Posts Tagged ‘casino business’

January 3, 2014

Caesars Palace Poker Room 2014-Q1 Promo FYIs

Megabeat says what?

All good things must come to an end, right? And if you remember Vegas Grinders, you know we were big fans of the MegaBeat Jackpot, a progressive multi-property payout. Though none of us cashed in, the promotion was enough to draw each of us (and many of you) to various Caesars property poker rooms on repeat occasion. Anyhow, promotions naturally change, and it’s been about a year that the MB was in play, but there does seem to be some decentralization going on at Caesars- and WSOP-branded poker rooms in Las Vegas — or maybe it’s more of a recentralization? — which may or may not have anything to do with different rooms getting autonomy while others prepare for the axe. Wild speculation, but we do know that email addresses have changed recently, with a promo list like the one below coming from @caesarspalace.com instead of @caesars.com … and these sorts of changes seldom happen for no good or apparent reason.

Caesars Palace January poker room promo info below:

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Posted by at 1:22 pm

August 29, 2013

Big Wheel Developers Looking to Sell Naming Rights

Coming soon: Poulan Weedeater Vegas Skyline?

Operators of The Linq project are seeking a sponsor for a 550-foot observation wheel, the centerpiece of the $550 million Strip-area outdoor dining, retail and entertainment district.

Caruso Affiliated, the company serving as the leasing and sponsorship consultant for development for Caesars Entertainment Corp., said the observation wheel offers a sponsorship opportunity similar to the Staples Center in Los Angeles and Citi Field in New York.

Artist's rendering of what Caesars is building at the center the Strip.

Artist’s rendering of Caesars’ new thrill ride center Strip, just begging for public displays of big-time shenanigans.

Currently named the High Roller, the under-construction observation wheel is taller than the Singapore Flyer and the London Eye and offers views of the Strip. The wheel has 28 glass-enclosed cabins.

“We have already received interest from big brands for the naming rights of this landmark, but given its significance on the Las Vegas landscape, we continue to search for the right brand to feature as the name of the wheel,” said Dan Burgner, executive vice president of Caruso Affiliated.

The project will have 178,000 square feet of restaurants, bars and clubs, 37,000 square feet of retail and 70,000 square feet of entertainment venues.

Portions of The Linq, located between the Flamingo and Quad resorts, will open in December. The majority of the development is scheduled to open in February. The observation wheel will open at a later date.


Follow reporter Howard Stutz on Twitter @howardstutz.


August 17, 2013

The Linq “High Roller” Wheel Taking Shape

Caesars changing the Strip's iconic skyline, on-the-ground experience

Just somebody please tell Caesars the idea of hosting a WSOP poker event on this thing ... please, no, puke. [photo: Jeff Scheid / Las Vegas Review-Journal]

Somebody please tell Caesars to not even think of hosting a WSOP sit-n-go on this thing … ack, no, puke. [photo: Jeff Scheid / Las Vegas Review-Journal]

Caesars Entertainment Corp. [recently] showed off its $550 million vision of urban renewal.

The casino operator is still seven months from finishing The Linq, which was designed as an eclectic urban streetscape suggested by New York City’s trendy Meatpacking District.

The project transforms an eastside Strip area between The Quad and Flamingo that until last year housed a dilapidated parking garage, an underused alleyway and a tiny casino favored by the beer pong crowd.

When it fully opens in February, The Linq’s open-air promenade will encompass 300,000 square feet of stylish retail offerings, trendy restaurants and hip entertainment venues, all anchored on its east end by a 550-foot-tall observation wheel.

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August 14, 2013

Caesars Officially Bails out of China

Sells off lonely Macau golf course for $438 million

Caesars bought 5 percent of an entire Chinese city with hopes of opening a new casino. But don't expect to see a WSOP Macau anytime soon. [Image: Macau.com]

Pulling the flag? Caesars bought 5 percent of an entire Chinese city with hopes of opening a new casino. But don’t expect to see WSOP Macau on TV anytime soon. [Image: Macau.com]

Caesars Entertainment Corp. on Friday ended the company’s nearly six-year flirtation with Macau.

The casino operator sold its 175-acre golf course near the Chinese gaming enclave’s Cotai Strip region for $438 million to an Asian developer.

The deal, which was disclosed within the company’s quarterly report filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, is expected to close by the end of the year.

Caesars said it entered into a purchase agreement [last] week with Pearl Dynasty Investments Ltd. The buyer paid Caesars $65.7 million as a deposit for the land. Caesars can retain 10 percent of the purchase price, $43.8 million, if the deal collapses.

The company said it would use the proceeds from the transaction, which it estimates to be $420 million, to pay down debt. Caesars Entertainment has a gaming industry-high of $23.7 billion in long-term debt.

The company did not comment on the deal beyond the SEC filing.

In 2007, Caesars, which does not have a Macau gaming license, paid $578 million for the land, the site of the Macau Golf Course, with the intent to develop a hotel-casino complex.

But the Macau government never awarded additional gaming concessions and has not shown intent to increase the number of licenses beyond the current six concessions and sub-concessions.

Caesars, then known as Harrah’s Entertainment, never submitted an application in the Macau licensing process in 2001 after the Chinese government ended a 40-year monopoly in Macau that was controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Stanley Ho.

MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts Ltd. and Las Vegas Sands Corp. all operate resorts developments in Macau.

Caesars Entertainment Chairman Gary Loveman, who turned down a deal to acquire Wynn’s sub-concession in 2006, has said not entering the Macau gaming market was the biggest mistake the company ever made.

Macau gaming revenue was a record $38 billion in 2012, more than six times the revenue produced by Las Vegas casinos. The Macau gaming market is up 16 percent through the first seven months of 2013.

Caesars renamed the development Caesars Golf. Last year, the company took a $101 million write-down on the land when it put up the site for sale.

Shares of Caesars closed at $18.36 on the Nasdaq Global Select, up 75 cents or 4.26 percent. Caesars stock has more than doubled in value this year, and at one point Friday, reached an all-time high of $18.76.

Caesars is in the process of spinning off Planet Hollywood Resort, its interactive gaming business and a planned Baltimore casino into a separate company majority owned by the gambling giant.

In an SEC filing in July, company officials said they would raise $1.18 billion from selling stock for the new public entity.


Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.


August 13, 2013

Adelson Lashes out at MGM, Caesars

Crankster CEO of LV Sands disparages Big Casino colleagues for lower room rates

Having navigated MGM Resorts International through almost four years of turbulent economic waters, Jim Murren has grown used to hearing negative comments from haters and detractors.

What surprised Murren, however, were some recent vitriolic remarks directed at his company from a competing corporate office down the street.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman Sheldon Adelson used his quarterly earnings conference call to blame Caesars Entertainment Corp. and MGM Resorts for driving down hotel room rates along the Strip, thus, diminishing Adelson’s earnings in Las Vegas.

Adelson claimed the industry-leading long-term debt carried by Caesars ($23.7 billion) and MGM Resorts ($13.1 billion) affects the way they do business, such as lowered room rates to drive up occupancy.

“I don’t necessarily blame them,” Adelson said. “I suppose if I were in that position, I might do the same thing.”

In an interview following MGM Resorts’ quarterly earnings conference call last week, Murren, MGM’s chairman and CEO, said his company and Caesars have a better understanding of how Las Vegas works these days than Adelson does. Las Vegas Sands drew 86 percent of its quarterly revenue from Asia.

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July 11, 2013

More Rungood for Macau

Analysts see more than $3.5 billion a month in Chinese gaming revenue

Macau gaming revenue grew 21.1 percent in June, as the world’s largest casino market continues to benefit from a nonstop supply of middle-class Chinese gamblers eager to place their bets in the former Portuguese colony.

Gambling revenue in the Chinese territory, just across the strait from Hong Kong, rose to $3.54 billion, according to figures released Monday by the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. Analysts had forecast June growth to be up 18 percent to 22 percent.

Macau is the only place in China where people can legally gamble at casinos.

In May, revenues grew 13.5 percent to $3.7 billion, the second-largest single month collection ever recorded in Macau. The Chinese gambling enclave broke its monthly gaming revenue mark in March when casinos collected $3.92 billion.

Harry Curtis, an analyst with Nomura Equity Research, attributed the monthly numbers to a “stronger-than-expected final week” of June, as the “mass market headcount remains strong.”

There are two types of gamblers in Macau — mass market, which are mainly middle-class workers from China and elsewhere in Asia, and VIP or so-called high rollers.

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July 7, 2013

Caesars Exec Readies Ship for Next Online Wave

Garber anticipates decade of growth for internet gaming, commerce

photo: Samantha Clemens / Las Vegas Review-Journal

photo: Samantha Clemens / Las Vegas Review-Journal

Life is about to get more complicated for Caesars Interactive Entertainment CEO Mitch Garber.

He wouldn’t have it any other way. With the World Series of Poker nearing the end of its six-week run at the Rio, Garber’s attention will focus on launching the tournament’s pay-to-play regulated online gaming website in Nevada.

Caesars Interactive — a Montreal-based subsidiary of casino operator Caesars Entertainment Corp. — is also moving forward with online gaming prospects in New Jersey. The casino operator owns one-fourth of the Atlantic City gaming market.

Garber’s division also handles Playtika, Caesars expanding free-play social gaming operation.

Meanwhile, Garber’s duties will soon include CEO of Caesars Growth Partners, an entity created by Caesars Entertainment as a growth oriented business.

Anything else?

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June 19, 2013

Nothing to See Here …

GCB urges Nevada casinos to disallow Google Glass on gaming floors

I'm thinking of a number ... (Mashable)

image: Mashable

I’m thinking of a number …

State gaming regulators cautioned the casino industry Monday about the use of Google Glass by customers, saying the wearable computers could be used as a cheating device by gamblers.

In a memo published last week on the Gaming Control Board website, Enforcement Division Chief Jerry Markling said casinos were encouraged “to prohibit the wearing and use of Google Glass, or devices with similar capabilities, while on the gaming floor or while playing any gambling game.”

Recently, casinos in several states said they were blocking customers from using Google Glass, which is designed to be attached to eye glass frames.

Caesars Entertainment Corp., and MGM Resorts International have already said they were prohibiting customers from using Google Glass while on the casino floor.

Google Glass has the ability to display information, take pictures, record video, and transmit and receive data via the Internet.

In its one-page memo, Markling said while there is nothing illegal regarding possession or wearing the devices, “the potential for inappropriate and/or illegal use in a casino does exist.”

The control board cited poker or table games where the users of Google Glass could share card information between players, which would give them an unfair advantage or allow them to cheat.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.


Don’t Expect a Nevada Lottery Any Time Soon

@HowardStutz's Inside Gaming

Let’s halt one rumor before it gains traction.

Scientific Games Corp.’s $1.5 billion acquisition of slot machine manufacturer WMS Industries doesn’t mean a statewide lottery is headed to Nevada.

New York-based Scientific Games provides lottery systems and equipment to U.S. states, Canadian provinces and foreign governments. The company was actively seeking to acquire a traditional slot machine vendor when the buyout was announced in February.

It wasn’t about bringing a lottery to Nevada.

That said, Wall Street, which was skeptical about the deal, is starting to find some comfort with the transaction.

Scientific Games is paying $26 per share for WMS, roughly 59 percent above the slot maker’s closing stock price on Jan. 31.

When the buyout was announced, both WMS and Scientific Games officials said the transaction would provide $100 million of synergistic cost-savings between the merged companies.

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March 27, 2013

History of Nevada Poker Revenues

[Graph] UNLV research reveals timeline for boom and recession of game

UNLV’s Center for Gaming Research put out some data collected from NGCB’s Gaming Revenue Reports that paints a rather interesting picture of the poker world over the past 20 years. The chart you can see here — showing the number of poker rooms, the number of tables, and total rake — pretty much tells the story of poker … and I couldn’t help but want to graph it!

History of NV poker revs

What I’m not sure of is whether or not these numbers include tournament entry fees or represent only cash game collections. But either way, even with the WSOP finding creative ways to report definitive growth year over year, I’m fairly certain the shape of both graphs would look pretty much the same.

Posted by at 4:26 pm

August 16, 2012

Venetian Poker Room Overhaul Underway

Games moved to temporary space in Palazzo until Sept. 1

The long-awaited redesign of the Venetian Poker Room is in full gear, creating a major, albeit temporary, shift in big-room action on the Vegas Strip.

In a couple weeks, the renovated room will have 59 tables with bigger and better TVs — mounted on the walls and in pillars — and cushier chairs. The newly remodeled room is slated to open Sept. 1, according to the Venetian’s facebook page.

The old 52-table room quickly grew favor among regulars and tourists alike after it opened in 2006, particularly for its Deep Stack Extravaganza tournament series. But the Venetian’s prestige as the Best Poker Room in Vegas slipped with some poker enthusiasts as Aria opened 3 years later.

The renovated room supposedly will extend across floor space previously used for overflow tournaments and slots, abutting the new Cantor Gaming Sportsbook and Noodle Asia.

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Posted by at 9:00 am

June 25, 2012

Gaming Equipment Companies Virtually Expand

Shuffle Master, IGT, Bally and WMS ink online gambling deals

Wheel of Fortune machine maker IGT betting on online poker. (Image from IGT’s website)

Casinos were hard hit during the financial downturn, putting pressure on their gaming machine and equipment suppliers. A flurry of deals suggests game suppliers are looking to reduce their exposure to brick and mortar casinos by tapping into online gambling.

Shuffle Master sells and leases poker card shuffling machines. As Howard Stutz noted, the company posted healthy revenues last quarter. But Shuffle Master’s future growth may come from dealing virtual cards. In March, the company agreed to acquire the European online poker software company Ongame Network.

This month, Shuffle Master and gaming equipment maker Bally Technologies inked a deal to have Ongame’s poker network operate on Bally’s iGaming platform. On June 21, Bally was granted final approval for one of Nevada’s new interactive gambling licenses.

In May, gaming equipment supplier International Game Technologies (IGT) (think Wheel of Fortune) tendered an offer to pick up Sweden’s online poker network provider Entraction. One month later, IGT was another recipient of a Nevada online gaming license.

WMS, the manufacturer of Wizard of Oz and Reel’Em In, recently acquired Swedish online casino company Jadestone and the social online casino game provider Phantom EFX. WMS has secured preliminary approval from the Nevada State Gaming Control Board for an interactive gambling license.

Posted by at 1:40 pm

April 30, 2012

Casino Poker Rooms Suffer in Post-Black Friday Era

Live poker a weight to recovery without online support

Las Vegas casino gambling revenues have been on a notable rebound. But in the year following online poker’s Black Friday, brick and mortar poker room revenues haven’t necessarily kept pace.

From February 2011 to February 2012, according to the the latest Nevada Gaming Control Board report, the state’s total gaming revenues (excluding sports books) increased by 5.6 percent, while revenues from poker dropped 1.4 percent. Las Vegas’ Clark County grew gaming revenues by 6.6 percent, while poker revenues slipped 1.1 percent.

Atlantic City has struggled with competition from new slot parlors in Pennsylvania. But even here, the toll on poker was larger. The latest report from New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforecement, Atlantic City’s total gaming revenue fell 5.0 percent from March 2011 to March 2012. Poker revenues fell 6.9 percent.

One poker room in Atlantic City handily beat the trend. Revenues at the Borgata’s poker room rose 28 percent. The Borgata played host to a number of major tournaments in the past year. The poker room staff is also very active on online poker forums such as 2+2.

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Posted by at 2:46 pm

March 25, 2012

New New Jersey Poker

Sneak peek at new Revel poker room in AC

Every once in a while we remember there are poker room developments of note in places other than Vegas and that New Jersey still has poker. The Golden Nugget opened their AC joint last month to Jersey-ish fanfare … but the room that really has people buzzing is at the new Revel Casino, which best I can tell is a $2.4 billion knockoff of Aria (and maybe all of City Center) — and the new hope for Atlantic City casino industry recovery.

They’re having a soft opening April 2. Special thanks to Pokeratizen Darren in Millville for pics the entire Eastern time zone has apparently been clamoring to see:

Revel Poker Atlantic City Poker Atlantic City Revel

click to enlarge

Posted by at 11:23 pm

March 22, 2012

Vegas is Changing…Again

Nothing Dies in the Desert

There are times when a gambler yearns for a fresh start, when past losses magically disappear. You could also say that the gambling city of Las Vegas is built — and rebuilt — on the idea of fresh starts. Rooms are gutted and names are changed at a frenetic pace, all with a goal to wipe the slate clean.

If you haven’t been to Vegas lately, these are some of its latest reincarnations:

On May 15, 2011, the Sahara closed its doors. At the time, there were no plans for the Rat Pack’s former home. But in November, the Clark County Commissions approved plans to renovate the property. Alas, the roller coaster will not live to see another day.

The Las Vegas Hilton is now LVH- Las Vegas Hotel and Casino: The hotel, located near the convention center, lost its Hilton franchise in January. The LVH is currently being run by a court approved receiver while Goldman Sachs proceeds with its foreclosure of the property.

Fitzgeralds Casino & Hotel changed its name the D Las Vegas. The “D” apparently stands for “Downtown,” “Detroit” (hometown of the Stevens brothers who now own the property) and/or CEO Derrick Stevens’ nickname “D.” The new owners are also kicking in $15 million to renovate the old Fitz.

O’Shea’s celebrated one last Saint Patrick’s Day before it closes its doors on April 30, 2012. But this Strip casino owned by Caesars Entertainment will rise again. The new O’Shea’s will open as part of the Linq project, due for completion sometime in mid-2013.

Wynn Resorts has a restaurant named Okada, named after a one-time (?)  partner in the casino. But Steve Wynn and Kazou Okada have been embroiled in an epic feud. As a result, the restaurant will be renamed Ohtaki and will include some changes to the menu.

Steve Wynn also cut ties with chef extraordinaire Alex Stratta. Needless to say the Wynn’s restaurant Alex has disappeared and will be replaced with a new nightclub named Climaxx.

The Lady Luck closed in 2006 for renovations. But financing collapsed and the lay dormant for years. But the downtown casino and hotel is now scheduled for a rebirth as the Downtown Grand in April 2013.

The Playboy Club at the Palms is closing in June 2012. Will the rabbit warren be reincarnated?  The Vegas odds are in its favor.

Posted by at 3:49 pm