Horse racing may be on the decline across the country, but the Atlantis Casino Resort is betting on horse racing aficionados with an expanded Race & Sports Book.
Atlantis last week completed work at the Race & Sports Book to double the number of carrels to accommodate its horse racing clientele. Bettors can watch races from tracks across the country, from Hollywood Park to Churchill Downs, at the private desks before placing wagers.
The Atlantis also added wall-to-wall LED televisions and two large projection screens to enhance the area’s viewing capabilities. The footprint of the area stayed the same.
David Farahi, chief operating officer of Monarch Casino and Resort, parent of the Atlantis, says the number of horse races nationwide has declined 44 percent in the last two decades, and there are 38 percent fewer racing horses as well.
However, Farahi notes, the Atlantis has seen a rise in pari-mutuel betting.
“We ran out of space for our race players,” he says. “We wanted to expand the number of carrels so we still have a comfortable environment to take care of our race players. We want to be the home for race bettors in northern Nevada.”
In almost every other area of a casino, Farahi says, bettors are wagering against the house; in a pari-mutuel agreement, bettors are wagering against everyone else in the county who has placed bets on a particular race.
The was a push to get the work completed before last Saturday’s running of the 139th Kentucky Derby, arguably horse racing’s biggest event of the year.
“Race betting is not a huge revenue driver, but we are making this investment because we value our race guests and would like to ensure they have the best possible experience.” Farahi says.