Welcome to Episode 5!
Glad to have you here for Episode 5 of the Ultimate Casino Updates Podcast! From here on out, podcasts will be released bi-weekly on Fridays. As my listener base increases, I’ll consider increasing my uploads to weekly. Also from here on out, I’m going to provide a transcript here on the blog to assist the hearing impaired and those who prefer written content. Thank you for listening!
Hi, this is Heather Anne, and welcome to my podcast on casino travel news! On this show, I’ll give you all the latest updates on what’s happening in the world of casino gaming. I’ll also chime in with commentary and opinion from time to time. If you enjoy the podcast, please remember to subscribe and share! As you probably noticed, I have had to change the release day for podcasts from Wednesdays to Fridays, bi-weekly. As my listener base increases, I hope to begin podcasting weekly.
First, In the United States, In Nevada, the Las Vegas Sun is reporting that Planet Hollywood will reopen on October 8. The reopening will include many dining venues and the spa in addition to the gaming floor. Planet Hollywood has been closed since March due to coronavirus.
Meanwhile, the Las Vegas Sun is also reporting that Caesar’s Entertainment has completed their purchase of William Hill Bookmaker for 3.7 billion dollars. Caesar’s will be retaining William Hill’s United States assets and selling foreign assets.
The Las Vegas Sun reports that reports from the Nevada Gaming Control Board show a decrease gaming business of 22% in August compared to August of last year. While most casinos in Las Vegas are now open or opening in the immediate future, convention business, entertainment offerings, and flights into the city are still greatly impacted by the coronavirus.
Meanwhile in Atlantic City, The Press of Atlantic City is reporting that even though nine casinos in the city have reopened, many of their staff are still on furlough. The total of employed people was 22,352, down by 6,233 from the same time last year. That adds up to a 21% decrease. Unsurprisingly, state restrictions and lowered demand due to coronavirus are cited as the cause. Alternative job positions on the property have been offered to some employees who are not yet needed to return to work in their previous positions.
The Press of Atlantic City also posted an article informing that although most table games are back in action in the city, poker is still on hold, unlike some other locations that have re-opened poker with strict protocols. The Press quotes Steve Callender, regional president of Caesar’s Entertainment, as saying “Poker is tough… it’s a challenge. I wouldn’t venture to say when we’re going to see poker come back.” He cites two issues stalling the return of poker: the low profitability compared to other casino offerings, and the need for complex measures to control spread of the virus in this context. But poker does serve a marketing purpose and draw people to the casino, so it’s eventual return is, thankfully, inevitable.
World Casino News is reporting that Bookmaker Five Dimes has settled with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Five Dimes agreed to forfeit about 46 million dollars in controversial assets, and will not be required to disclose customer information. Now for my opinion – legal sports betting across the United States is long overdue. People are already going to do it, so why not regulate it? There’s no harm in allowing people to enjoy the entertainment of sports betting. There IS potential harm in not allowing it, forcing people underground to deal with potentially unscrupulous sources. I don’t believe the government has any business telling people they can’t bet on sports, and it should be legalized nationwide immediately.
Now for some news from Canada. CBC is reporting that Caesar’s Windsor will re-open under Level 3 requirements on October 8. Slot machines will be the only option for visitors; no other games or venues will be operational. There will be a limit of 50 by-invitation-only guests. I have confirmation from one such invited guest that invitations are being extended via the Caesar’s Rewards app. The company has announced that e-mail invitations will be sent, and that advance reservation is required. Masks and physical distancing will be enforced, and cleaning protocol will be enhanced.
Also in Canada, the Guardian states that police in Ontario have seized millions in assets and arrested 29 people after discovering a black market gambling operation in a mansion north of Toronto. Firearms, cash, and liquor were also confiscated. York Police are investigating the potential connection to organized crime.
That’s all for this installment of Ultimate Casino Updates! If you enjoyed this podcast and would like to continue to be updated on what’s going on in the casino industry, please subscribe! I also encourage you to visit my website at ultimatetraveladventures.blog and my YouTube channel Heather Anne Ultimate Travel Adventures for more great travel-related content! Thanks for listening!
I want to thank these media sources for making me aware of this week’s stories:
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