I usually start the news of the week with something from the business side of Las Vegas. Today I want to begin with news in the casino. This has been the catalyst for many of us to fall in love with Las Vegas. It’s what keeps many of us visiting Las Vegas. Sure the restaurants, bars, and shows are great but the epicenter of the action has long been the casino.
Casino players clubs have come a long way in the past 5 years. They’re no longer just for slot machine players (remember “slot clubs?”). Today, many of the biggest players clubs in Las Vegas act similar loyalty clubs you’ll find in every business. You can now be rewarded for all spending in the casino with Total Rewards, M Life Rewards, Identity Rewards and now with Station Casinos My Rewards/Boarding Pass. The Las Vegas Review-Journal has more information on the new Station Casinos players club. You can even sign up for the players club via Facebook. I haven’t seen another casino offer this. Check it out.
Yep, casinos are going mainstream and leaving gamblers behind (sic). Actually, today’s casino loyalty clubs are actually rewarding more people than ever. It’s nice to be able to visit a casino and get rewarded for Video Poker, Pai Gow, Steak dinner and after dinner drinks. Expect other casino operators like Boyd Gaming to follow this trend.
IGT Helps Mlife Rewards Go Cardless
Casino operators aren’t the only companies looking to improve players clubs. The gaming companies are getting into the act. In the October 2, Sunday News, I mentioned that IGT was helping Mlife Rewards go cardless. The first Mlife Rewards casino to experiment with this technology will be MGM Grand Detroit.
IGT just released a video of how the technology will work. If the video doesn’t help, you can read more about this on the IGT website.
Scientific Games (Bally, WMS, Etc.) Also Helping You Go Cardless
This particular cardless solution is only available for Scientific Games slot machines (Willy Wonka, Quick Hits, etc.). I haven’t seen or heard about this being installed anywhere but the feature links your phone number to your players club account. IGT and Scientific are off to a good start, but a global solution for all slot machines would be better to start. We can deal with table games next.
Skill-Based Gaming Coming To Las Vegas Soon
You may have seen that GameCo’s skill-based games debuted last week in Atlantic City. This will be one of the test markets before the games reach Las Vegas. However, that may be sooner than you may think. During G2E, I was told to expect games from Gamblit Gaming early next year.
In an interview with the Las Vegas Sun, A.G. Burnett, chairman of the Nevada Gaming Board, says we could be just a couple of months from a field trial. I’m not sure I want this kind of action in the casino, but I’m open-minded and willing to see what they’re like in a real-life situation and not the G2E expo floor without money at risk.
Qui Nguyen Wins WSOP
The World Series of Poker started in May and ended last week at the Penn & Teller Theater inside the Rio. Nguyen took home a prize of $8 million for outlasting all of the other players. You can read about it on espn.com.
Paris Lost Power For A Day
It’s almost always a busy week or weekend in Las Vegas so there’s never a good time for accidents. However, the timing for a casino to have an accident and lose power last week with the SEMA Show and PBR World Finals in Las Vegas couldn’t have been much worse. The SEMA Show is one of the biggest conventions of the year in Las Vegas. Hotels all over town were packed. The Paris Las Vegas power outage not only closed the casino but it was so big that the guests were moved to other hotels. The experience must have been horrible, but everything is back to normal. You can read the AP story here.
75th Anniversary For El Cortez
You know that I have a special place in my heart if you’ve read my work over the years. Last week El Cortez celebrated its 75th anniversary. I’m not going to babble about why I love the El Cortez today. However, this video from CBS Las Vegas was so well done that it gave me goosebumps.
MGM Resorts International Looking Outside Of Las Vegas Again
MGM Resorts is one of the biggest casino companies in the world. Most of their properties are in Las Vegas but they’re looking elsewhere for expansion. Earlier this year they closed a deal to own 100% of the Borgata in Atlantic City, MGM National Harbor opens in Maryland in just a few weeks, and MGM Springfield will open next year.
Last week MGM Resorts CEO, Jim Murren, told Reuters that the company is considering a major investment if Japan approves casinos in the future. Murren mentioned potentially creating an integrated casinos resort with hotels, shopping and conference space in Tokyo, Yokohama or Osaka. Don’t get too excited, if this happens it won’t be until 2022 or 2023.
Forget Tao, Joe’s Seafood and Steak is what’s up!
The list of the Top 100 independent restaurants in the US list was released last week. Tao at The Venetian is number one in the country again, but much of the business comes from the nightclub. The #2 restaurant in Las Vegas (#12 in the country) is a bit more of a surprise.
Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab at The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace does more business than any other restaurant in Las Vegas besides Tao. I know this is a popular restaurant for business people staying at Caesars Palace but they sold 285,900 meals last year! You can see the full list here.
The annual celebration of NASCAR takes place throughout Las Vegas from November 29 – December 2. I saw some NASCAR’s doing circles around the Vegas Strip last year. It was pretty cool, even for someone who doesn’t care too much about the sport. If you have plans to be in Las Vegas it’s worth spending a few minutes to check out. You can find details here.
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