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Casino City’s Friday Five: To open or not to open edition

7 Aug 2020

By Dan Ippolito
Some states in the U.S. are dealing with much higher COVID cases than others which leads them to the dilemma of what to reopen to the public. For example, Nevada is still seeing a rise in cases so some casinos are contemplating when it will be safe to reopen and if they will reopen at all. There are many casinos already up and running again in Nevada, including two that saw progressive jackpot wins this week. Other states, such as Michigan, are seeing major casinos welcome back guests even this week. Other top stories include a bingo jackpot of nearly $37,000 and a major milestone for sportsbooks.

Let’s begin with a bingo win in Las Vegas:

5. Nearly $37,000 won from bingo jackpot in Las Vegas
Las Vegas resident Matthew scored a nearly $37,000 jackpot playing bingo at Sam's Town Hotel & Gambling Hall on Wednesday, 5 August.

The lucky winner purchased a $1 bonus coverall strip and hit the $36,786 coverall jackpot after 48 numbers were called during the 11 a.m. session.

4. Two mega progressive jackpots at Caesars Palace and Flamingo Las Vegas
On Friday, 31 July, a Caesars Rewards guest from California hit the Mega Progressive Jackpot for $1,982,517 on a Pai Gow Poker table at Caesars Palace. He was incredibly excited and was in a state of shock. When asked what he wants to do with the money, he replied, “I’m going to buy a house.” The player elected to not be identified.

Later this morning, another Caesars Rewards guest from Georgia hit the Mega Progressive Royal Flush for $480,850 on Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker at Flamingo Las Vegas. He was overjoyed and said he will use the money to celebrate his almost-birthday.

3. Detroit casinos start to reopen
Last week, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer amended Michigan’s Safe Start Order, allowing Detroit casinos to open on August 5.

The three casinos immediately hopped on the opportunity to reopen and announced dates and plans to do so.
Greektown Casino Hotel and MotorCity Casino both reopened their doors to the public on Wednesday.

This morning, MGM Grand Detroit Casino opened up after having an invitation-only event on Wednesday and Thursday.

2. First sportsbook at US sports complex officially opens
Monday marked the official opening of William Hill’s first location in Washington D.C. – and first within a U.S. sports complex.

The sportsbook inside Capital One Arena saw ceremonial first bets placed by inaugural season ticket holders from the Washington Wizards, Capitals and Mystics. Mr. David Feldman (Capitals), Mr. David Dwornik (Wizards) and Ms. Angela Tilghman (Mystics) each placed bets on their respective teams, using lucky numbers with hopes of winning big.

“Washington, D.C. is known for its dedicated sports fans, and we’re excited to finally bring them a new way to engage with their favorite teams. Being the first to open a retail location in a professional sports venue wouldn’t be possible without our relationship with Ted Leonsis and his team at Monumental,” said Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill U.S. “Our teams are working hard to finalize the permanent sports book, restaurant and bar concept we originally envisioned inside the arena.”

1. Four Station Casinos properties in Southern Nevada may not reopen
There is some doubt about the reopening of four of Station Casinos Southern Nevada properties, according to Frank Fertitta III, the CEO of Red Rock Resorts, the parent company of Station Casinos.

During an earnings call Tuesday Fertitta mentioned that it is not safe to reopen Texas Station Gambling Hall and Hotel, Fiesta Henderson Casino Hotel, Fiesta Rancho Casino Hotel and The Palms Casino Resort, and is unsure if and when that time will come.

“We don’t know if or when we’re going to reopen any of the closed properties,” Fertitta said. “We think it’s too early to make that decision.”

Like many casinos across the U.S., Red Rock's Las Vegas casinos have taken a massive hit due to COVID-19.

On 4 June, the company reopened its Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa, Green Valley Ranch Resort, Spa and Casino, Santa Fe Station Hotel & Casino, Boulder Station Hotel & Casino, Palace Station Hotel and Casino and Sunset Station Hotel and Casino properties, together with its Wildfire properties. The Graton Resort & Casino also partially reopened on 18 June.

“So far, we’re pleased with the results we’ve had and the ability to move some of the play from our closed properties to our existing properties,” Fertitta said. “We’re going to continue to get clarity and to navigate the situation to make well-informed decisions. Whatever decisions we make will be made in the best interest of shareholder value.”
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