Saturday, June 13, 2015

Jim Murren Nevada Public Radio Interview Highlights

MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren was on Nevada Public Radio.

The interview started off talking about politics, and the retirement of Harry Reid.

Murren then talked about online gaming, which is something that MGM is looking to get into, although he said it's not something the company is dependent on. He also said he's a "big fan" of skill based gaming, which will help attract millennials and Gen X-er's.

In the future of Las Vegas Murren thinks resorts will become "more porous" allowing guests to flow from resort to resort instead of trapping them in a single resort. He stressed the importance of non-gaming which makes up 70% of the company's revenue.

Talking about MGM National Harbor, Murren said the resort will fit right in with the DC landscape, and uses some of the same architectural elements found in many of the monuments around the District.

Murren also addressed the hypocrisy of major sports leagues by allowing fantasy sports while trying to ban other sports gaming.

MGM's new arena is almost complete, and MGM is spending $100 million on the park surrounding the arena and New York New York (complete with a Shake Shack). Murren is optimistic about attracting a hockey team to Las Vegas "no later than the 2017 season."

As far as a possible merger between WYNN and MGM - Murren dismissed it as "total speculation."

MGM's power bill is $86 million a year, which is leading them to explore cutting ties with NV Energy in an effort to save money.

Despite North Strip struggles Murren is "very optimistic about the growth of Circus Circus." Monte Carlo is also ripe for growth, with MGM expecting to invest a large amount of money to re-position the property. He mentioned The Cromwell as an example of a successful re-branding.

Finally talking about Macau, Murren said he thinks the market is stabilizing, and expects the numbers to be back up in 2016.

Listen to the entire interview at Nevada Public Radio.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Atlantic City - Existing Properties Stabilizing

May 2015 brought mixed results for Atlantic City.

The good news is revenue at existing casinos was up 5.3%.

The bad news is the total market (including closed properties) was down 9%.

Those numbers include internet gaming, which was up 19% over May 2014.

Existing Atlantic City properties seem to be stabilizing with decreased local competition. Regional competition however continues to be fierce, and won't let up anytime soon. Massachusetts, New York, and Maryland (National Harbor) all have new projects on the horizon that have the potential to eat into AC's revenue numbers. Internet might be a saving grace for New Jersey, but it's only a matter of time before the other states catch up in that arena.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

NFL Bans Poker

Yesterday I wrote about the NFL banning a fantasy football convention, because it was going to take place on a casino property.

Today there's news of the NFL further cracking down on gaming, by banning three Miami Dolphins players from playing in a $94 buy in poker tournament in Florida.

This just further shows the hypocrisy of the NFL when it comes to gaming. They are ok with fantasy football, the Saints holding training camp at The Greenbrier, and MGM having an advertising deal with the Detroit Lions. Players having a convention in Las Vegas or playing in a poker tournament is a problem though.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

NFL bans Las Vegas Convention

A fantasy football convention organized by Tony Romo and set to take place at the Sands Expo Center at The Venetian has been cancelled. The NFL took issue with the convention taking place at a property with a casino.

Lately there has been a lot of discussion about the possible expansion of sports gaming. New Jersey is trying to legalize it. The National Hockey League and College sports are looking more and more into holding events in Las Vegas. And daily fantasy sports websites are all the rage.

The NFL is still staunchly against Las Vegas though, and that probably won't change anytime soon. The NFL will likely fight against New Jersey as well, so I wouldn't plan on betting on football in the Garden State anytime soon.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Las Vegas Not A Top International Travel Destination?

I came across this Yahoo! article London is 2015's Top Tourist Destination which lists the results of MasterCard’s 2015 Global Destination Cities Index.

I was somewhat surprised not to see Las Vegas anywhere on this list.

I'm guessing either:

Las Vegas isn't large enough to qualify as a major city.


This list only measures international travelers, and Las Vegas caters to mostly domestic visitors.


This is a MasterCard study and Las Vegas is a cash heavy town.

Also notably missing from the list is Orlando, which while undoubtedly a huge tourist destination probably suffers from the same shortcomings as Las Vegas when it comes to the criteria of this study.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Resorts World June 2015 update

Vegas Inc had an interview with Paul Steelman of Resorts World Las Vegas.

Resorts World seems to be bringing back the themed resort, focusing on attractions that will appeal to a wide range of people. This is in contrast with the non-themed resorts that have opened on the Strip recently like Aria, Cosmopolitan, SLS, and The Cromwell.

Despite the focus on attractions - two of the previously heralded attractions - a live panda habitat and a water park - have been pushed to "phase two" of the project. One attraction that looks pretty cool is a sphere that goes up and down the side of the building.