The counting isn’t complete, but Las Vegas set another record for annual visitation in 2016. Roughly 42.9 million visitors came to town last year, up 1.4% from 2015’s 42.3 million. The record numbers came in spite of the absence of a major casino opening, though there were several smaller draws, including The Park at New York-New York, Top Golf at MGM Grand and the recently opened Lucky Dragon casino, located just off the Strip near SLS Las Vegas. Projections for 2017 call for another increase, with visitation in the area of 43.2 million.
IKE’s at EC: Downtown’s El Cortez has completed a remodeling of its main casino bar, complete with a new name: IKE’S. I.K.E. are the initials of Irving Kenneth Epstein, the owner of the El Cortez.
‘Pin Up’ closing: Add “Pin Up” at Stratosphere to the list of the major shows closing on the Strip. The show, which has played since 2013, will end its run March 4. It’s expected to be replaced by a rock-music tribute show.
Barista wins Super Contest: Whereas past years have seen sports-betting professionals and quants winning the Westgate SuperContest, this one was one for the amateurs. Damon Graham, a Starbucks barista from Las Vegas, went 5-0 on the final weekend of the world’s most prestigious sports-handicapping contest to claim the win and a record $895,481 first prize. Second place went to a farmer from Illinois, who said he formulated his picks from listening to sports radio while harvesting his crops.
Question: What are the implications of the recent IRS rulings about jackpot reporting?
Answer: There weren’t any rulings. Rather, the IRS announced that it’s backing off threats to enact more stringent gambling-reporting rules. Most significantly, the W2-G reporting threshold will remain at $1,200; there had been discussion about requiring paperwork for jackpots as low as $600.
For more information about Las Vegas shows, buffets, coupons and good deals, go to LasVegasAdvisor.com.