While Las Vegas is regarded as the global gaming capital, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas is naturally regarded as the global capital of gaming education. Instead of resting on their laurels, the university has announced the new, million Hospitality Hall, which will replace the Harrah Hotel College.
Boyd Gaming, Station Casinos and MGM Resorts International have each recently committed $2.5 million toward the building. In 2010, the Caesars Foundation provided $2.5 million as well, as did Konami and Las Vegas Sands in 2014. The $15 million in gifts will be in addition to the Nevada Legislature appropriating $24.4 million after the recently completed 2015 legislative session.
“Having a world-class hospitality facility and program will allow for the further development of the future leaders in the hospitality and gaming industry worldwide,” said Station Casinos CEO Frank J. Fertitta III.
“The significance of these gifts for the college and for the overall success of the project cannot be overstated,” said Stowe Shoemaker, dean of the Harrah Hotel College. “The support of industry giants like MGM, Boyd and Station Casinos represents a huge investment in our students and our future standing in the hospitality arena.”
Hospitality Hall will feature over 93,000 square feet of classroom, laboratory and meeting space, with a design that will provide a sense of community and foster an encouraging environment for interaction among students, faculty and industry professionals.
“The exciting thing about this new hall is that it bridges the truly pioneering work that the founders of this school did in helping educate the leaders of today, and provides the foundational spirit with a proper laboratory and resources to continue to do this in the 21st century,” said Bo Bernhard, executive director of UNLV’s International Gaming Institute.
Shoemaker said the new curriculum will expand to reflect what the hospitality industry has become in terms of the integrated resort in the 21st century. When the school was founded in 1957, Nevada was the only state with legal casinos, and many students learned the ins and outs of the casino business to find themselves filling roles at casinos on the Strip.
Now, 40 states feature casinos, and they continue to tap UNLV to help supply their workforce. “When they graduate, we want the hospitality industry to look at our students not as employees, but investments,” Shoemaker said. Groundbreaking on Hospitality Hall is anticipated near the end of 2015.
Aristocrat Goes Live at Scarlet Pearl, Launches Batman in Europe
Slot and system manufacturer Aristocrat Technologies announced two major developments last month. The company will deliver major systems solutions at the Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort in D’Iberville, Mississippi, when it deploys its entire Oasis 360 solution, including its full casino management system, professional services, SpeedMedia, Oasis One Link (bonusing, progressives and poker frenzy), table management system and Oasis HALO Loyalty (core software, kiosks, mobile app and promotions), subject to regulatory approvals.
“We have carefully designed our entire resort—from the casino to the guest rooms to the golf course—with a player’s comfort in mind,” said Scarlet Pearl CEO Denise Barton. “When we were presented with Aristocrat’s exemplary system solutions, we knew it was the right choice to enhance our players’ experience across the resort.”
And in Europe, Aristocrat is launching its elaborate “Wonder Wheels” slot format this summer, with the introduction in July and August of the “Batman Classic TV Series” video slot in European casinos.
The game, on Aristocrats’ new Helix cabinet, stands 3.2 meters (10 feet, 6 inches), including a large portrait-style top-box screen and unique triple mechanical wheel setup for bonuses. Audio from the show booms through an optional surround-sound “iChair.” Each player gets his own wheel, plus a bonusing wheel for the game bank, allowing players on the bank to continue uninterrupted when another player hits a trigger and engages wheel mode.
Video clips and theme music from the show capture the kitsch, tongue-in-cheek action of the landmark 1960s TV series featuring Adam West, as well as the classic performances of 1960s-era stars in criminal roles like the Riddler, the Joker and Catwoman.
With a static grand jackpot of €10,000 linked across paired pods, game play is enhanced by stacked wilds, six themed bonus features and a highly anticipatory wheel feature trigger.