My latest Green Felt Journal is a brief look at a group that is proposing a revival of the fabled Moulin Rouge on Las Vegas’s Westside:
That interest, though, never translated into meaningful action, which leads us to 2016. Scott Johnson, president of Moulin Rouge Holdings LLC, is committed to change on the Westside. His family has owned small businesses in the area for more than a half-century. Born in Arkansas, he’s been in Las Vegas for 30 years. But why take on the Moulin Rouge? Read more: Moulin Rouge Rebirth? – Vegas Seven
As I discuss in the articles, over the years there have been numerous attempts to first reopen and, lately, rebuild the Moulin Rouge. Here’s hoping that this one happens.
In this week’s Vegas Seven, I have a feature story that puts the just-opened T-Mobile Arena into historical context:
Casinos that followed—from the Hotel Last Frontier to the Tropicana—included dinner theaters as a matter of course; they were as necessary to a complete resort as rooms and gaming tables. This classic Las Vegas venue blossomed fully in the Sands’ Copa Room. Other theaters hosted plenty of stars, but the Copa distilled everything Las Vegas of the 1950s and 1960s stood for into an intimate, 385-seat space. It opened along with the rest of the Sands in December 1952 with a show featuring Danny Thomas, and would go on to host many of the day’s hottest casino attractions, most famously the Rat Pack. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. defined an era of Vegas cool.
Read more: Why T-Mobile Arena Is a Game Changer – Vegas Seven
In the article, I tried to relate how each of the “milestone” venues that I discuss represented, in its own way, its era. Looking at history helped me appreciate that so much about the T-Mobile Arena–from the emphasis on luxury to paid parking–spells out just where Las Vegas is today.
It’s easy to be wowed (or annoyed) by all of the coverage of the arena’s opening. But when that PR press has ended, what’s left? I know that researching this article raised plenty of questions for me. I hope that reading it inspires more questions, and maybe a few answers.
In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I consider the place of sports betting and DFS in Las Vegas. It’s growing:
In the throes of March Madness, sports betting is just about omni-present in Las Vegas. States across the nation are legalizing daily fantasy sports. Locally, speculation about possible NHL tenants of the T-Mobile Arena or the wisdom of building a UNLV stadium that may host an NFL team is dominating much conversation. That makes this a good time to consider the evolving relationship between Las Vegas and sports betting.
More: A Winning Parlay – Vegas Seven
I just had a nice chat on Twitter about my $760 million number. It’s just a guess, based on Nevada, of what US commercial casinos might make from sports betting when the market is mature. That is assuming that the rest of the country has the same proportion of sports betting/overall casino win as Nevada.
You could argue that the percentage would be lower, since Nevada has a high proportion of visitors who bet and people who move to Las Vegas to pursue legal sports betting. Nevada might not be a great model for the percentage of sports bettors in the overall US population. So maybe, nationally, the percentage is less than 2% of total gaming win.
Or you could say that with the opportunity to bet legally regularly, more Americans would be drawn to sports betting, in which case the number may be higher than 2%.
So the $760 million is just a projection of the current Nevada number, which may or may not be an accurate estimate of a national market. But it’s as good a number as any to start the conversation.
In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I expand a little on my testimony in front of the Gaming Policy Committee:
During a meeting convened by Governor Brian Sandoval earlier this month, the task before the Gaming Policy Committee was clear: Figure out how Nevada can adapt to emerging gaming—a sprawling, shifting area that, right now, comprises three main groups: daily fantasy sports (DFS), skill gaming and e-sports—without compromising its reputation as the “gold standard” of gaming regulation. The stakes are high: Failure to adjust quickly may mean that the state’s gaming industry goes the way of faro table manufacturers.
More: How to Prepare for Emerging Gaming Today – Vegas Seven
I could have written a few thousand more words on this. Gaming is (I think) in the not-so-early stages of a historic shift. Just look at how the bigger category of games has changed in the past 20 years. I’m interested in seeing how board game sales, for example, have fared, and how home “gaming” (in the broadest sense) has changed since the introduction first of consoles, then PC, then mobile games.
In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I get to share what I’ve learned about the burgeoning place of esports in Las Vegas:
The IS-7 thunders over the rubble of a ruined cottage just as a T110E5 comes crashing through the trees. They simultaneously fire on the Spahpanzer Ru 251, which is rocked by explosions but manages to hang on. As the attackers reload, the Ru 251 wheels backward, searching for cover. But an SU-152 is waiting to deliver the kill shot. In a fiery blast, the Ru 251 ceases to exist.
Source: Embracing eSports Isn’t Such a Bad Idea for Casinos – Vegas Seven
This was a real education for me. I’ve got to say that I’ve found BattleViewer.com to be absolutely compelling viewing. It’s amazing how quickly I get invested in the matches. It’s nice to see casinos starting to embrace esports groups.
In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I consider the future of transportation in the “core” of Las Vegas:
Today, Las Vegas gladly welcomes 42 million-plus visitors each year. But there’s one more guest who has been showing up too much lately: gridlock.
Read more:The Future of Las Vegas Transportation – Vegas Seven
In some ways, Las Vegas is a victim of its own success here. As it is able to convince more visitors to vacation here, moving them around becomes progressively more difficult. I’m very interested to see what kinds of solutions actually are enacted.
In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I consider the meaning of the 2015 Nevada casino numbers. How did the state’s gaming industry do last year?
Overall, it was a year that showed the continuing transition in Nevada gaming. Read more: 2015 Casino Report Card – Vegas Seven
It really was a continuation of 2014, with slight growth statewide and a slight decline on the Las Vegas Strip–despite record visitation numbers and higher overall spending. It’s not really news anymore to say that non-gaming is growing while gaming really isn’t (on the Strip, at least), but it’s worth repeating, since it gives some of the developments on the Strip context.
In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I take a look at why you might be checking into Caesars properties at a kiosk, and what it means:
Yet times have changed. If you are one of the 42 million plus who come to Las Vegas each year, you can’t help but be aware that the city doesn’t act like it’s here only to make your wishes come true. Traffic. Hustlers, costumed and otherwise, on the sidewalks. Resort fees. And the inescapable fact that you’re not the only one looking to have a good time: Even in a smallish Strip resort, you are one of thousands of very special, very important people, each of you needing what you need right now. Obviously, you’re not all going to get it when you want it.
Read more: Check-In Kiosks Represent the Latest Evolution in Hospitality – Vegas Seven
This is a pretty big investment in technology for Caesars, and so far it looks like guests are using it. Skipping the line should be way more convenient, at the very least.
People love to ask for predictions. I really don’t like predicting things. So naturally my first Green Felt Journal of the year is a look ahead at 2016. Keep in mind that I’m not trying to predict anything here; I’m just talking about what is scheduled to happen, and what it might all mean.
So what will 2016 hold for the Las Vegas gaming-tourism complex? Change for certain, although the nature of that change won’t be clear until it’s upon us.
Read more: What 2016 Holds for Gaming – Vegas Seven
Will this be the year casinos crack that millennial code? Are skill-based games, gaming lounges, check-in kiosks, and new entertainment venues going to lure more than 45 million visitors? I’ll find out the same time that you do.
In my latest Green Felt Journal, I consider how chasing millennials will change Las Vegas casinos. It’s already started:
Sit in at any gaming conference and you’re bound to hear despairing talk of millennials and gambling. Capturing the millennial market, the thinking goes, is the key to success for Las Vegas casinos in the near future.
Read More: Casinos Court the Newest Generation of Gamblers – Vegas Seven
I talk about the Lavo Casino Club and the upcoming Encore Player’s Club here. If they are successful, I’d expect to see everyone getting in on this trend.