Friday, September 12, 2014

Sports Betting a reality in New Jersey??

I was at work when I got the news. Sports Betting is going to start in New Jersey within 45 days. The Supreme Court may have something to say about this. For now, Governor Christie is looking at a interpretation from a appellate court that would allow sports betting without actual sanctions from the state. Wagers would take place at racetracks and casinos. No bets can be placed on contest involving college teams playing in New Jersey or in state college teams anywhere.  All bets must be made in person.
The timing is perfect because of the closings of several casinos this year in Atlantic City.  Something must be done to generate interest in New Jersey. Sports Betting can do that.  Now additional weeks of full rooms and restaurants. Long weekends starting with Thursday Night Football and ending with Monday Night Football. March Madness with collegiate basketball for 3 consecutive weeks. The revenue from sports betting would create a ripple effect on the current offering of casino entertainment and pari-mutuel wagering.

The professional leagues have not issued a comment on this pending development. The NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver did give insight about the possibility of betting on games.  — given Silver's comments last week at the Bloomberg Business Summit in New York.
"It's inevitable that if all these states are broke that there will be legalized sports betting in more states than Nevada and we will ultimately participate in that," Silver said. "If you have gentleman's bet or a small wager on any kind of sports contest, it makes you that much more engaged in it. That's where we're going to see it pay dividends. If people are watching a game and clicking to bet on their smart phones, which is what people are doing in the United Kingdom right now, then it's much more likely you're going to stay tuned for a long time."

In Nevada, you can presently wager on any professional sport on your phone if you have an account with a casino. One of the prominent sports betting sites is William Hill.

You must be within the state to do so. Just another extension of online gaming thru mobile device. New Jersey is coming to the new millennium. Are you?

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

SLS Casino Opening in Las Vegas

                                SLS Las Vegas is located at 2535 Las Vegas Boulevard. 

SLS Las Vegas features 1,613 guestrooms in three distinct towers – Story, World and Lux – ranging from luxurious 325-square-foot rooms to opulent penthouse suites spanning 3,300 square feet. The restaurants include Bazaar Meat by Jose Andres, SLS Buffet and the Griddle Café.  The Griddle Café gets a special mention because it specializes in breakfast and is open 24 hours a day. This is perfect for the other city that never sleeps.

There is a  total 6  bars and lounges. I'll preview 3. The Sayers Club will feature emerging and acclaimed artists performing for the patrons. Lenny Kravitz and a lot of known artists tend to jump on the stage and play at the venue in Los Angeles.  LIFE features visual and lighting elements along with a combination of premier and up and coming DJ talent. Situated in the location formerly the Sahara Theater, LIFE utilizes a series of vivid HD screens in addition to stunning aerialists and performers to amplify the music experience.


The nightlife is complete by the Foxtail. This club will have format music along with celebrity appearances and entertainment. Bottle service available for those that want to turn it up.

At  SLS  Vegas, they are featuring 3 nightclubs located where the old Sahara theater use to be. Girls will be coming down from the ceiling to serve. I predict that  Foxtail will  probably be the trendier club scene. The cool thing about Foxtail is the "graffiti" was hand written by the artist while the CEO Sam Nazarian was talking to him. Here a picture.

The gaming area offers about 800 of the latest slot and video poker machines, more than 70 classic table games, a race and sports book presented by William Hill and three table games located poolside. Conveniently located across from the Cashier Cage, SLS Las Vegas also offers an intimate High Limit Salon with a gaming environment for those looking for a more private experience – featuring table games and slot machines, including video poker, video slots and mechanical reels in denominations up to $100.

For all the people that love to bet on the NFL and NBA games, this is the place. Sports book guests have access to innovative wagering technology, available on iPhone, iPad and Android devices. Additionally, the sports book features an expansive HD video wall for viewing of sporting events and betting odds, as well as fully automated InPlay wagering.










Friday, August 22, 2014

Gaming by the Numbers- AC vs.Las Vegas

Revenue is coming to the two renown gaming places in the country in two contrasting ways. Atlantic City gets 30% of it's revenue from non gaming activity and 70% from gambling. Las Vegas is just the reverse with 35 % from gambling and 65 % from non gaming sources.

A new casino is opening in Las Vegas. 3 is the number of casino scheduled to close at the shore. We don't have to guess  whose model is working.  What the numbers don't tell us is what goes into making it work. One word.


Las Vegas welcomes a new competitor. They do this knowing that a successful competitor should expand the market. More guests and longer stays equal return trips.  Atlantic City does not mirror this approach. They have more competition surrounding them in neighboring states. An analogy of AC is similar to selling a used car. Just want to get rid of it. Trump Plaza had a buyer over a year ago. Pulled out of the deal. Showboat has shown decent numbers. Not enough! Atlantic City way out is to divide the pie up minus 3.This doesn't increase the demand. What does?


Follow me and I'll share more insight over the next  several weeks as the dusk settles in Atlantic City and the sunrises in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania is the 2nd leading gaming the United States.

                                                                BY THE NUMBERS

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Revel Casino Closing in September

Revel Casino and Hotel is scheduled to close September 1. No qualifying offer was rendered for this beautiful facility. This does not seem real that the so call "savior" property of Atlantic City is now on life support. They're reports that they are entertaining offers but this seems like a straw clutching tactic.
I can only reflect  back to three years ago when Revel was taking applications. The thought of working in Atlantic City again was appealing but not enough to lure me from a good situation. Many of my peers thought otherwise and returned to the shore. I attended  the East Coast Gaming Congress at Revel that year and later that month saw Beyoncé perform at Ovation Hall.  The excitement  of that concert created a synergy through the entire region. Now this! I never saw this coming back then. I feel bad for the 3200 employees that are affected by the pending closing of the casino hotel.

Governor Christie has announce that he will attempt to find work for the employees of the casinos scheduled for closing. This includes Showboat and Trump Plaza.

Lights at Showboat and Trump Plaza are going dim.
A summit of casino executives, labor leaders and elected officials will convene on September 8th. They will discuss the future of Atlantic City. This is being planned with the hope that someone will make an offer that will bring Revel back from the canvas. This knockout would devastate the resort and the thought of future gaming investments.

What is lost in all the negativity of the closings is non gaming revenue, hotel occupancy and internet gaming are increasing. There are some things right in Atlantic City  I 'll expand on these variables in my next post.

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Friday, August 8, 2014

Online Gaming and the bids for Revel Casino

The bids were submitted for Revel Casino this week. The casino asked for an additional week to review what was submitted. Analysts think this does not bode well in terms of the offers that were made. No one submitted a bid that comes close to the amount of money that was spent to build
Revel. Revel also has a mountain of debt that must be factored into the sale. The good news is there is interest in the property and a strong possibility that the jobs at the casino will be spared.

I would love to see an operator with an online gaming vision win this bid. A new entry in the market would also be appropriate. This would give a fresh start to the Atlantic City landscape. A casino or hotel that is embracing technology while having the prudence of maintaining the current customer nucleus. Online Gaming will be the driving force that will make Revel become viable.

Good Luck to the winning bidder!

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Online Gaming and Entertainment brings excitement to Atlantic City and Las Vegas

Over the past week, the combination of online gaming and entertainment have rejuvenated AC and Las Vegas. The Blake Shelton concert brought a crowd of over 60,000 to the beach.
More than 45 states were represented by the crowd. This was confirmed by Ticketmaster and Live Nation. I am sure that some of that group registered to play at an online casino during their stay. Another concert is planned for this Sunday with Lady Antebellum. This should spike the numbers as well.

I am basing this assumption on what happen in Las Vegas during the WSOP over the past 2 weeks. Revenue went up as players were being eliminated from the tournament. Many sought out an online poker game to recoup losses from early exits and disappointing finishes. The common denominator is both of these entertainment events brought crowds. Both groups had a direct correlation on the revenue spent by gaming online.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Online Gaming News from Pennsylvania and GIGSE


Bill Thomas has served as the Democratic Executive Director of the Pennsylvania House Gaming Oversight Committee since 2011. In this role, Bill is responsible for proposing and monitoring legislation and policies regarding Pennsylvania’s gaming industry, including issues relevant to the state’s gaming law, which first passed the General Assembly in 2004.
Bill began his professional career in the West Virginia Legislature, where he served as the Assistant Director of the West Virginia Legislative Reference and Information Office – a nonpartisan, apolitical department of the West Virginia Legislature's Joint Committee on Government and Finance. After six years with the West Virginia Legislature, Bill moved to Harrisburg to accept employment within the Pennsylvania House of Representatives' Democratic Caucus.
Mr.Thomas recently attended the GIGSE in San Francisco. GIGSE is one of the top I Gaming conferences in the world. I was honored that he agreed to answer several questions about the conference and online gaming.

1). What was your opinion of the GIGSE?  Bill - "I found the GIGSE to be informative. The
technology discussion was of great interest to me. Those conversations, along with where
Pennsylvania is headed with I Gaming were very helpful."

2). How did the GIGSE compare to other gaming conferences you attended?  Bill - "The
GIGSE was one of the larger conferences that I ever attended. It included a trade show of
30 to 40 vendors and approximately 400 attendees."

3). The debate between Ed Rendell and Willie Brown was a highlight of the conference. Who sold their position the better of two?  Bill - "Governor Rendell had research and facts to support his pro I Gaming stance. He also provided some great one liners. Rendell also had the pro position of the room. Brown was at the disadvantage with the anti I Gaming position and was more emotional in his retorts."

4). What was your goal when you decided to attend?  Bill - "My goal was to attend the panel discussions and hear the concerns about I Gaming. We also hosted a table that provided insight about Pennsylvania from a gaming policy standpoint. We also addressed the political reality of where we are currently."

5).Tell the readers 3 things they should know about I Gaming and Pennsylvania? 
Bill - "They should know that online gaming  is currently taking place in an unregulated and untaxed market. Two, there are many investors that want to invest and do business in Pennsylvania and that will create jobs and opportunities. Third, I Gaming will not impact the land base casino operations that currently exist. Casinos will be able to cross market and promote their games and facilities."

6).Delaware and Nevada have a compact agreement This means they will share players and revenue in online gaming. Do you think they will be successful?  Bill: - I think they will be successful. This is a perfect collective opportunity. This is similar to how lotteries such as Powerball and Mega Millions have attracted players in different states." 

7). New Jersey registrations for online gaming has increased every month. The win and amount wagered have dropped over the past 3 months. How would you gauged these contrasting variations?  Bill - "The increase in players is due to multiple registration at different sites. The drop in revenue could be attributed to the major financial institutions not allowing transactions and limiting the amount of liquidity."

I want to thank Mr.Thomas for his candid answers. I will follow the efforts in Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania House Gaming Oversight Committee in the coming weeks.

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