Mandalay Bay resort-casino in Las Vegas on Wednesday won the Gaming Control Board's support for a plan to open five private "international salons" for high rollers who don't want to gamble in the public eye.
Until recently Nevada law has required all casino floors be open to public view. But resorts catering to high rollers, particularly from Asia and Latin America and Arab countries, say many of those customers want privacy.
If approved, Mandalay Bay will be the third Strip resort to be licensed for the private salons. MGM and Park Place are already in operation.
Vice President for Casino Operations Art Rodriguez said some of those high-end customers stopped coming to Las Vegas after Sept. 11, 2001, taking their business to other gambling centers in Australia, London, Macao and Malaysia.
Rodriguez said most of those players are again willing to come to Las Vegas, but the experience in those areas has increased their requests for privacy as they bet on baccarat and high-stakes blackjack, craps and roulette. Many of those gamblers win or lose several million dollars each trip to the casinos.
"We're trying to give them everything they want to bring them back to this state," he said.
He said allowing Mandalay Bay to have the private salons would help not only bring those customers back but should bring new high rollers to Southern Nevada from other gambling centers.
The board agreed unanimously to recommend licensing of five "international salons" at Mandalay Bay.
Three of the rooms will be open to all high rollers most of the time, but can be closed off to accommodate groups seeking privacy to gamble. Two, however, are designed specifically for those customers. They are served by private elevators, which connect directly to the resort's suites on floors 60 to 62.
Rodriguez said construction and security cameras should be installed by Dec. 13. He said with approval, the rooms could open for business before Christmas.