Inside Gaming: Wynn Delays Opening Second Macau Casino, Holm-Rousey Bout “Gut Punch” to Sportsbooks
In this week’s installment of Inside Gaming, Wynn Resorts announces that the opening of its second casino in Macau will be delayed until next summer, the Nevada Gaming Commission approves several casino buyouts in Reno and Las Vegas, the Mohegan Sun posts a quarterly rise in revenue, and Vegas sportsbooks take a beating along with Ronda Rousey thanks to the big UFC upset last weekend.
Wynn Announces Delayed Opening for Second Macau Casino
Amid the continued, precipitous decline in gaming revenue in Macau, Wynn Resorts Ltd. announced on Thursday that the opening of its new $4.1 billion hotel will be delayed another three months, AFP News reports.
Originally scheduled to open in late March 2016, there had already been some doubts about the new Wynn Palace, including questions over what the table cap would be for for the casino, which will be the second for Wynn Resorts in Macau along with Wynn Macau (pictured above).
The statement from Wynn did not specify a reason for the delay, only noting that the contractor for the construction of the 1,700-room resort had notified them of the need to move forward the opening. The new opening date is now June 25, 2016.
The news comes three weeks after Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. opened their newest casino, the $3.2 billion Hollywood-themed Studio City resort which like the planned-for Wynn Palace is located on the Cotai Strip. It also comes amid a period of mounting uncertainty for the Special Administrative Region which continues to experience unprecedented decline in gaming revenue.
October marked the 17th-straight month of gaming revenue declines for the Special Administrative Region, dipping another 28.4% year-over-year.
Following yesterday’s announcement of the Wynn Palace’s delayed opening, the international investment banking group Daiwa Capital Markets opined in a memo they “believe that some of the new Cotai projects face risks of delays amid a challening operating environment.
Read more about the Wynn Palace delay and other prospects on the Cotai Strip from AFP News.
NGC Approves Three Casino Buyouts in Nevada
Yesterday came news that the Nevada Gaming Commission had approved three different casino industry buyouts, the Las-Vegas Review Journal reports.
Among the buyouts is the Eldorado Resort’s acquisition of MGM International Resorts International’s holdings in Reno for $72.5 million. Also approved was the Eldorado’s purchase of Circus Circus Reno as well as the other half of the MGM’s Silver Legacy in Reno to give Eldorado full ownership, giving Eldorado three properties in downtown Reno.
Other buyouts approved by the NGC included Golden Gate majority owner Derek Stevens acquiring the other 35% of Golden Gate from Mark Brandenburg, and another deal involving the owners of SLS Las Vegas acquiring a further 10% stake in the property from Sam Nazarian and SBE Entertainment.
The Eldorado acquisitions help spark optimism regarding the growth of gaming in Reno. Meanwhile the Golden Gate purchase — already approved earlier this month by the Gaming Control Board and just in need of the NGC’s sign-off this week — marks the end of an era, as seller Brandenburg’s mother had been married to one of the historic casino’s original partners. The Golden Gate first opened in 1906.
Read more about the approvals at the LVRJ.
Mohegan Sun Enjoys Quarterly Profit Jump, Increase in Revenue
This week a revenue report from the Mohegan Sun casinos in Uncasville, Connecticut showed an impressive 86% jump in profit. The increase was “due to cost-cutting and rising popularity of tables games” according to the casinos’ parent company, the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority.
The Associated Press reports a modest increase in revenue by the Mohegans over the same period, with $339.4 million being up a touch from the $336.9 million of a year ago.
Bobby Soper, president of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, noted how the industry appears at last to be emerging from the recession-and-recovery period of recent years. “We see stabilizaation so that previous years’ declines have turned into a more stable environment,” said Soper.
The revenue increase came largely from table games, with lower slot revenue tempering the overall increase.
Read more about the Mohegans’ successful quarter at CDC Gaming Reports.
Holm Knockout of Rousey a “Gut Punch” for Vegas Sportsbooks
Finally, when Holly Holm knocked out heavily favored Ronda Rousey early in the second round of last Saturday’s UFC 193’s main event to claim the Women’s Bantamweight title, it was quiet a surprise to the 56,214 in attendance and to the more than one million watching via pay-per-view. Less surprising was the fact that the result meant that Las Vegas sportsbooks took a big hit as well.
ESPN reported earlier this week that most sportsbooks endured huge losses thanks to heavy betting on the underdog Holm. “The MGM sportsbook suffered its largest loss ever on a UFC fight,” notes ESPN, “a six-figure gut punch that disintegrated any college football profit on the day.” Jay Rood, vice president of race and sports at MGM, shared that “for every one bet on Rousey, there were 50 on Holm.”
Both the Westgate SuperBook and William Hill’s Nevada book reported similarly heavy betting on Holm, with 96% of bets at William Hill being on Holm. However, the losses there were mitigated somewhat by one bettor who lost a $72,000 bet placed on Rousey at minus-1,800 — that is, to win just $4,000.
Those losses were made up for on Sunday, however, when the underdogs in the NFL went a combined 10-2 against the spread, with nine underdogs winning outright, making for the best Sunday of the season for many sportsbooks.
Read more stories of last weekend’s UFC and NFL betting over at ESPN.