Vegas News July 26, 2020
Las Vegas is pretty much at a standstill with COVID-19 right now. This isn’t to say it’s gone by any stretch of the imagination. There’s just not much new to share. (At least, we can finally announce: Caesars Merger Complete!)
It doesn’t appear as though the COVID-19 is much better or much worse. The spread might be slowing but we’ll know better next week. For now, the virus is in Las Vegas and doesn’t seem to be going away. This continues to affect businesses and their workers. In Las Vegas, that means bad things for casino corporations and employees.
I’m not going to spend too much time on this topic because it’s a bummer. I’d rather share news like the monthly article about the train to and from Las Vegas and California. There’s also the video of a guy stealing a big toy. He’s probably a podcaster but that hasn’t been proven. These are much more fun topics to write about.
Anyway, here’s a quick recap of casino employee layoffs and furloughs in Las Vegas. There are probably more but this should give you a picture. As usual, you can find data about COVID-19 in Nevada here. The COVID news really continues into the first story about Las Vegas.
Las Vegas Sands Earnings
I usually don’t spend much time on Las Vegas Sands earnings because the company does most of its business outside of Las Vegas. The Venetian and The Palazzo are the only casinos operated by Las Vegas Sands in the US. You can see the second-quarter earnings report here.
Earnings for the second quarter were as awful as you’d imagine with casinos being closed for six weeks, tourists slow to return, no entertainment, and no conventions. Las Vegas Sands’ worldwide revenue fell 97.1% to $98 million. The commentary from the call is what really stands out. It’s not surprising and it’s as bad as you’d imagine.
“We’re in a world of hurt here.”
CDC Gaming took notes from the call and had this to share. Las Vegas Sands President Rob Goldstein said “We’re in a world of hurt here.” He continued saying “There is no way for Las Vegas to return unless convention, group, and banquet business returns, and right now, there’s no indication that it’s coming back.”
That quote is not good but it’s not surprising. Things should eventually turn around but it’s going to be a slow road to recovery. Unrelated, Lagasse’s Stadium has closed permanently. The sportsbooks, bar, and restaurant joins Morels Steakhouse as venues inside The Palazzo that have permanently closed.
Earnings Season Just Started
Earnings season just started so get ready to hear similarly bad results from the other casino corporations. Caesars might stand out as being slightly different since the company has/had so many regional and local casinos in the US that might have helped the bottom line a little more.
Speaking of Caesars…
Caesars Entertainment is dead!
Long live (New) Caesars Entertainment!
The Caesars Entertainment merger with Eldorado Resorts is complete after a year of getting regulatory approvals! The new company will be called…Caesars Entertainment! Brilliant! (But, it’s also “brilliant” that we can finally announce “Caesars Merger Complete!”)
Caesars Merger Complete
There are still some casino sales that have to close but the merger between Caesars and Eldorado is done. Tom Reeg, the former CEO of Eldorado is now the CEO of Caesars. The company wasted no time connecting its regional casinos with Caesars Rewards. Thankfully Mr. TravelZork did a deep dive into status matching and loyalty linking with the Tropicana and Caesars Rewards loyalty clubs earlier this week. (That’s less work for me!)
We’ve been covering the merger for more than a year and you can find the minutia almost weekly in the archives. Here are a few reminders about how this deal will impact Las Vegas.
As you’ve probably read here before, Caesars will sell at least one Las Vegas casino within the next 12 months. PLANET HOLLYWOOD Las Vegas Resort and Ballys Las Vegas have been in the rumor mill for a while. Speaking of Bally’s, the casino and hotel is now open. Caesars also owns a lot of land in Las Vegas. Some or all of this excess land could be sold as well.
Based on recent earnings calls and hearings there shouldn’t too many changes to existing properties. Caesars has renovated almost all of its Las Vegas hotel rooms over the past few years. If there are any property changes they should be minor updates and upgrades.
Caesars Merger Complete
Reeg has also discussed reducing expenses by $500 million when the companies merge. That will happen systematically by combining loyalty clubs. Selling casinos and land will also generate revenue. Reducing staff is another way to lower expenses. That’s always been part of the plan and there will be jobs cut in Las Vegas.
William Hill will take over the operation of the Caesars sportsbooks at some point soon. Unrelated, Will Hill is expected to take over CG Technology sportsbooks next month. Lastly, everyone’s favorite podcast co-host unearthed some info about what’s happening at The Cromwell while it’s closed.
There should be more New Caesars information coming soon but the deal is done! Huzzah!
Stardust Is Back! Kinda
Boyd Gaming just released Stardust Social Casino. The game looks like a combination of other social slot machine apps. You can only earn rewards if you buy coins. In other words, you have to pay for rewards.
The logo is the only thing interesting about this app. There’s literally nothing worth my time with this app so I’ll move on. You can read the press release here.
Here’s some more news happening in and around Las Vegas.
- Circa installed the sign on the side of the building. It’s pretty. Evidently, the casino will release details about the bars this week. You may have already seen the info floating around online. Read more about the sign here.
- Wynn Las Vegas is limiting valet parking starting Monday. Read more here.
- See another Boring (tunnel) update here.
- You know I loved my flight on JSX to LA earlier this year. The airline now flies to and from Seattle to Las Vegas. Read more here.
- The Venetian poker room will start dealing games for eight players. Read more here.
- Mlife rewards is now rewarding sports bettors with points. See the tweet with more info from Eruns here.
- Sage and Five50 Pizza at Aria are out.
- Ellis Island will be the first casino in Las Vegas to offer cashless gaming. Read more here.
- The CEO of the Fremont Street Experience is stepping down from his post. Read more here.
- The Las Vegas Lights FC (USL) will be the first local professional sports team to play games at their home venue since COVID-19 reached the town. Read more here. The Vegas Golden Knights and Las Vegas Aces will play their games in Canada and Florida, respectively.
- Last and least, here’s some more information about casinos reducing staff.
Also, be sure to join the ZorkCast Group on FaceBook. This is the Facebook group to continue the conversation from the ZorkCast podcast and TravelZork website. Feel free to start a conversation related to anything TravelZork or ZorkCast.
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