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Will the New Casino on Vegas Strip Steal Share from Rivals?

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The newest addition to the Las Vegas Strip, The Lucky Dragon Hotel and Casino (opened on Nov 19, 2016) was touted to be the next big thing in Vegas. Indeed it has already started making waves in the casino scene there.

Owned by private investors, this Asian-themed property is located on the northern end of the Las Vegas Strip at Sahara Avenue. Reportedly, the casino witnessed solid traffic for its first three months of operation and is in fact seeing a growing interest from visitors all around. Interestingly, this recent incorporation is Vegas’ first resort to offer authentic Asian gaming as well as culinary experiences.

Property Details

The Lucky Dragon Hotel and Casino offers roughly 200 guest rooms, 23 standard suites and a 1,300-square-foot penthouse. Moreover, the property boasts a casino floor spanning across an area of 27,500 square feet with 37 table games and 300 slot machines. Also, it flaunts a shoreline pool, a 4,500-square-foot spa and Vegas’ first indoor/outdoor high-end tea garden and lounge with a tea sommelier.

Key Growth Drivers

Management at The Lucky Dragon Hotel and Casino has been primarily aiming to cater to Chinese gamblers, along with Vegas locals and people from California.

In fact, with roughly four months of operation under its belt, the casino has already started making changes, all of which appear to complement its Asian strategy.

Notably, one of the key factors aiding the casino operator in creating a stir on the Las Vegas Strip is the usage of rolling chip program to award comps and discounts to table game players. The rolling chip program centers on non-negotiable chips that are used to track play more closely, instead of relying on pit bosses to assess how much money players are gambling.

When players win by means of rolling chips they are paid using cash chips, which can be played elsewhere or redeemed for cash. Meanwhile, the non-negotiable chips that are lost are kept by the casino as “dead chips”, which provide the casino of a precise count of how much the player has lost.

This efficient system is popular with casino operators in Macau as it provides a more accurate win/loss rating. Though this idea has made its way to Las Vegas since long, but has not been adopted meticulously by any casino operator therein, until now.

Meanwhile, keeping in mind the fact that how successful the VIP market has been for them, management has decided to expand VIP gaming space to accommodate the growing rolling chip program as well as non-rolling VIP gaming.

Notably, the space that is currently housing Dragon’s Alley will be split into a noodle bar and a relocated Pearl Ocean restaurant. This split is likely to be undertaken as part of the property changes to even better serve the VIP segment. In fact, the space that Pearl Ocean is expected to vacate will be redesigned to house the additional VIP table games.

Additionally, The Lucky Dragon Hotel and Casino’s wide range of restaurants, which are designed to be among Las Vegas' most authentic Pan-Asian dining hubs, can be considered to be its key attraction.

Bottom Line

Since people from Asia account for majority of the crowd at the casinos, Asian gaming and restaurant attractions has helped The Lucky Dragon Hotel and Casino gain popularity among the masses. The resort launch has also widened the choices for both visitors and locals in Vegas.

Currently, the popularity of the casino has been growing increasingly. Its rolling chip program has also been very well received by the players and proven very attractive to visitors.

Although relatively small compared to the Strip’s major players, The Lucky Dragon Hotel and Casino has started to have a big impact on the Strip. It has become the first Las Vegas casino to offer a rolling chips program on a regular basis.

Therefore, it is to be noted that this new Asian-themed casino has become an instant hit in Vegas and despite its small stature, is set to pose serious competition to established casino companies like Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS - Free Report) , MGM Resorts International (MGM - Free Report) , Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN - Free Report) and Boyd Gaming Corporation (BYD - Free Report) .

Notably, Las Vegas Sands, MGM Resorts, and Boyd Gaming Corporation carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Wynn Resorts, however, currently has a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

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