These seven trending gaming industry stories will impact your casino revenue strategy.
1. Booking.com to Charge Hotels Commissions on Resort Fees
Booking.com has just made a bold, game-changing move that might end the rapidly expanding practice of adding “resort fees” to hotel rates—especially in Vegas.
The online travel agency is now notifying hotels and resorts around the world that it will begin charging commissions on resort fees, as well as other fee-based services, on top of a hotel’s base rate.
The reason, reports Booking, is that these “fees” aren’t included in the room rate and aren’t disclosed in a transparent way.
How this will play out is anyone’s guess. Hotels and resorts may push back or it might be the end of resort fees once and for all.
2. Ocean Casino Resort Returns to Profitability
Atlantic City’s Ocean Casino Resort—formerly known as Revel, TEN, and, most recently, Ocean Resort Casino—has been a financial mess since it first opened in 2012. But new owners say the property is about to turn a profit.
The property now has a much lighter debt load and plans to invest in facilities and promotions to draw in new business.
3. Atlantic City Hits A Hot Streak
Ocean Casino Resort isn’t the only Atlantic City property doing well. According to the state gaming board, Atlantic City reported a 16.9% increase in total gaming revenue, which marks the 11th consecutive month of growth.
Full story at Press of Atlantic City.
4. Encore Boston Harbor Could Change Ownership
With only a month to go before opening, Encore Boston Harbor (Everett, Mass.) may leave the Wynn portfolio and go to rival MGM Resorts, the companies announced.
Based on a joint-statement, the companies explained that the talks are still in a very initial stage and no agreement had been reached. But if the companies do go ahead with the deal, they don’t plan on changing anything about the current timeline of the project, nor in any way affect the people who will work on-site.
5. Casino Workers Concerned by Hedge Fund Influence
Casino workers in Detroit and their union leadership plan to speak before Michigan's Gaming Control Board about the influence hedge funds are having on the industry.
According to the Associated Press, Unite Here Local 24 says workers will tell board members in Detroit that they are willing to work with gambling regulators to protect jobs and casino tax revenue from neglect by hedge funds or private equity firms seeking short-term returns from casino ownership.
Full story at Crain’s Detroit Business.
6. Vegas’s Cosmo May Soon Be Up For Sale
The Cosmopolitan Casino Resort in Vegas is in great shape. It is operating with a total gaming area of 110,000 square feet and has 3,027 rooms and suites in no need of renovations or updates. As such, the Cosmo is the perfect off-the-shelf casino buy for the right investor.
The current owner, Blackstone Group, has retained the services of Deutsche Bank AG and PJT Partners who have been tasked with looking into ways the Cosmo could be sold, or whether there are ways the current owners could continue operating the venue but with a new part owner coming onboard.
Full story at Casino Chronicle.
7. Will Macau’s Fortunes Return?
For years, Macau has experienced non-stop growth. But last month was the worst month for the world’s largest gaming hub in three years. Analysts say the slump is a result of China’s sluggish economy which kept high rollers away from gambling tables. Thus, with the Chinese economy on the mend, things could bounce back for Macau and its casinos.
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