Las Vegas Themed Slot Games

June 2nd, 2011  |  Published in Gambling Games

There are currently several online slot games that boast a Las Vegas-theme. The latest addition is the Hot Roller online slot game from Vegas Technology. Set with the Las Vegas Strip as the background, the title of the game is displayed with a neon sign. The symbols on the reels transport the player into the casino. These symbols include:

  • Stacks of chips
  • Welcome drink
  • Lady hot roller
  • Pair of dice
  • High value card symbols

Although a slot game, the represented table game is craps so the most important symbols are the lady hot roller and a pair of dice. The lad shooter represents the wild symbol which yields the highest payout of 10,000 coins. This character also doubles all payouts when it acts as a wild symbol. The animation of the lady hot roller is impressive as she kisses the dice for good luck prior to taking the shot.

The pair of dice feature hot flames and act as the scatter symbol. Aside from the lady hot roller icon, this is the only other symbol that showcases animation. When two of more scatter symbols appear on the reels, scatter payouts are given. These payouts are multiplied by the total bet to convert them to casino credits.

Three or more of these symbols activates the free spins bonus round. This game begins when the layer rolls a single white die and two red dice. The white die awards the free spins multiplier which ranges from 1x to 6x. The values on the red dice are then multiplied to give the total number of free spins which varies from 1 to 36. This round can be retriggered during play but the multiplier and number of free spins cannot be determined for a second time.

Vegas Technology also recently launched a slot game entitled, “Vegas Party”, which features the same Vegas-theme. The symbols on the reels are fairly similar to those in Hot Roller. Vegas Party also features a free spins bonus round but it is much easier.

Hot Roller went live at all Vegas Technology-powered online casinos simultaneously. The most popular include, Go Casino, Grand Vegas and Online Vegas. These two Vegas-style online slot games appear to be exciting and innovative additions to the Vegas Technology portfolio of games. Stop by any one of the large number of Vegas Technology online casinos to try your luck in a glamorous environment.

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Nongaming Revenue Proving to be a Double-edged Sword

February 10th, 2011  |  Published in Casino News

Nongaming attractions helped to make Las Vegas what it is today: a world-class resort and convention terminus. The transformation of this small mining town into the gambling mecca of the world began many years ago when mobsters ruled the casinos. In the Great Recession, these nongaming attractions are beginning to hurt Las Vegas casinos.

An Increase in Business

Business experts have seen a sharp increase in the number of visitors, automobile traffic and convention attendance. However, they have also noticed most of this recovery is a result of nongambling spending. Despite being good for the local economy, a large gap exists between the amount visitors spent prior to and after the recession on nongambling attractions. This tends to rely less on the economy’s overall health.

The Numbers

In 2009, nongambling revenue on the Las Vegas Strip accounted for 61 percent of all revenue compared to 42 percent in 1990. This indicates that it is going to be a long, slow recovery in the future and that it is going to take more than gambling revenue to bounce out of this recession. This is primarily due to the change in spending habits of regular Americans.

The Old Las Vegas

In past years, Las Vegas casinos would break-even on nongambling activities such as shows, restaurants and other family functions. Many casinos even operated at a loss in an attempt to entice visitors to gamble. To make up for these losses, amenities on the Strip were upgraded. On the road to the recession, nightclub admissions and room rates greatly increased to meet the demand of luxury offerings.

The Forgotten Middle Class

As a result, resort operators saw a major potential for profit in luxury resorts as opposed to middle-of-the-road hotels. Since Las Vegas used to offer great deals on food and entertainment, this drove away the budget-seeking customer base to cater to high rollers. Over the years, developers have forgotten about the middle-market which has crippled business in Las Vegas. Casino operators have learned a valuable lesson: don’t take any market segment for granted.

Casino operators and developers must learn to cater to all segments of society. It is possible to create a city that caters to high rollers by offering all the luxury amenities available while offering a budget meal to the low rollers. This is what Las Vegas was built upon. Hopefully in the future they will be able to target all types of people and help bring the economy back to what it was.

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Despite Record Quarters No Recovery is Expected Anytime Soon

November 4th, 2010  |  Published in Casino News

Despite talks of record quarters and casino organizations bouncing back because of the legal approval of bankruptcy plans, industry analysts still do not see a an upswing on the horizon. The numbers are skewed due to a temporary increase in tourism traffic, gambling revenue and room rates. According to analysts at CB Richard Ellis, these figures are simply a temporary aberration since earnings are at a significant decline this year.

The Release of a Forecasting Report

According to a report released by CB Richard Ellis’ Global Gaming Corporation, home prices are lifeless, airfare continues to rise and an overall decline in Las Vegas customers is forecasted to result in revenue declines for most casinos in 2011. This 100-page report is the latest release discussing the continued recession. The home prices and consumer spending data found in this report were collected by third-party researchers.

Once the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas resort opens its doors at the end of 2010, there will not be any new casino construction for many years. This indicates that the casino organizations have adjusted their financial strategies accordingly.

Further Bad News for the Strip

Unfortunately, the report predicts that gaming revenue on the Las Vegas Strip is expected to decline from 2 to 4 percent in 2011. This number does not include revenue from the Cosmopolitan. With all games, including baccarat, factored into this number, revenue is projected to decline by 1 percent.

Approximately 80 percent of visitors to Las Vegas are there for pleasure, not business. At least half of these travelers arrive by plane, however, McCarran Airport is predicted to level-off or even decline in airline capacity despite an increase in travel demand. This indicates that airfare will continue to rise in 2011. An increase in airfare denotes less money to be spent in Las Vegas once the traveller arrives.

It’s Not All Bad News

Baccarat, a game favored by Asian high rollers, has been showing significant growth among the handful of casinos that offer the game. The report predicts a 10 to 20 percent increase in baccarat and mini-baccarat revenue for the Las Vegas strip in 2011.

Baccarat and subsequent variants could be the key to putting casinos back on track. The game shows great promise and high revenues. Based on this study, it is clear many casinos on the Las Vegas Strip will eventually add baccarat to their gaming repertoire which will hopefully spark the economy.

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Baccarat Posting Strong Numbers for Strip Casinos

October 16th, 2010  |  Published in Casino News

The Gaming Control Board of Nevada recently posted that Las Vegas strip casinos won $461.1 million in slots and table games in July 2010, matching July 2009. Unfortunately, overall this is the fifth straight month of decline with a fall of 4.9 percent prior to taxes. Fortunately, the decrease in gross win is much smaller than last year during a recording period of double digits.

One Positive Report

However, on the more positive side, Las Vegas Strip casinos reported a rise by 9 percent in the month of July from Baccarat with total winnings of $74.4 million. This is after being in a two month decline. Despite the increase in table winnings, slot games continue to be off their historic wins. May and June saw a significant change in the winnings from Baccarat with a decrease of 37.1 percent then 60.8 percent when compared to the previous year.

Further Numbers

Additional reporting numbers include an increase in the $1.3 million from the sports betting pool. This is reported from 37 Las Vegas Strip casinos which is a 249.8 percent increase. The majority of wins stemmed from collecting on baseball bets and World Cup soccer wagers. Also, casinos saw a 24.6 percent monetary increase in wins from Blackjack but also reported a decline of 7.2 percent on craps, a decrease of 13.9 percent in roulette and a decline of 7.7 percent in slots.

In three of the seven months of this fiscal year, gaming wins by casinos on the Las Vegas Strip has increased compared to 2009. Overall gaming win is up 2.2 percent in 2010 which is slightly better than the previous years.

Downtown Casino Numbers

Downtown Las Vegas casino numbers fell once again by a considerable 19.2 percent. This is the 26th consecutive month these casinos have seen a decline. North Las Vegas reported an even higher loss of 23.5 percent.

Other Gaming Locations

Laughlin only fell by 1.6 percent while the Boulder area posted a drop of 16.8 percent in wins. Overall, Clark County reported a drop of 12.6 percent for the month. Mesquite reported a negligible increase of 0.3 percent.

In general, the gaming industry is in pretty bad shape. The recession is playing a major factor in this decline. Casino operators need to devise a plan to attract customers on a budget to build the industry back to its peak.

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Fontainebleau Will Remain Idle

August 6th, 2010  |  Published in Casino News

Investor Carl Icahn recently made the decision to continue to hold construction of mega-casino, Fontainebleau until the economy vastly improves. He pulled Fontainebleau out of bankruptcy and despite talks of selling the property; he’s decided to hold on to the asset. So far, he’s acquired a $52 million profit on the property.

Icahn has not commented as to whether construction on the property will resume soon. The location of Fontainebleau is at the northern edge of the Las Vegas Strip, between the Riviera and the Sahara.

Construction of the hotel-casino stopped last summer due to bankruptcy from the first developer, Turnberry Associates. The banks halted funding for a $2.9 billion, 3,815-room resort and casino. Due to a poor economy, declining revenue forecasts, a lack of condominium sales and high costs, the company filed Chapter 11. To finish this project, the cost is estimated at $1.5 billion.

Icahn Entertainment’s official response was to hold on to the property until the global economic climate greatly improves. This was stated today during a regulatory filing hearing.

Icahn Entertainment also stated that they’ve completed a fair-value study to ascertain the property’s market-worth. The study used an as-is cost model to compare to other market properties and their sales approaches. The total value of the unfinished property in this market climate is valued at $200 million. $91 million of the total was due to its prime location on the Strip.

Currently, Icahn Entertainment controls Tropicana Entertainment Inc. They have hotels and casinos around the country. The most popular areas are Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Laughlin, Nevada. Recently, the Tropicana in Las Vegas dodged a bankruptcy thus causing it to be partially owned by a separate set of private investors that are not part of Tropicana Entertainment.

The forecast for Las Vegas gaming venues has plateau’d. Although casinos are showing little growth, they are not losing any customers either. This is a clear indication that they have hit rock bottom and can only improve from this point. Holding on to Fontainebleau will prove to be a wise and profitable decision once the economy stabilizes.

Although holding a property with no growth for a significant amount of time can be costly, the long-term benefits greatly outweigh the short-term costs. As the economy improves, more visitors will travel to Las Vegas looking for excitement and entertainment. This property could become a major factor in fulfilling that need.

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