Thanks in no small part to its starring role in the 2001 Warner Bros. Pictures heist caper ‘Ocean’s Eleven’, directed by Steven Soderbergh, Bellagio Las Vegas is arguably the most iconic hotel in Sin City. Built on the site of the historic Dunes Hotel and Casino, in the centre of the Las Vegas Strip, Bellagio covers 77 acres and forms the backdrop to a vast, choreographed water feature known as the Fountains of Bellagio, which offers free shows day and night.
Originall conceived and owned by disgraced casino mogul Steve Wynn, Bellagio opened in October, 1998. However, Wynn’s company, Mirage Resorts, Inc. was acquired by MGM Mirage, later MGM Resorts International, in May, 2000. In October, 2019, MGM Resorts International sold Bellagio to Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust (BREIT) in a deal worth $4.25 billion. MGM Resorts holds a 5% equity stake in a joint venture company, from which it leases back operations for an annual payment of $245 million.
The Fountains of Bellagio aside, gambling is, unsurprisingly, the main attraction at Bellagio. The casino floor covers 156,000 square feet including, since 2013, 2,600 square feet devoted to a private gambling salon, known as ‘Villa Prive’; access to the latter is by invitation only and restricted to high rollers willing to play $300,000 in a single session. More accessible gambling options included approximately 140 gaming tables, offering blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat and pai gow among others, not to mention 2,300 reel, video reel and video poker slots. Classic poker action is available in a dedicated, 7,000 square feet poker room with 40 tables, plus the exclusive, two-table ‘Legends Room’, formerly ‘Bobby’s Room’, which is the spiritual home of high-stakes poker in Las Vegas.