The interesting news in Las Vegas this week was all over the place. Surprisingly, the first piece of big news in Las Vegas wasn’t casino related. After a couple of months in the rumor mill, the Las Vegas-based UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) was finally purchased.
On Monday, WME-IMG announced that they had an agreement to acquire UFC for over $4 billion dollars. The purchase is interesting and it looks like one that makes sense. UFC fighters have been crossing over into mainstream movies and TV for years. WME represents actors like Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Dwayne Johnson and Justin Timberlake. IMG is a sporting event and talent management agency, who operates the rapidly growing PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Tour.
The combined efforts of WME and IMG will help grow the UFC in multiple ways. The individual fighters will have more opportunities to work outside of the sport. The mainstream exposure will tie back to the league and help it grow. Unique and larger UFC events in the future wouldn’t be a surprise. Think of it like Ronda Rousey times 100.
The real question is how soon will Conor McGregor make his first major motion picture appearance? Will actual UFC fans tire of the sport when the fighters are cross-marketed into every facet of their lives?
Since sports is on the mind, I have some sad news to share. Hidden in an article about the new Robert Irvine restaurant, Eater is reporting that the underrated CG Technology sports book at the Tropicana will be closed and demolished. They didn’t have news about the future of a sports book at the Tropicana. I reached out to CG Technology for comment and haven’t heard back. This sports book has a special place in my heart. One of the first media events I attended when moving to Las Vegas was the opening of this sports book.
When the Los Angeles Rams begin to play in their new stadium in 2019, there will be a casino just a stone’s throw away. This has been in the works for a while but has gone under the radar of the sports betting media. The new Hollywood Park Casino will open this fall adjacent to the Rams stadium. Maybe the NFL isn’t so afraid of gambling being close to their football teams. Could the Las Vegas Raiders become the 2nd NFL team to play within walking distance to a casino? You can read more about Hollywood Park Casino here.
In case you haven’t heard, Las Vegas will be featured in the upcoming Jason Bourne movie. This week a segment of a high-speed chase down the Vegas Strip was released. I don’t know if it’s good or bad because I was so transfixed on the awful continuity. Somehow the Cosmopolitan was in the background for most of the 54 seconds in this scene that was supposed to be traveling north on the Vegas Strip. I hate how much this gets under my skin. Regardless, here’s some sweet Vegas eye candy.
Caesars Entertainment announced that Matt Goss will be ending his run at Caesars Palace on September 24th. Johnny Kats from the Las Vegas Sun is reporting that Cleopatra’s barge will also be closing. The space will be renovated and reopen “under a famous nightclub brand specializing in live music.” Could Hakkasan be opening their venue at Caesars Palace? They operate OMNIA Nightclub, which is much larger. Perhaps Clique Hospitality will bring their nightclub experience over from Light at Mandalay Bay.
Hot off the presses: On Saturday (as I write this) the Tropicana announced that “Raiding The Rock Vault” will be ending it’s run on July 31st. Plans haven’t been announced if the show will be relocating again. “Raiding The Rock Vault” was previously at the Westgate. The show has been very popular with fans who often would see it every time they visited Las Vegas. I’m not sure if the logistics work out, but I think The D or Downtown Las Vegas Events Center would be a great home.
MGM Offering More Mobile Gambling
For some reason when the mainstream media discusses mobile gambling they leave out sports betting. Sports wagering apps have been available in Nevada for 5 years now and it’s still catching on. Earlier this year MGM Resorts International released their playMGM sports wagering app. This app covers more Vegas Strip properties than any other sports wagering app.
MGM Resorts International revealed, even more, online and mobile gambling in Las Vegas. Last week they launched a mobile gaming platform called easyPLAY Mobile tournaments. This is the first real money online and mobile slot tournaments to be offered by a regulated casino in the United States.
You can participate in the slot tournaments if you’re connected to the property at any of their Las Vegas Mlife Rewards casinos. Delano and Vdara are excluded because they’re non-gaming hotels. Circus Circus is excluded because they aren’t an Mlife Rewards casino.
You can participate in tournaments anywhere on the property, which includes pools, bars, restaurants, hotel rooms, etc. You don’t even need your own device as you can sign up for an account and play on one of the interactive tables that you see in the sports books and bars on MGM properties.
You can sign find more information and play demo games at easyplay.vegas.
…Or You Can Take A Break From Your Mobile Devices
This is a nifty idea if you visit Las Vegas so that you can get away from the world for a while. Mandarin Oriental is offering a Digital Detox Retreat on the weekend of September 9th-11th. You’ll give up your mobile devices for as long as you can handle and enjoy the luxury that Mandarin Oriental is famous for. The hotel will offer special yoga, meditation and nutrition sessions for this weekend. You’ll even receive a consultation on how to keep your digital life in order when you return home. The Observer has more details about this weekend.