Casino News Roundup: Boyd Gaming, SLS Purchased, Stratosphere Renos

The SLS Las Vegas Hotel and Casino has been purchased by the Meruelo Group

This week’s casino news is focused on Las Vegas, the gambling capital of North America. A number of Sin City’s less heralded casinos are trying different ventures to garner attention as everyone battles for the all-important foot traffic.

Boyd Brings Virtual Reality Gaming To Las Vegas

Boyd Gaming, one of the biggest casino operators, is partnering up with International Game Technology to bring virtual reality to a casino near you. Boyd’s Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas is going to feature daily virtual reality archery tournaments in their Virtual Zone. The two games that will be used are SiegeVR and ArcheryVR where players will be asked to defend a castle using IGT’s headset and technology. It costs $30 for a team of two people and the winning team will receive “Slot Dollars,” which have to be used within 48 hours. There are also solo tournaments in which the winner gets $125. Customers will have to be a member of Boyd’s B Connected programs to be eligible for these prizes.

This is the first time that virtual reality has been offered on a casino floor but with the esports boom, Boyd could be making a very wise bet here.

Struggling SLS Purchased By Meruelo Group

The SLS Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, which has struggled to gain traction since opening, has been purchased by the Meruelo Group. This process was started last May when Stockbridge Capital Group agreed to sell the SLS Las Vegas to the Meruelo Group and the deal will be finalized within a couple of weeks. The Meruelo Group is looking to invest at least $100 million into the property, which already has 1,616 rooms on the Strip. Founder Alex Meruelo has had success before as he also owns the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno. Meruelo has lots of plans for the SLS Las Vegas such as doing some work to the gaming floor and the facility’s pool, and he is excited to finally get a chance to own property on the Las Vegas Strip. The challenge is that it’s at an end of the Strip where there isn’t much action or excitement, and is difficult for customers to get to (if they’re not staying there).

Stratosphere To Receive $140M Renovation

Golden Entertainment has announced that it’s going to invest at least $140 million in the Stratosphere, which it just purchased. The new injection includes a $32-million investment that will come this year for the Stratosphere, which is 1,149 feet tall and was purchased for $850 million back in June. Similarly to the SLS, it has struggled somewhat for traffic in recent years as most of the foot traffic has moved in and around City Center.

Golden Entertainment bought American Casino and Entertainment Properties and also received the Aquarius Casino Resort in Laughlin, Nevada. Some of the Stratosphere’s 2,427 hotel rooms will be completely renovated along with new signage on the outside and a Starbucks. Like Boyd’s, the Stratosphere is trying to target a younger crowd, which means they’ll need trendier dining and other non-gambling attractions like musical acts and events. There will also be a loyalty card for Golden customers that they can use at any Golden property. These renovations are slated to begin in 2020 and be finished in 2021.