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Archive for January 12th, 2019

Resorts World Las Vegas to Look “Dramatically Different” from Wynn Properties

Genting promises that its first Las Vegas casino resort will look nothing like neighboring Wynn Las Vegas and Encore

Malaysian hotel and casino operator Genting Group said today that its Resorts World Las Vegas integrated resort will look “dramatically different” from nearby Wynn Las Vegas and Encore when finished in late 2020.

In a filing to Bursa Malaysia from earlier today, Genting said it has filed its opposition to recent claims made by rival casino operator Wynn Resorts that the design of its Las Vegas property was “substantially and confusingly similar” to that of its marquee resorts Wynn Las Vegas and Encore.

Wynn Resorts filed in December a trademark infringement complaint with the United States District Court for the District of Nevada, seeking a preliminary injunction and arguing that by copying the design of its properties, Genting was trying to confuse the public and that this could harm Wynn’s business.

Wynn’s marquee hotel and casino towers sport a distinct curved facade and are glazed with bronze-colored glass. The company’s legal motion included images of the design of Genting’s resort that is currently under construction right across the street from where Wynn Las Vegas and Encore stand. According to court papers, Wynn argued that Resorts World Las Vegas shared striking similarities with its properties, including the concave facade.

The Las Vegas hotel and casino giant is seeking “exemplary and punitive damages” over unfair competition, copyright infringement, federal trademark dilution, and several more counts.

Dramatically Different

Genting is currently building Resorts World Las Vegas, its first Vegas property in the underdeveloped north end of the Strip, which has captured quite some investment interest over the past several years. The property is slated to open doors in late 2020, although there have been reports about delays.

Genting has not said how much it would spend on the hotel and casino resort, but analysts believe at least $4 billion worth of investment is in the pipeline. The resort will have a unique Chinese theme and will aim to cater to Asian gamblers that visit Las Vegas.

In its filing from earlier today, the Malaysia gaming giant said that Wynn Resorts’ claim is “predicated on speculative extrapolation regarding the appearance of [Genting’s] unfinished resort and casino, which is still in an early stage of construction.”

The company went on to say that Resorts World Las Vegas will “look dramatically different” from Wynn Las Vegas and Encore when it swings its doors open. Genting included a “pictorial representation” of its property to dispel any suggestions that its own resort and those of Wynn could be confused by “a reasonable customer.”

The filing further pointed out that the Las Vegas company has failed to show how Resorts World Las Vegas will imminently and irreparably harm its business and its “reputation and goodwill.”

Today’s filing ends with an update on the construction progress, revealing that activity at the site continues and is on track for late 2020 completion.

This is the second major legal lawsuit Genting has been embroiled in over the past few months. News emerged in November that the company was suing Walt Disney Co. and 21st Century Fox for backing out of a deal for the development of a Fox-branded theme park at Resorts World Genting, an integrated resort located just outside the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.

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New Circa Resort & Casino to Light Up in Downtown Vegas Sky in Late 2020

What has been referred to as the 18 Fremont Street casino resort project for a while now has a name, and it is one that looks to strike memory of Las Vegas’ golden era

Businessmen Derek and Greg Stevens revealed on Thursday the name and other important details about their latest casino resort project. The property will occupy the site of the former Las Vegas Club, Mermaids casino, and Girls of Glitter Gulch strip club and will be called Circa Resort & Casino when it open doors in December 2020.

The property will be the first one of its kind to be built from the ground up in downtown Las Vegas since the mid-1970s and aims to capture a big share of the growing foot traffic in the area. Circa will be easily accessible to the Fremont Street Experience, which annually attracts 24 million visitors. Owners of the future property believe that it will be able to draw quite some of that traffic.

The new casino resort will spread across 1.25 million square feet. Soaring 140 meters into the Las Vegas sky, Circa’s 44-story hotel tower will be the tallest such building north of the Strip.

The resort will feature 777 hotel rooms and suites. The Stevens said yesterday that focus will be on suites as most of the existing downtown hotels do not offer enough suites to meet the growing demand for that type of accommodation.

Largest Sportsbook in Vegas and Pool Amphitheater

Sports betting will take center stage on Circa’s gaming floor. The Stevens brothers revealed yesterday that the resort will feature the largest sportsbook in the city with “the biggest screen” in the history of sportsbooks. In addition, the betting facility will sport a multi-level, stadium-like design.

Aside from a spectacular sportsbook, the property will feature a two-level casino that will have street-level entries and ones through a bridge that will connect Circa to a nine-level parking garage. While the split-level casino concept has been avoided by most designers and casino owners, Derek Stevens, the mastermind behind the new downtown resort, has implemented that concept at his D Las Vegas property.

The nine-level parking garage will be another important feature of the new Stevens-owned resort. It will have 1,201 parking spaces. Circa will also offer a number of “eclectic” restaurants, the names of which are to be announced at a later stage, and the longest outdoor bar on Fremont.

Future Circa guests and visitors will also be treated to a multi-tiered pool amphitheater. The complex will feature six tiered pools that will all offer a view of a huge high-resolution screen for pool events and sports watching parties.

Steelman Partners has been tasked with the property’s design, while Tré Builders has been picked as the preferred construction manager and McCarthy Building Companies will has been selected as general contractor. The latter two are working together on the 65,000-seat Las Vegas Stadium that will be home to the Raiders from the 2020 NFL season.

Construction on Circa is expected to begin next month. Developers target a December 2020 launch of the casino resort. The project’s cost was not disclosed yesterday, but according to an article on popular blog Vital Vegas, the total investment into the downtown Vegas property is expected to be “in the neighborhood of $1 billion.”

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Ocean Resort Casino Passed to a New Owner a Year after Previous Sale

Ocean Resort Casino is changing hands amid persistent reports that it is threateningly close to facing a repeat of its previous financial woes

The property’s current owner, Colorado-businessman Bruce Deifik, confirmed Thursday that the property was in the process of being purchased by an outside investor just six months after its opening and less than a year after being acquired by Mr. Deifik himself.

The unnamed investor plans to inject $70-million for property renovations to help the resort boost its performance, which has been less than satisfactory since its launch. Ocean will use the funds to open a new buffet, add rooms and suites, and upgrade its casino floor.

The deal needs approval from New Jersey gaming regulators. If it receives the necessary go-ahead, the property’s new owner and further information about their plans for its future will be disclosed. Mr. Deifik will retain a non-controlling interest in Ocean after the sale is finalized.

Ocean Resort Casino was one of two casino resorts to open doors on the legendary Atlantic City Boardwalk on June 27, the other being the former Trump Taj Mahal, now Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. However, Ocean, formerly Revel, failed to keep up with its rivals and its gaming revenue remained near the bottom of the city’s gambling pack.

In the period between June and November, the last month the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has published revenue report for, August was the only month in which Ocean’s slot and table game revenue did not lag that of its fellow Boardwalk casinos.

Financial Woes

Ocean has a history of financial troubles. The property first swung its doors open as Revel Atlantic City back in 2012. Its original owners invested $2.4 billion into its glazed facade and multiple facilities. However, they could not turn it into a profitable casino resort, despite the massive investment.

Revel, together with four other Boardwalk properties, fell victims to the weak Atlantic City casino market and were forced to close doors. Revel, in particular, was shuttered in September 2014. It was purchased by Florida developer Glenn Straub the following year for a tiny fraction of its original cost. Mr. Straub revealed ambitious plans to reopen the resort and turn it into a successful business. However, Revel never managed to reopen its doors under his management.

Mr. Straub eventually sold the property to Mr. Deifik early in 2018 for $200 million. The Colorado businessman invested another $200 million, promising to mend the mistakes made by the failed resort’s original management and finally create a profitable operation out of its glitzy exterior and interior.

However, according to recent reports, Ocean might once again be struggling financially. It has emerged that there have been two outstanding construction liens against the property, collectively demanding $1.1 million. At least four such liens had been filed but were discharged, Atlantic County records show.

A former partner at Ocean’s HQ2 nightclub was the first to break the news that Mr. Deifik might have been looking for buyers for the ailing property. In December, Joseph Morrissey, the nightclub’s ex-manager, filed a lawsuit against Mr. Deifik in the New York County Supreme Court, claiming that Ocean’s owner had purposefully not disclosed the plaintiff’s ownership interest in a loan agreement with JP Morgan. The lawsuit went on that Mr. Deifik was trying to eliminate anyone with ownership interest in the property that might hamper its future sale. Mr. Morrissey had his contract with Ocean’s owner terminated in the summer of 2018.

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Spain’s Ramon Colillas Wins Inaugural PokerStars Players Championship

Ramon Colillas, one of 320 Platinum Pass holders, navigated his way through the PSPC field and won the tournament for $5.1 million

The PokerStars Players Championship, the latest live tournament experiment conducted by PokerStars, was completed hours ago and it proved more than successful. Spain’s Ramon Colillas free-rolled his way into the world’s largest $25,000 buy-in tournament to eventually claim a glitzy trophy and a $5.1-million first-place payout for his effort.

Colillas outlasted 1,039 entries, including 319 fellow Platinum Pass winners and some of the world’s most seasoned poker professionals. The young Spaniard won his Platinum Pass by topping a leaderboard, the points for which he accumulated by playing low buy-ins around his homeland over the course of 2018. Colillas was one of just two Platinum Pass holders to make it through the eight-handed final table, the other such player being Marc Rivera from the Philippines. Eventually, Rivera finished 3rd for $2.168 million.

As mentioned earlier, the inaugural PSPC drew 1,039 entries to create a prize pool of more than $26.4 million. The tournament took place over five days at Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas and as part of this year’s PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.

Organizers intended to make of it a record-smashing, the world’s largest $25,000 buy-in tournament to have ever taken place in history of poker, and they delivered.

The final day of the event took place yesterday at the host venue. It kicked off with eight survivors, each of whom guaranteed a min-cash of $509,000. But being so close to the top prize, they were all eying namely the $5.1 million cash for the champion.

Final Table Action

The final day of action started with Scott Baumstein as the chip leader. It is important to note that the player ended up as the one bagging the largest overnight chip stack not once but twice. In fact, all overnight chip leaders over the course of the tournament made it to the final table. None of them scooped the title, though.

Eventually, Baumstein walked out in fourth place, good for a payout of $1.657 million for his efforts. Talal Schakerchi, the Day 1 chip leader, finished 8th for $509,000. Day 2 chip leader, Colombia’s Farid Jattin, took 7th place for $746,000.

Marc Perrault from Canada departed in 6th for a cash of $1.012 million. He was followed by Jason Koonce who finished fifth for $1.304 million. Once Baumstein and Rivera exited the tournament, it was between France’s Julien Martini and Colillas to determine the winner.

Martini, who scooped a WSOP gold bracelet in Vegas last summer, dominated action throughout the final day of play. The player entered the heads-up match with a hefty chip advantage over his final opponent.

However, Colillas was ready to fight fiercely his way to the title, despite the fact that Martini was the more decorated player. A few key hands made Colillas the chip leader and reduced Martini’s chip stack significantly, until the final hand of the evening and the tournament was dealt.

On that last hand, Martini’s [Jc][9c] crushed into Colillas’ [Ad][5c] and all was done. The Frenchman collected a consolation prize of $2.974 million for his terrific performance.

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