Here’s an Update on the Seminole Tribe’s New Casino Rules

Florida’s casino industry has been up and running for more than a month. Unfortunately, the state is experiencing a major rise in Covid-19 cases and officials are trying to find new ways to protect public health. Today, we’re going to take a look at the Seminole tribe’s new casino rules.Seminole Tribe of Florida

The Seminole Tribe currently operates several major casino-resorts in the state of Florida. All of the tribe’s casinos are now implementing new safety measures. Hopefully, these new regulations help to protect the casino visitors.

Florida Continues to Struggle With Surge Of Covid-19 Cases

We’re about to enter the month of August, and cases of Covid-19 continue to increase around the country. State leaders are trying to find the best way to reopen their economies while keeping new infections down. This is proving to be extremely difficult.

For months, New York was the worst-affected state in the country from the new coronavirus. That is no longer the case. Florida seems to be the new epicenter, with a huge number of new infections recorded here every single day.

Governor Ron DeSantis has faced criticism for opening Florida’s economy too quickly. Some believe it’s time for him to begin implementing more regulations. Others feel that doing so would be devastating to the state economy.

Many of the casinos in Florida have the power to set their own regulations. The Seminole Tribe controls many Native American casinos in the state and first began opening them up in early June. Due to the continuing rise in coronavirus cases, this tribe is now focusing more on improving safety measures.

Casinos around the United States are struggling. Revenue from this industry has been dropping considerably over the past few months. There are worries that the Seminole tribe’s new casino regulations will result in an even bigger drop in revenue. As of now, however, there seem to be no other options on the table.

Here’s a Quick Look at the Seminole Tribe’s New Casino Rules

Over the past decade, the Seminole tribe has created a major gambling hub in Florida. This tribe acquired most of Hard Rock International in 2006 and has been working to expand ever since. It now operates six casinos in the state, including a massive new guitar-shaped hotel-casino in Hollywood, Florida.

Up until recently, this tribe’s casino business was very successful. Jim Allen, CEO of Hard Rock International, continued pushing to open new casinos around the country. Now, this company is focused almost entirely on increasing safety measures.

Allen recently released a new press release that details some of the Seminole tribe’s new casino rules.

“Seminole Gaming is committed to the health and safety of its guests and team members, and we are upgrading our comprehensive ‘Safe + Sound’ program to further limit the threat from COVID-19,” he said. “We are making sure our resorts and casinos are safe and sound so our guests and team members have peace of mind when they return.”

Moving forward, guests inside these casinos must all wear masks. They must also stay in one place when removing their masks to eat, drink, or smoke. Temperature checks and more reduced capacity measures are also being set in place.

Many are pleased to see these new regulations set in place. Some still feel that casinos should be shut down entirely, though. That seems highly unlikely to happen anytime soon.

Florida isn’t the only state that is ramping up its public health safety measures.

Las Vegas Casinos Continue to Implement More Safety Measures

It’s clear that Florida has some trouble ahead. Rates of Covid-19 continue to increase here and it’s unclear when this trend will slow down. In reality, though, many states around the country are seeing their infection rates increase rapidly.

Las Vegas remains the gambling hub of the United States. Obviously, casino companies here are working hard to make things safe for guests. That’s proving extremely difficult. We’ve seen cases increase steadily here since casinos have reopened.

The casinos here continue adding more safety measures. Recently, several major casino companies announced they’re looking to add more self-service options inside their venues. Limiting human-to-human contact is now a priority. This is likely to bring about more casino employee layoffs.

Revenue reports for some of the largest casino companies have just been released. Things are just as bad as most figured that would be. During 2020’s second quarter, for example, Las Vegas Sands saw its revenue drop by an incredible 97%.

No one can say how the US casino industry will look by the end of 2020. More gaming companies are now focused on their online operations. Even with the Seminole tribe’s new casino rules, Florida’s gambling revenue is likely to remain low for at least the next six months.

Do you plan on visiting any Florida casinos this year? Let us know in the comments section below!

Atlantic City Mayor Wants Former Trump Casino Demolished: Says It’s An ‘Eyesore’

Trump Plaza Hotel and Signage, People Walking By HotelDuring a meeting of the Metropolitan Business & Citizens Association, held at Caesars Atlantic City on Jan. 15, Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small said in a speech that one of his biggest and most important goals for the 2020 year is demolishing the Plaza Hotel. This was a former Trump property.

“My administration’s goal is to tear Trump Plaza down,” Small said. “That’s not accepted in any other city but Atlantic City. It’s an embarrassment, it’s blight on our skyline, and that’s the biggest eyesore in town.”

Mayor Small’s comments came on the heels of Jim Allen’s, Hard Rock International’s CEO, expressed disappointment in the state of the city. Allen confidently asserted that the city is in its “worse shape” since purchasing the Hard Rock property there three years ago. He states the city hasn’t responded swiftly or appropriately enough to growing concerns of the city’s worsening condition, for example, broken streetlights that have remained out for months:

 “When you’re in a resort environment where safety and security is so important, if the city can’t get something fixed as simple as the street lighting, then maybe a change is needed,” Allen said.

Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino was forced to shut its doors in 2014, as the Garden State’s gambling epicenter was hit with an extended bout of weaker traffic. Smalls was tired of the building being seen as nothing more than illegally-discarded trash. Once again, he started asking for the property to be demolished.

He wants his back yard cleaned up and rid of the dead weight, and he wants it now.

Trump Cuts Ties With AC Over a Decade Ago

Trump actually cut most of his ties with Atlantic City in 2009. This was when he sued to have his name removed from the shuttered Plaza building in October 2014, a month after it closed. The last of Trump’s involvement in the city was a small stake in the company. It was in return for the use of his name, but it has since been removed.

There are two other casinos that Trump once owned. Today, they’re currently operating under new brands—the Golden Nugget and Hard Rock. The Golden Nugget used to be the Trump Marina, and the Hard Rock was the former Trump Taj Mahal.

Currently, the Plaza building is owned by billionaire Carl Icahn, who assumed ownership of Trump’s former casino company from bankruptcy in 2016.

Obtaining a Demolition Permit

While the major goal of his administration is to make the building go away is clear, Small didn’t exactly specify who would bear the expense.

Trump Plaza was considered for demolition two years ago, but Icahn has not obtained a demolition permit, as reported by The Press of Atlantic City. Mayor Small’s effort to obtain funding from a state agency toward the cost of demolition failed, but he is putting enforcement in place this time around in an effort to help see his demolition goal succeed in the new year.

Small explained that a new 90-day code enforcement review panel is going to be put in place starting this week, according to The Press Of Atlantic City. Also coming are a business advisory council and infrastructure committee that are designed to help identify opportunities in both of those potential growth areas.

Hard Rock International Could Soon Break Into Las Vegas

Hard Rock International is one of the biggest and most successful hotel-casino companies in the country. Interestingly, it hasn’t ever managed to run a major venue in Las Vegas. This week, the Chairman of Hard Rock International told the media he’s interested in purchasing a LV Strip property.

Jim Allen Hard Rock CEO

Today, we’re going to look at the details of the recent Hard Rock Las Vegas property sale. We’ll also talk about how soon Hard Rock International could break into Sin City. Let’s get into it!

Hard Rock Las Vegas Property Sold to Virgin Hotels

Back in the early 90s, owners of the Hard Rock Cafe revealed that they were planning to construct a new hotel-casino in Las Vegas. In 1995, this venue officially opened its doors in Paradise, not far from the Las Vegas Strip. It proved to be a success, drawing in both tourists and locals to the casino floor.

Florida’s Seminole Tribe purchased Hard Rock International in 2007 for nearly $1 billion. This new deal excluded rights to operate the Las Vegas property.

In 2006, Morgans Hotel Group agreed to purchase this hotel-casino. As part of the deal, MHG agreed to keep using the Hard Rock name. Over the next five years, ownership of this venue switched several times.

Unfortunately, the casino’s revenue began falling. Since 2008, it struggled to bring in guests and casino players, leading many to call for its sale. In March of 2019, this sale was officially finalized.

Owners announced that they’d sold their Las Vegas property to Virgin Hotels. The Richard Branson-run Virgin Hotels is breaking into the Vegas market for the first time. The company has officially closed this hotel with an opening date scheduled for late 2020.

At first, it looked as if the Hard Rock brand was permanently leaving the Las Vegas market. This does not appear to be the case anymore.

Chairman of Hard Rock International Wants a Las Vegas Property

For fans of the Hard Rock brand, it was a shame to see the Las Vegas property go up for sale.

Jim Allen, chairman of Hard Rock International, recently told the media that he’s interested in opening a hotel-casino here. According to new reports, Allen has been planning a Las Vegas property purchase for months.

Allen claims that the Las Vegas Strip is “certainly” one of the possibilities for a new hotel-casino. He also told the media that Vegas would be “a great opportunity for our brand.”

As of now, it appears that Allen is interested in purchasing Planet Hollywood, or Bally’s. Both of these venues are located in prime locations on the Strip.

Brendan Bussman, a partner at Global Market Advisors, believes that purchasing a Strip property will not be easy.

“There will probably be multiple properties interested,” Bussmann said. “There’s only a few good parcels on the Strip you can do something with.”

The Timing for a Strip Purchase Might be Perfect

This might be the most ideal time for Hard Rock International to make the move into Las Vegas. Several major casino companies here are interested in selling their Strip properties. MGM Resorts, for example, just sold its Circus Circus and Bellagio properties last week!

Eldorado Resorts is another company that’s looking to sell a major hotel-casino. The company is set to acquire Caesars Entertainment soon and wants to get rid of a Strip venue to help make up for the $17.3 billion that it cost to purchase the company.

The purchase of a Las Vegas Strip property may also help Hard Rock’s chances of breaking into the Japanese market. Hard Rock International is making it clear that they’re interested in opening one of the three casino-resorts in Japan.

Las Vegas remains the gold standard for casino companies. Owning a property on the Strip here would be huge for the company’s portfolio. Lawmakers in Japan are currently deciding which US casino companies to grant a gambling license.

We may see Hard Rock return to Las Vegas very soon. Make sure to stay tuned for more news on the situation over the next few weeks!