As expected last week was a busy news period for Las Vegas. Even if it wasn’t blatant, the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) was the catalyst for a lot of what we learned about casinos during the week. There are a lot of places I could start but I think MGM Resorts is a good place.
25% Of Las Vegas Revenue For MGM Resorts Comes From Gaming
Gaming revenue has been shrinking for years in Las Vegas. However, it was only a couple of years ago that casino operators were targeting their revenue split to be 1/3rd gaming and 2/3rds non-gaming. The Cosmopolitan was the first property to really make non-gaming their focus. Since the property opened others have been following their lead. This week on CNBC MGM Resorts International CEO, Jim Murren, proudly stated that 75% of their revenue in Las Vegas now comes from the non-gaming parts of the business.
During the “How to Optimize Total Casino Profitability within the Non-Gaming Environment” at G2E Jordan Salmon, Vice President of Loyalty Marketing for Mlife Rewards discussed this revenue trend. M Life Rewards is now evaluating non-gaming spend similar how gaming has been evaluated over the years. The value of dollars spent in casinos has changed over the years. The profit margin on gaming dollars was once king. Today, margins on dollars spent on hotel rooms are almost equal to the dollar spent in the casino.
There was an interesting comment from one of the audience members at the panel. He mentioned that nearly 50% of rooms in Atlantic City are offered complimentary to customers. The number of complimentary rooms in Las Vegas is closer to 20%. Keep this in mind when booking hotels.
Caesars Cuts Back Complimentary Drinks
Last week Caesars Entertainment installed drink monitoring systems in all of their casino video poker bars. The system that was tested at the Caesars Palace sports book (I mention in this review of Montecristo Cigar Bar) is now in all 9 of Caesars Entertainment’s Las Vegas casinos. You’ll receive one drink after you play 6 hands of video poker at maximum play for quarters. That’s $7.50 coin-in before receiving a drink. Subsequent drinks will be doled out when bartenders see a green light. Based on the activity of play (you can’t slow play the system), you should receive a drink every 20 minutes or so.
As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, MGM Resorts has a similar but different drink monitoring system at some of their bars. The MGM Resorts drink ticketing system seems more transparent since you can track the pace of drinks a little easier. Expect this system to expand as MGM Resorts continues to minimize expenses. Drinkers should remember that MGM Resorts only pours 1.5 ounces of liquor in your drinks instead of the normal 2 ounce pour you’ll receive at Caesars Entertainment bars.
We didn’t have this kind of issue when gambling was king. Now that gaming is an ancillary form of revenue look for the major corporations to continue to squeeze for every penny they can. You can read this blog post at Vital Vegas or watch KNTV for more information.
New Casino Games
I spent most of the week at G2E. If you follow me on twitter you’ve probably seen the majority of new slot machines and games on display at the expo. You can see some videos on Youtube and see photos on Facebook (here and here). Below is a dizzying video of the Seinfeld slot machine in action that won’t be in casinos for a while.
Paris & Harrah’s Rooms Renovated
At the end of 2016, Caesars Entertainment announced that they would be renovating about 5,000 rooms in Las Vegas. The latest rooms to be revealed are at Harrah’s Las Vegas and Paris. The Carnival Tower at Harrah’s has been completely renovated and renamed. All 600 rooms and 72 suites in the “Valley Tower” have been renovated. Harrah’s will also debut the self-check-in kiosks you can find at The Linq, Flamingo, Caesars Palace and Paris at the end of October. You can read more details in the press release here.
Paris Las Vegas also renovated their hotel rooms. According to the Caesars Entertainment blog you can now choose from the Burgundy Room in addition to classic (read a review of the old rooms here) and Red rooms. Paris has also added a slew of suites to help increase their non-gaming revenue.
M Life Rewards Going Cardless Soon
MGM Resorts will install IGT’s Cardless Connect technology in their Detroit casino before the year is over. Cardless Connect is an integrated technology that can be embedded into the casino mobile app to enable you to use a smartphone instead of the physical M Life Rewards loyalty club card. I can dig this! The technology is expected to debut in Las Vegas next year. Read more about this on the IGT website.
Golden Nugget Players Club Goes National
Golden Nugget’s 24 Karat Select loyalty club will now be accepted at Landry’s restaurants across the country. This makes sense as Landry’s and the Golden Nugget are owned by the same people. Landry’s restaurants include Chart House, Claim Jumper, McCormick & Schmick’s, Morton’s, and more.
Aliante Is Now A Boyd Gaming B-Connected Property
In Sunday News last week I mentioned that the Aliante to Boyd deal was approved and they would soon officially become a Boyd Casino. Well, during the week Boyd officially welcomed Aliante to the Boyd Gaming family. You can now book rooms to stay in the North Las Vegas casino through B-Connected. However, you’ll have to call for offers since Aliante isn’t available on the B-Connected website or app yet.
Park Theater At Monte Carlo Sets Opening Date And Concert
It feels as if MGM Resorts International has been building this theater for years. Well, construction on the Park Theater is almost complete. The first show will take place on December 17. Tickets to see Stevie Nicks and The Pretenders perform (separately) start at $95. You can find more information on the concert and see some sweet renderings of the new 5,300 seat theater at parktheaterlv.com.
You Can Play Footsie in Downtown Las Vegas Again
Last and least, Happy Feet has reopened at the El Cortez. Seriously, though, I’m always asked about this place when I visit the El Cortez. You can find prices and hours here.
Palms Is A Boarding Pass Casino
I just got back from the first “Taste at Red Rock” food festival where I learned that Palms is now officially part of the Station Casinos family. I’m sure the mainstream media will have some details about the deal by the time you read this but I don’t see anything. Red Rock Casino is my home casino, so I’m looking forward to seeing what this deal offers.
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