With the first NFL preseason game less than three weeks away, Las Vegas sportsbooks are scrambling to spruce up and get ready for throngs of football bettors. In 2016, the facilities took in $4.6 billion, making for an increasingly competitive market, and an ambiance geared towards luring as many customers as possible is obviously key.
Wynn Bets Big
You have to spend money to make money, as the old saying goes, and the biggest splash this year in upgrades was made by Wynn Las Vegas, which is overhauling its own sports betting area, and adding one in the neighboring Encore as well. The Wynn will be getting new seating areas and an updated video screen system, which is expected to open August 1.
Bettors staying at Encore previously had to walk over to the Wynn to place bets, but no more. The new Encore sportsbook won’t be as impressive as its sister property, but will be more convenient, and it opens up August 8.
The Cromwell is also getting a new sportsbook. The boutique resort converted a 1,500-square-foot space that formally housed high-limit slot machines and is making it into a wagering area. It will be small, but about 50 seats will be available.
Keeping Up With The Joneses
The two-year renovation of the Westgate’s Las Vegas Superbook, completed in January 2016, set a new standard for these establishments. The off-strip property spent $13 million to completely transform its space.
New leather seats were installed and a food court was placed in close proximity. A VIP area was also added. The biggest change were the all-important event-viewing medium: televisions. LED screens measuring 220 feet wide by 18 feet tall and spaning the entire sports book venue were installed.
The screens are 60 feet wider than the video board hanging from the ceiling at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home of the Dallas Cowboys, and larger than the video screens in New York City’s Times Square.
Strip casinos took notice and started to make their own changes, starting last year. Caesars Palace replaced its video screens with new state-of-the-art monitors and Harrah’s also put in new televisions and seats.
The Time is Right
This is the perfect time of the year for renovations, with the only major professional sport in the summer being baseball. There are also a handful of special events, such as the just-wrapped-up Wimbledon, the US Open, and the occasional UFC or boxing match.
That will all change on August 3, when the Dallas Cowboys face the Arizona Cardinals in the Hall of Fame game. The contest, played in Canton, Ohio, kicks off the three-week preseason schedule, and despite having starting players only used sparingly, should generate action at the betting windows.
And the crowds will only get heavier once the regular season and college football get underway.