Casino News Roundup: Richard Branson, DraftKings, Wynn Resorts

Richard Branson Virgin Atlantic Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Las Vegas

This week’s casino news features some information on the ongoing Steve Wynn saga in Boston, along with Richard Branson and DraftKings expanding into the casino industry. Here’s a look at the key headlines from the past seven days:

Branson Buys Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel and Casino

The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino has been purchased by none other than Virgin Atlantic founder Richard Branson. The billionaire mogul plans to invest a lot of money to get the somewhat dated property to where he thinks it should be. The place itself is 23 years old and Branson has committed to investing hundreds of millions of dollars into the property.

There are some issues that Branson will have to untangle, such as the Culinary Union’s attempt to get employees to unionize, but Branson and Virgin have stated that process will be handled in a neutral fashion. Anything that Branson touches usually turns to gold, so it’ll be interesting to see what comes of this slightly off-strip property, which once was a big hit among the younger crowd.

DraftKings Easing Into Casino Industry

We’ve heard about DraftKings opening up a sportsbook if sports betting is legalized and now they’re looking at casino gaming. The daily fantasy company is looking for possible partners in the casino industry if the United States Supreme Court decides to legalize across the country. This ruling, which is tied to the sports betting ruling, could come as early as next week. DraftKings is positioned to take advantage if the Supreme Court allows sports betting in more than four states. The company just opened a new office in Hoboken, New Jersey, which is about two hours away from Atlantic City.

DraftKings is trying to get ahead of the game as FanDuel, their biggest competition, has yet to issue any sort of statement on the matter. The former has about 10 million customers who – in theory – would love to be able to get in on more sports betting action. The company can quickly become a one-stop shop instead of players having to go to offshore for sports betting or casino gaming.

The four states that are currently allowed to feature sports betting are Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon, and there are 19 states that are ready to get on the bandwagon if the Supreme Court will allow it. There will be a lot of eyes on this issue for the upcoming ruling.

Wynn Resorts Forced To Rebrand?

Steve Wynn was one of the most respected names in the entire casino industry but now his own hotel might be forced to strip his name away. Wynn has stepped down as CEO of Wynn Resorts but the minds left behind are mulling a decision to rename the new casino that is being finished in Massachusetts. The $2.4-billion facility is under construction in Everett, which is just north of Boston. It has been investigated by many government leaders in the state due to the sexual harassment allegations leveled against Wynn. Those people would like Wynn Resorts to change any branding that is connected to Steve Wynn because of those allegations. Of course, that is not only a costly process but also hurts the brand awareness as Wynn Resorts is a world-renowned resort company. Wynn Resorts officials had previously been adamant that they wouldn’t change the name, but after a slew of outside pressure, it is at least on the table now. The Gaming Commission of Massachusetts is forcing their hand, so keep an eye on this story as it develops.