Posted on: January 29, 2021, 03:28h.
Last updated on: January 29, 2021, 03:28h.
Las Vegas’s Plaza Hotel & Casino will open a slot machine gaming area today (Jan. 29) named for popular online gaming celebrity Brian Christopher.
The gaming area at the downtown property will provide players the chance to try their luck on the popular games they have seen Christopher play in videos posted on YouTube or Facebook. It will open with 16 slot machines and more will be added to the mix in the coming months.
Slot games at the new Plaza space include: Cleopatra II, Dollar Storm, Lightning Zap, and Huff N Puff.
Christopher’s online channels have over 302 million views and some 528,000 followers, his company says. Often, in videos he is shown playing slots worldwide.
The gaming space at the casino will formally be known as “Brian Christopher Slots at the Plaza.” A ribbon cutting for the gaming area is to take place at 4:30 pm Friday.
Younger Audience Is Frequently Online
“This is just trying to provide entertainment to a much younger group of gamblers,” the Rev. Richard McGowan, a finance professor at Boston College who closely follows gambling trends, told Casino.org, when asked about the initiative.
Slots have traditionally been associated with older age groups,” McGowan said. “So, Brian Christopher made playing slots acceptable for a much younger age group.”
McGowan added that younger gamblers “are online constantly. So, at the Plaza he can bring them to Vegas.”
Also, James P. Whelan, a psychology professor at the University of Memphis, where he also directs the Institute for Gambling Education and Research, saw a psychological side to the partnership between Christopher and the Plaza.
“From the psychological end, people will be drawn to things that they believe will be enjoyable — also known as rewarding,” Whelan told Casino.org. “Certainly, it will draw the attention to those familiar Brian Christopher’s YouTube page.”
Whelan predicts the partnership will not “have any impact on those who gambling problematically or might be experiencing the symptoms of gambling disorder.”
In a statement, Plaza CEO Jonathan Jossel confirmed the connection with social media.
“Social media has transformed the casino experience, and we are very excited to partner with Brian on this unique space that I know our guests will enjoy,” Jossel said.
“For years, my fans have been asking which games were my favorite, and now I finally have a place where they can experience it for themselves,” Christopher added in the statement. He compared to the new gaming area at the Plaza to “having my own miniature casino.”
For decades, slots have been a draw for Las Vegas’s gaming properties. Last month, a lucky slot player at Las Vegas’s Suncoast Hotel and Casino got a historic present Christmas Eve after winning almost $15.5 million during a brief stop at the Boyd Gaming property.
GGR Remains Lower in Las Vegas Casinos
But the new gaming space at the Plaza comes as Truist Securities recently reported that December gross gaming revenue (GGR) on the Strip was down 51 percent when comparing year over year. That represents “the worst Y/Y figure since a -61 percent decline in June,” Truist’s Barry Jonas said in a note to investors.
Slot GGR was down 55 percent year over year on the Strip, he added in the report about December totals.
In contrast, GGR for downtown Las Vegas declined 28 percent year over year in December. Jonas said it was “likely impacted by decreased tourism and visitation.”
Also, GGR on the Strip in November totaled $349.8 million, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board. That’s a 32.5 percent reduction from November 2019.