Treasure Island sports book preparing to launch

Apr 21, 2009 7:39 PM
by Mark Mayer |

It’s still very much business as usual at Treasure Island’s Race & Sports Book, but each day draws closer to severing all ties with former owner MGM MIRAGE.

"All we are doing now is evaluating the current status of the book," said Tony Nevill, director of race and sports at TI. We are pleased with the way things have been as an MGM MIRAGE book. It’s going to be great to improve upon a state-of-the-art product."

MGM MIRAGE sold the TI for $775 million to Phil Ruffin, the former owner of the New Frontier where Nevill had worked as director of race and sports. The New Frontier closed in July 2007. Ruffin stated at the time of the sale last December, "We are very excited to be in a position to acquire such a stellar property. It is in pristine condition, ideally located in the heart of the Strip and benefits from a wonderful team of outstanding employees."

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The TI had been an MGM MIRAGE property since 2000 when MGM Grand purchased Mirage Resorts. Treasure Island has 2,885 rooms, 220 suites, a 95,000-square foot casino, an 18,000-square foot convention area, its famed daily outdoor Pirate shows and it features "Mystere," the long-running Cirque du Soleil production.

"What’s there not to like about being at TI?" Nevill said. "The Pirate shows draw big crowds and I like the fact that we don’t have 10,000 rooms. We’re the right size to be an extremely user friendly property for our guests."

The TI is currently booking the odds and lines distributed by MGM MIRAGE properties until all the changes are finalized. Nevill said his goal is to improve upon what he feels is an already existing successful product.

"We have construction planned that will make this book a place that emphasizes the customer," Nevill said. "I’m fortunate to have a great customer base to work with. We will make it more advantageous for players to enjoy themselves all the way from video to betting lines. The big thing for us is that we will be making independent numbers and no longer a satellite."

An exact date for TI going on its own is still up in the air. Nevill believes his new operation will be ready prior to the start of the football season. A source close to TI said it could be as early as June. TI is also working on having a computerized system in the book similar to the one being used for wagering at the M Resort.