Palms Las Vegas to get $485 million face lift

The off-strip Palms property owned by Red Rock Resorts Inc. and operated by Station Casinos has been given approval for a $485 million revamp set to touch almost every aspect of the 30-acre, 1,200 room resort and casino.

In a plan to return the Palms to its former glory, Red Rock Resorts Inc., which acquired the property just over a year ago, intends to renovate 282 hotel rooms and suites in the Fantasy Tower, add 60 completely new rooms, build a 29,000 square-foot nightclub, a 73,000 square-foot pool club for up to 5,000 guests, a 20,000 square-foot spa and redo 15,000 square-feet of convention space with views of the Strip.

The Palms will also bring on a number of new, high-end eateries, including a Vandal restaurant brought from New York by the Tao Group, A new Bobby Flay seafood restaurant, and a restaurant for Las Vegas celebrity chef Marc Vetri serving up Italian cuisine.

The company also plans to completely renovate the 2,600 seat Pearl Theatre as well as add 525 new covered parking spaces among other additions.

Brazil’s first casino raided by police

Brazil’s first attempt at brick and mortar casino gambling came to a crashing halt last week when police raided the countries first casino after it started taking real money bets. The Casino had been given permission for a “demo mode only” launch but quickly decided to switch to real money slots games.

The trouble began after the Winfil Casino in the southern city of Porto Alegre claimed that a court in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, where the casino is located, lifted the ban on casino gambling by allowing certain types of gambling activities, namely bingo halls. The state disagreed with this interpretation of the court’s ruling and was able to obtain an injunction to force the casino to switch their slots to demo only mode to eliminate real money play.

The casino, which opened in October with 460 slots, was able to take advantage of the injunction, which prohibited local authorities from confiscating the machines as long as they were in demo only mode. Going a step further, the casino argued the injunction actually allowed them both to keep the machines in operation and de facto permitted gambling, so there was no legal difference between demo only mode and real money gambling.

Initially things seemed to be going the casino’s way, with some 2,000 patrons engaging in real money gambling the first weekend of operation. The windfall didn’t last long however, as a few days later the police arrived in force to seize money and the controller boards from the slots machines after the judge vehemently disagreed with the casino’s interpretation of his injunction. Reports in Games Magazine Brazil stated that dozens of police vehicles arrived on site to loot the casino’s cash, while locals stood by chanting “we just want to play!”. The casino’s owners were also arrested.

Brazilian news reports have hinted that the countries Chamber of Deputies is considering taking a vote to legalize brick and mortar casinos in the country of 207.7 million as early as this month. Reports also noted that Las Vegas brick and mortar casino magnet and vociferous opponent of online gambling, Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson, recently flew to Brazil to meet with officials regarding the possibility of opening a casino in the country were legalization to go ahead. The billionaire Adelson is said to be eyeing an $8 billion casino resort investment were legal brick and mortar casino gambling to be approved.

VIP scam organizers convicted in Macau

A total of 16 individuals, believed to be part of a larger organized crime syndicate, were convicted last week of running fake VIP rooms targeting high rollers from mainland China. The scam, which allegedly went on for at least two years, involved luring the whales to presidential and corporate suites at a Cotai luxury hotel, decked out to look like VIP lounges.

When police finally raided the operation, they found upwards of $12.5 million in chips, drugs, sedatives and gambling paraphernalia including collapsible baccarat tables and other gaming equipment.

The scam was so well thought out that the whales were completely duped into thinking they were getting the full VIP ride thanks to the hotel, while their drinks were drugged, and cards fake shuffled. The scammers went so far as to employ a legion of stooges to impersonate casino staff including PR managers, dealers, security guards and other players.

The gang now faces between 18 months and three years in prison.

UK housewife pulls down £600,000 on a £1 soccer bet

A bored mother and housewife in the UK last week pulled down £600,000 on a £1 soccer bet. Playing the 12-team accumulator over the weekend at the William Hill bookmaker, the unnamed 59-year-old mother accurately predicted all 12 winning teams. The bored housewife had become frustrated with her husband and sons spending the whole weekend watching soccer and decided to get in on the action herself by placing a £1 bet on the 12-team accumulator.

According to reports in the UK’s Sun newspaper, he son read out the team names for each game and she made her choices based on which team name she liked the sound of more.

Her husband, an avid soccer fan, has been placing the same aggregator bet for forty years and has never won big. Way to go mom!

Palms Las Vegas to get $485 million face lift

The off-strip Palms property owned by Red Rock Resorts Inc. and operated by Station Casinos has been given approval for a $485 million revamp set to touch almost every aspect of the 30-acre, 1,200 room resort and casino.

In a plan to return the Palms to its former glory, Red Rock Resorts Inc., which acquired the property just over a year ago, intends to renovate 282 hotel rooms and suites in the Fantasy Tower, add 60 completely new rooms, build a 29,000 square-foot nightclub, a 73,000 square-foot pool club for up to 5,000 guests, a 20,000 square-foot spa and redo 15,000 square-feet of convention space with views of the Strip.

The Palms will also bring on a number of new, high end eateries, including a Vandal restaurant brought from New York by the Tao Group, A new Bobby Flay seafood restaurant, and a restaurant for Las Vegas celebrity chef Marc Vetri serving up Italian cuisine.

The company also plans to completely renovate the 2,600 seat Pearl Theatre as well as add 525 new covered parking spaces among other additions.

Spain poised to issue new tranche of online gambling licenses

Spain’s gambling regulator, known as the DGOJ, has officially approached the State Administration and Minister of Finance over the possibility to issue a new round of online gambling licenses. Spain’s Gambling Regulation Act of 2011 specifies that, while the number of gambling licenses the DGOJ can issue is in theory unlimited, the regulator must wait at least 18 months between new tenders. The last licenses were issued in 2014.

As part of the process, the Minister of Justice now has three months to accept or reject the proposal, which was put forward as a result of two international operators’ requests for Spanish licenses. If the proposal is accepted, the Minister of Justice will issue a Ministerial Order specifying the terms of the license tender in detail, including a one-year deadline to apply.

Spain, a country of 45.6 million people, legalized online gambling back in 2011 and 2017 online gambling revenues are forecast to surpass the $500 million mark after seeing solid, double-digit year-on-year growth.

Nicola Davidson, a staff writer at Planet 7, is a semi-professional rock climber and lover of poetry and games of skill. When she's not scaling mountains or at an open mic night, Nicola enjoys writing about games like Blackjack and Three Card Poker and putting gaming strategies to the test.