Casino News Roundup: Mark Frissora, Vegas Raiders, Lucky Dragon

Mark Frissora Caesars Entertainment online casinos Las Vegas Raiders Oakland Raiders

This week’s casino news focuses on Caesars Entertainment, which has made headlines thanks to a couple of good dispatches. Let’s take a closer look at what they were up to:

Caesars CEO Leaves When Company Begins To Turn A Profit 

It’s been a road of trials and tribulations for Caesars Entertainment to get back into profit and now just as it has, the CEO is leaving. Caesars has undergone a complicated restructuring process in recent years as the company’s main unit went bankrupt in 2015. By 2017, the restructuring process ran its course and restored the structure of the company. Now, Caesars has reported revenue of just under $2.2 billion in a three-month period ending on September 30, 2018, which represents an increase of 120 percent from the same period last year. Caesars reported a net profit of $110 million compared to a $433-million loss in the third quarter of 2017.

And just as the profits are finally emerging after the pain of 2015 through 2017, the company’s CEO is leaving. Mark Frissora announced on Thursday that he would step down on February 8, 2019. Recent stock gains this past week and other hopeful signs emerged against the backdrop of Frissora’s stated intent to move elsewhere. 

Caesars did not publicly put forth a recommendation as a successor, but it did say it will work with a search firm to pursue a replacement. It’s not uncommon for CEOs to jump in and fix a sinking ship and then move on once they’ve saved the boat. However, this is not ideal for Caesars as it would have preferred to keep Frissora. 

Caesars Gains Sponsorship Rights With Las Vegas Raiders

Sticking with Caesars, it has announced a 15-year sponsorship deal with the Las Vegas Raiders. This gives Caesars a foothold in Las Vegas Stadium, the new home of the NFL Raiders franchise once it completes the move from Oakland in 2020. The Raiders’ last season in Oakland will be in 2019. 

The stadium deal means that customers of Caesars will be able to enjoy various perks inside Las Vegas Stadium for Raiders games. This creates many new revenue streams for the Raiders which will build the value of the franchise.

Lucky Dragon Receives No Takers On The Auction Market  

It has been a snake-bitten existence for the Lucky Dragon casino in Las Vegas. The casino opened nearly two years ago but the first clues of trouble came in January when it closed gaming operations. It later suspended all operations by October of this year. It sought buyers on the market, but after being put up for auction in September, there has been no traction. Time has gone by and no new movement has been reported. 

The property was resubmitted for auction this past Tuesday with an initial bid of $35 million, according to the Washington Times. No one was willing to take that offer either.  

The Lucky Dragon cost around $160 million to build, so investors are going to take a bath with this property. The casino was supposed to appeal to the Asian market with the idea that it would fill a niche generally underrepresented in Las Vegas. Yet, that strategy clearly whiffed.