Category Archives: Las Vegas Casinos

Resorts World Las Vegas Completes Hotel Tower Construction

Resorts World has removed the final construction crane from its hotel tower, and that’s a pretty big deal.

This noteworthy occasion is made all the more momentous given the history of the Resorts World site, formerly home to the abandoned Echelon project.

We grabbed a pic of Resorts World, sans tower cranes, during a test of the resort’s impressive video screen.

Resorts World

Just like us, Resorts World has been slow but unstoppable.

The $4.3 billion Resorts World is on track for a summer 2021 opening.

Fun fact: In honor of that scheduled opening date, we have leased numerous additional fingers to cross.

Completion of the Resorts World hotel tower is a much-needed beacon of hope in Las Vegas given recent challenges related the pandemic.

Here’s a sweet video commemorating the removal of the final construction crane from the 59-story, 700-foot-plus Resorts World tower.

Resorts World was originally scheduled to open in 2016, but that would’ve been lame, honestly. We need something shiny in 2021, and Resorts World is just the ticket.

Here’s a shot of a different video screen test.

Resorts World Las Vegas

Loveable supernerd Ray on Twitter says the video screen is running on MacOS Big Sur, “only in beta right now.”

Yes, we are enamored with the Resorts World video screen. That’s because it’s badass. See it in motion.

While plans for pandas were nixed early on, Resorts World has lots of goodies in store, especially in the realm of entertainment. Resorts World has reportedly signed some hefty checks, and the biggest names in show business are going to have a new place to play, inside a state-of-the-art, 5,000-seat theater.

Here’s a look at how Resorts World has transformed into a magnificent erection.

Resorts World construction

Yeah, we’ve been on this awhile.

While a lot of the work at Resorts World will now be taking place inside, there’s still a lot of work being done in the resorts pool complex and retail area.

Resorts World Vegas

Here’s what we’re working up to.

Check back soon for Resorts World updates, scoop, rumors and a lot of sycophantic fawning over that freaking video screen.

Caesars Entertainment Cleans Up Its Act on Keeping Change

Even before the national coin shortage, slot ticket redemption kiosks at casinos stopped giving change.

M Resort, Wynn Resort and Cosmopolitan ask customers to donate their change to various charities. If a customer declines, the redemption kiosk spits out a voucher to schlep to the cashier cage for change. Annoying, but great for charities.

Wynn TITO

Close cage (Wynn), no problem. Far cage (Linq), WTF.

Other big casino companies have halted giving change at their TITO (ticket-in, ticket-out) slip kiosks, too.

Station Casinos gives vouchers, as does MGM Resorts. No charity option, but at least you know where to pick up your change.

Casinos, by the way, don’t mind if you skip taking your ticket to the cage.

When a gambler fails to redeem their slot voucher, the casino keeps 25 percent of those unclaimed winnings. The other 75 percent goes to Nevada’s general fund. Players leave behind $10-12 million a year, so casinos get 25 percent of that (then pay 25 percent of that in taxes). Such “breakage” pretty much covers administrative costs.

Caesars Entertainment casino recently moved to the no change practice, but with a twist. When customers cashed out, they got a receipt. Unlike at other casinos, the receipt didn’t look like a slot ticket.

Also, the receipt said nothing about customers being able to get their change at the cage.

Here’s a receipt from a kiosk at Bally’s Las Vegas, submitted by eagle-eyed Twitter follower Jessica.

Bally's receipt

This receipt has more red flags than Tiananmen Square.

Jessica inserted a ticket for $41.10 and the machine paid $41.

When we heard about the situation at Bally’s, we thought it a little wonky and Tweeted about it.

Bally's receipt

Twitter is a powerful tool, and we’re just the tool to prove it.

The following day, we hit The Strip, checking out several Caesars Entertainment casinos and redeeming slot tickets to see what was what.

At Bally’s, Flamino and Linq, all the receipts had language at the bottom saying customers have the option to present the receipt at the cage for change from their “partially paid tickets.”

TITO ticket

Void dates vary.

We asked a cashier about the language on the tickets, and she said, “Yeah, that happened within the last hour.”

Why are we sharing this?

First, we wanted to give you a heads up most casino kiosks don’t give change anymore.

Second, we want to give props to Caesars Entertainment for jumping on this problem before it became a problem. Yes, keeping a customer’s money without letting them know how to get it back is a problem. Yes, even if it’s not a lot of money. Although the fix looks easy, we’re sure it takes some back-end technology hoop-jumping to execute a change that quickly across multiple casinos.

Third, we are sharing this situation so we can claim to be the most important and influential blog in Las Vegas and possibly the northern hemisphere, a champion of the people, a fighter of the good fight, your Sin City watchdog, your fiscal advocate, a crusader for all that’s fair and right in the world.

But mostly the heads up and props stuff.

If you see anything wonky out there, drop us a line or DM us on Twitter. We’ll get right on it, as long as it doesn’t require “effort” or “not being intoxicated.”

Virgin Hotels Las Vegas Announces Restaurants and Bars

There are some questions about when Virgin Hotels Las Vegas might open following a major overhaul from its Hard Rock days, but when it does, the place will be teeming with food and hooch options.

Virgin’s eclectic mix of restaurants, some familiar to longtime Hard Rock fans, should satisfy a wide range of appetites. Let’s dive headlong into what’s coming up when Virgin Hotels Las Vegas opens its doors.

Night + Market

Night + Market features what’s described as “Thai drinking food.” Virgin already has our attention. Night + Market is an import from L.A., the brain child of chef and owner Kris Yenbamroong. The restaurant’s mission is “to make the most delicious and authentic Thai food to facilitate drinking and fun-having amongst friends.” (Or, in Thai, “Aharn glam lao.”) Learn more.

Virgin restaurants

Fun fact: The restaurant’s owner and chef has a film degree from New York University. Related: Las Vegas needs good Thai food more than it needs “Batman” remakes.

Nobu

Nobu’s back and will be getting an update, including fresh decor and an expanded bar area, which is never a bad thing. Pretty much everyone’s familiar with chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, or “Nobu” for short, because he had a role in “Austin Powers in Goldmember.” Oh, and he’s also a bigtime restaurateur who pals around with Robert De Niro.

Nobu movie

Classic.

Kassi Beach Club

Kassi Beach Club comes from Nick Mathers, creator of Elephante in Santa Monica and L.A.’s Kassi Club. This “European-style restaurant and ultra-lounge will combine coastal Italian flavors with the spirit of the Mediterranean.” We can only hope “European-style” means topless, but that was sadly not confirmed in the news release.

Kassi Club

We’re already a huge fan of Kassi Club. You’ll never guess why.

Then again, you may have guessed.

Kassi Club

Good eye! Here’s to living like a 17th-century Welsh privateer.

Casa Calavera

Hakkasan Group created this new cantina concept for Virgin Hotel Las Vegas. Casa Calavera fills the gap left by Pink Taco.

Casa Calavera

“Calavera” means “skull” in Spanish, so the logo wasn’t a huge leap.

MB Steak

MB Steak is sticking around for the unveiling of Virgin Las Vegas, from David Morton and Michael Morton. The restaurant will sport a new look, including an expansion. This well-liked, old-school restaurant should benefit from renewed interest in this resort, and we look forward to trying it for the first time.

MB Steak

This never felt especially inviting, so we’ll say that’s the reason we never tried it out.

Money, Baby

Money, Baby will be the Virgin sportsbook, a spot for watching and betting on sports, along with interactive games, food and cocktails. Money, Baby will have indoor and outdoor patios, with easy access to the resort’s pool complex. No rendering, but you know what a sportsbook looks like.

Afters Ice Cream

This is the first location of Afters Ice Cream outside Southern California. We like ice cream a lot, and the venue’s signature Milky Bun doughnut ice cream sandwich (ice cream stuffed into doughnuts, of course) sounds right up our alley.

After Ice Cream

These give us feelings.

Pizza Forte

Another returning offering, Pizza Forte is one of Sin City’s longest-running family-owned and operated Italian restaurants.

Olives

Chef Todd English returns to Las Vegas with Olives, featuring Mediterranean cuisine.

Olives Virgin Vegas

Don’t get us started about Todd English.

Next up, a collection of venues Virgin refers to as its Commons Club.

The Shag Room

Best. Name. Ever. The Shag Room will serve as a lounge and private event space. It looks awesome, including some sweet-looking and possibly alien stools.

Shag Room Virgin

Props for calling a space Shag Room at a hotel named Virgin.

The Kitchen at Commons Club

This restaurant is described as “a contemporary American eatery laced with British Brasserie sensibility.” It’s the hotel’s 24/7 cafe.

Kitchen Commons Virgin

Maybe not too much British influence on the menu, all due respect.

The Bar at Commons Club

You can never have too many bars at a Las Vegas casino. The Bar at Common’s Club will have multiple gathering spaces and live entertainment, assuming we get to have that again someday.

Bar at Commons Club

We’re getting a little Mos Eisley cantina vibe, but that’s probably just us.

Funny Library Coffee Shop

The Funny Library Coffee Shop is a communal workspace, with coffee, pastry and other snacks. The coffee shop will serve Laughing Man, the coffee brand co-founded by actor Hugh Jackman, best known for his performance in “Real Steel.” Let’s fact it, most people are skimming right now and will never know that film credit we gave for Hugh Jackman.

Virgin coffee shop

This is not your grandpa’s Las Vegas.

Virgin’s got a something-for-everyone line-up of restaurants and bars in store, and we accept the challenge of trying every single one to let you know what to look for during your first visit to Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

As mentioned, an opening date for Virgin Vegas hasn’t been finalized due to challenges posed by the pandemic. More details about a reopening timeline should be available in mid-September.

Hear more from the CEO of JC Hospitality (owners of Virgin Hotels Las Vegas), Richard Bosworth, on our podcast.

We can’t wait to eat, drink and carouse our way through all the offerings at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. Vegas could really use some new and shiny and delicious and potentially topless right about now.

She’s Back: Mirage Resort Announces Reopening Date

An iconic Las Vegas resort, Mirage, has announced it will reopen August 27, 2020.

Mirage has been closed nearly five months due to the COVID-19 crisis, and we never realized how much we’d miss her.

Yes, Mirage is a her.

Mirage

Vegas isn’t Vegas without the Mirage.

We can actually only think of a few Las Vegas casinos that aren’t a “her.” The Strat, for example. If you get our drift.

Caesars Palace is a “he.”

Also on the male list: The D. No-brainer on that one.

We look forward to a long and heated discussion about the gender designations of Las Vegas casinos sometime, but right now let’s get back to the great news Mirage is reopening!

Mirage volcano

Of course, everyone misses the Mirage volcano show. Drawing crowds isn’t in the cards at the moment.

There are definitely some androgynous casinos. Bally’s. Excalibur. Harrah’s. Linq. Westgate. Slots-A-Fun.

Paris is a tough one. It looks masculine (paging Dr. Freud), but feels feminine.

Paris Las Vegas Eiffel Tower

Talk about mixed messages.

It’s interesting so many Vegas casinos have a feminine vibe, because all the ones we can think of had male architects.

Also, women weren’t really the target customer of casinos back in the day. Casinos wooed male customers (“real gamblers” who played at the tables), while wives and girlfriends were relegated to playing slot machines. Women were almost an afterthought.

In time, slots became the biggest moneymaker in Las Vegas casinos, and women got the woo they so richly deserved.

Now, several Las Vegas casinos exude feminine energy. Cromwell. Wynn and Encore. Bellagio. Cosmopolitan. Venetian.

Venetian, of course, is right across the street from Mirage, which is reopening August 27, 2020, according to MGM Resorts.

Mirage

When Mirage reopens, we finally get our good luck charm back!

While news about the reopening of Mirage was welcomed by employees and visitors, it was bittersweet because we also learned another MGM Resorts hotel, Park MGM, has no reopening date.

Still, Mirage! If this crisis has taught us anything, it’s that we need to stop taking all our favorite Las Vegas things for granted. Related: The Killers’ new album, “Imploding the Mirage,” will be released on August 21, 2020.

Mirage isn’t going anywhere, The Killers, and we can’t wait to see the old gal again.

Sahara Las Vegas Says Closure Rumors Unfounded

Sahara Las Vegas and its legal representatives say a rumor we shared about the resort closing later this year is unfounded.

Which is why you won’t find the original article here, because while the story was clearly framed as a rumor, life it too short to talk to lawyers.

How you “retract” a rumor, we aren’t entirely sure, but consider this that. Because we really like drinking and playing video poker at Casbar Lounge.

Sahara to close

We love Sahara’s new Casbar Lounge, and we’re not just saying that to make the lawyers go away.

In case we haven’t said it often enough, we share news on our site, but we also share rumors, speculation, opinions and industry chatter.

We clearly state when rumors are rumors. Rumors don’t always turn out to be true. Often they do. If this one turns out to be true, we trust Sahara will retract its denial and send us an edible bouquet.

Here’s another photo of Sahara’s casino.

Sahara casino closing

We retract our former photo caption where we noted how empty Sahara is.

For posterity, here’s Sahara’s denial of the closure rumor. via its Twitter account.

Sahara closure denial

Trust us, this isn’t the first time we’ve disappointed someone.

It’s never our intention to knowingly share false information, and Sahara is adamant this rumor has no validity. Which would mean we just made the whole thing up, for no reason and based upon no information whatsoever. That’d be weird, but let’s go with it.

We definitely apologize if this rumor caused employees any unnecessary concern. Trust us, they hear rumors long before we do.

This isn’t our first dance with Sahara and it won’t be the last.

Update (8/3/20): We’ve been told Sahara has pulled the plug on its baccarat discount and incentive program.

Update (8/8/20): Apparently, Sahara wasn’t satisfied with removal of our original post and this update/retraction. We’ve been sued by Sahara (Las Vegas Resort Holdings). The news coverage has been extensive, find stories at Channel 3, Channel 5 and the Las Vegas Sun. The story by Channel 13 contains the full complaint. We aren’t going to get into why we believe this legal action was misguided, but here’s what we have said to media outlets: “This was a rumor clearly presented as such. Threatening legal action to try and intimidate and silence writers is so 2001. It doesn’t really fly in 2020. How is the rumor that a struggling casino is struggling even more during a pandemic surprising or controversial?” More to come.

Cromwell Targets October for Reopening

While most of Caesars Entertainment’s resorts in Las Vegas have reopened, Cromwell has remained a mystery.

Today, an internal Caesars Entertainment communication shared the working date for reopening Cromwell is Oct. 3, 2020.

Cromwell

Formerly, Barbary Coast. Never forget.

According to our sources, all Cromwell reservations prior to Oct. 3 will be shuffled to Caesars Palace, just across the street.

The news is interesting given rumors Cromwell is one of the Las Vegas casinos up for sale by new Caesars Entertainment as part of its merger with Eldorado Resorts.

The internal communication also included references to Planet Hollywood, Rio and Linq (currently, its casino is open but the hotel is closed). The memo suggested working dates for these casinos at August 5, 2020, but those dates appear highly unlikely to stick at this point.

On the bright side, Caesars Entertainment did manage to open Bally’s Las Vegas on July 23. Soft demand, especially midweek, made that scenario a risky move, but the classic resort opened, anyway.

Bally's casino chip

We kid because we love. Not you, Grand Bazaar Shops. We love Bally’s.

As with all casino reopening information, there are caveats galore with the Cromwell news.

The landscape continues to shift in Las Vegas due to the COVID-19 crisis, but we’ll take all the good news we can get.

Cromwell is a player-friendly destination, and Vegas isn’t quite the same without all the WTF of Drai’s nightclub and Giada’s popular restaurant, among other offerings.

Cromwell will reportedly be the site for season two of “Love Island,” whatever that might actually be. Pre-production has presumably¬†already started at Cromwell.

Facts.

Thanks to our tipsters, without whom we would just be writing 69 jokes all day, and nobody wants that.