This week’s casino news brings us headlines from three key states in America. We’ll start in Nevada where Wynn Resorts is again in the midst of a legal battle.
Wynn Resorts Sues Over Similar Casino Building On Las Vegas Strip
It seems like Wynn Resorts just can’t stay out of the courtroom these days. In a battle only Las Vegas casinos would have, the Wynn Resorts company has filed a lawsuit against Genting Group. The lawsuit alleges that the upcoming Resorts World, a $4-billion resort by the Malaysian gambling company, looks too similar to the Wynn Casino building. Wynn is concerned that people will associate the two casinos and believe they are related. Wynn has built a reputation of opulence and luxury on The Strip (and worldwide); Resorts World is a new brand and could benefit from the similarity if customers assume they are related.
The other issue is that these casinos will be somewhat close to each other on The Strip. Had they been further apart, it likely wouldn’t have been an issue.
Resorts World was given official approval by Nevada gaming regulators in May of 2016, has undergone a much-delayed construction process and was scheduled to open sometime in 2020. This was on the old site of the legendary Stardust Casino, which ceased to exist in 2007. Genting Group acquired the site for $350 million in 2013.
Nevada Casinos Continue Strong Fall With Prosperous November
The month of October was a record-breaking month for Nevada casinos, which hauled in $1.06 billion in gambling revenue. That good run continued into the month of November where the state casinos collected $967.2 million in revenue, which was a 6.4 percent increase year-over-year.
The Las Vegas Strip generated $534.5 million of that November total, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, which was up 10 percent year-over-year. The main sources for the boost were baccarat revenue, which jumped 51 percent, blackjack, which was up by four percent, and slots, which were up by one percent.
Sports betting frequency increased by almost 10 percent in November, but of far greater importance is that sports betting winnings for casinos – the money won by the house as opposed to the general public – increased by $27.1 million.
For 2018, Nevada gaming revenue is up almost three percent, totaling $10.9 billion. This is improbably occurring in the face of a small overall decline in Las Vegas tourism relative to 2017.
Michigan Governor Vetoes Online Gaming And Poker Bill
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, a Republican who is about to leave office, left a mark in one of his last official acts while in office. He vetoed recently passed legislation connected to online gaming and poker, which had passed the Michigan state legislature on December 21. Most political experts felt that Snyder would sign the bill since it received strong bipartisan support. The bill would have authorized online casino gaming and poker and the possibility of adding sports betting in the state.
Snyder expressed "budgetary concerns" as the reason for his veto but we’ll see if a change in parties shifts that mindset. Incoming governor Gretchen Whitmer is a Democrat and she’ll have the final say, even though Republicans will control the legislature.