Financing for Las Vegas Raiders Stadium Ahead of Schedule, No Plans to Restrict Mobile Betting

Posted on: May 23, 2017, 12:00h. 

Last updated on: May 23, 2017, 10:52h.

The $1.9 billion Las Vegas Raiders football stadium is scheduled to begin construction later this year, but financing for the mammoth project is already flowing into city coffers.

Las Vegas Raiders football stadium
Construction laborers are ready to get work on the $1.9 billion Las Vegas Raiders site just across I-15 from Mandalay Bay.  (Image: John Locher/Associated Press)

Nevada’s $750 million commitment to bring the NFL franchise to Sin City is funded through a slight increase in the Clark County hotel occupancy tax. For each overnight stay at a resort or hotel, guests pay 0.88 percent of their total rate to help pay for the stadium.

On a $150 charge, the less than one percent hotel tax equates to $1.32. The supplemental fee went into effect in March.

Through two months, the increase has generated $8.4 million for the Las Vegas Raiders stadium. That’s ahead of projections reached by the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee last year, which forecasted $7.9 million from March and April.

“Two months really don’t make much of a trend, but it’s better to start ahead than behind,” Las Vegas Stadium Authority (LVSA) Chairman Steve Hill explained this week. “We intended to be conservative and did not want to overestimate.”

Springing into Action

NFL owners and team representatives are in Chicago this week for the league’s annual spring meeting. Among the numerous topics the bosses will consider is the Raiders stadium lease with Las Vegas.

Earlier this month, the Raiders acquired 62 acres of land between Russell Road and Hacienda Avenue for $77.5 million. And last week, the team came to terms on a 30-year lease agreement with the LVSA.

The lease arrangement is expected to be approved by the NFL ownership today or tomorrow.

The Raiders and owner Mark Davis will control the stadium and its operations. That’s because the city cannot receive any revenue from the facility, as that would violate its tax-exempt status and the bonds it plans to issue to help fund the stadium’s construction.

In addition to Nevada’s $750 million, Davis and his investors are on the hook for the remaining $1.15 billion, which is being financed by Bank of America.

Mobile Betting? Bet on It

The Raiders’ lease agreement specifically bans gambling inside the stadium. However, it says nothing about preventing fans from using mobile apps that nearly every major sportsbooks in Las Vegas offers.

Nevada casinos utilize geolocation technology to allow online and mobile gambling to take place inside the Silver State. Roughly 50 percent of all sports wagers in Las Vegas are now placed remotely through apps.

Nevada Gaming Commissioner Chairman Tony Alamo revealed recently that the league hasn’t approached his office regarding mobile betting.

The NFL Compliance Plan mandates that players stay out of sportsbooks during the regular season, and teams are barred from accepting advertising from any entity that owns or operates a sports gambling facility.

That, of course, eliminates numerous entertainment and hospitality companies from spending money on marketing materials at the Raiders stadium.

The relocation of the storied Bay Area team will put the NFL closer than ever to legalized gambling when the Raiders begin play in Las Vegas in 2020. Many believe it’s time for professional football to ease its harden opposition to gambling, but so far Commissioner Roger Goodell has given no hints that that happening.