Seven trending gaming industry stories that will impact your casino revenue strategy.
1. Stratosphere’s Rebranding Hopes to Attract and Entertain Guests
Last year, millions of people visited Las Vegas’ Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower thanks to its iconic observation tower. But once they saw the sights, they high-tailed it out of there, seeking hipper destinations on the Strip for eating, gaming and sleeping.
But the property’s new owner, Golden Entertainment, is hoping a $140 million upgrade and rebranding campaign will change all that.
The 1,150-foot-tall property will be renamed The STRAT Hotel, Casino and Skypod as Golden seeks to create buzz around the resort’s new amenities and drive more traffic. The top three floors, including the rides and entertainment, will be called SkyPod.
“The rebranding is designed to create an experience throughout the entire casino property including rooms, food and beverage, casino floor so that visitation becomes a little more sticky and the property keeps people around a little bit longer,” said Steve Arcana, executive VP and COO of Golden, to the Las Vegas Review Journal.
2. Macau’s Gaming Revenue Dip Points to a New Trend
Macau casino revenue fell in January by 5% for the first time since July 2016. And while there are a few potential reasons for the dip—an earlier Chinese New Year and a casino smoking ban that took effect January 1—the bigger picture points to a new trend.
In December, Macau set a visitation record for the year. Hotel occupancy rates were up 3.9 percentages points. Earlier in February, there was a 27 percent tourism surge during the Chinese New Year.
These numbers suggest Macau is becoming more of a tourist destination than a gambling hub.
3. Caesars Entertainment Announces First US Non-Gaming Hotel
Last month, Caesars Entertainment announced a plan to open its first ever non-gaming hotel in Scottsdale, Ariz. The four-star, 266-room Caesars Republic Scottsdale will be located near Scottsdale Fashion Square, one of the region’s top luxury retail malls.
According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, the project is introducing the Caesars Republic brand which Caesars Entertainment will license, advise on design elements and integrate with its Total Rewards loyalty program.
4. Nevada’s Largest Casinos Report $1.2B Loss in 2018
Nevada’s largest casinos lost $1.2 billion during the fiscal year that ended June 30 despite seeing record revenues, bringing to an end a two-year streak of posted profits.
A comprehensive annual report from state gambling regulators shows the 289 casinos reported the net loss from revenue of $27.1 billion. The loss was driven by expenses associated with the reorganization of Caesars Entertainment after emerging from bankruptcy.
6. Cold Weather is Bad for Casinos in the Midwest
When the weather dips below zero, casino gaming floors in Northwest Indiana see far fewer patrons than normal. A collective gaming win of $65.9 million last month was the worst monthly total since another weather-wracked January, in 2014, when Region casinos took in $65.5 million.
Last month's total was 10.7 percent below January 2018's total of $73.8 million.
6. Joelle Shearin named GM of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Joelle Shearin, a 15-year casino hotel and finance executive, has been appointed General Manager and President for the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe. Her most recent role was VP and general manager at the Argosy Casino Alton in Alton, Ill. There she was the first female general manager for Penn National Gaming.
7. Soboba Opens to Fanfare
Since 1995, Soboba Casino in San Jacinto, Calif. has been located in a tent structure stuffed with slot machines and table games. But the new replacement resort property that will open later in February is more akin to a high-end Las Vegas luxury resort. It features 200 rooms, multiple restaurants, a pool, conference space, entertainment options, and, of course, a gaming floor.
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