Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas announced plans to cut costs and reorganize its operations. This has resulted in the temporary closing of all gaming and restaurant operations. The Asian-themed casino opened in December 2016 and recently celebrated its one year anniversary.
Lucky Dragon announced it was “temporarily” closing “all gaming and restaurant operations” as part of a “process of repositioning.” It made the announcement on its official Facebook and Twitter pages.
“Effective immediately Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino is beginning the process of repositioning and, in doing so, will have a reduction in staff while it temporarily closes all gaming and restaurant operations. The hotel and gift shop will remain fully operational including room service, morning tea and coffee,” the company wrote. “While this is a difficult decision, this repositioning paves the way for Lucky Dragon to establish new partnerships that will enhance the property’s long-term positioning and provide a better guest experience.”
The statement also said that anyone let go will have the chance to return when traditional operations resume within six months. The company did not say how many workers were being laid off.
The Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino is located just off the Las Vegas Strip on Sahara Avenue and officially opened in December 2016. The Asian-themed restaurant was the first new “from the ground up” casino to open in Vegas since 2010 and was designed using Feng Shui concepts. The signs on the property were also written in both Mandarin and English.
Of the $139.0 million it took to construct the Lucky Dragon, $60.0 million of it was funded through the U.S. governments EB-5 visa program. This program allows foreigners and their immediate families a way to get permanent green card in the U.S. (which can then be exchanged for a U.S. passport) in exchange for a private investment or loan of at least $500,000 in a project that hires at least 10 people.
In March 2017, executives at Lucky Dragon said VIP business was so strong they planned to open a second VIP gaming lounge. The good times didn’t last long, though; just three months after opening, the hotel laid off 100 staff and closed its food court. It then let go of additional employees in the summer.
Local Chinese gamblers playing at other casinos said the problem with Lucky Dragon was its stingy gaming and comp policy. Said one gamer, “When you open up a casino, you have to give something to the customers. They are too tight.”
Jordan Seager, a general manager at Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino, disagrees. He said their comp policy is in line or even better than other casinos. The lack of foot traffic suggests otherwise. If Lucky Dragon isn’t able to bring in local Asian gamblers and tourists, it will be difficult to stay open. The table games are mostly baccarat and the slots are Asian focused, as is the food.
“Lucky Dragon Las Vegas,” Facebook, last accessed January 4, 2018.
“Twitter post,” Lucky Dragon LV Twitter account, January 4, 2018, 2:56 p.m.
“Lucky Dragon appears to be struggling in Las Vegas,” Las Vegas Review-Journal, December 18, 2017.