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Top 10 Fall 2019 casino openings and expansions

18 November 2019

In our last edition of casino openings and expansions, we covered the launch of Oregon sports betting, Resorts World Catskills’ new poker room, a DraftKings Sportsbook opening at del Lago Resort & Casino and more. While we do have sportsbooks being unveiled in this issue, we also have plenty of other news to cover, including a string of Hard Rock properties opening and expanding. 10. TAO Restaurant to open at Mohegan Sun Last month, Mohegan Sun in Connecticut and Tao Group Hospitality announced that TAO Restaurant will open inside the resort in 2020. The dining experience at TAO Restaurant will be a welcomed addition to the food and beverage offerings at Mohegan Sun, and will be located off of Sky Tower’s beautiful hotel lobby. “We are proud to have Tao Group Hospitality join us as a strategic restaurant partner as we continue to amplify Mohegan Sun as an all-encompassing destination for premium dining, entertainment and nightlife,” said Ray Pineault, President & General Manager of Mohegan Sun. The new 10,000-square-foot restaurant at Mohegan Sun will feature 300 seats and several notable TAO fixtures, including the Ink Lounge, sushi bar and the 16-foot-tall Quan Yin statue anchoring the main dining room. 9. Isleta Resort and Casino opens new sportsbook The new sportsbook at the New Mexico resort was unveiled to the public on 4 November. At the grand opening, guests were able to participate in giveaways, including a trip to the upcoming Super Bowl with airfare and hotel. “We’re excited to unveil the best sports betting facility in the State of New Mexico, complete with a full-service bar, exciting viewing area, and the all new Isleta Food Court next door. There’s no other location in the Albuquerque area to wager on your favorite teams, while enjoying such an outstanding and engaging great gaming environment,” said Isleta Resort & Casino CEO Harold Baugus. 8. New Hard Rock Spa & Salon Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood introduced its new Rock Spa & Salon on 24 October. The 42,000-square-foot spa, salon and fitness center is one of the largest in South Florida. It offers 21 individual treatment rooms; locker rooms with steam, sauna, hot tubs and relaxation areas; as well as co-ed lap pool, hot and cold plunge pools and sauna. Three 800-square-foot couples suites with treatment room, hot tub and shower for two, will be available for a two, three or four-hour Royal Experience escape. “We are proud to introduce the newly expanded Rock Spa & Salon to local patrons and travelers worldwide,” said Director of Spa Operations Cynthia Bell. “The spa and wellness retreat is a significant component of the $1.5 billion expansion project.” 7. Rivergreen Playground now open at Encore Boston Harbor On 4 November, the new Encore Boston Harbor announced the completion and dedication of the new Rivergreen Playground and Riverwalk located on Air Force Road in Everett. The $2.5 billion Wynn Resorts property opened just outside of Boston in June. The new playground and pedestrian path links to the Northern Strand Community Trail, a nine-mile stretch connecting community waterfronts from Everett to Lynn. "The new Rivergreen Park located along the Malden River Greenway is a tremendous asset for everyone to enjoy for years to come," said Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria. "Opening our city to the waterfront will improve the quality of life for our existing residents and enhance our appeal to new residents, businesses and the development community." The Rivergreen Playground is equipped with a new playing field for soccer, football, field hockey and lacrosse and much more. 6. Sports bar opens at Saratoga Casino Hotel Just under three weeks ago, Saratoga Casino Hotel opened its doors to the new Mane Bar. It features two-tiers of 360-degree multimedia screens, a variety of craft beers and an a la carte menu. Mane Bar signifies the completion of the first phase of the $8 million renovation project that began at the New York casino earlier this year. “We’re excited for our guests to see what’s been going on behind the walls,” said Alex Tucker, General Manager of Saratoga Casino Hotel. “With the opening of the bar and the high limit area our guests are now able to get a sense of what to expect the entire property to look like once the project is complete.” 5. Plaza Hotel Casino in Las Vegas unveils new sportsbook The William Hill Race & Sports Book at the Plaza Hotel and Casino revealed the remodeled and updated space on 8 November. To mark the occasion, William Hill U.S. CEO Joe Asher, Plaza Hotel and Casino CEO Jonathan Jossel, and former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman turned on Downtown Las Vegas’ largest seamless HD video wall. The wall measures 5 feet tall by 16.5 feet wide and offers a viewing area of more than 80 square feet. In addition to the turning on ceremony, Goodman placed the ceremonial first bet in the new book, a $100 charity 3-team parlay of NFL games that week which did not pay out. The Race & Sports Book will offer guests and bettors access to William Hill’s mobile app, kiosks, and InPlay wagering menu. 4. Las Vegas Convention Center expansion passes halfway On 24 October, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority marked the Las Vegas Convention Center’s significant construction milestone, with completion of more than 50% of the 1.4 million-square-foot expansion. “We’re excited to show off the unobstructed views of the new 600,000 square-foot West Hall,” said Lori Nelson-Kraft, senior vice president of communications and government affairs. “When completed, this will feature the largest column-free space in North America cementing Las Vegas as the leader in the meetings and conventions industry.” The goal is to have the Convention Center’s expansion completed by December 2020. Renovation of the existing 3.2 million-square-foot convention center will begin in summer 2021 and the entire $1.52 billion development is expected to be completed in 2024. 3. Hard Rock Sacramento at Fire Mountain makes debut A legendary Hard Rock guitar smash took place on 30 October to officially welcome guests to the Northern California destination. “We are extremely excited that Hard Rock Sacramento at Fire Mountain is able to open its doors to locals, travelers and lovers of the Hard Rock brand,” said Jon Lucas, chief operating officer of Hard Rock International. “The development of the property has been such an amazing endeavor, and we could not have done it without the incredible partnership between the Enterprise Rancheria Tribe and the Seminole Tribe of Florida.” The sneak peek opening also included never-before-seen tours of the property. The ceremony also featured the donation of $100,000 from the Hard Rock Heals Foundation and the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain to the Enterprise Community Foundation. The casino boasts 1,587 slot machines and 57 table games, with exclusive high limit gaming rooms. The hotel features 169 hotel rooms and suites, and a large meeting space venue, along with an outdoor pool and deck area for the leisure or business traveler. 2. Seminole Hard Rock Tampa completes $700 million expansion In early October, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa officially unveiled its highly-anticipated $700 million expansion with a guitar smash and high wire walk. “Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa is already one of the largest and most profitable casinos in the United States,” said Jim Allen, Hard Rock International Chairman and CEO of Seminole Gaming. “The expansion will increase entertainment and dining options, and help us attract guests from throughout the country and around the world." The renovation includes a new, 14-story hotel tower, offering 562 additional hotel rooms and suites; three ultra-lavish pools; and a 26,000-square-foot Rock Spa & Salon equipped with 13 treatment rooms, including a Rhythm & Motion room, Hammam Ritual room, two VIP suites, a hair and nail salon, barbershop and co-ed aqua lounge. The completed 223,900-square-foot casino now has an additional 1,000 slots and 41 table games throughout its new gaming spaces, bringing the completed gaming experience to nearly 5,000 slots, 179 tables and a poker room with 46 poker tables. 1. Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood unveils $1.5 billion expansion The iconic Guitar Hotel at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood has officially opened as part of a $1.5 billion expansion. Complementing the 450-foot high Guitar Hotel are a Hard Rock Live performance venue for 7,000 persons, an expanded and updated casino with 195,000 square feet of gaming space, a 13.5-acre pool and lagoon experience with overwater cabanas and more. "The Guitar Hotel will attract visitors from throughout the nation and around the globe," said Jim Allen, CEO of Seminole Gaming and Chairman of Hard Rock International. "They will experience a world-class entertainment, gaming and dining destination." Dozens of A-list celebrities crowded an elevated red carpet on 24 October for the grand opening celebration at the Oculus.
Dan Ippolito

As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports. Email him at, or follow him at @casinocity_dan on Twitter.
Dan Ippolito
As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports. Email him at, or follow him at @casinocity_dan on Twitter.