Golden Gate Casino Renovation Closing & Reopening Times

Golden Gate Casino

You may have heard that the Golden Gate Casino is closing for renovations August 20 – August 25. If you haven’t heard about the changes you can see the details on Front Desk Tip.

Thanks to a question on twitter, I now have the exact closing and opening times for Golden Gate renovations.

Closing for renovation: August 20 at 1 pm

Opening to the public: August 25 at 12 pm

I hope to be at the Golden Gate when it reopens on the 25th to share pictures and videos. Tweet me @MeltzVegas if there’s anything particular you’d like me to capture.

Hopefully, I can get a new version of this video.

Greatest Craps Dealer Ever!

This retired vine of Al at Golden Gate dancing to Pitbull is the best vine ever! Additionally, this is the best craps game in Las Vegas.

Here’s Some Pre-Opening Video Of SLS Las Vegas

SLS Las Vegas Casino Bar
SLS Las Vegas Casino Bar. I hate renderings.

I’m heading out to SLS Las Vegas in a couple of hours and will share pictures and info from the press conference and property tour on twitter and instagram. In the meantime here are a couple of PR videos to show and tell you about the newest hotel on the Vegas Strip.

SLS Las Vegas Property Tour – Shows what the casino, restaurants and rooms look like. This video is actual footage of SLS Las Vegas (thankfully) and not a crappy rendering video. The audio was wonky for me so crank up some jams, it’s 4 minutes long.

Sound bites from SLS Las Vegas Partners: Sam Bakhshandehpour, Philippe Starck & Jose Andres talk about their excitement for the property. I didn’t watch this video because I don’t need to hear how excited they are and how this will change Las Vegas forever.

Tweet ya later!

Here’s Why SLS Las Vegas Opening A Week Early Is A Good Sign For Gamblers

SLS Las Vegas Sportsbook Rendering
SLS Las Vegas Sportsbook Rendering

SLS Las Vegas announced that it will be opening a week early today and that’s a good sign for gamblers. Casino openings are usually filled with hype. I got sucked into that when Downtown Grand opened last year.

There was a lot of over promising from Downtown Grand before they opened. Expectations were high from everyone. They promised more great dining options than anywhere else in Downtown Vegas. Instead they offered a food court with mediocre food, a sub-par cafe and a shave ice stand that may never open.

Outdoor gaming was a great idea but 2 blackjack tables facing a wall with homeless people wandering the street behind is not ideal. Street dice is nothing like they described either. Besides outdoor gaming, Downtown Grand never talked about their gambling. Typically when a business avoids a subject there’s nothing good to say.

Downtown Grand ruined Mob Bar by removing video poker and a great beer selection. In fact, all of their bars have sub-par beer options (see more at Vegas Chatter). Now it’s just where I park when I want to get chicken parm sliders.

Downtown Grand under delivered on just about everything. I don’t hate them for it but Downtown Grand was poised to become my new Downtown Vegas home.

SLS Las Vegas hasn’t promised much that doesn’t seem attainable. Affordable luxury sounds achievable. Many of their restaurants have outlets in LA so researching them on Yelp should give you a general idea of what to expect. SLS Las Vegas has promised one thing that we know little about.

SLS Las Vegas has repeatedly said that the casino would offer gambling that locals would enjoy. This generally means good video poker, ample slot machines and good table game odds.

If SLS Las Vegas can over deliver on construction by finishing earlier than expected perhaps they will over deliver on their casino odds and returns. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking. Maybe I’m on to their strategy. I always bet on myself being right. 🙂

I’ve been cautiously optimistic about SLS Las Vegas’ casino but I’m throwing caution to the wind and now I’m straight up optimistic.  

These Are American’s Favorite Casino Games

I love a good survey. Today’s question from the American Gaming Association is a simple one.

What’s your favorite casino game?

  • slots 48%
  • blackjack 16%
  • none 14%
  • poker 6%
  • roulette 5%
  • video poker 4%
  • craps 4%
  • sports book 2%
  • baccarat 1%

These results are from casino customers across the country. Since slot machines and video poker are combined in revenue reports this almost makes perfect sense.

The only minor surprise is that poker sneaks in with 6%. If it wasn’t such a popular home game I might be more surprised.

What do you think of these results?

Expect A Wider Variety Of Slot Machines In The Casino

Walking Dead Slot Machines
Walking Dead

Lost in last week’s dreadful earnings report from earnings report from IGT was this little nugget of information about the slot machine manufacturer losing floor space.

Eilers Research principal Todd Eilers said Tuesday IGT was losing “premium leased” space on casino floors to smaller competitors. In the his company’s recent survey of slot floor managers that he conducts with Fantini Research, IGT faces intense competition from large and small vendors.

“Based on our latest slot survey, we believe Aristocrat (Technologies) took significant market share in the premium leased segment once again in the quarter,” Eilers said. “In addition, smaller vendors continue to chip away at the nonwide area progressive premium leased space.”

No doubt that Aristocrat gained space on casino floors when they released The Walking Dead slot machine. It was easily the most anticipated slot machine in my few years of covering casinos and gaming. That can’t be the only machine taking up space formerly occupied with IGT slot machines.

Besides Buffalo (also Aristocrat) I haven’t noticed any other non-IGT slot machines. Have you?

Your Top 5 From AC2LV

It’s the end of the year so let’s look back at the most viewed posts of the year on AC2LV.

  1. Blackjack Myths – This is a timeless blog. I hear these at the table all the time.
  2. Best Video Poker On The Las Vegas Strip – I usually do a video poker check on vpFREE before a long stay at a casino. This was before last December’s vacation.
  3. Interview With A Casino Host – This is 4 years old. I’m amazed how many people want to know about life as a casino host.
  4. Revel To Be Sold In Next 6 Months – The New York Post was a little off with timing but it looks as if Revel will be sold soon.
  5. Best Downtown Las Vegas Video Poker – People love Downtown Vegas!

Tweet me with your favorite blog from the year.

Who’s Buying Me This Sick LED Craps Table?

LED Craps Table
LED Craps Table

I always get excited when I think, tweet or write about craps. Craps is awesome. This morning I was looking for an image to accompany an article for Vegas Chatter when I happened upon this stunning LED craps table above. I don’t know that I’d get much mileage from this table but I’d love to play it in a casino (even though it looks like it belongs in a strip club).

Waylou.com has information on this LED craps and a slew of images of other LED casino tables if you want to see more options for your home casino.

Photo: Waylou.com

My Favorite Part Of Downtown Grand

Downtown Grand Las Vegas Hotel Lobby
Downtown Grand Lobby

I spent much of the day Monday exploring Downtown Grand. I have mixed feelings on the HOTEL casino. Overall I love the vibe and decor. Downtown Grand, like Cosmopolitan before and SLS Las Vegas next year is a hotel that has a casino.

There are 16 restaurants and 650 hotel rooms that are a part of Downtown Grand complex. There are about 10-15 gaming tables and a very small sportsbook with just 12 chairs. Gaming is an amenity. It’s not the focus for Downtown Grand.

That’s just the way the Las Vegas casino market is today. The casino resort I grew up loving is changing into a hotel casino. I might as well get used to it and enjoy it for what it is.

The photo above ia a couple of huge leather chairs and a piece of art constructed of hundreds of dice in the lobby. The chairs are so comfortable that I could have sat there waiting for other people to take pictures for hours.

Downtown Grand is a beautiful hotel that I can enjoy. I’m not sure I’ll gamble much at Downtown Grand but I’ll certainly enjoy some drinks and wifi in one of those chairs.

I have pictures on the ECG Tumblr but you should check out the awesome coverage on Vital Vegas and Vegas Chatter. 

Are Casinos Ready For The New $100 Bill?

New $100 Bill
New $100 Bill

You may have heard that the US Government is introducing a new $100 bill today. It’s not much of a big deal for most people’s day-to-day life since most retail outlets don’t accept $100 bills. Casino visitors aren’t like most people and if you frequent casinos the new $100 bill will certainly matter to you.

Casino ATM’s dispense $100 whenever they can. While most ATM’s in the real world give 5 $20 bills when you ask for $100, a casino will give you a $100 bill. This makes it easier for you to spend $100 per session as opposed to $20.

When someone says that they’re putting a bill into a slot machine it’s usually a $20 or $100 dollar bill. Slot (and video poker) machines are fickle when it comes to reading money. Wrinkled, bent or bills that are scribbled on won’t work. You need a crisp, tight bill.

So, will there be any problems playing the machines in a casino with a new $100 bill? Probably.

Las Vegas Advisor looked into the situation last week and saw that 18 different casinos weren’t prepared for the new bill. For a city known for change Las Vegas isn’t always the most prepared for change. Expect changes to bill readers to happen on the fly if they haven’t happened already.

Chances are that there will be problems if you have a new $100 bill. I recommend heading to the cashier and switching out new bills for old bills before you sit down to play. Even if the machines bill readers are switched out you won’t have to deal with getting up once you settle in. 

Rumor: Cosmopolitan Sold To Scientologist

Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas At Night
Cosmopolitan At Night

Just before kickoff of the Ravens at Broncos game last night I read a handful of tweets asking if the rumor that the Cosmopolitan was sold were true. I couldn’t find out any information about this rumored sale from my regular sources for until I read this tweet from Howard Stutz from the Las Vegas Review Journal where the Cosmopolitan was denying that they were sold.

Okay, so Cosmo is speaking up about this rumor but I still had no idea where it started. The rumor wasn’t started by Robin Leach so maybe it came from somewhere credible. I’m not sure that the rumor is credible but I did find out where the rumor about Cosmopolitan being sold was started.

KingOfNightclubs.com is first to report that the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas has been sold according to our sources. Rumor has it that deal is signed and their official announcement will come soon.

Allegedly James Packer, son of the Late Kerry Packer, An Australian media mogul, also owns Crown LTD, with casinos in Australia and Macau, just purchased The Cosmopolitan. The purchase of The Cosmopolitan comes with an approximate $3 billion dollar price tag.

Although NOT yet announced, sources confirmed that as soon as this deal became official, the first thing to go was the old casino reservation and computer system. A new system has already been installed and they have already moved the casino host desk to the front of the high roller gaming lounge to keep the casino hosts on the floor and out of the back of the gaming lounge.

Also, the VP of casino marketing in charge of all the hosts did NOT renew his contract which expired in August. More info to come.

This is not a news site but Joe Vargas is well-connected in Las Vegas so there’s potential that the rumor about Cosmopolitan being sold is true. The rumored buyer, James Packer, is an Australian businessman who was born into wealth. According to his wikipedia entry he’s a scientologist who knows Tom Cruise and has dabbled in the casino business before (Read the complete wiki for more info).

I don’t frequent the Cosmo as much as I used but I really like it and like what they bring to the Vegas Strip. The way the Vegas Strip works today it doesn’t seem like an independent owner is the right move for the existence of the hotel in the future.

If this rumor about James Packer buying Cosmopolitan is true expect I fully expect him to sell it off to a more viable casino operator in the future.

This is all just rumor and speculation but it’s fun.

PS: I don’t care that James Packer is a scientologist, it just makes for a fun headline.