Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017 | 2 a.m.
Not all of the news surrounding the gaming industry in Las Vegas involves big deals like the sale of the Fontainebleau. In addition to the multimillion-dollar transactions, there have been many recent announcements from companies announcing new deals, unveiling new slots, and opening new sports books.
New sports books
The Cromwell wasn’t the only resort to open a new sports book recently. Other casinos are taking advantage of the increasing popularity of sports betting by renovating their existing books and adding new ones.
The Rampart Casino recently replaced the Irish bar in the plaza area just outside the casino floor with a new book.
In sports book lingo, the little booths occupied by players, often with their own video screens, are called carrels. The Rampart sports book has 126 seats for bettors as well as 55 private carrels. Of course, there’s a huge LED screen that can be split to show different events. The book also has 80 additional house televisions.
In early August, Wynn opened its remodeled sports book. It too boasts a high definition LED video wall along with VIP luxury lounge seating with custom sofas, 49 carrels and eight VIP carrels. All the seats at the book have monitors, individual lighting, USB plugs and electrical outlets. The Encore also opened a book recently, one much smaller and more intimate than the one in the Wynn.
Station Casinos recently remodeled the sports books at Texas Station, Fiesta Henderson, Barley’s and Fiesta Rancho. The changes include new LED TVs, electronic odds boards and sports information tickers. Boulder Station’s sports bar was also redone, with HD video screens and a live HD ticker with sports news.
Offering plush amenities is a smart move, given that sports betting may soon be legal across the U.S. if the dreams of gaming lobbyists come true.
On Tuesday, the American Gaming Association filed an amicus (friend of the court) brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Christie v. NCAA, supporting the legalization of sports betting across the country. So far there’s been no real action in the case. The court is just receiving briefs from interested parties like the AGA and hasn’t set a date for oral arguments.
The Level Up gaming lounge at the MGM Grand has added something it’s calling Las Vegas’ first free-roaming virtual reality arena. In the Virtual Reality Powered by Zero Latency, guests visit the land of Engineerium; fight zombies in Zombie Survival; or try to escape a robot-infested space station in Singularity.
Love the movie Anchorman? You can now worship at the altar of Burgundy by playing a slot machine developed by Scientific Games. The game:
• Is a five-reel, 25-line video slot game with a three-level near-area progressive.
• Features a big bonus filmstrip stop with Ron Burgundy and the fictional Channel 4 News team. If the filmstrip stops on a character, a bonus game starring that character is triggered.
• Has a bonus where symbols on the reels advance players up an award ladder to Ron's Giant Free Games, where the reels expand to 20 lines; the Sex Panther Pick, which features Brian Fantana; and Brick's Weather Wheels, which awards credits and the chance to advance to another level.
Even if you're not into celebrity slots or sports betting, and would rather be entertained by your smartphone, the gambling business has you covered.
Gamblit Gaming is attempting to tap into the mania for smartphone games by entering a partnership with ZeptoLab, the developers of the popular mobile phone game, Cut the Rope 2. Gamblit will reveal the gambling version of the game at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E in October).
Conventions and meetings
It seems like late summer, early autumn is convention season for the gaming industry.
G2E, one of the biggest conventions for the gambling business, is being held at the Sands Convention Center again this year Oct. 3-5.
The Casino Esport Conference is being held Thursday and Friday at the Westgate.
The National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) is holding its annual conference on Gambling and Addiction Oct. 1-2 in conjunction with G2E.
And the Cutting Edge Table Games Conference is being held Nov. 14-16 at Paris Las Vegas.