From Canada to the United States, there were some important headlines in the casino world this past week. Here is a look at the top news starting with Las Vegas where an old relic is getting revamped.
Golden Gate Hotel and Casino Completes Renovation
The 111-year-old Golden Gate Hotel and Casino has completed its makeover. They've undergone a recent transformation that should bring plenty of new life to the old jaunt as they've doubled the casino floor size while increasing the size of their outdoor bar as well. Inside the Golden Gate, players will find 100 more slots, along with a 24-foot tower of televisions that wraps around 360 degrees.
Adding to the revival will be a new hotel and casino going up across the street from the Golden Gate where the Las Vegas Club used to be. Also, the Downtown Grand Hotel and Casino is aiming to double its room total as it undergoes renovations.
The Golden Gate updates are part of a group of projects designed to improve downtown Las Vegas, which feels a bit old and dusty compared to the modern parts of The Strip.
MGM National Harbor Reports Incredible Numbers
The MGM National Harbor is roughly nine months old but it is already the preeminent place to go in the Maryland region. Forget all the other shops as the MGM is now the primary place to play.
Maryland has six casinos that brought in $137.5 million in August, which is up 37% year-over-year. In general, it's been a great year for gambling in the state as just in March they reeled in a record $140.6 million in revenues. But much of that is due to the MGM National Harbor, which is dominating the casino landscape. In August, the MGM National Harbor brought in $52.8 million and if you took that away from the state the revenue amount for five casinos would drop by almost 16% compared to last year. Live, which is the former Maryland Live, dropped almost 20% to 44.7% million, and the Horseshoe went down over 21% to $21.8 million. They're clearly losing business to the MGM.
The good news for other casinos in the neighborhood - but further away - is that the MGM does not appear to be taking their business away. If you go further away from the nation's capital, the casinos did better as Ocean Downs (slots only) went up almost 12% to $6.9 million. Hollywood Casino went up over 5% as well. But the National Harbor is blowing away the competition as it would have ranked fourth out of MGM's nine Las Vegas facilities, which is quite incredible.
Parq Vancouver Urban Casino Opens its Doors
On September 29, the highly-anticipated Parq Vancouver urban casino will open its doors. The dice will start rolling at 11:00 PM local time, which is when the action will officially begin at a casino that cost about $700 million to build. The 700,000-square foot casino will be located right next to B.C. Place.
The Parq Vancouver has two hotels with 517 rooms between them. There are a number of convention rooms as well, including the Parq Grand ballroom, and will now be the largest ballroom in the city. There is also a 30,000 square foot outdoor space, which many people say is the best part of the facility. The casino itself has 600 slots, along with 75 table games, a poker room and 11 private rooms. While gambling will be a key part of the revenue, the fact that they can host conventions, weddings and all sorts of events is really going to make this a trendy entertainment destination.