May 22, 2024

Steve WynnAH, to be a rich old white guy.

Billionaire American casino magnate Steve Wynn makes something like $40 million per year out of his nightclubs that cater to millennials.

So he says he probably has to put up with them being “short on brains”.

The outspoken boss of Wynn resorts gave a key note speech at the recent International Conference on Gambling and Risk Taking at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas.

“I’m one of those old white guys that think the millennials are sort of short on brains,” Wynn told the captive audience.

“But in the meantime, we’re doing well with them.

“We put the little darlings in the nightclubs and they get drunk and they give us a ton of money and it’s probably the only part of my business where I have cognitive dissonance.

“I walk into the clubs and I say to myself either we have attracted every moron in the world, or there’s something about the sound that allows normal people to check their human sensibilities at the door.

“We’ve made $40 million a year with the damn things.

“I guess we gotta put up with it.”

We guess you do, Steve.

The week long conference tackles every thing gambling related, particularly focussing on Vegas.

Wynn, who once owned the Mirage, before MGM Grand swooped on it about 16 years ago, said his former baby “ushered in a wave of reinvention” when it opened in 1989.

“Seventy five thousand hit this building the first day. It was awful. Awful. Couldn’t move,“ Wynn said.

”But it was a phenomenon because of what it was.

“It wasn’t about gaming.

“It was about the place.“

Wynn said the Mirage changed the face of how to be successful in Vegas, with the offering, more than the gaming, drawing people in.

Before it opened, Caesars Palace was the most successful casino in Vegas, pulling in US$400 million in the late 80s.

But The Mirage covered that easily.

“We opened the place, and bang, it (the Mirage) went to $500 million,” Wynn said.

“The glass ceiling got shattered by over $100 million dollars.

“What was very little known at the time, or taken note of, was the fact the non-casino revenue in this 3000 room hotel was $600 million.

“The first hotel ever built in the world with 3000 rooms.

“People said that we couldn’t make it, that it was too much expense.

“They completely misunderstood the model.”

With more dining and shopping, The Mirage was a glimpse into today’s Vegas and gave investors new gall.

“The real important thing about this building is it showed everybody that a town that was limited about $100 million a year for hotels – that you could spend $630 million in Nevada safely,” he said.

“That here in Las Vegas, it had the power to take big capital investment.”

He told gaming insiders they had to diversify or die.

“The driver in our business is the non-casino, the non-casino activity,” he said.

“The driver in our business is the experiential value of the enterprise. Get it. Understand it.”

Held every three years, more than 450 people from 27 countries take part in the conference, which gives gaming insiders the opportunity to discuss and debate the future of the industry with researchers, industry leaders, and regulators, as well as professional gamblers, and helping services.

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