Posts Tagged ‘Las Vegas’

Analysts Say Worst Is Behind Us for Vegas Strip

by , Dec 5, 2012 | 1:00 pm

The most challenging period for Las Vegas and its largest industry, gaming and hospitality, appears to be in the rearview mirror, according to a report released Thursday.

In its report, the Newmark Grubb Knight Frank Global Gaming Group expect total revenue generated by properties on the Strip to increase between 1.5 percent and 5.3 percent in 2013, assuming a negligible increase in the supply of hotel rooms.

“Improvements in U.S. household net worth, an important leading indicator for Strip revenue performance, should provide baseline support for 2013,” said Brent Pirosch, director of Gaming Consulting for NGKF’s Global Gaming Group.

Pirosch noted that softness in the U.S. housing market, along with “a fragile recovery and ongoing economic uncertainty in the U.S. and abroad will keep 2013 revenue growth on the Las Vegas Strip at modest levels.”

In a 70-page report, the analysts said the Strip was in a good spot in 2012, with revenue growth at the upper end of their forecast.


Cantor Gaming Expands Poker Footprint by Reopening Silverton

by , Oct 24, 2012 | 10:00 am

No more keno? Say it ain’t so!

Cantor Gaming will be reopening the Silverton Casino poker room next month, less than a year after the room closed for lack of action.

Bobby Griffith, poker room manager for Cantor Gaming at the Palms, will take on double duty overseeing Silverton’s room and ultimately a new role as Director of Poker Operations for Cantor.

Griffith says he’s already hired a crew for the newest Cantor poker room, and is working on a special event for the re-opening. Cosmetic improvements include plans for ripping up old carpet and bringing in new chairs — with cards in the air sometime around Thanksgiving weekend.

Earlier this year, Cantor built a new sports book/poker room at Palms, the first of their rooms to merge the idea of gambling on sports and cards. At the end of 2011, Cantor unveiled a snazzy sports book at the Venetian, though Cantor does not operate the newly refurbished Sands Poker Room.


Hidden In Henderson

by , Oct 10, 2012 | 1:00 pm

Jokers Wild Casino gives away a bracelet every month. Dave wants one to convince friends and family he has a clue what he’s doing out here in the Nevada desert.

Out in Henderson, deep in the southeast edge of the Vegas Valley, there’s a competition between a pair of lesser known casinos for small-stakes cash-game action and low buy-in tournaments.

As Aria, Venetian and other monsters of the Strip try to lure in the most tourists, Jokers Wild Casino and Club Fortune Casino clamor day after day for all the poker-loving retirees and locals on the outskirts of town.

“We’re friends, but there’s a little bit of a rivalry,” Jokers Wild poker room supervisor David Miller (@silentraise) said of his competitor, Club Fortune.

The two casinos sit about 4 miles apart, some 20 miles from Las Vegas Boulevard: Jokers Wild just east of the Outpost Motel on Boulder Highway, and Club Fortune across the street from a Kmart on Racetrack Road.

Both are 4-table rooms that offer $2/$4FL and .50/$1NL games to a crowd of mostly locals from Henderson and nearby Boulder City (which happens to be one of only two cities in Nevada that prohibits gambling). Both rooms spread $30 buy-in tournaments every day — Jokers Wild at 11:30 a.m., Club Fortune at 2 p.m. Both have recently fiddled with these starting times in an effort to bring more action.


Gaming Business Gets Report at G2E

by , Oct 8, 2012 | 10:00 am

Passage of federal Internet poker legislation during Congress’ upcoming lame duck session will “take a little bit of gamblers luck,” the casino industry’s chief Washington, D.C., lobbyist said Tuesday in Las Vegas.

American Gaming Association President Frank Fahrenkopf Jr. said legalizing Internet poker in the U.S. continues to be an overriding issue for the casino industry, which officially kicked off the Global Gaming Expo at the Sands Expo and Convention Center. The four-day conference and trade show is the industry’s largest annual meeting.

Fahrenkopf, whose organization co-produces G2E with Reed Exhibitions, said Internet poker legalization is the most talked about subject among the gaming community. Most of the major casino companies and gaming equipment manufacturers have taken initial steps to jump into a legalized American Internet poker market.


Poker with a Purpose

by , Oct 3, 2012 | 1:00 pm

My phone lit up with that ever familiar ringtone of an incoming text message, this time from HemmaCuda: “So what’s it gonna take to get you to start coaching at Stackem?”

When I first moved to Las Vegas, I knew almost nobody in the city. I had one contact here: a girl from high school named Rochelle whom I have no recollection of ever saying one word to in those four years at Grosse Pointe North. She would become one of my best friends here in town and through her I would meet others, but for a long while I was rolling solo. This didn’t worry me moving from Los Angeles to the desert. It was a move to a smaller city but I knew I would never be bored. It was Vegas after all — parties culture galore, a revolving door for visitors, and I would always be able to jump in a card game at any hour of the day or night where the hours would fly as they do when you’re in the poker time warp.

For almost a good solid year I just did my thing by myself. Occasionally (appreciatively) Rochelle and I would go for beers at various dive bars around town but I was basically playing poker and being a loner.


Turn out the Lights?

by , Sep 14, 2012 | 1:00 pm

If you didn’t arrive by 8:30am, you didn’t get a seat. (The room wasn’t even supposed to open until 10.)

On its last day, the Tropicana would give away nearly $16,000, and draw its biggest single-day crowd

The last day at the new Tropicana Poker Room, this past Tuesday, may have been their busiest ever, as they gave away nearly $16,000 in leftover jackpot cash before closing down to make room for more slot machines.

Every seat in the 6-table room was filled until the last drawing at 4 p.m.–  with a wait-list at one point nearly 100-long before those realizing they would never get a seat disbursed.

Nevada law stipulates that any jackpot drop must go back to the players, so twice every hour, there were drawings for $1,111 in cash, and in the final hour, the money was juiced up a bit more to fully empty the coffers. I had a deal to split the money with fellow Pokeratier Andrew, if one of us hit, but our numbers were never called. One guy won 3 times, and didn’t share with anybody but his wife.


Nevada Cracking down on Long-haul Vegas Cabbies

by , Sep 9, 2012 | 4:00 pm

Photo: Jeff Scheid/Las Vegas Review-Journal

While bargaining for lesser fines for traffic tickets is an everyday event for the general public, that option has disappeared for taxi drivers caught long hauling, or running up the tab on unsuspecting tourists.

As part of the tougher enforcement stance in recent weeks, Nevada Taxicab Authority officials have stopped settling citations for less than the statutory penalties, which range from $100 for the first offense to $350 for the fourth.

They have also started to recommend that hearing officers suspend taxi licenses for three to 10 days starting with the second offense.

A fifth offense can lead to license revocation.

“We know we won’t stop long hauling completely,” authority administrator Charles Harvey said. “But we want to send a message to create a deterrent.”

Long hauling, Las Vegas-style, involves carrying passengers between the Strip and McCarran International Airport via a roundabout route that includes the Las Vegas Beltway. This can boost a typical $16 fare to $26 or more, depending on how far the detour stretches.


Ellis Island Poker Room Stripped

by , Sep 8, 2012 | 1:00 pm

Man in wheelchair hunkered over line sheet (c. 2012)

The Ellis Island poker experiment has apparently come to an end. What was briefly the newest poker room in Las Vegas — two tables in the back of a locals dive casino a few blocks off the Strip — shut down this week after being open less than three months. With little fanfare, tables were all packed up and signs ripped from the wall seemingly in haste. A couple smokers hung around the nearby jangling slot machines, with baseball games flashing on TVs in the adjacent sportsbook (formerly a Leroy’s, currently being rebranded as William Hill.) “Everybody’s coming by today,” said the cashier. “Maybe they should have stayed open a little longer.”

Las Vegas Continues Civic Reinvention with Neon Museum, Gift Shop

by , Sep 3, 2012 | 10:00 am

After talking, planning and collecting since 1996, the Neon Museum finally has an opening date.

Although the site is still in construction disarray, the collection is expected to be open to the public on Oct. 27, after its keepers finish converting the lobby of the old La Concha motel into a visitor center and shop and rearranging the adjacent Neon boneyard for foot tours. The museum has generated revenue for a couple of years by taking visitors who pay $15 each through the 2-acre boneyard, the final resting place for more than 150 signs spanning seven decades. Now museum leaders hope to substantially boost ticket sales and add other income streams.

“Part of the lure is that people are looking for the Old Vegas experience,” said William Marion, chairman of the board of trustees of the nonprofit Neon Museum. “This is a unique way to show it to people.”


Tobacco Station

by , Aug 26, 2012 | 7:14 pm

Dragging Pots: The 4/8 limit Omaha at Boulder Station is a throwback to days when smoke-filled poker rooms were standard.

Open the locomotive-handled doors, weave through the slot machines between the bingo hall and Burger King, and step into the past.

The poker room at Boulder Station, an off-strip casino opened in 1994, is one of only two poker rooms in Las Vegas that allow smoking at the tables. (The 3-table Arizona Charlie’s on Decatur being the other.) With 11-tables and a reputation for action, the Boulder room remains popular among a certain, darker-lunged crowd.

And it’s one of the few places — smoking or non — that offers consistent small stakes limit Omaha it’s the all day solution for stress.

But what are places like this still doing around?

“It’s just tradition,” Steve Deuel, the poker room manager, told me. “It’s been that way for 18 years.”

Only about 5 miles from the Strip but seemingly in another era, the train-station-themed casino sits between a Motel 6 and an apartment complex facing the I-515. It’s on the east side of town and the  north end of a row of a widely spaced casinos along the diagonal Boulder Highway.

“Play the 4/8 Omaha high over there,” Andrew Neeme said in a text message. “I’ve never seen bigger pots, physically, than in that game.”


I wondered what kind of splashy tourist might find this place, and I’m still wondering. As a local who rarely grinds off-strip casinos, I felt a little out of place in what is something like the Cheers of poker rooms. Couldn’t spot an out-of-towner in the place, let alone someone under 30.

By 5pm, they were starting a  third 4/8 Omaha table, and I hopped in the 6 seat. The action picked up quickly, especially for a Monday. Along with Omaha, there were 4/8 and 2/4 limit hold’em games and a quickly growing interest list for 1/2 no-limit.


Inside Gaming

by , Aug 15, 2012 | 12:00 pm

Within a span of 16 hours last week, the two casino companies that operate half of all the Strip’s resorts told the investment community they had lost a combined $387.2 million during the second quarter.

Don’t expect to see that statement in the next “Come to Las Vegas” advertising blitz.

In reality, the quarterly net losses reported by Caesars Entertainment Corp. ($241.7 million) and MGM Resorts International ($145.5 million) did not entirely hinge on results from the Strip.

Caesars owns hotel-casinos in several regions of the U.S., including Atlantic City, where second quarter revenues faltered. As for MGM Resorts, results declined in Detroit and Mississippi while the company took a noncash impairment charge on its jointly-owned Illinois riverboat.

But to the investment community, the companies’ outlooks are entwined with the Strip’s fortunes.


Please Pardon Our Mess, Um, Forever?

by , Jul 23, 2012 | 11:25 am

Here’s a better idea than Boyd Gaming Corp.’s plan to spend $4 million on palm trees, landscaping and facades to hide a shuttered $4.8 billion development on the Strip that has sat unfinished since 2008 and is one of the boulevard’s biggest eyesores.

Just tear it down.

The fact is Boyd’s original concept for the CityCenter-like Echelon project – five hotels of various sizes, a large casino, 750,000 square feet of convention space, 30 restaurants, 300,000 square feet of retail and entertainment amenities, all covering 87 acres – is not going to happen.

Not in this lifetime.


PKRGSSP Show featuring Shaun Deeb & Dave Ferrara

by , May 19, 2012 | 11:20 am

Jeff has a great show tonight, we are lucky to speak with Shaun Deeb who has won 3 Pokerstars SCOOP events already this series. Shaun talks to JW about his victories and what is in store with him this summer at the WSOP. Next up we speak to Dave Ferrara who is a Las Vegas poker player and blogger for

Download show (right click and save)

Grinding the “Off Day” Tourneys

by , Feb 20, 2012 | 5:50 am

Mondays and Tuesdays are arguably the worst days of the week for poker, which is why I often take those days off.

The tourists have donated their Vegas dollars to the grinders over the weekend, and even the L.A. crowd has headed back to their movie studios and plastic surgeons.

This meant that for the final two days of my week-long experiment in playing Las Vegas daily tournaments, I would have to hit some of the bigger casinos — Caesars Palace and Bellagio.

The 10,000 starting stack at Caesars Palace's nightly tournament.

With a WSOP-circuit event being held at Caesars, I didn’t have trouble finding a comfortable-size field for their nightly 7pm tournament on a Monday. With a $110 entry fee, this event has a $5,000 guaranteed prize pool (Mon-Fri only). The staff and one local at my starting table who had already worked out the math said they would need at least 63 entrants to reach that figure. Caesars’s nightly tournaments sometimes start with even fewer players, offering a healthy overlay.

Of the buy-in, Caesars took $20 as a “maintenance fee” and $10 was for the staff toke.)

Grinders and well-known pros filled the room — the 2008 WSOP Main Event third-place finisher Dennis Phillips sat a few tables away playing a cash game and Jeff Madsen, the rapper who also won 2006 WSOP player of the year, was at the final table of the main event in the elevated area nearby. I didn’t recognize anyone at my table who should have given me trouble.

A Week of Whiffs?
I was due for a nice run, having missed the money in my first 5 tournaments. The 10,000 chip starting stack and 20-minute levels felt comfortable out of the gate. I’d have to beat out 59 others to earn the $1,914 first-place prize.


Playing the Small Nightly at the Strat

by , Jan 28, 2012 | 6:23 pm

stratosphere poker tournament

4,500-chip, four-color starting stack at Stratosphere.

The Stratosphere’s quaint 10-table poker room sits in the back of the casino, past a row of slot machines, craps tables, another row of slot machines, down the ramp past Roxy’s Diner, near the escalators to the Top of the World restaurant — just before the Double Down Pit and Back Alley Bar. On Thursday, there was a sole 1-2NL table of action about 30 minutes before the nightly tournament.

You’d hardly know that this room has supposedly become the new Sahara when it comes to Las Vegas’ most popular small buy-in dailies — with the 7pm event drawing consistent fields of 50 players or more.

I approached the podium and purchased a seat for the event. The buy-in is $45 for 4,500 in chips, plus a $20 add-on that gives you 4,000 more chips, which you can purchase any time within the first hour. (There’s also an option for unlimited re-entry within that time frame.)  With 20-minute levels, that add-on is necessary, especially considering there are no automatic shufflers in the tournament tables.