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Top 10 casino openings, expansions and renovations

16 October 2017

While in the past we've stuck with openings, renovations and expansions, we're doing it a little differently this time around. Not all of the items on this list are strictly construction-related, and we've got some updates on a few properties, like the recently-opened Parq Vancouver. But the spirit of the thing is the same: It's all about improvement.

10. Plaza Casino debuts renovated bingo hall
The only bingo hall in downtown Las Vegas, located in the Plaza Hotel & Casino, was given a touch-up in late September, debuting new carpet, chairs and tables and 200 fixed-base electronic bingo machines.

Bingo isn't nearly as popular here as it is in, say, the U.K. – see item No. 8 on this list for further proof – but it can be a lucrative offering. See also Plaza Hotel's bi-monthly bingo competitions, which draw in almost 1,000 people from across the country.

9. Greektown Casino transitioning to JACK Detroit
Greektown Casino Hotel is expected to complete the transition to JACK Detroit Casino-Hotel in May.

In addition to the new name and look, the casino will offer new dining and entertainment options, both of which require their own multi-million dollar upgrade.

This marks a truly new phase in the property's life cycle.

8. Luda Club expands with two additional venues
When you think "bingo," what's the image your mind conjures? Nothing exciting, right?

Luda Club aims to change that, bringing its vision of an ultra-hip bingo future to locations across the U.K.

The two new clubs offer the same perks as the existing properties, offering players a chance to meet up, play some bingo, grab some tasty bites and relax in stylish, modern surroundings.

7. Rivers Casino contributes $3.3 million to PPG Paints Arena
Rivers Casino in Pennsylvania is big on paying its dues and giving back to the community, and one of the ways it does so is by paying construction expenses for the PPG Paints Arena, a multi-purpose indoor space in Pittsburgh and home of the Penguins.

The casino contributes $7.5 million annually to the arena and has recently made a $3.3 million payment. To date, the casino has given $63 million.

6. Pala Casino to break ground on expansion project
This week, Pala Casino Spa and Resort in California will kick off its latest and greatest undertaking: a $170 million expansion.

All told, the project will add a 349-room hotel tower; convert the existing resort pool into an entertainment complex; construct unique hotel suites that will overlook the Starlight Theater lawn; increase the gaming and bar space and parking garage; overhaul the restaurant promenade; and completely refresh the inside of the current hotel tower.

They've certainly got their work cut out for them. The first phase is slated for a spring 2018 completion, and the entire project should be completed by late 2019.

5. Little Creek Casino unveils revamped hotel tower
Washington's Little Creek Casino Resort, meanwhile, has officially revealed its own renovated hotel tower, featuring 90 totally remodeled rooms.

The spaces feature increased living areas, new décor, enlarged bathrooms, fancy towel warmers and glass walk-in showers — a feature that, in my humble opinion, always increases the enjoyment of a hotel stay.

Little Creek Casino Resort, located less than an hour drive from Seattle, is also home to Seven Inlets Spa and Salish Cliffs Golf Club, an award-winning layout that ranked high our list of top 10 resort-casino golf courses.

4. Giada De Laurentiis to open second restaurant with Caesars Palace

If you're anything like me, you're a big fan of Food Network programming, have zero actionable culinary skills, and would die for Giada De Laurentiis'.

The bad news is that we all should definitely work on that. The good news is that Giada will be serving up some of her classic Italian deliciousness at Caesars Palace in early 2018.

She says the food profile will be "the lighter side of Italian with a fresh, Californian influence." I have no idea what that means, but I trust her judgment.

The Emmy Award-winning celebrity chef currently shares her Italian cuisine at GIADA inside The Cromwell, offering stunning views of the Las Vegas Strip.

3. Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino making subtle but important alterations
Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino rates pretty high on my list of "places I definitely have to visit once I've saved up enough $$$," and it's not just because of the one-of-a-kind tea sommelier – this seems to be a casino hell-bent on Doing It Right.

A December 2016 opening means there's been plenty of time to fine-tune gaming promotions and other offerings, and Lucky Dragon hasn't been slacking off. They're adding more VIP space to cater to the abundance of high-rollers appearing on the gaming floor, introduce rolling chips and make a few alterations to dining options.

2. Parq Vancouver keeps up momentum with events and celebrations
The Parq Vancouver seems to become more and more interesting by the minute.

Following an opening ceremony in late September, the Canadian casino announced its intention to keep up the festivities and other events.

Its first major event will be the David Foster Foundation 30th Anniversary Miracle Gala on 21 October, where sponsors of the three-day event benefitting Canadian families with children in need of life-saving transplants will gather.

1. Plainridge Park releases economic impact analysis
Released by the UMass Donahue Institute, this report details the impact of Plainridge Park Casino's first year of operation. (Has it really only been a year?)

There's some good stuff here: Guests spent about $172.5 million on gambling and nongambling activities, and a majority of those guests were "recaptured," meaning they would have spent their money out-of-state, were it not for Plainridge, or they were out-of-state visitors who swung by just to try the casino out. Recaptured patrons made up $100 million of the total revenue.

Plainridge paid $81 million in taxes, $77 million of which went to in-state government entities.
Abby Messick

Abby served as an associate editor for the Casino City editorial team for three years, between 2015 and 2018.
Abby Messick
Abby served as an associate editor for the Casino City editorial team for three years, between 2015 and 2018.