Casino News Roundup: Wynn Rebrand, Blackstone Group, Cashless Casino

Blackstone Group casino

In this week’s casino news, it looks like we’ve finally come to a way forward for the new Wynn Resorts casino in Boston. Here is the latest from that story as well as a couple of other key casino headlines from around the world.

Wynn Resorts Rebrands Boston Project

Wynn Resorts has finally succumbed to the pressure. It will be renaming its new casino in Boston to further disassociate itself from former owner and CEO Steve Wynn, who has brought a lot of negative attention to the brand.

In case you missed it, Wynn Resorts has been in the news a lot recently due to the sexual misconduct allegations leveled against Wynn. As a result, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission felt the company needed to make some changes before opening the casino in 2019 and pushed it to do so. Current CEO Steve Maddox has finally responded to say that Wynn’s name would no longer be in the name of the project.

The former Wynn Boston Harbor project is slated to cost around $2.4 billion and is supposed to open in June 2019. As of now, the project is going to be called the Encore Boston Harbor. Since 2008, Encore has been the name of the property that’s part of the Wynn Las Vegas, so this seems like a happy medium. Wynn Resorts doesn’t have to completely rebrand as a number of people will be familiar with Encore and at the same time the gaming commission feels it got a win by scrubbing Steve Wynn’s name off the building.

Blackstone Group Acquires Cirsa Gaming

Spain’s largest casino operator has been acquired by the Blackstone Group. Although the purchase details were not disclosed, it is a deal that is estimated to be in the neighborhood of 2.5 billion euros. The Blackstone Group battled it out with rival Apollo Global Management, which was also interested in making the move.

Founded in 1978 by the family of Spanish businessman Manuel Lao Hernandez, the company has since grown to 147 land-based casinos and 178 gaming outlets along with more than 75,000 gaming machines in its portfolio. Last year, Cirsa brought in over $2 billion in revenue. It will now undergo some changes as Joaquim Agut will be the new chairman, leaving his former position of CEO to replace Hernandez.

Cashless Casino Coming Back?

About five years ago, resort operators on the island of Hainan (in China) launched what they dubbed as a cashless casino. The idea was that there would only be credits on the gaming floor and those credits could only be redeemed for non-gaming amenities on that same resort. The idea garnered some intrigue early on but was quickly shut down by authorities.

At the time, the casino showed paperwork that it was part of a government pilot project but apparently that didn’t help its case. Years later, though, it looks like the casino could be coming back. While the case has been lingering in the courtrooms, there was a recent win for the casino when the Intermediate People’s Court of Hainan overturned a previous ruling, which indicates that the government might be warming up to this idea once again.

Originally, the Chinese government had given the green light to gambling resorts on Hainan Island to invigorate the economy before changing its mind. It looks like another change of heart will allow this project to have a chance and for Hainan Island to gain some traction with tourism.