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Konami Gaming Or Apollo Management Could Be New Owners Of IGT

IGT Logo

When I first saw the news about IGT being for sale I didn’t think much of it. The headline was shaped by IGT’s stock price being up 15%. I’m not in the market, so I wasn’t concerned. Then it hit me that one of the largest slot machine and the biggest video poker machine company is on the market and I was full of WOW.

Evidently this wasn’t a surprise to the stock market as IGT’s value has dropped 31% in the past year. They laid off 7% of their staff earlier this year in hopes of cutting enough costs to salvage the company. It doesn’t look like that’s working as the company is rumored to be on the market just to keep it alive. Reuters says IGT has been planning for a sale for the past two months.

The Las Vegas Review Journal reports that a number of private equity companies and gaming companies are interested in acquiring IGT. The most interesting to me are Konami Gaming and Apollo Global Management. Let’s take a quick look at how both could work with IGT.

[Read more…]

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Speculation Games Featuring Cosmopolitan, The D, Golden Gate, LVH, Palms, Resorts World And Riviera

Riviera Las Vegas

Riviera

Speculating on the future of Vegas is fun. Instead of full-blown posts about specific subjects I think it’s more fun to be short and concise. Here’s my take on two potential moves that would shake things up on the Vegas Strip.

Topic: Now that Cosmopolitan has been sold which Vegas casino will be the next to go?  LVH, Riviera and Caesars Entertainment have been rumored to have casinos on the market for a while. Caesars may have multiple properties on the market that they need to sell so they can reduce debt and avoid filing for bankruptcy

Speculation: My guess is that Caesars will be the first to move. Their current fire sale and shell game seems like a brighter fire than the other two possibilities.

If there’s a dark horse in this race it could be Derek Stevens moving quickly to add the Riviera to his portfolio of The D and Golden Gate. On a personal note, I’d love this. The D and Golden Gate are two of my favorite places to roll dice.

Update: On a detail specific note, you may remember that Stevens owns a small percentage of Riviera. (H/T Chris Robbins on Facebook for the reminder that some people may not know this)

Palms Casino Hotel Towers

Palms

Topic: What is Dan Lee’s next step now that he’s resigned as CEO of Palms after less than a year on the job?

Speculation: I’m going to speculate that Dan Lee’s next job will be something big. If he has a non-compete clause with Palms or just needs time away from work he might look for a major role with Genting as they open Resorts World Las Vegas.

If that’s too far ahead perhaps a move to another independently operated casino in Vegas might make sense.The Cosmopolitan might make sense as they’ll likely add new leadership when Blackstone takes over operations.

If you’re not familiar with Dan Lee, Vegas Tripping had a really detailed post when he was named CEO of Palms last year.

Photo: Riviera – Vegas Chatter, Palms – Vegas.com.

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The Case Grows To Stay Away From The Middle Of The Vegas Strip

Grand Bazaar Shops Bally's Las Vegas

Grand Bazaar Shops

I love Vegas but I don’t love masses of humanity in my way. I’m a New Yorker and always in a rush even when I don’t have somewhere to be. The Vegas Strip is already too crowded with slow walkers and tourists just stopping for no reason. Blech.

As details about the Grand Bazaar Shops in front of Bally’s continue to emerge my desire NOT to be near that part of the strip grows too. You may know that from a blog post from last year about the Grand Bazaar Shops.

Vegas Chatter dug up some of the fancy flea market vendors that will be at the Grand Bazaar Shops and they’re exactly what you might expect from a flea market – jewelry, handbags, sunglasses and other stuff you’d find at a rest stop in New Jersey.

Check out these hideous renderings of the Grand Bazaar Shop.

On a side note, who let Caesars artists into a Bellagio to sketch that point of view?

While people stop on the, already crowded, Vegas Strip to look and decide whether or not to check out the “stores” they’ll just be in standing in the middle of the sidewalk clogging traffic. At least the Park area in between Monte Carlo and New York-New York and The Linq are designed to draw people away from the Vegas Stip.

The sidewalks can’t be widened because there’s already too much car traffic on the Vegas Strip so the human traffic will only get worse. The only way to avoid traffic in the middle of the strip is to avoid it.

Thankfully Delano Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay will complete renovations soon. Some of the hotel rooms at Delano Las Vegas are already finished. We should expect the public spaces to be completed on time. SLS Las Vegas is working 24/7 to ensure that they will be opening at the end of summer. Both of these hotels on opposite ends of the Vegas Strip give a good excuse for someone like me to avoid the middle of the crush of people in the middle.

I understand that not everyone is like me. There are people who actually like to do things other than eat, drink and gamble when they’re in Vegas. GASP! I understand the Vegas Strip’s need to evolve but I’m happy that there will still be new hotels and casinos for people like me to enjoy.

Learn more about the Grand Bazaar Shops here.

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BREAKING: Cosmopolitan Sold!

Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas was sold by Deutsche Bank to Blackstone Real Estate Partners for $1.73 Billion. Since this is still developing I’ll pass on information as it’s decimated disseminated.

I’ll keep updating this list as news comes in. I’m off to get coffee.

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Here’s What To Expect From The 2014 World Series Of Poker

World Series Of Poker Logo

World Series Of Poker

I tweeted a bunch of information that I found interesting during the conference call for the World Series of Poker today. I don’t play casino poker so my major takeaway may be different than most people on the call.

I love how WSOP and Caesars is integrating play on WSOP.com during the tournament itself. You can see details in my notes below. Note the frisbee dog show.

  • $2 billion prize money WSOP
  • New chairs!
  • More tables!
  • New carpet!
  • Frisbee dog shows – Day of Millionaire Maker tournament.
  • Opening day at Rio will include “rain”.
  • 303 millionaires made at WSOP
  • WSOP will not be played exclusively at Rio. Encouraging to play on WSOP.com.
  • Will be able to deposit to WSOP.com from casino cage at Rio.
  • Online players will be able to deposit at the cage. 100% up to $1000 bonus for 1st time depositors & reloads
  • Will be players only cage.
  • WSOP.com ambassadors throughout WSOP to help with signup/questions.
  • Will be live streaming (on delay) of over 25 tournaments. Not sure where. Didn’t catch details
  • Players be allowed to have laptops at WSOP tables so they can also play online
  • Free wifi at convention center. Additional bandwidth for WSOP. Stage will be set up for players and will have its own wifi network to ensure access.
  • Bracelet events online in future.
  • Players can not wear headphones at final tables. Can play poker online when out of the hand. Cannot play online when cards are in front of them.
  • Hotel reservations at Caesars hotels are up YOY.
  • Registration for WSOP healthy.
  • Expect Millionaire Maker to be huge.
  • Main Event prize guaranteed to be $10mm. BOOM!
  • Open Face Chinese Poker still not an official tournament. WSOP not comfortable with it.
  • Last year’s winner purchased a house in Vegas. I haven’t seen him.
  • Many people looking to play Big One are still raising funds. Not using their own money.

I’m sure I left something out so feel free to tweet or comment with any questions.

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2 More Years For Britney Spears In Vegas!

Britney Spears "Piece of Me"

Britney Spears “Piece of Me”

Britney Spears is my girl. We go way back, just click on the tag to see. Her “Piece of Me” show is awesome if you like Britney Spears a lot. If you’re a marginal fan or think that you can become a fan by seeing this show you should probably save your money. The show is for her fans and 80’s pop nostalgists. Here’s my 2 cents on Vegas Chatter.

I’ve said that I’d pay to see Britney Spears “Piece of Me” at Planet Hollywood again and I’ll have two more years to do it! After a weekend of rumors that “Piece of Me” would be extended Caesars Entertainment confirmed that the show will go on for two years after the initial contract was set to run out.

Enjoy the show’s playlist while you read the press release with more info and new shows that have been added.

As Britney Spears wraps up another round of sold-out performances during the spring run of “Britney: Piece of Me” at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, tickets to new show dates for the legendary pop icon’s wildly popular Las Vegas resident show have been added and will go on sale this Friday, May 16. Because all of Britney’s shows to date have been sold out, and due to rapid sales of her existing August and September 2014 dates, additional performances have been added in August and September, as well as shows in October and November, New Year’s Eve weekend and February 2015. The addition of these performances marks an increased number of shows over those Britney was previously scheduled to perform throughout her two-year Las Vegas residency.

Special pre-sales for “Britney: Piece of Me” will be held for American Express cardholders and Total Rewards members, the loyalty program of Planet Hollywood’s parent company Caesars Entertainment, starting Tuesday, May 13 at 10 a.m. PT. With the new show dates added, and inclusive of the shows currently on sale, the following dates are all available for sale to the public on Friday, May 16 at 10 a.m. PT:

  • Aug.: 15, 16, 19, 20, 22, 23, 27, 28, 30, 31
  • Sept.: 3, 5, 6, 10
  • Oct.: 3, 4, 8, 10, 11, 15, 17, 18, 22, 24, 25, 29, 31
  • Nov.: 1, 5, 7, 8
  • Dec.: 27, 28, 30, 31
  • Jan.: 28, 30, 31
  • Feb.: 4, 6, 7, 11, 13, 14, 17, 18, 20, 21, 25, 27, 28

 Dazzling fans with show-stopping performances for more than 15 years, Britney has truly brought her most spectacular show ever to Las Vegas. A celebration of one of the most illustrious careers in music history, the jaw-dropping production is a compilation of more than 20 of Britney’s worldwide hits, including “Baby One More Time,” “Oops I Did It Again,” “Toxic,” “Circus,” “Womanizer” and “Slave 4 U,” as well as new material from her recently-released album “Britney Jean.”

“Britney: Piece of Me” is the most cutting-edge pop concert experience ever produced for Las Vegas, featuring a four-piece band, 14 dancers, elaborate sets, unforgettable costumes and state-of-the-art, never-before-seen technology. Directed by one of the industry’s most well-respected creative directors for live stage entertainment, Baz Halpin, the show’s creative team also includes assistant creative director Melissa Garcia, multimedia designer GEODEZIK, choreographers The Squared Division and costume designer Marco Marco.

Britney is the first artist-in-residence housed in The AXIS, Planet Hollywood’s newly-renovated theater which features one of the largest indoor video and projection installations in the world. With its innovative dance floor and exclusive table and bottle service provided by Drai’s Management Group, The AXIS is part nightclub and part theater, setting it apart from any other venue in Las Vegas. The 4,600-seat, intimately-sized theater allows Britney’s fans to see her as they’ve never seen her before.

 

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Crazy Wide Disparity In US World Cup Odds

US Men's Soccer Team

US Men’s Soccer Team

Earlier today Todd Fuhrman from Don Best, Fox Sports, etc. tweeted the odds for the US Men’s Soccer team to win the World Cup from various sportsbook operators. They were all over the place!

Each sportsbook caters their point spread and odds to their customer. You’ll generally find the sharpest odds at LVHCaesars and MGM cater mostly to tourists on the Vegas Strip who will not be the most savvy on soccer as much as they’ll want to support their country. It’s no surprise that the US soccer team odds are where they are.

Following smart people like @ToddFuhrman will help you learn about the sports betting industry. Leaning the clientele of each casino and sportsbook operator will go a long way to finding the best line value. Shopping around is always an important way to get the best value for your bets.

Photo: US Soccer

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The Cromwell Has Total Rewards Logo On Its Chips

Total Rewards Chip At The Cromwell

$5 Chip At The Cromwell

I’ve never seen a casino players club logo on a chip at a casino before but there’s a first for everything. The chips at The Cromwell are sporting a Total Rewards logo on one side of the chip.

I don’t compliment Caesars often on their marketing efforts but this is great branding for their players club. I think we can expect other casinos to float this concept out the next time they introduce new chips.

Shout out to @AndyHughes128 for collecting chips and sharing this photo on twitter.

UPDATE: Evidently chips at The Quad have the TR logo.

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Looks Like O’Sheas Blackjack Will Be Unplayable

O'Sheas Casino Las Vegas 6:5 Blackjack Installation

O’Sheas 6:5 Blackjack Installation

Judging from the photo above O’Sheas will pay 6:5 on blackjack.

I was never fond of O’Sheas. It was a dump by the time I found Vegas. When I visited Las Vegas I was usually looking to experience the finer things in life. I spent more money on just about everything. For a few days I wanted to experience a life better than I had at home. I wasn’t looking for a cheap place to gamble. O’Sheas was closed to make way for The Linq.

The Linq is for mainstream American’s who just want to do things they can do anywhere. Oh, shopping and mall restaurants. I can’t wait to travel 500 miles for some of that! Eeesh. People are lame. Just like the original O’Sheas – The Linq isn’t for me. I’ll check out The Linq but probably won’t frequent it.

Years ago an MGM Resorts rep said that most people on vacation don’t care about 6:5 blackjack. Most blackjack players were up in arms. How dare they taint the game anyone could afford to play and possibly find an advantage? Looking back, he was right. Just about every casino (not all) on the Vegas Strip pays 6:5 for blackjack under $25. Tourists may care but they’d rather play $15 per hand at 6:5 than $25 per hand to get paid 3:2 for blackjack.

If O’Sheas does pay 6:5 for blackjack (the photo only shows the “5”) it shouldn’t come as a surprise. This is how the Vegas Strip operates. This is just another reason to avoid the Caesars section of the Vegas Strip Mall.

H/T: @DenverGambler for noticing this.

Photo: @KMCannonPhoto 

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Biggest Disappointment This Week: Britney Spears, Jacoby Ellsbury or Snow?

Britney Spears, Jacoby Ellsbury And Snow

Britney Spears, Jacoby Ellsbury And Snow

Britney – Part 1

Tuesday started out with excitement as the new Britney Spears album Britney Jean was released. It’s awful. I mean it’s really bad. It’s worse than I could ever imagine. It should be sent to Guantanamo Bay and used to torture people. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know that Britney and I go way back. We have (had?) something special. I had to listen to four Faith No More albums to get that out of my head. When I reached “Cuckoo For Caca” I was able to move on.

Britney – Part 2

Sometime around 5pm Britney Spears “arrived” in Las Vegas to promote her show at Planet Hollywood. Caesars Entertainment closed of the Vegas Strip for a while, had showgirls, carnival people, etc. There were a few hundred people who may have been paid or promised to be on TV “welcoming” her with “hand written signs” that all had the same penmanship. She said 2 sentences and left. Britney is/was my girl. This was sad to see.

Jacoby

Later in the evening there was rumor that the New York Yankees would sign Jacoby Ellsbury as a free agent. The signing was confirmed shortly after it was a rumor. It was a huge disappointment to see them lock up a guy that’s never played two consecutive complete seasons to a seven-year contract with a no-trade clause. Forget that he may make as much money in this deal as the great Mariano Rivera made in his career. This brings me back to the late 80’s and early 90’s as a Yankees fan when they just signed players no matter the cost. If he’s healthy he should be good. That’s a big if. I’m close to becoming a Padres fan.

Snow

The late local news started with talk about snow this weekend where I live in Las Vegas (not the Vegas strip). I don’t mind snow but, technically, it’s not even winter. I’m not ready for it. I moved west to leave the snow. Snow in Vegas is more common than you’d think. The Las Vegas drivers can’t handle rain – let alone snow. I usually stay hidden in AC2LV HQ until the roads dry. Somewhat seriously, these people are awful drivers. I don’t want to deal with an accident. I have more important things to do.

Loser

I don’t have a conclusion on the biggest disappointment was this week. What do you think? I’m gonna make some coffee and move forward and hope the rest of the week gets better. After all it’s hump day.

Copyright © 2017 Marc Meltzer & EDGe Vegas