Why spend thousands of hard earned dollars to go to Miami when you catch all the action literally everywhere in Las Vegas for a comparative mere pittance?
Apparently, thousand of people are of the same persuasion. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority anticipate 278,000 people to visit Las Vegas this weekend- that’s a whopping 13.5 percent increase from last year’s visitor totals. The nongaming impact from all those visitors is expected to be up 2.4 percent to $89.7 million.
So, why don’t you see advertising on Las Vegas’ Super Bowl activities? It’s simply because of the National Football League’s half-baked and business-choking stance against sports betting, the league has threatened legal action against Las Vegas casinos that use the Super Bowl name in their promotions of parties and events surrounding Sunday’s game. But that hasn’t deterred casinos from promoting “Big Game” activities at their properties or kept Super Bowl bets from becoming a major draw at local sports books.
Station Casinos, South Point and The Orleans, for instance, will show the game in a ballroom that is open to the public. NFL rules do not allow companies to charge admission to rooms where the game is being shown.
Las Vegas casinos also can have free but private viewing parties for invited guests and VIPs away from the sports book.
Station Casinos, which owns 10 Las Vegas casinos, are holding viewing parties for invited guests and are offering $1 hot dogs and $1 Budweisers.
The Las Vegas Hilton is also having a huge viewing party.
The Palms will hold its football viewing party for VIPs in its Fantasy Suites, including the Hardwood Suite where guests can relax and shoot hoops during breaks in the game.
The Hard Rock Hotel, which just opened 824 new hotel rooms and 40,000 square feet of new casino space, is having a public party in Wasted Space and a party for invited guests at The Joint.
For Boyd Gaming Corp., whose properties include Sam’s Town, The Orleans and Suncoast, this weekend is one of the biggest on its winter calendar.
“It’s far more than just the sports book,” Boyd spokesman David Strow said. “On Sunday, you’ll be able to see the game pretty much in every nook and cranny of the casino.”
MGM Mirage is also expecting a big weekend even without a lot of extra hype. The gaming company said it has sold out or is near selling out at its 10 Strip properties even though it is not holding any special game-day parties or promotions, other than offering free T-shirts at Paris Las Vegas and Bally’s with $25 parlay bets.
Nothing boosts business at Las Vegas sports books like the Super Bowl. With a record haul predicted for the contest (previous article on Feb. 4, 2010 by Las Vegas Backstage Access), still wagering has never reached the elusive $100 million mark. It has steadily increased over the years, from around $50 million in 1989 (when the San Francisco 49ers nipped the Cincinnati Bengals) to $71.5 million in 2002 (when the New England Patriots upset the St. Louis Rams) to a record $94.5 million bet on Super Bowl XL in 2006, when Pittsburgh beat Seattle. Maybe this will be the year?