- The Star Sydney increases capacity as restrictions ease
With COVID-19 restrictions easing this week The Star is planning to recall staff at both the Sydney and Queensland venues. The Star Sydney was able to increase its maximum capacity from just 1,800 guests to 10,000 from next Monday 7 December with the removal of a 300-patron cap per area. In their Queensland properties restrictions on the use of slot machines and gaming tables have been removed and the number of people allowed per gaming table has increased from four to seven
- Elon Musk’s Boring Company – first station on the Las Vegas Loop
Elon Musk’s Boring Company has released the first images teasing the first passenger station of the Las Vegas Loop ahead of its launch.
The Boring Company Loop system consists of tunnels in which Tesla autonomous electric vehicles travel at high speeds between stations to transport people within a city. The first system is being deployed at the Las Vegas Convention Centre (LVCVA), which is paying $50 million for the system, but the Boring Company plans to connect the convention centre’s Loop to casinos on the strip in order to eventually create a city-wide Loop in Las Vegas.
The vehicles will apparently travel at their top speed of 155 mph inside the tunnels and cut the travel time between the halls at the convention centre, which is currently 15 minutes of walking, to just 1 minute
- Early discussions on digital yuan in Macau casinos?
While denied by the Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau (DICJ) a number of casino operators in the city had said to have been approached by Macau’s regulator, to discuss the feasibility of using digital yuan to buy casino chips. It would potentially increase oversight and control by Chinese authorities of capital outflows to the SAR but threaten VIP play in the casinos
- December always quiet in Vegas…but this year will be the worst yet?
While December is always quiet in Las Vegas casinos, this year there are no conventions, no huge New Year’s celebration and no overseas tourists. Even local travel is way down. Gaming revenue is already down 30 percent from last year. Visitation is down nearly 50 percent for the same period.
So, while room rates are at historic lows, people are just not willing to take a plane to Las Vegas for a vacation. To add to that problem, conventions and corporate meetings have dropped to almost zero. Howard Stutz, a long-time local gaming reporter, said conventions and trade shows have become a big driver of the economy in the city.
“Until that starts to come back next year – so goes the city and I think that’s going to be the biggest challenge as we move forward,” he said.
Large conventions are probably a year away from returning to Las Vegas.
Entertainment, which like conventions employs a lot of people in the city and benefits from face-to-face interactions, may come back sooner because smaller venues are possible and show producers are already working on social-distancing workarounds.