Wednesday, February 29, 2012

History of Las Vegas in a Cool Graphic

The Las Vegas Sun has a great graphical history of Las Vegas on its website. You can find that link here. Now the time period covered by the map ends in 2007, so it misses some of the new facilities, such as the Aria, Cosmopolitan, Encore, etc., but the early days of Vegas are captured quite well. That is the real value in the map - the history and seeing how the facilities evolved over time.

The map covers the strip, downtown and the valley, and in each decade tab, there is a time period overview that has bullet point historical items of note. It's definitely worth a look! Kudos to the Sun for putting this together.

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Gaming Genres Continue to Blend

The APCW is reporting in its latest video (embedded below) the trend of the merging of skill gaming and wagering, particularly social gaming and online gambling. The Zynga story, which I have posted previously here, is mentioned as well as information that Caesars Entertainment is looking at expanding into social games. I strongly encourage the reader to regularly check out the APCW site and its videos, which are quite informative and entertaining.

Over time, expect some of the most successful gaming companies to offer a mix of skill games and wagering games, to perhaps even include sports betting. The advent of large scale online sports betting in the United States will likely be the last to come, but the trend is for expanded, rather than restricted gambling.

As reported in an earlier post, gaming can be explained pictorially as a spectrum of offerings, from simple card and board games played for fun, to casino games played for money. It should not be a surprise that gaming companies are opening themselves to the full possibilities of gaming that they can offer.

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Nevada Super Bowl Betting Results Good

In addition to New York, Nevada also won the Super Bowl this year. Nevada sports books (with the majority of the action of course in Las Vegas) pulled in just shy of 94 million dollars in wagers ($93.8 million), "winning" $5 million. The hold percentage was 5.4%, which beat the theoretical hold percentage on typical 11/10 straight wager sports bets of 4.54%. Part of that could be due to slightly more money wagered on the losing side of the point spread, but most likely that is due to the books actually coming up short on the point spread portions of the wagers, but making that money back on losing parlay and proposition bets, which have better hold percentages for the sports books.

The Las Vegas Sun article also touts that this year's handle was the second-largest Super Bowl handle in the last decade. Before too many champagne corks pop, do realize that what is wagered legally in Nevada is but a small fraction of illegal sports betting in the United States. My estimate that for the Super Bowl, the illegal betting was about ten times the legal betting, or about ONE BILLION DOLLARS (now put your pinky to your lips like Dr. Evil).

As part of the National Gaming Impact Study Commission effort, the FBI estimated that one billion dollars was illegally wagered each week of the NFL regular season. That study was published in 1999 - this is 2012. Yahoo has a decent overview article regarding sports wagering and the position that legal sports betting should be expanded in the United States. I agree.

If interested, other previous posts on sports betting are available for view, with my recommended choices here, here and here, with the first post discussing the softening view of the NBA to potentially expanded sports betting.

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Monday, February 6, 2012

Hawaii Back Again Looking at Gambling

KITV in Honolulu is reporting that Hawaii is again taking a look at legalized gambling. Joe Souki, a leglislator from Maui, introduced a bill to allow a single standalone gambling facility in Waikiki. Why? Money, naturally. Here's the key quote from Souki, "We have that great liability with the state Employee’s Retirement System that we need to take care of, and we have a health problem. We have an education problem. We have these needs. Nobody wants to raise taxes and we need the money."

Having a large, first class casino in Waikiki is a huge winner, in my opinion. The article points out the Hawaii Convention Center as a good option being that it is 15 years old and in need of a "facelift." Also, according to the center itself, bookings are down this year. A casino at that property should bring higher activity to the convention center as well as higher tourist numbers overall. Singapore materially benefitted from the two casino resorts opened a couple of years back. Waikiki already has the resort properties but doesn't have gambling.

I have previously posted on the great opportunity Hawaii has in regard to adding gambling to its overall hospitality offering. Those posts can be found here and here. With the increased attraction of Macao and Singapore due to gaming, Hawaii might need to do this just to keep up with other premier Pacific locations.

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