Caesars and UNLV Launch Casino, Hospitality Innovation Hub

Caesars and UNLV join forces for the upcoming launch of the Black Fire Innovation casino and hospitality educational hub
Gaming and hospitality operator Caesars Entertainment Corp. and University of Nevada, Las Vegas have teamed up to jointly create a casino and hospitality tech innovation hub in southwest Vegas, the university said in a Sunday statement.
The Black Fire Innovation space will occupy 43,000 square feet of floor area over a floor and a half in a four-story building located in UNLV’s Harry Reid Research & Technology Park.
The education hub will feature a mock integrated resort with hotel rooms, a casino, a sports betting facility, virtual reality space, and an eSports arena, among other amenities. The collaboration between Caesars and UNLV will aim to propel the global casino industry forward through and educational setting that will pay special attention to gaming technology.
The academic incubator is expected to open doors later this year. UNLV President Marta Meana said in a Sunday statement that by joining forces with Caesars, the university will “strengthen [its] role as a research leader and further elevate Las Vegas as the global intellectual capital for gaming and hospitality.” Ms. Meana went on to say that endeavors like Black Fire Innovation “give [their] students unparalleled access to experts at the forefront of the industry.”
Casino of the Future
Zach Miles, Associate Vice President for Economic Development at UNLV, said that the tech hub will feature a casino floor of the future and a couple of hotel rooms of the future as well as a café of the future, and that there “will be robots wandering around” that they will be testing “for how they engage with those different facilities.”
The two-story space will also enable UNLV to collaborate with local businesses and to jointly develop ideas for the future of the casino and hospitality industries and secure their way into the mainstream.
Mr. Miles went on to say that Black Fire Innovation will include space where one can really test their ideas, build prototypes, and engage elbow-to-elbow with companies that can move ideas forward.
Caesars Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer Les Ottolenghi said that Black Fire is a project that will help them with their strategy to “accelerate innovation” within both the casino and hospitality industries in a “truly unprecedented” manner.
It also became known that the space will involve research into a number of emerging technologies, including blockchain and artificial intelligence.
The casino and hospitality incubator is expected to open doors late this summer or early in the fall in Las Vegas’ southwest valley near South Durango and West Sunset roads.
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