Casino resorts present a variety of opportunities that incorporate the entire spectrum of service offerings included in the gambling and tourism industries. Entertainment endeavors, conventions, meetings, food, hospitality, lodging, and travel, are easily relatable and all fall under the same umbrella. The fast-paced environment that fuels the market for gambling resorts is always changing with new regulations emerging in different markets.
The casino resort industry is quite competitive, and the different companies are constantly trying to outdo each other. Gambling meccas such as Las Vegas, Monte Carlo and Macau have turned into huge tourist attractions for more than just the appeal of big winnings. Such resort locations nowadays market the excitement and glamour of luxury casinos together with entertainment, world-class dining options, and even culture and atmosphere.
With so much to offer, it comes as no surprise that the luxury casino destinations are such a popular choice for both avid gamblers and travelers looking for a high-end vacation.
Why are Gambling Resorts so Popular in the U.S.?
The popularity of gambling has skyrocketed worldwide in the past few years. While most of the world has already made the switch to online gambling, the unregulated market in the US, and the unclear and complicated laws in many states means that the only option that many gamblers have is to visit a casino resort. For many years, online gambling was in a gray area in terms of legality, which was welcomed by the different gambling establishments throughout the U.S. To meet the demand, many casinos, casino resorts, bingo halls, and other gambling operations spawned throughout the country in areas which focused and concentrated in gambling. Today there are hundreds of physical casinos and casino resorts. According to the CED (Committee for Economic Development), today 17 out of the 20 largest metropolitan areas in the United States have at least one casino within 50 miles.
What is it that makes casino resorts so popular? To understand that, we will need to first look into the psychology behind the marketing of such establishments. A casino resort doesn’t only sell the idea of gambling. They sell an experience. People don’t just go to the ultra-luxurious casino resorts to gamble; they go to do it in style.
Casino resorts design their premises in a certain way to keep all guests entertained and to accommodate all players. For example, most casino floors are developed with three key players in mind, namely the high rollers, casual players and hotel guests. Usually, the floor is decided into quadrants, with one being reserved for high rollers and the other three aimed at casual players and hotel guests who are going to their rooms. Hosts, performers, free alcohol, gourmet cuisine, luxury spas and every single detail in a casino resort are designed to keep the guests entertained and in good spirits to keep them spending.
Which are the most popular casino resorts in the US?
As we mentioned above, casino resorts are extremely popular around the world, and especially in the U.S. Today, there are close to 150 casino resorts in the country that cater to millions of visitors each year. Nevada is the state with the most casino resorts, featuring 20 resorts, followed by Arizona with a total of 9, and New Jersey with 7. Let’s have a look at the three most popular resorts in the country and what they offer to visitors:
Bellagio Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
Bellagio is a luxury resort, hotel, and casino located on the strip of Las Vegas and has been running since the 1990s after the Dunes hotel and casino was closed and demolished. The hotel is inspired by the Italian town of the same name and was owned by MGM Grand Group until October last year, when it was sold together with their other Las Vegas property – Circus Circus Hotel to the Blackstone Group for the astonishing amount of $4.2B.
Today Bellagio is considered among the top casino resorts not only in the country but in the world. The hotel features two towers and over 3,900 rooms in total. The Main Tower is the oldest part of the hotel and went through some major renovations in 2011. A big highlight of this hotel is the fountain of Bellagio – a huge, moving water fountain that features synchronized music and light show and is located outside, right in front of the hotel in an eight-acre man-made lake. The hotel is also home to the world-famous Cirque du Soleil’s aquatic show called O.
To celebrate the new decade, Bellagio revealed its latest over-the-top dining venue over New Year’s weekend. The Mayfair Supper Club includes the popular “dinner and a show” setting, which combines world-class entertainment with exclusive cuisine. The resort will also open a few boutiques featuring brands such as Louis Vuitton, Bulgari and Alexander McQueen. Starting this year guests will also be able to bring their pets, who will have their own shot at experiencing a 5-star treatment.
Foxwoods Resort & Casino, Mashantucket, Connecticut
Foxwoods Resort Casino is often referred to as the best casino resort outside of Las Vegas. It is one of two biggest gaming resorts in Connecticut, and it offers 4,500 slot machines ranging from penny games to games with a minimum stake of $100. The casino offers more than 300 table games, high stakes Bingo at one of the largest Bingo halls in the world, a racebook with 15-meter digital screens, and the largest poker room on the entire East Coast. Guests can stay in one of the four unique hotel properties, dine in one of the 30 restaurants, relax in the spa, play golf, watch a play, and much more.
The resort was built in 1992 by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and is the largest casino resort in North America on a total area of 9,000,000 sq ft. The casino started with a huge success in the early ’90s and achieved a monopoly on casino gambling in the region. In 2008, just before the recession, the resort took a big credit to finance its expansion which put the hotel in huge debt in the years to come.
Despite its financial troubles, the resort is in the top 3 of the most popular casino resorts in the country and is welcoming hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. The resort welcomed a new President and CEO at the end of last year. John James, who started in July 2019, said that he is looking to implement his knowledge in the area of tribal casinos to ensure that the resort keeps its reputation as the premier resort in its destinations. He shared that his plans for the resort in 2020 include the development of new table games that will be proprietary to Foxwoods. According to James, millennials are at the center of his reasoning to focus on table games. Sports betting is also on the radar of Foxwoods.
Ceasers Palace Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
Caesars Palace is, without a doubt, one of the most famous hotels in Las Vegas. The luxury establishment is situated in the center of the famous Las Vegas strip. The hotel is built in 1966 and has since then undergone many renovations to expand and improve the property. The resort is owned by Caesars Entertainment, with Caesars Palace being the flagship brand of the company and one of the most popular choices for tourists in Vegas.
The property features incredible rooms and suites, amenities, shows, fine dining options and spectacular nightlife due to the sheer size of the property. The resort includes six hotel towers, two casino floors, five swimming pools working year-round and, of course, a shopping mall.
One of the top features of Ceasers Palace is the Colesseum. The venue has seen the performance of stars such as Celine Dion, Elton John, and Mariah Carey, to name a few. For the upcoming 2020, Caesars Entertainment has planned to renovate the Colesseum and to bring major updates. The company also plans to build the Ceasers Forum, a mega luxury hall, which will serve as a conference and meeting venue and will feature ballrooms, meeting rooms and restaurants. It will also feature a fast passage to Ceasers Palace.
What’s the future of American gambling resorts?
Online gambling is becoming more and more popular in the U.S. which might pose some challenges to the traditional land-based casinos and casino resorts. This is why casino resorts nowadays offer much more than just gambling. They have evolved in a place for fun, business, conventions, events, concerts, fine dining and even more.
As more states are making gambling legal throughout the U.S., luxury casino resorts such as the famous Bellagio in Las Vegas may become the prototype for new resorts around the country. Many new resorts are getting opened each year, and their popularity seems to be on the rise. Some of the most anticipated resorts that are about to open in 2020 are the Emerald Casino and Hotel in Wisconsin, Live! Hotel and Casino in Pennsylvania and the Saracen Casino Resort in Arkansas.
Voice of the Player Magazine Issue 8, Article List