WynnBET’s Demise Could Spell Changes In Las Vegas

Written By Marc Meltzer on August 24, 2023
WynnBet's demise could result in more development in Las Vegas.

Wynn Resorts recently announced it was shutting down most of its WynnBET operations outside Nevada. Wynn’s Las Vegas sportsbooks operate on a different network than WynnBet and won’t be affected.

The current “Wynn Sports: NV” Nevada sports betting app remains available in The Silver State. Players may still open and fund an account at the sportsbooks located in both the Wynn and Encore towers in Las Vegas.

WynnBet’s shuttering, however, could spur development along the Vegas Strip.

Wynn Resorts looks to focus efforts on retail casinos

WynnBET is an online casino and sports betting brand. Wynn Resorts plans to refocus its spending on retail casinos. The same could be said for the state. Nevada online gambling consists of just sports betting and poker. Online casino play is still illegal in Nevada.

Just because Wynn’s sports betting operation in Nevada remains unchanged, it doesn’t mean it will be business as usual in Las Vegas. Julie Cameron-Doe, CFO of Wynn Resorts, said as much recently.

“In light of the continued requirement for outsized marketing spend through user acquisition and promotions in online sports betting, we believe there are higher and better uses of capital deployment for Wynn Resorts shareholders.”

Enter Wynn Las Vegas. Along with Encore Boston Harbor, these are the two retail casinos currently owned and operated by Wynn Resorts.

Las Vegas expansion redux?

Wynn Resorts didn’t announce specific plans to reallocate its capital. It’s been about five years since Wynn Resorts nixed two plans to expand its Las Vegas footprint. One of the two plans to expand could come back into focus.

Wynn Paradise Park is unlikely

It’s unlikely the company will resurrect the Wynn Paradise Park concept that was approved by the board in 2017. While a unique concept, the family-oriented park doesn’t quite fit the luxury brand Wynn is focusing on today.

High hotel room rates could spur expansion

According to its second-quarter earnings report, Wynn Resorts is currently fetching an average daily hotel room rate of $462 per night at its Wynn and Encore towers in Las Vegas. This is among the highest average hotel room rates in Las Vegas. The high price isn’t scaring customers away.

During the second quarter of this year, the occupancy rate in its Las Vegas hotel was greater than 90%. The price and occupancy have been steady for the past year. Neither seems as though it will be slowing down anytime soon.

Maybe Wynn West concept will work

One expansion idea that could be resuscitated is something similar to the Wynn West concept floated in 2018. The company still owns vacant land across the street from Wynn Las Vegas next to the Fashion Show Mall.

If the company wants to expand slowly in Las Vegas, it could simply build a new hotel tower on the land to start. In the near term, this could increase hotel revenue.

This would also give Wynn a starting point to create an entire casino resort across the street from its existing property.

Wynn doesn’t have a history of slowly expanding, so this is a long shot. If Wynn builds across the street, it’s more likely that it will build out a full casino resort that connects to the original property. There are numerous Las Vegas expansion possibilities since the company owns so much land across the street from its current property.

Reinventing Encore might make sense

If Wynn isn’t ready to take on building a new property from the ground up, it could work with the existing footprint on the east side of the Vegas Strip. However, there may not be enough open space on the Wynn Las Vegas site for a new hotel tower.

Perhaps, the Encore Tower could be upgraded to create a new premium level similar to the beautiful Wynn Tower Suites. While all hotel rooms inside the Encore Tower are suites, it’s often seen as the youthful side of the hotel with its proximity to partiers at XS Nightclub.

Adding premium suites could help Wynn in two ways. First, next-level suites would demand a higher price point. Additionally, new premium suites or another transformation could bring the high rollers from the Wynn Tower to the other side of the property. This would spread the wealth around, so to speak.

Outside of Las Vegas, it’s possible Wynn could allocate money toward Encore Boston Harbor or Al Marjan Island, which is currently under construction in the United Arab Emirates.

Photo by Shutterstock
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Marc Meltzer

Marc grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He's the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

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