History made as Oakland Raiders are moving to Las Vegas
March 28, 2017 3:01 AM
by Eileen Di Rocco
History was made Monday morning when the NFL team owners, who are holding their annual league meeting in Phoenix, voted 31-1 to approve the Oakland Raiders’ proposed move to Las Vegas, despite a last minute plea in a letter from Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. The Miami Dolphins cast the lone no vote.
As expected, there was much joy and celebration in the Valley of Dollars. And, why not? It certainly is a great accomplishment considering the stance professional sports, especially the NFL, has taken on sports betting, which is available at Las Vegas sportsbooks up and down the Strip and all across the valley.
American Gaming Association President and CEO Geoff Freeman released a statement shortly after the announcement of the vote:
“We congratulate the Raiders and the National Football League on today’s historic decision to place a team in Las Vegas. The second announcement of a major sports franchise to locate a team in Las Vegas in just the last 12 months demonstrates how far gaming has come, from a niche industry to a $240 billion economic engine that supports 1.7 million jobs in 40 states.”
Freeman continued, “The gaming industry currently partners with professional teams around the country and we look forward to soon doing the same in Nevada. We applaud the many leaders in Las Vegas who have worked tirelessly to make the city the world’s premier tourist, convention and entertainment destination – and a market worthy of an NFL team.”
Of course, the Raiders are not here yet. They are expected to play two more seasons in Oakland until Vegas builds a 65,000-seat stadium, which is projected to cost $1.9 billion. But indeed they are coming and congratulations are definitely in order for those who helped make this a reality.
CLASSY: We took a short, self-guided tour through the new Lucky Dragon Hotel and Casino, which opened this past November just off the Las Vegas Strip on Sahara Avenue. By Strip standards it is quite small, sitting on just 2.5 acres and boasting only 27,500 square feet of casino space and a mere 203 rooms.
But the Dragon has a lot of class – from its crystal dragon chandelier hanging over the center of the casino to its table games dominated by baccarat and Pai Gow poker with only a few devoted to blackjack to its restaurants offering only authentic Asian cuisine. It is definitely designed to appeal to the Asian market.
However, what we enjoyed most about Lucky Dragon was its size. It reminded us of casinos before the explosion to super-size. It was small, yet elegant, easy to navigate and very friendly and personable.
See you around town.