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Top 10 casino openings and expansions

2 Sep 2019

By Dan Ippolito
It has been just over two months since Encore Boston Harbor opened to the public on 23 June. In our last edition of casino openings and expansions, we covered several top stories, including Rivers Casino breaking ground on a new hotel and the $15 million renovation at Plaza Hotel and Casino. Since that edition on 8 July, we have seen many other big casino announcements across the U.S. Here we take a look at 10 headlines in the last month and a half. 10. Angel of the Winds Casino opens first phase of Xpansion Angel of the Winds Casino Hotel Brewery announced the opening of several venues as part of the Washington property’s "Xpansion" project. The new features will include a parking garage, an expanded gaming floor, Strikerz Bowling, Rivers Run Event Center, All Things Sports and Gateway Bar. The gaming floor and Gateway Bar opened on 12 August. The parking garage will have 575 spots for guests, and the new event center will have 8,800 square feet of space. The first show at the Event Center was held on Friday, with John Michael making the first performance. The second phase of the project will be Gravity Bar, a sleek social space that will be located in the center of the gaming action, and Riverside Buffet, a dedicated buffet that will feature rotating themes nightly. 9. Hard Rock Florida expansions to offer new culinary concepts Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood and Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa will have expansions that combine for $2.2 billion. Included in these projects will be 20 new culinary offerings that are set to be completed by October. The Hollywood property’s new restaurant options will feature an Italian restaurant, an American live fire grill, a 24-hour deli/diner, a buffet with multiple live action stations, poolside dining and an artisanal coffeeshop. In Tampa, Seminole Hard Rock guests will expect to see an Italian restaurant, a pool bar and grille, a wine experience and a bakery with gelato. The Rez Grill, Rise Kitchen & Deli, L Bar and Center Bar are already welcoming guests at the Tampa resort. The Hollywood resort’s $1.5 billion expansion of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood includes an iconic guitar hotel, which is planned to open on 24 October. The guitar hotel stretches 450 feet into the South Florida sky. 8. Cedar Lakes Casino Hotel opens On 8 August, the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Tribal Council held a ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony for the $50 million expansion of Cedar Lakes Casino Hotel in Minnesota. Cedar Lakes took the place of Palace Casino Hotel, which closed in July after it was voted to be moved closer to Cass Lake. The 100-room hotel, featuring slots, blackjack, a food court, arcade, indoor pool and event center will employ 400 people. "I want to congratulate the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Tribe on this beautiful tribal gaming property,” said National Indian Gaming Association Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr. “I envision great things ahead for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Tribe and the future of this gaming enterprise and beyond. Today, we take a giant forward in Indian gaming.” 7. Hard Rock Sacramento at Fire Mountain now accepting reservations As it prepares for the fall 2019 opening, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain started booking room reservations earlier this month. The property will include 170 rooms along with 31 suites and a section of pool terrace rooms. "We are excited for our guests to begin making resort reservations to what will become Northern California's premier gaming, dining, and hospitality destination. This announcement brings us one step closer to officially opening our doors this fall," said Mark Birtha, president of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain. The gaming facility at the Sacramento resort will feature over 1,800 slots and table game positions, an outdoor pool and deck area, a large meeting space, and a selection of bars and restaurants. 6. Foxwoods Resort Casino unveils Rainmaker Casino Foxwoods Resort Casino has announced the opening of the reimagined gaming space, Rainmaker Casino. “We’re pleased to introduce the top-of-the-line Rainmaker Casino as we continue to provide the world-class gaming our guests have come to know and expect at Foxwoods,” said Wayne Theiss, Foxwoods Resort Casino’s Vice President of Gaming Operations. “These new offerings are just another way of showing Foxwoods’ commitment to maintaining our position as the premier gaming destination in the Northeast.” The new layout includes slot machines, including many that are exclusive to the Connecticut resort, table games, a racebook and a new poker room. Some of the slot machines featured in the Rainmaker Casino are Adam Levine Video Slots, Dragon Link slots, Rakin’ Bacon and Fortune Link. The poker room will also offer ways for players to win every day. On select days, there will be the Random Riches Jackpot and if a player matches the random generated hand they will win the jackpot. The prize will increase $100 every 330 minutes until the hand is matched. 5. Arizona Charlie's Boulder unveils remodeled sportsbook Just in time for the NFL season, which begins Thursday night, Arizona Charlie’s Boulder opened the new William Hill Sports Book. The sportsbook originally opened in January, but has been remodeled. The Las Vegas space features new seating, 16 84-inch televisions and upgraded odds boards for fans. “The new William Hill Sports Book elevated Arizona Charlie’s position as one of the top spots for locals to watch and place wagers on games in the Las Vegas Valley,” said executive vice president and chief operating officer of Golden Entertainment, Steve Arcana. “We are excited to transform the Arizona Charlie’s sportsbooks, providing state-of-the-art betting technology for our guests at both the Decatur and Boulder locations. This is the first of many projects we are working to upgrade for our Arizona Charlie’s guests.” 4. Sandia Resort and Casino announces expansion plans Sandia Resort & Casino in Albuquerque has unveiled plans for dining, gaming and entertainment enhancements for guests. Part of the expansion will see a 25,000-square-foot sports bar on the third floor, which will feature indoor golf and several televisions. The project will also improve the high-limit gaming space. The New Mexico resort just recently completed am expansion of its fine and casual dining options. Also, The Sandia Resort’s Amphitheater was reopened in July 2018 after renovation. 3. DraftKings opens sportsbook at del Lago Resort & Casino On 23 August, del Lago Resort & Casino announced the opening of the DraftKings Sportsbook. The 6,000-square-foot space is complete with betting kiosks and LED video screens. Placing the first bet at the new sportsbook was former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb. McNabb chose to be on the Philadelphia Eagles to win the Super Bowl at 13-to-1 odds. “We are thrilled to officially open our new DraftKings Sportsbook at del Lago and look forward to welcoming guests to our state-of-the-art lounge,” said Lance Young, del Lago’s executive vice president and general manager. “Our sportsbook is an extraordinary experience — adding yet another topnotch amenity for our guests to enjoy. The addition of our sportsbook lounge reinforces that del Lago Resort & Casino is a highly sought-after destination in the region.” 2. Resorts World Catskills unveils new poker room Earlier this month, Resorts World Catskills, which opened in upstate New York last year, introduced its new 7,000-square-foot poker room. Featuring 20 tables and 180 seats, the poker room offers an in-room cashier, complimentary beverage service, USB charging ports at every seat and 27 55-inch TVs. Players will find Texas Hold’em (limit and no limit), Omaha (Hi-Lo and Pot-Limit) and Seven Card Stud in the new gaming space. "We are committed to providing our guests with the region's most extensive, exciting luxury experiences and our new poker room is the best in its class and a perfect example of this commitment," said Kevin Kline, Chief Operating Offer and General Manager of Resorts World Catskills. "We are confident that this new poker room, with a new convenient location and an array of updated offerings and amenities, will solidify Resorts World Catskills as the region's premier casino resort destination." The official ribbon cutting for the poker room was held on 20 August to kick off the first large tournament, which was a $300 buy-in $100,000 guaranteed Mega Stack Poker Tournament that ended on 25 August. 1. Oregon sports betting kicks off Even with Ezekiel Elliot’s contract holdout still in action, former Cowboys lineman Ed “Too Tall” Jones still didn’t hesitate to place the first sports wager at Chinook Winds Casino Resort on the Dallas Cowboys to win the Super Bowl at 10-to-1 odds. On 27 August, the Oregon casino opened its new Sports Wagering Lounge as Jones made the first sports bet in Oregon history at 9 a.m. The sports lounge will operate daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
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