Nevada Gaming Commision Approves San Manuel Tribe’s Purchase of Palms Casino

Empathy Suite Instead the Palms Casino in Las Vegas

The San Manuel Gaming and Hospitality Authority announced on Friday that it has received approval from the Nevada Gaming Commission as licensees for the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.

Said SMGHA Chairwoman Latisha Casas in a statement:

“We are grateful for this opportunity to share our long-standing tradition of hospitality with Las Vegas and execute our vision for this iconic resort, starting by welcoming back former and current Palms employees. Together, we will create history.”

The approval came on Thursday, or two weeks after the Nevada Gaming Board recommended approval of the $650 million purchase from Red Rock Resorts. With a gaming license in place, the acquisition closed on Friday.

History Was Made

Indeed history was made with the Nevada Gaming Commission’s approval. Connecticut’s Mohegan Tribe currently operates the casino inside Virgin Hotels Las Vegas under a lease agreement. But the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians are the first Native American Tribe to both own and operate a casino resort in Las Vegas.

The Tribe is the owner of the Yaamava’ Resort & Casino in San Manuel, Highland, California. That casino is the former San Manuel Casino which started as a Bingo Hall way back in 1935. Incidentally, that new property launched on the same week that the Nevada Commission signed off on the Palms sale.

The Palms was one of the four properties of Red Rock Resort that remained closed following the state’s 78-day shutdown on gaming last year at the height of the pandemic. Last May, San Manuel announced that it would purchase the property from Station Casinos, the parent company of Red Rock Resorts, for $650M in cash.

Spring 2022 Reopening

With little capital improvement needed on the Palms Casino after its previous owner had spent roughly $1 billion to renovate an expand the off-Strip property, San Manuel representatives that they plan to reopen the casino in the spring of 2022.

In addition to the casino, the Palms has more than 700 hotel rooms and suites, multiple casual and upscale dining options, a meeting and convention space, a 2,500-seat theater, pool and spa, and the Palms Place condominium.

The reopening would require 1,000 new jobs ranging from casino, operations, hotel management, food and beverage, along with supervisory positions. According to the Tribe, the job applications process is already underway. Within days after the close of the deal, guests can start making reservations at Palms Place. Meanwhile, reservations for Palms Casino resort will be available in the early part of 2022.

Station Casino Gets Green Light From Clark Officials to Proceed With Durango Casino Project

Las Vegas Sign Background With Durango Station Proposal
Station Casino received approval from Clark County officials on Wednesday to proceed with its long-standing plan to build a casino resort in the southwest valley.

The initial plan is to build an 83,178 square foot casino with a 211-room hotel on South Durango Drive, just south of the 215 Beltway. The company says that the resort will focus on gaming as it has little competitions within 5 square miles from its location.

Said Bob Finch, CO of Station Casinos:

“For over forty-five years, we have been the go-to local casino and entertainment destination in neighborhoods across the valley, and we are excited to share our vision for the next generation of Station Casinos properties with residents in the southwest.”

Two Phase Construction

According to plans submitted to the county, the construction of the planned casino will have two phases. The fist one will have single 216-foot tall tower with water features, a parking building, four restaurants, beverage stops, a state of the art race and sportsbook, a 20,000 square foot convention space, a pool space with private cabanas, an event lawn. And electric vehicle charging stations.

Meanwhile, the second phase will see the construction of a second 215-foot tall tower with an additional 241 hotel rooms. The casino’s gambling floor would be increased to 92,911 square feet and the property will feature more banquet space, an entertainment theater, another parking structure, and more lobby space.

The company unveiled the first images of the planned resort on Wednesday. It said that the casino will be inspired by the warm colors and the vibrant landscapes of the desert and will offer locals and visitors a boutique gaming and resort experience.

Recession Prevented Initial Plans to Build a Casino

The 71-ace plot of desert has been owned by Station Casinos for over 20 years but the recession prevented th company’s initial plans to build a casino in 2009 and open in 2011. A site plan from 2008 showed two hotel towers, a casino, a movie theater, and several buildings. But the shovel never hit dirt.

Station Casinos said that it intends to release a cost estimate for the Durango casino project during its third-quarter earnings call with investors this fall. If plans don’t miscarry this time around, the Station Casino in Durango is expected break ground early next years and will open in late 2023.

Red Rock Resorts, the parent company of Station casinos, owns nine large casinos and 10 bar, restaurant, and sports betting properties. It Fiesta Henderson,Texas Station in Las Vegas and Fiesta Rancho in North Las Vegas closed during the pandemic and have not reopened to date.

Virgin Hotels Las Vegas Pushes Back its Opening Again

Las Vegas Image and a Roulette Wheel and Casino Chips
The planned opening of Virgin Hotels Las Vegas has been pushed back for a due to the pandemic.

This marks the second time that the anticipated opening of the off strip hotel and casino has been moved. Originally, the Las Vegas hotel was slated to open in autumn but was moved to January 15, 2021. But with the COVID-19 cases increasing again in Nevada, the owners of the property decided to push it back again.

During an interview last week, JC Hospitality Richard “Boz” Bosworth said:

“Due to the continuously evolving COVID-19 situation not only in Nevada but nationwide, we have made the decision to delay the Jan. 15, 2021 opening of Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. The construction for the project is on time and this decision was predicated on the current conditions in the market as it pertains to the pandemic. While the entire team at JC Hospitality is beyond excited to introduce the reimagined resort casino to locals and tourists alike, the safety and health of our guests, partners and team members continues to be our top priority. We encourage everyone to follow the guidelines put forth by public officials. At this time, an opening date has not been finalized, but an announcement is forthcoming.”

The Former Hard Rock Hotel

The New Virgin Hotels property is located at the previous Hard Rock Hotel site on Paradise Road. Bosworth acquired the resort in March 2018 together with Billionaire Richard Branson of the Virgin Group, and Juniper Capital Partners for $500M. Once it opens, it will feature a 60,000 square foot casino operated by Mohegan Gaming.

During its renovation, the new owners upgraded the 1,500 room hotel and refurbished 23 executive suites. Other amenities in the Las Vegas hotel include a 4,500-seat live music and entertainment theater, a five-acre pool complex with a promenade outdoor dining, and 12 food and beverage establishments.

Recent COVID-19 Surge in Nevada

In October, Las Vegas reported 1.9M in tourists which is just half of the 3.7M who visited Sin City in October 2019. The opening of Virgin Hotels property was expected to be among the movers that would start a rebound for the city’s struggling gaming and hospitality industry. Unfortunately, that will have to wait for now.

The recent surge of COVID-19 cases in Nevada could force Governor Steve Sisolak to enforce new health and safety measures. State officials reported 2,902 new cases last Friday with 23 deaths. Also, some Las Vegas casinos are closing during mid-week due to pandemic-linked conditions. Last month, Gov. Sisolak ordered a three-week maximum capacity of 25% for casinos, bars, and restaurants.

Plaza Casino Announces Plan to Renovate Greyhound Bus Terminal

Mixed Image of Roulette Wheel Cards and Cash
The Plaza Hotel & Casino in downtown Las Vegas announced on Wednesday its plan to redevelop a building that currently houses the Greyhound bus terminal on the Las Vegas casino.

The bus terminal will be vacated in the middle of 2021 and Plaza has started discussions with developers on possible projects to be constructed on the area. With 48,500 square feet and adjacent parking, the Las Vegas casino says that the building is a perfect location for new entertainment, dining, and retail outlets that will revitalize the downtown Las Vegas area.

In a statement, Plaza Hotel & Casino CEO Jonathan Jossel said:

“We are very excited to usher in this new era on Main Street. Main Street is where downtown started, and today, it remains the heart of downtown, connecting a thriving Arts District, a state-of-the-art city hall, popular destinations like the Plaza, Fremont Street Experience, our newest neighbor Circa, and much more. The Plaza is proud to have held the 1 Main Street address for nearly 50 years. With Greyhound relocating, we look forward to transforming the bus station into a new, dynamic downtown destination that will improve the ambiance and sense of community on Main Street. And with Symphony Park achieving its vision as a hub of residential, commercial, and cultural offerings, enhanced connectivity to it will bolster Main Street and downtown overall.”

Pedestrian Pathway

Aside from the renovation of the Greyhound bus station, Plaza Casino will also build a four block pedestrian pathway that will connect the Las Vegas casino with a new elevated bridge which will be constructed by the city over the Union Pacific railroad tracks to the new commercial and residential developments in Symphony Park.

The pathway will boast of a desert landscaping with lighting, and a decorative safety wall that hopes to create and enjoyable and relaxing pedestrian experience.

Revitalizing Downtown Las Vegas

The two projects exemplify the commitment of the Tamares Group in revitalizing downtown Las Vegas. For over ten years, Tamares chairman and CEO Poju Zabludowicz has pushed for the development of the company’s properties in downtown Las Vegas, including the 2015 sale of the Las Vegas Club which paved way for Circa, the first new resort constructed on Fremont street since 1980.

During the previous ten years, Tamares has undertaken several expansion and improvement projects at The Plaza. Most recently, the owners of the Las Vegas casino added a 100-plus premium Luxe room and suites at the Core Arena which is an outdoor equestrian and multipurpose facility on Main street.The improvements and development are expected to continue until next year when Plaza Casino celebrates its 50th year anniversary.

Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Implements New Security Protocols

Table with Poker Cards and Casino Chips, Welcome to Las Vegas Sign

In the wake of the recent incidents of violence at the Las Vegas Strip, the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is stepping up its security procedures.

Beginning last Friday, the Las Vegas casino implemented new several new security features for guests and employees. The heightened security measures will be applied every Fridays and Saturdays around the casino property.

Per statement from the Cosmopolitan:

“In a continued effort to ensure the safety and security of our guests and employees, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas has implemented increased security measures on Friday and Saturday evenings at all Las Vegas Boulevard entry and exit points. In partnership with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, these new procedures are effective immediately, beginning tonight from 6:00PM to 6:00AM and every Friday and Saturday thereafter for the foreseeable future.”

Designated Entrance and Exit Points

The highlight of the new rules is the establishment of designated entrance and exit points. Under the scheme, the Las Vegas Boulevard doors facing the East will be designated as entry points only. Meanwhile, the doors on Las Vegas Boulevard facing north are assigned as exit areas only. Guests who will enter here will be redirected to the doors near Starbucks.

Meanwhile, the Sky Bridge doors will allow both entry and exit of authorized persons. The heightened measures also restrict entrance to the resort with only hotel guests with reservation, F&B guests with reservation, casino guests, and Identity rewards members allowed inside the resort.

Safety Screening

Aside from the designated entrance and exit points, the policy also calls for safety screening upon entry. Each guest will be checked via metal detector with all bags, purses, and backpacks required to be searched too. Likewise, all open and oversized alcoholic drinks or glass products will not be allowed inside the Las Vegas casino. These will have to be consumed or disposed of before the guest’s entry.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department will assign officers at every entry point to observe and assists resort security personnel. According to officials of the Las Vegas casino and resort, these enhanced security procedures are being implemented to protect the health and safety of the property’s guests.

South Point Casino in LV Launches Drive-Thru Sports Betting Station

South Point Hotel and CasinoBeginning Wednesday, May 6, the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas will be launching the South Point Sports app for mobile betting.

New users will be able to sign up for the app through a drive-up station located at the valet entrance, where they will be able to deposit money and wager on upcoming sports events.

Brand new customers must sign up for the app in person, and existing customers must also have to make their deposits in person as well. The South Point valet entrance will be open for new and existing customers seven days a week, from 11 a.m. through 6 p.m, beginning May 6.

The South Point’s new drive-up system complies with the CDC’s social distancing guidelines, and is a convenient option for sports bettors to place their bets “quarantine-style.”

The new system was launched ahead of sport’s likely return this month, and ahead of what looks like another few weeks before casinos are finally able to reopen nationwide.

Customers who are signing up for the app must be 21 or older with a valid photo ID. Users can download the app through Apple, Google Play Store, or through

What Sports Can Users Bet on Through the App Right Now?

Right now, users can start placing their bets on new UFC and NASCAR events that are scheduled to roll out this month.

Currently, UFC and NASCAR are the first U.S. sports organizations to return to the scene amid the pandemic.

On May 9, UFC 249: Ferguson vs. Gaethje will jumpstart UFC’s return with a revamped fight card for the interim lightweight title. The winner of the fight is expected to square off against Khabib Nurmagomedov this fall.

Beginning May 17, NASCAR announced they will be resuming operations with seven races in the books.

The races will be held at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina, and three races will be held over the course of four days in Darlington before moving the races to the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina on May 24, where four races will be held over four days.

Both the UFC and NASCAR events will be held without fans present, and include only necessary personnel. They will also include the follow coronavirus safety precautions:

  • Required use of personal protective equipment throughout the event.
  • Health screenings conducted on all individuals prior to entering the facility, while inside the facility, and upon exiting the facility.
  • Social distancing measured implemented throughout the event.
  • Strict limits on the number of individuals that are given access to each facility.

Stay Tuned

Casinos seem to be on the horizon of reopening within the next few months, with some operators hopeful that they’ll reopen by June 1 at the latest.

We’re happy to see that South Point is preparing to get back to business as usual on the sports betting front, and love that they’ve introduced a handy new system that bettors can use amid the outbreak.

Will you be signing up for the new South Point Sports app? And will you be placing any bets on the upcoming UFC:249 fight or NASCAR races this May?

Let us know in the comments below!

Boyd Gaming CEO Believes Local Casinos Could Help Las Vegas Rebound

Main Street Station Casino in Las VegasWith the pandemic still afloat, many people will have to think twice before indulging in many of the same luxuries and entertainment options they were used to doing before coronavirus hit, at least for a while.

With that kind of thinking in mind, Keith Smith, president, and CEO of Boyd Gaming believes that the local market will be the driving force behind Las Vegas’ economic recovery.

And where do many of the locals go to play? Off-Strip properties that typically don’t see as many tourist visitors.

Boyd Gaming owns 10 of those properties across the Las Vegas valley: Aliante, The Orleans, Gold Coast, Suncoast, Sam’s Town, Cannery, Eastside Cannery, California Hotel, Fremont, and Main Street Station Casino. The company owns another 19 casinos throughout the U.S.

History Shows Strip Isn’t Where Rebound Will Likely Happen

According to Smith, the recession period between 2008-2009 served as a reminder of what a season of recovery looks like in Vegas, after it’s been impacted by a heavy financial downturn. While he’s not sure if there’s a direct correlation there, it’s worth considering.

During that timeframe, Smith said that many eyes looked to the Strip as the fuel for rebounding the locals market, but “it never really did.”

Smith said many hoped for the Strip’s health to funnel down into the locals market, but that it took years before that was even able to happen.

The odds of the Strip returning to the levels it was used to at the top of the year before the outbreak took place, will depend on a lot of factors that are being affected deeply right now.

Those factors include the confidence of tourists to travel to Las Vegas, the confidence of people in general in being around large crowds, and the effectiveness of coronavirus protocols that casinos are planning to enact.

Retirees Fuel Locals Market

Retirees make up a huge chunk of Vegas’ locals market.

Smith says a large percentage of Boyd’s gaming is from retirees who live in Las Vegas. And he believes that percentage will remain unchanged or possibly even grow once properties begin opening back up.

Local retirees didn’t have a job when the coronavirus pandemic hit, and they still won’t have a job when things reopen. Their income has generally been unaffected by the outbreak and remains, for the most part, fixed.

In fact, many experts believe that older-Americans are still among the fastest-growing segment of avid gamblers.

Locals Market Poses to be Most Healthy for Reopening

Smith brought up an interesting statistic: A fifth of Las Vegas visitation is made up of international visitors.

However, Boyd’s properties don’t get much international visitation at all. That, in the case of a post-coronavirus-closure world, is a good thing in rebuilding up the locals market.

This is especially true since many are expected to be wary of air travel, even when most of the dust settles on COVID-19.

The locals market doesn’t rely on international visitation, and being a part of a market where most of its patrons don’t have to travel far to get there, it looks like a promising start to the road to recovery.

Many locals who have been feeling cooped up with the state’s stay-at-home order are looking for an escape, and Smith believes his properties will be a part of that escape, especially will all the pent-up demand to leave the house.

Locals won’t have to do much but get in their cars and drive down to the nearest Boyd Gaming property. It’s a win-win market and one that will likely be necessary to help refuel Vegas’ economy.

Plans for Reopening

Boyd Gaming, like many other casino operators in Las Vegas and nationwide, is looking forward to the day when they can reopen their properties. That time is hopefully coming soon.

Smith says that Boyd Gaming will be adhering to strict reopening safety protocols that “will meet or exceed the requirements set forth by health officials” when governing authorities deem it’s the right time to resume business.

“We’re having good, constructive dialogues with state leadership in each of the 10 states where we operate. None have talked about opening casinos in the next two weeks, but they’re all talking about the opening of casinos at some point in the future, which is a good sign that we’re in the conversation,” Smith added.

Smith, whose properties span across the U.S., believes that each state will reopen at their own pace, but hopes their properties will all reopen by early June.

Stay Tuned

Counting on a healthy locals market to re-boost the Las Vegas economy seems like a safe bet for sure. It seems like the market will be necessary to help Las Vegas rebound more quickly.

Do you think the locals market will see more business than the Las Vegas Strip once casinos reopen?

We’d love to hear your thoughts. Share your insight with us in the comments below!

Las Vegas Strip Hotels Unlikely Option for Coronavirus Surge Patients

Aerial View of Las Vegas StripWith coronavirus spreading like wildfire across the nation, it puts a very important, and rather immediate, “worst-case scenario” in mind: Where will all of the surge coronavirus patients be placed once hospitals and healthcare facilities become flooded?

It looks like public health officials are being forced to prepare quickly for this worst-case scenario, with some hospitals already being overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients. It means that options for where overflow surge patients could go must be considered, and considered quickly.

A place that has a ton of now-empty casino-hotels available due to the nationwide closure of casinos might be the obvious solution that pops into your head right away. Namely: Las Vegas.

But while it seems to make sense at first thought, there are a lot of reasons that would make Las Vegas Strip hotels an overflow option for COVID-19 patients an unlikely bet.

The USA TODAY NETWORK contacted some of the Strip’s casino-hotel giants and hospitality experts to get their insight into why this type of request wouldn’t work. Let’s dig a little deeper to see what challenging issues that particular scenario might bring up.

Not Enough Staff Available For Medical Manpower Needed

The space on the Las Vegas Strip is far from the issue. In fact, there are currently over 65,000 rooms that are going unused by the day due to the casino closures that is set to last April 30.

But more space doesn’t mean there is an equivalent of trained staff on hand that could provide the type of specific support and care needed.

“Beyond a skeleton security team and a few specialists required by gaming regulations, we do not have staff on-site who could provide the services and support necessary to make this a viable option,” said Caesars Entertainment spokesman Richard Broome.

The Request Has Yet To Be Made

According to National Resort Association President, Virginia Valentine, the industry has responded to “multiple community requests,” but when it comes to question of whether or not they’d be able to secure beds for COVID-19 overflow patients, they have “not been approached on this matter.”

Broome, spokesman for Caesars, says, “We have not been asked.”

MGM Resorts International has yet to respond to inquiries of whether or not government officials made the request for beds or not. Las Vegas Sands also declined to comment.

Wynn Resorts, on the other hand, says that their company has been in consistent contact with the state’s COVID-19 Response, Relief and Recovery Task Force, according to company spokesperson Michael Weaver.

Weaver, however, did not say whether they’ve been asked about offering up hotel beds.

According to SNHD spokeswoman Jennifer Sizemore, she said that “The Health District did not reach out to resorts on the Strip.”

The main role that resorts have been playing during this pandemic is donating medical supplies, such as Las Vegas Sands’ generous donation of two million pieces of personal protective equipment to Nevada and New York, and helping out local communities in terms of providing food to local food banks and helping support casino staff with financial aid, like MGM Resorts is doing.

‘Adapting Wouldn’t Be Easy’

With casinos being forced to shutter their doors, it’s caused many of them to shave down their staff with furloughs and layoffs done to combat the economic downfall caused by the closures.

Reduced staff levels would make the transition of turning Strip hotels into a makeshift hospital-type space for COVID-19 patients a difficult task, according to Nevada Resort Association President Virginia Valentine.

“Given the immense size and scale of resort properties and the many factors that go into their operations, it would be difficult to adapt resort hotel rooms with limited operational levels,” she said in an email.

Mehmet Erdem, associate professor at UNLV’s Hospitality College, echoed Valentine’s reasoning. Erdem says that the challenges of turning these megaresorts into surge centers goes beyond just operational hurdles.

“Let’s say you did sanitize, many surfaces may have the virus,” says Erdem. “Who wants to take the liability of putting someone in a hotel room and they get infected from the previous patients?”

The Risk of Contagion Brings Up Liability Issues

As pointed out by Erdem, the risk of bringing in overflow COVID-19 patients brings up the issue of staff, especially those who are untrained to medically handle patients of that nature, catching the virus and it spreading.

The casinos wouldn’t be sure how liability in that sense would fall on them, or if they’re even equipped to handle it.

Some Resorts Are Opening Up Their Doors For Frontline Workers

While the questions of using resorts to house overflow COVID-19 patients seems out of the questions, many hotel properties are gladly opening up their doors for the country’s frontline workers, including first responders and medical personnel.

Timeshare company Diamond Resorts recently announced that its properties worldwide are offering complimentary suites to first responders.

A new program “Hospitality for Hope” which is designed to set up healthcare and emergency workers with hotel properties for safe housing amid the coronavirus pandemic recently had over 15,000 hotels sign up to participate.

Properties are offering up their hotel rooms to serve as a space for those frontline workers who are afraid of going home and possibly contaminating their families with the virus, should they have it.

Stay Tuned

While the possibility of utilizing Strip hotels as overflow locations seems out of the questions, it may be too premature to say whether or not that need will arise with the virus continuing to spread.

We can only hope that for states like New York and Colorado, who have overwhelmed hospitals and healthcare facilities, that they will be able to find the proper space to house COVID-19 patients where they can get the care they need.

We will continue to monitor the coronavirus crisis in Nevada and keep you updated with any new movements in the situation. Stay home and stay safe, Nevada.

Las Vegas Skyline Continues to Evolve in 2020

Las Vegas Strip Aerial View There are several mega projects expected to hit completion in 2020, and those projects will permanently change the Las Vegas skyline.

From the 35-floor Circa Resort & Casino downtown, Allegiant Stadium, and the MGM Sphere, the Las Vegas skyline is getting a major facelift and a profitable one at that.

According to the research firm, Applied Analysis, over $23.6 billion has been invested in major projects across Southern Nevada. The projects have helped the construction industry in creating a ton of more jobs in Nevada, but they’re also expected to boost tourism massively.

Jeremy Aguero, a principal analyst for Applied Analysis, says a stadium like Las Vegas new allegiant stadium is versatile enough to draw the sports crowd or entertainment crowd:

“Think about it in terms of Allegiant Stadium. People want to see a game, or see Garth Brooks play in the stadium. That’s going to drive visitation.”

David Schwartz, gaming historian and professor at UNLV, also echoes the sentiment by saying these latest construction projects will be “really transformative” for the city. He absolutely believes the latest additions to the Strip will keep Las Vegas “current” and “new.”

Let’s take a look at the biggest, most exciting construction projects that will shake up the Las Vegas Strip, liven up its skyline, and drive more tourists to the city that never sleeps.


Downtown’s most anticipated new casino/resort, Circa Las Vegas, stands 44 stories tall (almost 500 feet high), making it the largest building in downtown Las Vegas.

Exciting features include a state-of-the-art temperature-controlled pool for year-round use and a massive 134 by 41-foot video screen that will entertain pool guests. It also promises to have the largest sportsbook in Las Vegas, which will be multi-level and is designed stadium style.

Its 9-story parking garage will be convenient for guests wanting to get to downtown. Vegas’ lucky number 777 is also strung throughout the property, with 777 rooms that span across the 1.25 million-square-foot property.

The Circa is set to be completed near the end of the year.

Allegiant Stadium

The Las Vegas Raiders have a new world-class stadium to call home, Allegiant Stadium. The $1.9 billion domed-stadium features 65,000 seats, has a retractable natural turf field, and premium spaces throughout different levels of the stadium. In total, it occupies 1.75 million square feet.

Its sleek silver and black exterior, in honor of the Raiders signature colors, features a clear ETFE dome roof. The state-of-the-art stadium will utilize retractable windows on one end that will give fans a stunning view of the Las Vegas Strip.

MGM Sphere

Madison Square Garden and Las Vegas Sands billion-dollar joint venture, the MGM Sphere, will kiss the sky at 366 feet high and 516 feet wide. The 17,500-seat entertainment venue features a unique dome-shaped design and will sit adjacent to the Venetian.

It’s being touted as the world’s most “advanced venue” with its groundbreaking design. Once completed, the sphere’s exterior will be able to display customized visuals and will be a sight to see on the Las Vegas Strip.

The project is set to be completed next year.

Resorts World Las Vegas

The $4.3 billion Resorts World Las Vegas will be the most expensive hotel-resort to touch the Las Vegas Strip. Featuring a massive 110,000 square-foot casino floor, and two hotel towers that offer 3,500 rooms combined, it will be an easily recognizable property on the Strip.

The nongaming areas include seven stunning pools, as well as a 75,000-square-foot day and nightclub.

In an attempt to draw in pedestrians wandering the Strip, the property will feature a 50-foot diameter video globe that will showcase 6,000 square feet of customized LED digital content.

It’s set to open summer 2021.

Las Vegas Convention Center

The Las Vegas Convention center has recently undergone a 1.4 million square foot expansion. On top of the expansion, it’s also receiving a complete upgrade renovation and modernization of its existing 3.2 million square feet.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) was tasked with reinventing the space as a state-of-the-art facility featuring the latest in technology.

Notable additions includes a new leasable exhibit space, outdoor plaza, and a grand atrium. It’s excepted to attract 600,000 new visitors annually.

The scheduled date of completion is December 2020, just in time for next January’s CES.

Google Data Center

Henderson will soon be seen as having more of a tech presence, with the oncoming Google Data Center set to finish this year.

The $600 million, 64-acre data center is a first for Nevada. According to officials, the center is being used to serve mostly North American customers, with an emphasis on providing support for applications like YouTube and Google Maps.

According to president Jacquelline Fuller, the facility will feature some of the most “complex technology in the world, including artificial intelligence.”

What major development are you most excited to see sprucing up the Las Vegas skyline in 2020?

Japan Begins to Study the Las Vegas Casino Model

In 2018, lawmakers in Japan officially approved a bill that legalizes casino gambling. It was a huge moment for the country, which had previously banned almost all forms of gambling. Officials here are still working to create a plan for the three casino-resorts to begin operating. Recently, Japan has begun to study the Las Vegas casino model for support.Famous Las Vegas Sign

Las Vegas is still considered the gold standard for the US casino industry. Here, most of the country’s top gambling venues are located. Let’s take a look at what Japan hopes to learn from this city.

Lawmakers in Japan Continue to Debate Over Regulations

For a time, it seemed as if Japan would never open up its casino industry. For decades, nearly all forms of gambling have been strictly prohibited in this country. Only mahjong, a tile-based skill game, allows individuals here to wager money.

It seems that the country’s lawmakers finally realized how much money they were missing out on. Nearby Macau is considered the biggest gambling hub in the world. Even the Philippines now operates a massively successful casino industry.

In July of 2018, Japan officially decided to legalize casino gambling. Under the current plan, three casino-resorts will be allowed to open in the country. Before this can happen, though, lawmakers are coming up with a set of regulations.

Government officials here want to ensure that rates of gambling addiction and crime do not increase once casinos are introduced. Today, a huge number of countries in Europe are dealing with rises in problem gambling. Several regulations have been introduced in Japan to avoid this, yet lawmakers are still debating exactly what should be allowed and what should not.

The first gambling venue will not begin operating in Japan for at least a couple more years. In the meantime, officials will be working to come up with an exact plan for the casino-resorts to get up and running.

Japan Looks at the Las Vegas Casino Model For Support

There is no better city to look for regulation over a casino market than Las Vegas. As we already mentioned, many of the world’s biggest and best casino-resorts are located here. Officials in the city have decades of experience monitoring and taxing casino-resorts.

Recently, several officials in the Japanese casino industry have begun asking for help from Las Vegas gaming regulators. Not long ago, these officials invited Becky Harris to speak on effective casino regulation. Harris recently spoke with the Las Vegas Review-Journal about her experience in the country.

“Japan is still working on creating their regulatory environment, so there’s a lot of speculation as to what that could look like,” Harris said. “One of the models that Japan is looking at is Nevada, so there were some questions about the way that Nevada regulations work.”

Macquarie analyst Chad Beynon claims that Japan is looking to implement similar measures that Las Vegas currently has. Not everything will be applicable in Japan, yet the Las Vegas casino model should provide a solid regulatory outline.

Analysts Continue to Expect a Bright Future For Japan’s Casino Industry

Almost immediately after the news broke of Japan’s legalization of casino gambling, analysts began predicting how profitable the market would become. New reports indicate that it will grow to become the third-largest casino market in the world. Some even claim it will generate $25 billion annually.

Unsurprisingly, a huge number of major US casino operators are attempting to break into this market. MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts, and Las Vegas Sands have all expressed a desire to break into Japan.

Interestingly, Caesars Entertainment claims that it’s no longer interested in entering Japan. The company is set to merge with Eldorado Resorts. It seems highly unlikely that a move into Japan is even possible for Caesars right now.

Officials are still waiting to choose which three companies will be granted a casino license here. Based on what’s being said, both MGM Resorts International and Las Vegas Sands seem the most likely.

We’ll need to wait and see how much the Las Vegas casino model influences Japan. Make sure to stay tuned for more updates over the next few weeks!