Vegas Casinos Cancel Super Bowl Parties
LAS VEGAS – Casinos are canceling Super Bowl parties and handing out refunds to thousands of people after the NFL threatened legal action against some of the biggest hotels in Las Vegas.
Several hotels received letters this week informing them that their parties were “unauthorized use of NFL intellectual property.” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league recently became aware of these large-scale parties planned in Las Vegas and other locations around the country.
“These establishments were attempting to charge admission for something we are offering for free, and we believe that’s a violation of a long-standing NFL policy that specifically prohibits mass out-of-home broadcasts,” McCarthy said.
A Super Bowl party inside a movie theater at the Palms was scrapped after the hotel received a letter from the football league on Jan. 23. The gathering usually attracts several hundred people, who enjoy hot dogs and beer and compete in games and raffle drawings for $39.99.
The Aladdin hotel-casino had to cancel its bash planned at the hotel’s 7,000-seat Theatre of Performing Arts after receiving the letter Friday, less than 48 hours before the big game. Officials were scrambling to find small TVs that they could place throughout the casino for guests wanting to watch the Super Bowl.
McCarthy dismissed claims that Las Vegas was being singled out, saying the NFL had sent letters to several locations in Boston, Charlotte and Houston. He said the NFL sent a letter to a Boston aquarium just before the AFC Championship game advising them not to broadcast the game.
“When we become aware of a potential violation, we take action,” McCarthy said. “It’s not a city issue, its a copyright issue.”
The NFL’s letter was particularly devastating to promoter Todd Krohn, who had organized a party at The Orleans hotel-casino that was expected to draw some 6,000 sports fans at $45 a ticket. He estimated his company, The T & J Trust, lost more than $100,000 as a result
“Our biggest problem with this was the late notification. If the NFL had made this decision, why didn’t they give us 30 days notice?” Krohn said. “We wouldn’t have scheduled the event. We wouldn’t have spent the money.”