The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is in its 48th edition and is by far the most popular poker tournament in the world. The WSOP comes to Las Vegas, Nevada faithfully every year and the Rio which is owned by Caesars Entertainment has played host for a number of years.
With every passing year, the WSOP continues to grow bigger and better in terms of guaranteed prize money as well as the number of player registrations. This year saw players from more than 100 countries in attendance and a total more than 50,000 unique players in attendance till date. The WSOP started on May 30 and will finish with the WSOP Main Event on July 22.
The WSOP gets an incredible amount of attention on television as well as on social media and almost all of it is centered on the events and poker players as it should be. However there are a number of small businesses who also flourish during this month and a half long poker extravaganza. We take a look at some of the small businesses that make big money during the WSOP and the different niches where money can be made.
Crypto Currency Operators
Huge sums of money flow into the WSOP as well as out of it into the hands of players. The Rio has made additional provision this year to install 3 ATMs inside the casino to enable players to make quick withdrawals. There are also crypto currency operators like CashBot – which is a Bitcoin trader that is allowing players to sell their Bitcoins to them for a 5.9 percent fee and in return will give them cash. CashBot also gives players the option to convert their WSOP winnings into Bitcoins for a 7.9 percent fee.
Poker players who are in the money are interested in this option as the Bitcoin price is expected to skyrocket before the end of this year and it also frees them up from having to carry cash in Las Vegas.
Health Care Providers
There was a point in time when poker players drank a lot, partied hard and had fun at the WSOP. Things have changed a lot over the years as the new generation of players are very serious about their WSOP events and like to keep themselves physically and mentally fit in order to be at their best.
Poker players today pay a lot of attention to their diet and fitness. As a result, a number of small businesses promoting protein shakes, fitness meals and organic food are doing well at the WSOP as they are providing the kind of fuel that poker players are demanding. The All American Food Truck is one such provider who is selling over 600 meals per day at the WSOP with each meal priced at around $25.
Massage providers are also having a heyday at the WSOP as the long hours, pressure moments and stiff competition tends to by physically and emotionally draining for the players. Most of them like to relax by getting a professional massage at the end of the day, while some of them will get a massage and then once again return to the action.
Las Vegas based Professional Massage Inc charges $2 per minute for a massage and has 400 staff at the venue. The company states that their therapists are kept very busy during the WSOP as some players can book massages for 2 hours at a stretch, especially if they are winning big.
Big Businesses Also Profiting From WSOP
It’s not just the small businesses that are profiting from the WSOP as companies AirBnB and Uber have also seen an increase in business in Las Vegas due to the WSOP. Caesars Entertainment hikes prices for its hotel rooms at the Rio during the WSOP. The rates during the weekend are over $300 while on weekdays it is over $200. These same rooms go for around $50 once the WSOP is finished.
As a result, most poker players are looking at alternatives like AirBnB where they can pick a room in accordance with their budget. House owners also profit during this time by listing their property on AirBnB.
Players are constantly traveling between the Rio and their place of accommodation during the WSOP and some of them also for sightseeing purposes and Uber is the way to go. Uber Taxi drivers also tend to see a good flow of business during the WSOP period.
These small businesses will continue to do well in the coming years as the WSOP is expected to grow its brand and have bigger and better tournaments.