Caesars Entertainment Slashes Live Entertainment

We’ve been tossing out red flags for some time about changes coming to Caesars Entertainment following the merger with Eldorado, and now we’re seeing the repercussions of the shift in the company’s direction.

Live entertainment is being hit hard across town, with a number of venues being closed along with announcements their shows and entertainers will have to seek new theaters.

Among the venues closing are Cleopatra’s Barge at Caesars Palace, the Chippendales Theater at Rio and Anthony Cools Experience Theater at Paris, per a statement from Caesars.

“X Rocks” at Bally’s has also been shown the door, as well as the Bronx Wanderers and “John Caparulo’s Mad Cap Comedy” at Harrah’s.

X Rocks closed

“X Rocks” has been stripped of its theater.

That means acts like Wayne Newton, “Chippendales,” the hilarious hypnotist Anthony Cools and shows like “Friends, The Musical Parody” and “Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man” are homeless.

Just like that, one of the best male revues in the history of Las Vegas, “Chippendales,” has closed at Rio.

Chippendales

So many hearts broken right now.

Also closing are “Crazy Girls” and “Tenors of Rock” at Planet Hollywood.

The changes don’t stop there, however, as we’re hearing numerous live bands and lounge acts are going away, too.

We’ve heard unconfirmed rumors other entertainment venues will feel the effects of this new direction, including the end of bands and elimination of the stage at Carnaval Court outside Harrah’s.

Ditto the stage inside O’Sheas at Linq casino.

Yes, that’s Flippy at Carnaval Court, but you’re supposed to be reading our incredibly prescient words. Ahem.

The cuts in live entertainment seem to track with statements by Caesars Entertainment that the company’s focus is returning to gambling, as opposed to restaurants and entertainment.

The move by Caesars Entertainment is strange because it would appear a cost-cutting move, but these shows are four-wall deals. The shows pay for production costs and marketing themselves, so with its decisions Caesars is not only eliminating revenue from “rent,” it’s turning away customers who might visit the casino or take advantage of other amenities before or after a show.

That’s right, Caesars Entertainment is taking the “entertainment” out of “Entertainment,” a tectonic shift given gambling revenues have continued to decline over the past few years. MGM Resorts even launched a campaign to distance itself from the perception of being a “casino company,” preferring to portray itself as an “entertainment company.”

If you’re worried your favorite shows are in danger, you should be.

We hear the shake-up isn’t done, and it extends beyond entertainment.

A number of strategic moves in Las Vegas are being made right now, under cover of the COVID crisis. Gird your loins!

For example, our source says Laurel Lounges at Caesars Entertainment resorts will be eliminated. Again, not confirmed, but we hear reliably these VIP lounges are done, and the one at Paris will be replaced with a Vanderpump Lounge.

All these moves are made all the more fascinating by the timing, as casinos move to 100% capacity and masks are no longer mandatory for vaccinated guests.

Demand is high for mid-level shows, and we’re curious to see what Caesars Entertainment does next.

16 thoughts on “Caesars Entertainment Slashes Live Entertainment

  1. Jack T

    Very odd, seeing as Scott Roeben stated that these shows and Lounges for acts like Chippendales pay RENT and do their own marketing. Caesar’s still needs to air condition the spaces, and the closed spaces or walled spaces makes it look like a barely surviving Flee Market in Idaho or somewhere. Or, buying a house and only living in one bedroom and walling off the rest of the house to save heat & AC.
    Looks like they are close to bankruptcy. “PERCEPTION IS MORE THAN REALITY” as the saying goes.

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  2. FYMYAWF

    Mystifying. Why on earth would you go to Carnival Court if there were no bands? Flair gets old after about 10 minutes. Especially if there’s no money to be saved and possibly money to be lost. I’m sure some bean counter somewhere can explain but I’m not sure I care. CET resorts were off my do list for the most part even before El Do took over.

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  3. Gaz Vegas

    Super interesting. Proof perhaps that Eldorado knows nothing about the Vegas market and will be a colossal failure?

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  4. John d

    Not Cleopatras Barge, a bad decision after decades of being in operation..I would always sit in the chair Rainman would sit in from the movie.

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  5. Pablo

    Why go to Vegas if you can get the same level of little/no entertainment options at your local casino?

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  6. John

    Pablo,
    That is exactly ElDiablo’s mind set. They ran local One Trick Pony casinos where they were they the only competition around. So you don’t need, buffets, lounges, entertainment, spas, good booze and pours or comps, because you have nowhere to gamble. Carano stated his players don’t want comps, because he would not offer any to begin with. So now they are applying this strategy to Vegas. Good Luck. If I were Resorts, I would welcoming Seven Stars with open arms, as they walk up, North on the strip. Fortunately, we have at least ten viable casino to choose in the Vegas market.

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  7. Joe

    It seems to make no sense. But at the same time haven’t Caesars, MGM, etc. demonstrated that the current model isn’t exactly profitable? I know Scott has made the case for decreasing nickel and diming to bring people back, but it isn’t clear to me that people would willingly come and lose money gambling if only their resort fee was $25 less and their room was $25 more, or if they got a compel diet and coke 2 hands sooner.

    I love Vegas, but you do get that sense that model just may not work. It is hard to blame them for trying something different.

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  8. Boulder Steve

    Sounds like they want to get back to the good old days when Vegas was about drinking and gambling. Might be a tough sell since you don’t have to be in Vegas to do those things anymore

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  9. MrBuzzkill

    I think it was recent tourism trends that emboldened them to make this decision. Tourists have slammed back into Vegas bigly, but there very few shows here anymore. What is that telling you? Expect other operators to take notice, too.

    This reshaping was visible before the pandemic only on a smaller scale. Who builds a brand new billion dollar Vegas resort without a single showroom? Who replaced his showrooms with bars and sportsbooks? The trends are often seen in the smaller operations first. Then work their way up.

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  10. James K

    Sorry to see Anthony Cools gone from Paris. Seen the show 3 times, and have never laughed so hard. It’s about a 200 seat showroom in the corner of the casino. Like the article said, the show does the production. It can’t be a money loser for the property.

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    1. Jackson

      No clue if there are regulatory obstacles to overcome, but maybe one of the shopping malls without a theatre could step in and create a space that could be rented to small productions like that one.

      If the Miracle Mile can make it work, why not the Forum Shops, Crystals, or Fashion Show Mall?

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  11. Chuck Porcaro

    The ANTHONY COOLS SHOW deserves to have a show room. He’s been there around 15 years & is alwAys funny. Wake up Caesars he deserves a room.

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  12. Paul

    When you (Eldorado) purchase a boat (Caesars) that already has a huge hole (debt) and water (more debt) is rushing in and sinking seems inevitable, the knee jerk reaction is to throw everything (entertainment) overboard in the hopes the boat will be lighter and float.

    Panic action like closing all your entertainment down is a sure sign of bean counters hitting the alarm button. People can gamble all over Las Vegas. there are thousands of BJ tables to choose from. why would I gamble at Caesars? do they have better tables?. Entertainment is essential for attracting customers, period! that’s what Vegas is, entertainment. the key is understanding entertainment and having the right person in charge of that. not some CEO that yells “we’re sinking, throw everything overboard”.

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  13. Grish

    The stage at O’Sheas was gone when we went in April and was still gone but replaced on MDW with a video BJ machine – “Want to play BJ?” No! I want my live band or at least a DJ back at O’Sheas! haha Carnival still had the band on MDW also, hopefully they don’t take that away!

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  14. LESLEY MONTGOMERY

    I think the changes that they’re making are ridiculous sometimes we need a break from gambling and a show just makes you refresh and then go right back to gambling bad move I don’t know what they’re thinking being a seven star I’m used to perks I can gamble anywhere I thought of hair is as my home away from home so sad to see what they’re doing

    Reply

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