In this episode, Nick & Don catch-up with Kelcey Allison, COO of the newly-created Aruze Gaming Global. Kelcey walks Nick & Don through the Okada garnishment, the Chapter 11 filing, the auction, and the creation and future of Aruze Gaming Global. Also in this episode, Vegas F1 and casino signage.
Good morning, Don. What’s new in the Inland Empire?
Good morning, Nick. The leaves are falling. You got to cut the grass two or three times now to get them all picked up, but it’s a nice time of year.
Okay, well we are still gray and raining have been since I returned from G2E, so no changes there. Well, so Don, the time has finally arrived this coming Sunday, November 19th. We’ll see Formula 1 cars burning up the Las Vegas strip. So analysts are projecting the event is going to inject around one and a half billion dollars into the local economy. And without question, the promotional value for the city is going to be absolutely massive. But as opposed to the other major sports initiatives the city has undertaken over the past several years, this one has been notably controversial. So first, there are all the construction headaches on and around the strip and Don both you and I had a little taste of that during G2E, and sure enough it was no fun. But I think nothing has really irked Las Vegans like some of the strong man commercial tactics of Liberty Media, the group that owns F1, and most notably over the summer, they had attempted to impose these just outrageously aggressive licensing fees on basically any business with views of the tracks.
So my understanding is they would look at the capacity of the facility, assume a hundred percent occupancy on race day, then assess a fee of 1500 bucks a head. And in one case there was a proprietor that was facing a $3 million fee for the day. Understandably, these businesses went ballistic and instructed Liberty to go jump up its own keister. And in return, Liberty stated that it would then be powerless to prevent barricade signs and other obstructions from going up in front of any of the businesses which refuse to pay. So Shakedown Street is what we ended up with. So they ultimately settled for fixed fees as I understand on licensing front, I’ve heard 50 grand bandied about, but I don’t really have any details on that. But hardly the end of the gripes, you still have major questions about how strip employees are going to get to work on race day.
Local unions have leveraged all this into negotiations with the strip operators. Still big concerns about ground transport, so Uber and the taxi services, et cetera on Sunday. And then recently Liberty went out and lined the glass on the strips pedestrian bridges with an opaque foil that obstructs views little tone-deaf. So I can probably go on listing local grievances for the full hour here, but what’s fascinating to me really is how this experience has revealed some boundaries on the part of Las Vegas. So in a town that’s famous for excess and reinvention, we’re finally hearing, “Yeah, this is a bit much.” So now I have to say that it’s hard to see any scenario within the realm of reason that sees this event being anything but a resounding success. And I guess to a certain extent you just have to chalk this up to growing pains for the first race. And it’s pretty hard to imagine that they’re not going to have these kinks ironed out in time for the second. So Donnie, have you had any additional anecdotes or input on Vegas F1?
I know some friends of mine that live in Vegas are vacating the town trying to get as far away from Vegas as they can for this coming weekend, because they didn’t want to deal with the hassles, but I’ve heard of the giveaways that the casinos are doing to get their casino employees in the door, giving away cars, and cash, and all that type of good stuff. The things they should be doing because they’re afraid that their employees will massively call off sick. So it should be interesting. I was surprised at first glance to see what times all the events are happening. Vegas at 10 o’clock at night, midnight in November is a little chilly. So you’re going to have, on the racing side, you’re going to have a very, very cold racetrack, very cold breaks after going 200 miles an hour down the strip to hit these turns. It should make for some very interesting racing and I’m guessing maybe a red flag or two.
Yeah. Are there any other F1 tracks that have that straightaways of that distance, because-
Yes, there is one other comparable where I think Vegas are estimating they’re going to get the 205 as far as miles per hour. There’s other tracks that get the 220 because of the long straightaways, but there aren’t many like this. And so it’s just going to be neat to see going down the strip in front of all the casinos. But being at a midnight type race, you’re not going to get a whole lot of viewership in the United States, especially on the East coast. Race is going to go off at one o’clock, two o’clock in the morning, so it’d be great for Europe in the morning and all that, which is, I know why they do it, but end of the season, the championship’s already decided. So we’ll see what happens. It should be interesting. It should be must watch viewing for race fans.
Yeah, couldn’t agree more for sure. Okay, so we had an interesting listener question come in earlier this month, but before we address it, let me say that we love to tackle any questions that anybody listening may have. If you have a question about what we’re presenting or something you’d like us to present, please drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Again, that’s R-E-E-L-C-A-S-T@reelmetrics.com. Our policy is to keep all questions anonymous, so please speak directly andContinue transcript