questioning why would someone spend time to travel and money on hotels and meals when it can be done locally? Well, people aren’t staying away.
The logic behind that thinking is flawed. Sure some will stay home to save money and wager on sports legally. There are still plenty of sports bettors visiting Las Vegas – especially for big events. This year there was $154,679,241 wagered on the Super Bowl in Nevada this year. That’s the second-most ever. The sportsbooks won 12.1% for a total of $18,774,148. That’s the most since 2014.
As always the Las Vegas Sports Books were packed all weekend long. The Super Bowl watch parties were also packed. The Westgate alone had five parties and about 10,000 people. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Plaza had 1,400 people at its Super Bowl party. The Downtown Las Vegas Events Center (next to The D Las Vegas) had more than 8,500 people (above) watching the game while enjoying the gorgeous Las Vegas weather.
These numbers for the Super Bowl in Nevada and Las Vegas, in particular, are impressive. People legally wagered $13 billion in the US. As you’d imagine New Jersey and Pennsylvania led the way with $4.6 billion and $1.5 billion wagered on the Super Bowl, respectively. Things may change as more states legalize sports betting. However, there’s so much to enjoy in Las Vegas in addition to betting on games that will be difficult for other states to replicate.
Having said that, we could very well see some kind of pullback during the first weekend of March Madness. Super Bowl parties are one day and, while expensive, are only one day.
March Madness watch parties are usually three days with a daily fee. That’s three times the cost. The Hoops and Hops party at the Cosmopolitan is one of the most popular. It will cost $650 ($250, $250, $150) to watch the first three days of the NCAA basketball tournament. That’s quite an added expense to a Vegas vacation. For what it’s worth there will be free watch parties but you won’t be guaranteed a seat.
I’ve already heard from a couple of groups that are considering moving their trip one week earlier or one week later. Money talks and skipping paid parties could have an effect in the future. This is definitely something to keep an eye on. In the meantime, the sportsbooks can enjoy their winning Super Bowl.
Tropicana NOT Sold
This week, the owner of M Resort and the Tropicana, Penn National Gaming (PNG), reported its fourth quarter and 2019 earnings. Much of the discussion was surrounding sports betting around the country and the recent deal with Barstool Sports. The company plans on releasing a Barstool Sports betting app in August. They also plan on making some of their sports books Barstool branded sports books.
There wasn’t too much talk about Las Vegas. The company is still having discussions with other companies about the Tropicana. You may remember, the Tropicana was supposed to be the first casino sold this year. Nope. Not yet.
PNG is exploring all options and a sale doesn’t appear imminent. The company is still considering a sale. They’re also considering partnering with another company to develop the land. They’ve mentioned this before.
PNG sees the customers on the Vegas Strip (Tropicana) as being different from those off the strip (M Resort Spa Casino). If the company keeps the Tropicana they’re considering opening a Barstool Sportsbook. It does not appear they will do the same at M Resort.
The irony here is that the Tropicana once had a huge sports book that is now home to Robert Irvine’s Public House. Without knowledge of the license with Irvine, perhaps PNG will repurpose that space as a sports book, bar, and restaurant again.
If PNG sells the Tropicana, they might consider partnering with a Vegas Strip casino operator that is “looking to do something unique and different with their sportsbook.” We should find out before the football season.
You can read more about PNG earnings here.
Station Casinos Kaotic Earnings
Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa (AKA Station Casinos) also reported fourth quarter and 2019 earnings this week. One takeaway is that business outside of Palms is very good. When Palms is included, business is not so good. That said, since the closure of KAOS, Palms has seen an uptick in gaming and hotel biz.
Station Casinos is looking to continue to improve the programming at the Pearl Theater so look for more residencies in the future. Palms group business is doing well. Guests are happy to use the space for events at the club formerly known as KAOS.
The big news is that, like most other casino operators, Station Casinos is looking to drive revenue by monetizing land. They already 88 acres of land in Reno and 56 acres of land off the I-15 and Durango (near South Point) on the market. The company is considering selling more land as well as underperforming properties.
You can read more about the earnings call here.
New Rooms Coming To Wynn Las Vegas
I didn’t bother listening to the entire Wynn earnings call since most of the company does business overseas. They opened with a few comments about Wynn Las Vegas but there wasn’t much news about Las Vegas.
The only new takeaway is a timeline for hotel room renovations. Wynn is updating 2,700 rooms this year. Work is scheduled to begin during the summer and should be completed by the end of the year.
I had one other takeaway from the call. Baccarat revenue was down 30% at Wynn Las Vegas in 2019 from the year before. That seems substantial.
An Informative Overview With Lots of Photos
Saying Goodbye To The Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas
Quick Hits – Vegas News
I just had a massive and delicious Hawaiian brunch. There’s a couch calling my name so the rest of the news will be delivered quickly.
- You might already know this but the Cosmopolitan has raised more than $26,000 for charity from the spare change program. Read more here.
- The D Las Vegas is renovating its second floor and adding a Canadian inspired bar. Read more here.
- Rampart Casino is opening a Buffaloooooooooooooo Bar. I’ll check it out next week and share pics on the twitter. Read more here.
- The Vegas Golden Knights are looking to bring a minor league hockey team to Las Vegas. Read more here.
- C Lo canceled half of his residency. See the tweet here.
- You already know the price tag for The Sphere at The Venetian has increased. Read an update here.
- Delilah at Wynn Las Vegas is now scheduled to open in May. Read more here.
- Nobu is moving from Hard Rock to…Bally’s…before reopening at Virgin. Read more here.
- And now for something completely different. Zero gravity is coming to Vegas. Read more here.
- Macau is closed. Not Vegas – whatever.
- New Caesars is coming together. Eldo received approval in Iowa. This link has some info on their sports betting operation. Read here.
- The Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay is adding a virtual reality experience. Read more here.
- Rumor of the week: Celine Dion will have a residency at Resorts World if it ever opens. Read more here.
- Rumor of the week continued: Katy Perry and J Lo are also doing residencies at Resorts World.
- Reminder: Resorts World broke ground in 2015. Resorts World now says they’ll open next summer.
- Pitbull is back for a new residency at PLANET HOLLYWOOD Las Vegas Resort. Read more here.
- Adam Lambert is doing a limited engagement at The Venetian. Read more here.
- Carlos Santana extended his residency at the House of Blues. Read more here.
- Derek Hough is doing a dance residency at Flamingo Las Vegas. Read more here.
- It looks like there’s a new MGM Resorts promotion for American Express customers. Read more here.
- Phil Ruffin isn’t building a theater at Circus Circus. The casino already has one. He purchased the property before knowing this. Read more here.
- Some info for those of you that use a wheelchair to get around Las Vegas. Read here.
- Shania Twain added 14 more shows to her Planet Hollywood residency. Read more here.
- I’m not sure if I shared this last week but you can get 2x Caesars Rewards Tier Credits this month. Sign up here.