Tag: Plans

Las Vegas Casinos Detail Reopening Dates And Safety Plans

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Las Vegas casinos and non-essential businesses were ordered to close in March to help slow the spread of coronavirus. We can’t say with 100% certainty when Las Vegas casinos will reopen but we have an idea of dates and how they’ll approach opening for guests once again.

The largest casino operators in Las Vegas recently shared plans on how the properties will reopen. Many of these casino operators have also released health and safety plans to provide specific details on how the companies plan to protect guests.

Las Vegas casino openings

Las Vegas casinos were ordered closed in the middle of March by Gov. Steve Sisolak to help slow the spread of coronavirus. The entire state is slowly allowing businesses to reopen. Phase 1 of the “Roadmap to Recovery For Nevada” is currently underway.

Reopening casinos is not part of the first phase of the reopening of Nevada. In fact, the Governor won’t give details on when casinos will reopen. The Nevada Gaming Control Board will announce the dates Las Vegas casinos can reopen. Once a date is announced it will be up to the casino operator to reopen.

Las Vegas casinos keep moving the goal post to take reservations again based on dates they’ve been told already. The casinos with open reservations are just trying to prepare for reopening. There’s nothing set in stone just yet. Every casino operator is taking a different approach to opening.

Here are the current estimated opening dates for some Las Vegas casinos:

  • Caesars Entertainment – May 22
  • Cosmopolitan – June 4
  • MGM Resorts – June 1
  • The Orleans (select Boyd Gaming properties) – June 1
  • Station Casinos – June 1
  • Treasure Island – May 22
  • The Venetian – June 1
  • Wynn Las Vegas – May 26

Remember, these dates are all subject to change.

Slowly reopening Las Vegas casinos

Las Vegas casinos won’t look the same when they reopen. Everything at the casinos — including the properties themselves — will open in phases. The Nevada Gaming Control Board approved that measure last week along with a slew of health and safety requirements for reopening casinos.

The gaming floor will only allow for up to 50% occupancy when casinos reopen. There will be fewer guests allowed in the most popular casinos than usual. This is just a maximum occupancy requirement. A casino can choose to allow fewer guests if they wish.

The NGCB recommends casinos either turn off or remove chairs from every other video poker and slot machine. Table games will also have a limited number of seats available for players.

  • Blackjack: Three (3) players per table
  • Craps: Six (6) players per table
  • Roulette: Four (4) players per table

All games played on a blackjack-sized table like 3 card poker should have the same number of seats available. Poker tables will only be allowed to have four players per table. It’s unclear which poker rooms will reopen alongside the rest of the casinos.

Las Vegas casinos will reopen a limited number of restaurants and bars at first and add more as demand warrants. Entertainment will also be slow to return to Las Vegas casinos. During MGM Resorts’ recent earnings call, the acting CEO Bill Hornbuckle mentioned that he can see smaller shows like Carrot Top returning before large events at T-Mobile Arena.

The gaming control board is also dictating a couple of popular amenities won’t return to Las Vegas casinos reopen. Dayclubs (and pool parties) along with nightclubs will remain closed as casinos open for business.

Phased property openings for Las Vegas casino companies

Just about every Las Vegas casino will reopen in phases. Larger companies will reopen with just a few properties. Each property will offer different amenities and services depending on demand.

The two big operators on the Vegas Strip will approach reopening similarly. Both MGM Resorts and Caesars will only open two casinos to start. Coincidentally or not, each company will open its most iconic property along with a less expensive property. Representatives for both companies also say they can open up to four properties quickly if there’s enough demand.

MGM Resorts will open Bellagio to compete with other luxury properties like Wynn and The Venetian. The company will also open New York-New York to more budget-conscious travelers.

Caesars will open Caesars Palace and a “value property” on the east side of the Vegas Strip. There are rumors that the “value property” will be Flamingo but that hasn’t been confirmed by Caesars Entertainment yet.

The Venetian, Wynn Las Vegas, and other individually operated casinos will reopen with limited hotel room capacity.

Phased reopening for off-Strip properties

The large casino corporations off the Vegas Strip are also taking a phased opening approach for their properties.

Boyd Gaming representatives say the company will only open it’s Las Vegas locals casinos as soon as they’re allowed:

  • Aliante
  • Cannery
  • Eastside Cannery
  • Gold Coast
  • The Orleans
  • Sam’s Town
  • Suncoast

Boyd Gaming representatives said it will open each property with limited restaurants and bars. The company hasn’t released details on specific venue openings for each property but it’s possible that some casinos could open without hotels at first.

Boyd is not expected to open its downtown Las Vegas properties right away. The company will take a wait and see approach for opening The California, Main Street Station, and Fremont Hotel and Casino. These three casinos depend more on tourists traveling to Las Vegas than locals who just want to visit the closest casino.

Station Casinos is also taking a phased opening approach. While most of the company’s high-end properties will reopen right away, Palms will remain closed. Station Casinos will re-open only the following properties in its first phase of reopening.

  • Boulder Station
  • Green Valley Ranch
  • Palace Station
  • Red Rock Casino
  • Santa Fe Station
  • Sunset Station

Smaller casino operators off the Vegas Strip are waiting on the go-ahead to reopen before revealing any specifics. For example, the future of Rampart Casino in Summerlin is in doubt as the property recently laid off most of its employees. However, the company hasn’t said if they will or won’t reopen.

Las Vegas casino health and safety plans

The Nevada Gaming Control Board approved minimum requirements for casinos reopening. Many of the individual plans from casino operators are similar and adhere to the recommendations made by the board.

All casinos will increase how often they clean gaming machines and table game areas. In addition to limiting the number of people in each part of the gaming floor casinos will have hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes for guests to use.

Every part of the table games will be cleaned regularly including tables, chairs, rails, chips, cards, dice, and tiles for Pai Gow. The pits themselves will also be cleaned more often. Casino employees will all be taught best practices in social distancing and cleaning. All casino staff will wear masks. Most casinos will recommend that guests also wear masks.

Here are specific health and safety plans to peruse before visiting your favorite Las Vegas casino:

When casinos reopen they should be cleaner and more streamlined than ever before. MGM Resorts, for example, is offering touchless check-in for its hotels. Guests can check into their rooms via a mobile device. The same device can be used as a key. This has been available for a while but will be promoted more as social distancing and touching fewer objects is more important than ever for many customers.



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Handle19 Sportsbook Moving Forward With 2020 DC Sports Betting Plans

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The Coronavirus pandemic has affected the gambling industry across the world in many ways. Handle 19 sportsbook, which aims to be the first Class B operator for Washington, DC sports betting, is undeterred. In the current COVID-19 world, their goal remains unchanged.

Handle19 still plans to open a brick-and-mortar location in the District later this year. The brand is looking at expansion as well. A recent development on the other side of the Potomac River plays a large part in such growth.

Handle 19 sportsbook, DC sports betting and the COVID-19 impact

As casinos begin to work on plans to reopen, Handle19 looks at the pandemic situation from a different perspective. Ian G. Thomas, an attorney for Offit Kurman in Washington, D.C., who represents Handle19, shares his perspective.

“While Covid-19 has affected almost every facet of public life, believe it or not, it has had a limited impact on Handle19’s timeline,” Thomas said. “The goal was, and has always been, opening our doors by the start of the NFL season. That remains the same. Of course, the start of the NFL season appears to be a moving target at the moment. Regardless we are targeting a late summer/early fall launch.”

The pandemic has had some impact on Handle19’s opening process. Thomas shares that meetings went “socially distant” and walkthroughs at the future site went the same way. A change in location, favoring a site near Capitol Hill near Nationals Park over the original location in Adams Morgan, happened prior to the pandemic.

Thomas believes the biggest challenge may be making guests feel safe after Handle19 opens. Currently, a stay-at-home order remains in place in the District. While it’s possible that the situation may be different in August, the uncertainty makes planning difficult.

The virus’ potential impact after Handle19’s launch date

A Reuters poll showed only 27% of its respondents plan to visit venues where crowds might gather as soon as governments allow. A full 40% of respondents indicated they wouldn’t do so until a vaccine is available. Another 40% of those people also said they would wait regardless of how long the wait endures.

It’s unclear how many of the respondents live in or regularly travel to the District. It’s also not evident how many of the respondents are potential Handle19 customers. Regardless, that data suggests part of Handle19’s messaging upon opening should be safety.

“I think every business is struggling with these questions of safety in dealing with a virus that we are constantly learning more about and for which much still remains unknown,” Thomas added. “This challenge is made even more difficult by the fact that we are planning for an opening that is set to occur four months from now when circumstances could be entirely different. That said, we are evaluating a whole host of safety protocols and will be developing policies to adhere to the recommendations of the relevant federal and local agencies, including the CDC and the District of Columbia Department of Health. We also plan to closely track what others in the hospitality and retail gaming industry are doing to learn what safety measures are effective at protecting patrons while limiting any adverse effect on the user experience.”

Federal and local restrictions are out of Handle19’s control. Another key component of its business is similarly beyond its direct influence. In order to offer sports wagering, sports must exist. There’s reason for both caution and optimism for Handle19 in that regard.

Live sports are a big part of the equation

In the Steven Spielberg hit film, “Jurassic Park,” the park tour results in several no-shows of the dinosaur attractions. The scene gives birth to one of the most well-known moments of sarcasm in the movie. Dr. Ian Malcom, portrayed by Jeff Goldblum, spins the line perfectly.

“Ah, now, eventually, you do plan to have dinosaurs, on your dinosaur tour, right?”

In the same way, launching Handle19 without a new and shiny NFL season would be a disappointment. The potential upside, however, is that absence could make the heart grow fonder.

When major North American sports do resume/start, the demand for wagering upon those sports could be historic. Handle19 plans to be there whenever the action starts.

“As we have been seeing over the past few days, to a certain extent throughout this crisis, the appetite for sports fans to wager on athletic contests is still there,” Thomas explained. “Whether it was wagering on a Bulgarian Soccer match, table tennis, or more recently, on Korean Baseball, the metrics indicate that the desire to engage in recreational sports gambling is still very much present. It also appears that while North American sports leagues remain in limbo at the moment, European sports, particularly soccer, are slowly starting to return. As such, while delays in the return of U.S. sports leagues may alter the scope of Handle19’s launch, we do not anticipate it altering the timeline to launch.”

North American sports leagues are watching their European counterparts to glean insight. In the same way, Handle19 is casting its view beyond its current focus. The brand isn’t blind to recent events on the other side of the Potomac.

Handle19 eyeing opportunities across the river

Virginia recently became the second state to legalize sports betting within its borders this year. The law there doesn’t allow Handle19 to simply mimic its current Las Vegas-style concept. That doesn’t mean Handle19 can’t see an opportunity in Old Dominion, however. The VA law does allow for up to 12 online-only licenses.

“Handle19 has been monitoring the developments in VA closely and is exploring ways to enter the market in that jurisdiction,” Thomas commented. “While VA is going to be a primarily mobile market, Handle19 has already begun to explore strategic partnerships that would allow it to provide mobile offerings. It is also worth noting that Handle19 is a small minority-owned business that is fairly rare in the gaming space. This is important because the VA law provides a commitment to try to increase the participation of these types of businesses in the sports gambling industry. We believe that fact, combined with the know-how Handle19 has developed in the regional market will uniquely position the company to submit a strong application for a license in VA.”

For the time being, however, the focus is on D.C. The brand continues to work on the same timeline despite the pandemic. What the “new normal” will require is more flexibility and the ability to adapt to changing situations quickly. Handle19 seems to have a great handle on the situation.

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Handle19 Sportsbook Moving Forward With 2020 DC Sports Betting Plans

[ad_1]

The Coronavirus pandemic has affected the gambling industry across the world in many ways. Handle 19 sportsbook, which aims to be the first Class B operator for Washington, DC sports betting, is undeterred. In the current COVID-19 world, their goal remains unchanged.

Handle19 still plans to open a brick-and-mortar location in the District later this year. The brand is looking at expansion as well. A recent development on the other side of the Potomac River plays a large part in such growth.

Handle 19 sportsbook, DC sports betting and the COVID-19 impact

As casinos begin to work on plans to reopen, Handle19 looks at the pandemic situation from a different perspective. Ian G. Thomas, an attorney for Offit Kurman in Washington, D.C., who represents Handle19, shares his perspective.

“While Covid-19 has affected almost every facet of public life, believe it or not, it has had a limited impact on Handle19’s timeline,” Thomas said. “The goal was, and has always been, opening our doors by the start of the NFL season. That remains the same. Of course, the start of the NFL season appears to be a moving target at the moment. Regardless we are targeting a late summer/early fall launch.”

The pandemic has had some impact on Handle19’s opening process. Thomas shares that meetings went “socially distant” and walkthroughs at the future site went the same way. A change in location, favoring a site near Capitol Hill near Nationals Park over the original location in Adams Morgan, happened prior to the pandemic.

Thomas believes the biggest challenge may be making guests feel safe after Handle19 opens. Currently, a stay-at-home order remains in place in the District. While it’s possible that the situation may be different in August, the uncertainty makes planning difficult.

The virus’ potential impact after Handle19’s launch date

A Reuters poll showed only 27% of its respondents plan to visit venues where crowds might gather as soon as governments allow. A full 40% of respondents indicated they wouldn’t do so until a vaccine is available. Another 40% of those people also said they would wait regardless of how long the wait endures.

It’s unclear how many of the respondents live in or regularly travel to the District. It’s also not evident how many of the respondents are potential Handle19 customers. Regardless, that data suggests part of Handle19’s messaging upon opening should be safety.

“I think every business is struggling with these questions of safety in dealing with a virus that we are constantly learning more about and for which much still remains unknown,” Thomas added. “This challenge is made even more difficult by the fact that we are planning for an opening that is set to occur four months from now when circumstances could be entirely different. That said, we are evaluating a whole host of safety protocols and will be developing policies to adhere to the recommendations of the relevant federal and local agencies, including the CDC and the District of Columbia Department of Health. We also plan to closely track what others in the hospitality and retail gaming industry are doing to learn what safety measures are effective at protecting patrons while limiting any adverse effect on the user experience.”

Federal and local restrictions are out of Handle19’s control. Another key component of its business is similarly beyond its direct influence. In order to offer sports wagering, sports must exist. There’s reason for both caution and optimism for Handle19 in that regard.

Live sports are a big part of the equation

In the Steven Spielberg hit film, “Jurassic Park,” the park tour results in several no-shows of the dinosaur attractions. The scene gives birth to one of the most well-known moments of sarcasm in the movie. Dr. Ian Malcom, portrayed by Jeff Goldblum, spins the line perfectly.

“Ah, now, eventually, you do plan to have dinosaurs, on your dinosaur tour, right?”

In the same way, launching Handle19 without a new and shiny NFL season would be a disappointment. The potential upside, however, is that absence could make the heart grow fonder.

When major North American sports do resume/start, the demand for wagering upon those sports could be historic. Handle19 plans to be there whenever the action starts.

“As we have been seeing over the past few days, to a certain extent throughout this crisis, the appetite for sports fans to wager on athletic contests is still there,” Thomas explained. “Whether it was wagering on a Bulgarian Soccer match, table tennis, or more recently, on Korean Baseball, the metrics indicate that the desire to engage in recreational sports gambling is still very much present. It also appears that while North American sports leagues remain in limbo at the moment, European sports, particularly soccer, are slowly starting to return. As such, while delays in the return of U.S. sports leagues may alter the scope of Handle19’s launch, we do not anticipate it altering the timeline to launch.”

North American sports leagues are watching their European counterparts to glean insight. In the same way, Handle19 is casting its view beyond its current focus. The brand isn’t blind to recent events on the other side of the Potomac.

Handle19 eyeing opportunities across the river

Virginia recently became the second state to legalize sports betting within its borders this year. The law there doesn’t allow Handle19 to simply mimic its current Las Vegas-style concept. That doesn’t mean Handle19 can’t see an opportunity in Old Dominion, however. The VA law does allow for up to 12 online-only licenses.

“Handle19 has been monitoring the developments in VA closely and is exploring ways to enter the market in that jurisdiction,” Thomas commented. “While VA is going to be a primarily mobile market, Handle19 has already begun to explore strategic partnerships that would allow it to provide mobile offerings. It is also worth noting that Handle19 is a small minority-owned business that is fairly rare in the gaming space. This is important because the VA law provides a commitment to try to increase the participation of these types of businesses in the sports gambling industry. We believe that fact, combined with the know-how Handle19 has developed in the regional market will uniquely position the company to submit a strong application for a license in VA.”

For the time being, however, the focus is on D.C. The brand continues to work on the same timeline despite the pandemic. What the “new normal” will require is more flexibility and the ability to adapt to changing situations quickly. Handle19 seems to have a great handle on the situation.

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PlayUSA’s ‘On The Record:’ DraftKings Co-Founder Talks Sports Betting Domination, Plans

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Welcome to 2020 and a new volume of the PlayUSA series On The Record!

To kick off this new decade, I wanted to explore the explosive way DraftKings ended the year and attempt to understand what this means for the future of sports betting.

Ideally, you too ended 2019 with a merger announcement, a new partnership in New York, and the addition of New Hampshire to the sports betting portfolio — right?

You probably didn’t, but DraftKings sure did. Now, some might say — New Hampshire a state with a population of 1.356 million, what’s so significant about that?

Excellent question.

With the addition of the Granite State, Draftkings firmly establishes itself as one of the top sports betting providers in the Northeast. The company now has operations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia and is starting its conquest of the Midwest with Indiana.

DraftKings now has five sports betting states, an established network of daily fantasy sports players, and on top of that, a new exclusive partnership with Madison Square Garden that includes the NY Knicks and NY Rangers.

And that’s not all.

The company is merging with sports betting technology provider SBTech, and both are being acquired by Diamond Eagle Acquisition, which is already listed on Nasdaq. Is that too much to process? If so, don’t worry. I found someone to help clarify all this information.

A brief discussion with DraftKings co-founder Matt Kalish

In addition to co-founder, Matt Kalish is also the chief revenue officer for DraftKings. I reached out to him and asked if he could answer a few pressing questions for me.

The following interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

What does the launch in New Hampshire mean for the company?
As a New England-based company with our HQ in Boston, as well as a good number of employees who either live in New Hampshire or a short drive away, we were excited to win the opportunity to establish a presence in the Granite State. We are excited to have the opportunity to work with the New Hampshire lottery as the exclusive mobile provider in the state.

Are there any retail sportsbook locations you are looking to open in 2020?
As part of the deal with the New Hampshire Lottery, we will be opening some retail locations in the state. We are in the process of identifying appropriate sites for retail sportsbooks. Ultimately, we believe the mobile and retail sports betting experiences are complementary and work well together.

What is the next sports betting frontier? Is DraftKings monitoring any specific states?
We are keeping a close eye on every state that is considering legalizing or has legalized sports betting. We were excited to see bills progress in states like Michigan and Colorado. Our goal is to get a path to market, apply for a license, work to get regulatory approval for launch, and then go live as quickly as possible.

If other sports betting companies attempt to follow and become publicly traded companies, what does that mean for the future of sports betting as a product?
I can’t speculate on what other companies might or might do. But we think the US has the potential to become the world’s biggest sports betting market. Upon closure [of the deal], DraftKings will become the only vertically-integrated pure-play sports betting and online company based in the US. DraftKings is well-positioned to play a leadership role in the US market.

Where do we go from here?

Kalish is right when he said DraftKings is “well established to play a leadership role,” as the company is basically writing the playbook. You monitor a state, provide some testimony on a bill, apply for a license, and boom — you become the dominant force in the sports betting space. That makes the future of sports betting is anything but dim.

With Michigan now in play, and Illinois coming to the table, the Midwest is well-positioned to challenge any region as a sports betting hub. Expect it to become the next primary market as expansion steadily moves West.

The northeast market is far from done; there are still a few places that might get their five minutes of fame — Massachusets and mobile wagering in New York, to name a few.

The south will, eventually, become the crux of college football betting, which leaves us with Nevada and the west coast. So far, Oregon and Colorado have been soaking up the spotlight. But until the Golden State decides that it too wants to be part of the sports betting conversation, California will remain a glistening gem off in the distance.

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WSOP Poker Plans, Plus MI Betting Nears While NJ Revenue Booms

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The holidays: A time for merriment, for joy, for celebration.

A time to give and to give thanks. A time known for miracles and Kodak moments.

Make no mistake about it, the same elements that you find in every Christmas movie ever made also apply to US gambling news these days.

There is no day off, it seems. The machine is always in motion. And this holiday season, uplifting news abounds.

Legal Michigan sports betting is a small step away

Merry Christmas, Wolverines. It appears sports betting is a mere signature away from legalization.

The bill to do such, allowing Michigan to regulate retail and online wagering, breezed through the Senate by a 35-3 vote. With the House of Representatives expected to agree with any changes made, only the mighty pen of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer separates the state from legalized sports betting.

As reported by Legal Sports Report, the governor is expected to sign the legislation in short order.

As the bill is written, Michigan’s three commercial and 23 tribal casinos would have the opportunity to offer betting. Each operator, though, will be afforded just one online skin.

Licensing fees include $50,000 for the initial application, $100,000 for the actual license, and then a $50,000 annual renewal fee.

Much of the state’s taxed revenue (a rate of 8.4% that increases by 1.25% for commercial casinos) will benefit Michigan’s School Aid Fund. To boot, some $2 million will go toward the First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund each year.

The state will require official league data for in-play wagers. Overshadowed by all of this: Daily fantasy sports also becomes legal.

WSOP hints at future relationship with Pennsylvania

I mean, the World Series of Poker didn’t not confirm that it has no future in Pennsylvania.

Each winter, the WSOP announces dates and plans for the following year. Among them, as announced by WSOP parent company Caesars, is the summer poker series, slated for May 26 through July 15. The headlining tournament, aka the $10,000 buy-in Main Event, goes from July 1 to July 14 in Las Vegas.

The interesting takeaway, though, was not about what was announced, rather what wasn’t announced.

Just after Halloween, PokerStars debuted the first legal online poker platform in Pennsylvania. With such a large state and market, it was assumed the PA would enter the WSOP future planning. Alas, the poker group did not mention Pennsylvania in 2020. That said, as tracked down by PlayPennsylvania, not all is lost.

A WSOP spokesperson noted that the company does not comment on markets in which WSOP is not licensed and operational. Harrah’s Philadelphia has its licensing but has yet to launch online poker. Time still remains for PA inclusion.

Remember, this past year’s online bracelet schedule emerged as late as February 2019.

New Jersey sports betting kills to tune of half a billion

Somehow, New Jersey sports betting continues to find ways to grow.

With still a month left of 2019 to account for, the Garden State has eclipsed more than $4 billion in accepted wagers this year. But no month in the young history of the industry matched up to November.

With still-rising powers FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook again leading the charge, New Jersey operators accepted a whopping $562.6 million in bets last month. Of that record-breaking total, some 86% of wagers came online.

For perspective, the previous state record for a single month stood at $488 million (set the previous month); and Nevada took in more than $581 million in November 2018.

It has been no secret that New Jersey has been the standard-setter in this new world of state-sanctioned sports betting. Yet somehow, the state continues to find ways to impress.

Aside from the jaw-dropping revenue numbers, consider these past 12 months, during which time New Jersey went from eight online sportsbooks to 17 mobile platforms.

On top of it all, there is little chance New Jersey doesn’t set another record in the near future. After all, Super Bowl LIV is less than two months away.

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