While some casino companies are content with stifling new development, Caesars Entertainment is looking to the future and is enthusiastic about innovation. It has connected with the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) to launch the Black Fire Innovation center, a hub designed to focus on innovation and education for the casino and hospitality industries.
The new center is going to be located at Harry Reid Research & Technology Park, a part of the UNLV campus that is currently under development. It will use 43,000 square feet of the facility, spanning one and a half floors of the four-story building. According to an announcement from the university, Black Fire will include “elements of mock hotel rooms, a casino floor and sportsbook, an esports arena and virtual reality facilities. Black Fire Innovation brings the university’s academic leaders and Caesars Entertainment, one of the world’s most diversified casino-entertainment providers, together in one space to advance current trends in hospitality and gaming technology to propel the industry forward. The complex is expected to open by the end of 2019.”
Black Fire will open later this year and will give the university and Caesars, along with their partners, the ability to create and test new ideas for casino and hospitality using a complete, but mock, integrated resort environment. It will include hotel rooms, a casino, a sportsbook, exhibition areas and an esports arena.
Marta Meana, UNLV’s president, states, “This collaboration with Caesars Entertainment will strengthen UNLV’s role as a research and innovation leader and further elevate Las Vegas as the global intellectual capital for gaming and hospitality. Collaborations like Black Fire Innovation also give our students unparalleled access to experts at the forefront of the industry. It’s an experience unique to Las Vegas that we’re proud to offer at UNLV.”
The executive VP and chief information officer for Caesars, Les Ottolenghi, adds, “We intend to accelerate innovation in a way that is truly unprecedented within the gaming and hospitality space, bringing together top researchers and industry experts in a unique collaborative environment. Working side-by-side and with emerging student talent, technology partners and the community through this technology hub, Black Fire Innovation is designed to spur the creativity and entrepreneurship that will shape the future of our industry for many years to come.”