Richard Branson Making Virgin Voyage Into Vegas Casino Scene

Written By Jessica Welman on April 8, 2018
Virgin plane takin goff in Vegas

Hard Rock Casino is getting ready to launch in New Jersey, but it will soon be no more in Las Vegas. Billionaire Richard Branson officially bought the off-Strip Las Vegas casino. He will overhaul it before relaunching as Virgin Casino.

Branson danced in the pool to celebrate sale

Rather than hold a formal press conference, Branson brought his patented sense of fun to the festivities. He held a pool party complete with a bar and dancers to celebrate the change in ownership.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal captured some video of the event, including Branson boogying down.

Branson spoke about the acquisition, but one thing he did not address was the sale price. The project will cost Branson more than what he spent to buy the property. He said he plans to invest hundreds of millions of dollars improving the casino.

Funny enough, while Branson invests so much in upgrading the Hard Rock, the Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City spent a similar number getting the former Trump Taj Mahal up to snuff for its Memorial Day weekend opening.

Say goodbye to the big guitar

Obviously, with no more ties to Hard Rock, the forthcoming Virgin Hotels Las Vegas will be ditching the large guitar outside of the property. Branson thinks the obvious replacement would be a gigantic version of Virgin brands’ signature V.

This is the largest hotel property in the Virgin portfolio. Other investors in the project are:

  • Virgin Hotels Las Vegas CEO Richard “Boz” Bosworth
  • Juniper Capital Partners
  • Fengate Capital Management

“Las Vegas has long held a special place in my heart,” Branson said in a statement. “Virgin Atlantic and Virgin America have enjoyed flying to Las Vegas for years and I’ve always known that Virgin Hotels could thrive there as well. I’m really looking forward to painting the town Virgin red.”

There will be other Virgin-brand flares to the new property. For example, the common space that serves as a space to work and mingle during the day, but turn into a bar and club scene during the nighttime hours.

First land-based casino connections for Virgin

This is Branson’s Virgin and virgin voyage into a Las Vegas land-based casino. However, Virgin is not a total stranger to the casino world. The company has a branded online casino site in New Jersey. Given how often the online casino uses trips for promotions, don’t be surprised to see players winning their way from Atlantic City to Sin City.

Photo by Chris Parypa Photography /

Jessica Welman Avatar
Written by
Jessica Welman

Jessica Welman is a longtime member of the poker media. She has worked as a tournament reporter for the World Poker Tour, co-hosted a podcast for Poker Road, and served as the managing editor for A graduate of the University of Southern California and Indiana University, Welman is not only a writer but also a producer. She has been involved for livestreams for the WSOP and WPT and worked as a consultant on many other poker productions. She can be found on Twitter @jesswelman.

View all posts by Jessica Welman
Privacy Policy