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Dan Ippolito

As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and he writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports.

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Top 10 casino openings and expansions

15 Apr 2019

By Dan Ippolito
Over the last two months, since our last edition, we have seen a variety of openings and expansions all over the world. Here we take a look at our top 10 restaurants, sportsbooks, attractions and more that have recently opened or been expanded. 10. Uno Más at SLS Las Vegas celebrates grand opening On Friday, SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino held the grand opening celebration of the new culinary concept Uno Más. The event began with a piñata-breaking ceremony, followed by guests enjoying a selection of authentic Mexican bites. The Uno Más menu includes shareable bites like queso fundido with chorizo, guacamole and chips, pork chicharrones and grilled corn. A variety of street tacos are also offered, including pan-roasted shrimp, carne asada, al pastor, lengua, fish and beer, beer-braised short rib, carnitas, crispy pollo, lamb and vegetarian options like queso a la plancha and cactus, all served in hand-crafted tortillas made fresh daily. The restaurant opened just in time for Cinco de Mayo and will include 5 May celebrations. 9. Racing entertainment center at Century Mile Racetrack opens Century Casinos celebrated the grand opening of its new racing entertainment center at Century Mile Racetrack and Casino on 1 April. Doors at the South Edmonton, Canada venue opened for the first time for guests to explore the new casino featuring 550 slot machines and electronic table games, 14 video lottery terminals, a replay gaming stadium with 28 play stations, an off-track betting room, a restaurant and a lounge area. With the racing entertainment center open, Century is now preparing for the first weekend of thoroughbred racing on the one-mile racetrack, scheduled for 28 April. 8. The STRAT introduces BLVD & MAIN Taphouse and View Lounge The STRAT Hotel, Casino and SkyPod has unveiled the new BLVD & MAIN Taphouse and View Lounge on the main casino floor next to the new William Hill sportsbook. This addition comes just two months after the Stratosphere rebranded to The STRAT back in early February. The new lounge is over 3,000 square feet and includes cocktails and small bites. The more than 6,000-square-foot BLVD & MAIN features craft beer and pub cuisine with access to the sportsbook. “BLVD & MAIN will be the top spot in town to grab beers and a bite while catching the game, whether you live in Vegas or you’re on vacation,” said Steve Arcana, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Golden Entertainment, parent company of The STRAT. “The craft beer offerings, including our own beers, are fantastic. Chef Johannes Bernau has meticulously crafted the menu to take pub cuisine to a new, upscale, cutting-edge standard.” 7. All-new Trago Lounge at Tropicana Las Vegas The new bar and lounge hideaway at Tropicana Las Vegas opened in mid-March. The venue offers scotch, tequila, whiskey and more 24 hours a day. Trago Lounge showcases a 24-seat bar with 10 televisions, 22 video poker machines, plus lounge seating. Trago can accommodate 120 guests in the more than 3,500 square feet of space it has to offer. "It's been an exciting experience to see the entire property come together and we are thrilled to complete the property-wide food and beverage revamp with the addition of the all-new bar and lounge,” said Aaron Rosenthal, vice president and general manager of Tropicana Las Vegas. “The comfortable yet chic environment allows guests to imbibe daily with the perfect pairings of signature cocktails and high-end spirits, for both locals and tourists alike, offering an experience like no other on property." 6. Las Vegas Sands to expand Marina Bay Sands On 3 April, Las Vegas Sands announced the expansion plan for Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. The company entered a development agreement with the Singapore government and the key elements will be a 15,000-seat arena, a luxury hotel tower and additional meeting, incentive, convention and exhibition space. "Marina Bay Sands is an iconic tourism destination that has exceeded all of our hopes in growing leisure and business tourism in Singapore and it is a privilege to receive the Singapore government's continued support of its development. The property has achieved amazing success for both Singapore and our company and we plan to create even more with this expansion," said Las Vegas Sands Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sheldon G. Adelson. 5. The Hunger Games: The Exhibition to open at MGM Grand MGM Grand Hotel & Casino Las Vegas is ready to feature The Hunger Games: The Exhibition in May at The District at MGM Grand. The new attraction will include a fully-immersive archery training experience. Other features will be inspirational galleries of the Hall of Justice, President Snow’s office, the Tribute Train and District 13. Showcasing nearly 30 original costumes worn by the cast, the Costume Gallery will include the most memorable pieces from The Hunger Games films including the Girl on Fire dress, the Mockingjay gown and more. 4. Seabrook Greyhound Park purchased by Eureka Casino Resort There is a new sense of optimism surrounding the historic Seabrook Greyhound Park in New Hampshire. Since it was purchased by Eureka Casino Resort earlier this year, the 90,000 square-foot facility, which sits on 75 acres just north of the Massachusetts border, has undergone immediate improvements, including last month's unveiling of the new Greyhound Casino & Tavern. The nonsmoking venue features a granite bar and high-top tables along with a full “pub style” menu, as well as six brand new poker tables; 11 table games featuring the likes of blackjack, Mississippi Stud and Three Card Poker; and two roulette tables. There are also close to 20 TVs, a ton of Boston sports collectables decorating the walls and free Wi-Fi. In addition, the 12-table tournament poker room, adjacent to the new tavern, received a facelift with new carpet, new tables and a fresh coat of paint. Phase II of the project, expected to be completed in September, is also underway and will include a complete repurpose and remodel of the track’s grandstand area, where the plan is to build a state-of-the-art race and sportsbook, along with more food and beverage options. “We started looking at the gaming market in New Hampshire, and although it is not fully matured like it is in most other states, we thought there was a tremendous opportunity,” said Eureka Casino Resort President Greg Lee, who grew up in the area. “We like the region for a lot of reasons, and we think it’s a great fit for us.” 3. Room reservations open at Encore Boston Harbor The $2.6 billion resort in Everett, Massachusetts is accepting room reservations for when it is scheduled to open in June 2019. “Our team built full-scale, completely functioning models of every guest room to ensure the lighting and design elements are perfect,” said Robert DeSalvio, President of Encore Boston Harbor. “From the furniture to the carpets and drapes, every guest room detail is custom, bespoke and unique, created exclusively for Encore Boston Harbor. If guests want to relive this experience, they’ll have to come back.” At 650 square feet, Encore Boston Harbor’s Premier King and Double guest rooms are the largest hotel accommodations in New England, according to Encore Boston Harbor. Signature Suites increase to 1,350 square feet; Two-Bedroom Residences are 3,350 square feet; and two limited-availability villas total 5,800 square feet, respectively. Encore Boston Harbor and Wynn Resorts have been in headlines recently for other news. In a series of hearings earlier this month in Boston, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) investigated whether Wynn Resorts remains suitable to hold the casino license. 2. Sycuan Casino’s expansion opens to public The $260 million hotel and resort expansion at Sycuan casino was introduced to the public on 27 March. The expanded resort features a 12-story luxury tower with over 300 guest rooms and 57 suites. The California resort added 10 new restaurants and bars as well. Some of the new additions include an outdoor pool venue called Retreat Pool and Cabanas, Bull and Bourbon and Elicit Bar & Lounge. 1. Harrah’s Northern California announces opening weekend There will soon be a new place to play in Amador County when Harrah's Northern California opens later this spring. From 17 to 19 May, guests will be able to experience the grand opening weekend at the long-awaited casino property, which began construction in April 2018. The 71,000 square-foot destination will feature 950 slot machines, 20 table games, one full-service restaurant and three fast-casual dining concepts. Guests at Harrah’s Northern California will also benefit from the affiliation with Caesars Entertainment’s loyalty program, Caesars Rewards and the perks that come along with it.
 
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