When it comes to new movies coming out, especially iconic franchises such as James Bond, the buzz comes out of Hollywood or, in the case of Bond, England as well.
The expectation is that the next reenactment of the British secret agent franchise will come to the big screen in 2018.
But it won’t only be the premieres in London and Hollywood that will garner worldwide attention. Las Vegas will be in the spotlight as well.
No, a movie premiere isn’t scheduled for Las Vegas.
There will be, however, an unveiling.
Scientific Games Corp. announced earlier this month that it has reached an agreement to license the James Bond franchise for its lottery games, social slots and land-based gaming.
The exclusive agreement with EON Productions Limited, Danjaq LLC and MGM Interactive Inc., a subsidiary of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., gives Scientific Games the rights to leverage all past and future iconic James Bond films, as well as the film’s talent portraying James Bond, according to Scientific Games.
The Las Vegas-based company could unveil some of its lottery offerings before next fall, but its first slot machines with a James Bond theme will be unveiled at G2E in October.
There will be a lot of media attention on all slot makers when they unveil their new games, but it might be hard to compete against James Bond when many companies have been after a licensing agreement with the franchise for decades.
“The Bond franchise is clearly a long sought-after and incredibly exciting brand for our industry,” said Scientific Games CEO Kevin Sheehan. “James Bond is synonymous with action, excitement and next-generation technology.”
Sheehan, who has been in his position for about six months, said getting the Bond agreement is significant in that it could drive innovation across the company for years. That means the Bond-branded slot machine wouldn’t be just another slot in a casino. Instead, Sheehan said it could be an experience to lure people into the casino and generate excitement, especially for millennials.
None of the details have been worked out, but Sheehan has said someone from MIT is working on the concept. He’s not sure what it will morph into, but he has some ideas.
“I’m talking about creating an environment,” Sheehan said. “We’re trying to figure out if we can take this concept — we’re talking to some of these big casino players — about getting a big space and make this into something immersive where you might have slot machines and table games and a Bond bar serving martinis.”
FOURTH QUARTER EARNINGS
Golden Entertainment, a casino and tavern operator, announced its revenue for 2016 increased 16.7 percent to a record of $403.2 million. Its net income was $16.3 million. The fourth quarter was a record with net revenue up 21.9 percent and adjusted EBITDA growth of 29.1 percent.
The company opened five new taverns in 2016.
Earlier this month, Golden announced it opened another PT’s Gold, its 54th Nevada tavern. This one was in southwest Las Vegas in a new retail center at 7355 South Buffalo Drive near Rhodes Ranch. It’s the first of seven new taverns slated to open in Southern Nevada this year.
Blake L. Sartini II, senior vice president of distributed gaming for Golden Entertainment, said five of the new taverns will be located in southwest Clark County. A sixth location is in the city of Las Vegas’ northwest near Centennial Hills. The seventh tavern is in the Green Valley Ranch section of Henderson. The seven locations include six greenfield developments plus the acquisition of an existing tavern operated by a third party.
LOWERING GAMBLING AGE
Assembly Bill 86 was introduced to lower the gambling age from 21 to 18, but no one expects Nevada to changes its law anytime soon.
While some states and tribal gaming casinos allow people to gamble at 18, the concept hasn’t been endorsed by Nevada operators.
Those under 21 don’t have a lot of money to spend gambling as it is, and when the drinking age is 21, it creates a problem to be legal to gamble and illegal to drink.
Wynn Resorts named Craig Billings as chief financial officer. He replaced Stephen Cootey, who departed the company to pursue other interests.
Wynn officials touted Billings as an executive in the gaming industry specializing in digital innovation, mergers and acquisitions and capital structure management. He has held executive positions at Aristocrat Leisure Limited, where he served as chief digital officer and managing director of strategy and business development. He also worked at International Game Technology.
Billings was also an executive in the investment banking division of Goldman Sachs, where he served numerous clients in the gaming industry. He began his career in the audit practice of Deloitte &Touche.
Billings received a bachelor’s degree from UNLV and a master’s of Business Administration from Columbia Business School.
Cootey, who was at Wynn Resorts since 2014, has been appointed to the newly created position of executive vice president and chief administrative officer at Red Rock Resorts. Cootey will oversee all strategic planning, development, design and construction, information technology, purchasing and risk management for the company.
Prior to joining Wynn Resorts, Cootey served as senior vice president of corporate finance for Las Vegas Sands Corp. from March 2012 to December 2013, and vice president of corporate finance from October 2009 to March 2012. From June 2004 to October 2009, Cootey was a partner and senior research analyst with Prides Capital LLC. Cootey received a bachelor’s in physics and government from Bowdoin College and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.
LUCKY DRAGON VIP
The Asian-themed casino announced plans for an expanded VIP gaming lounge to accommodate its growing rolling chip program.
The new space will serve the casino’s VIP guests in an intimate environment with high-end decor, officials said.
“We are very excited about the growth of our VIP segment and know these changes will be for the long-term benefit of Lucky Dragon and all of our guests,” said Dave Jacoby, chief operating officer of Lucky Dragon.
Dragon’s Alley will have a short-term full closure to make room for the new Dragon’s Alley noodle bar. Additionally, the current main dining space inside Dragon’s Alley will be repurposed as the expanded space for Pearl Ocean. The space housing Pearl Ocean will be redesigned to accommodate the additional VIP table games.