tv The Profit CNBC December 30, 2019 3:00am-4:00am EST
♪ this is one of the most storied pieces of real estate in the entire world -- the las vegas strip. in 2017, more than 40 million people came to vegas, and they spent $34 billion. i wanted to see how the city works -- not as a spectacle, but as a business. so i'm going to spend the entire next three days and $20,000 of my own money learning how vegas got so good at separating you from your cash. we'll keep track of every cent, and i'm betting we'll learn a few secrets along the way. ♪
♪ there's no question that las vegas is the gambling capital of the u.s. here on the strip, four publicly traded companies control 20 different casinos. and for them, everything is high-stakes. most are camera-shy, but after a lot of negotiations, this one opened its doors -- caesars palace. how are you? mr. lemonis, welcome to caesars palace. -are you steve? -i'm steve shakerian. -nice to meet you. -the pleasure's mine, sir. i'm really excited. lemonis: look, i don't consider myself a high-level vip, but they gave me a dedicated casino host anyway. mine's steve. we're gonna take you over here to platinum vip check-in. we headed over to the front desk. how are you? welcome to caesars palace, mr. lemonis. i got a room key and a loyalty rewards card... because you're a premium guest, we've upgraded you to our diamond card. ...so i could start earning points on all the money
i'm about to spend, starting with my room. [ elevator bell beeps ] we took an exclusive elevator to the 29th floor. this is what $3,400 a night will get you. this place was unbelievable. it had a living room, a dining room. it felt like a house. would you like to grab a water now? i'm okay. thank you. you don't have to stand there with that. lemonis: ornate bathrooms, two outsized bedrooms, all decorated to the nines. -you guys want to move in? -[ laughs ] everybody. we're all staying here. we're gonna bunk it. even the amenities were over the top. so, look, i appreciate that you guys did this for me, but does this normally happen in a room like this? -mr. lemonis -- -marcus. i'm sorry. this is conservative. it looks like you went to the grocery store and bought everything. well, rene did that. rene also came with the room. this phone is just for you. my own private butler, on call 24/7.
how many rooms are you handling right now? just yours. one per room? dedicated to you. yes, sir. lemonis: but i didn't want to stay in my room. i'm here for the action. -welcome. i'm martina. -nice to meet you. so, this is roulette. do you know roulette? -you're gonna explain it to me. -i sure will. how about -- do you have a rewards card with us? total rewards? i do. watch out. -all right! -there it is. my first dollar on the diamond card. i asked martina for a quick explanation. so, you can bet on one number. that pays 35-to-1, by the way. okay. you can bet on two numbers, which pays 17-to-1. you can bet on three numbers, 11-to-1. four numbers, 8-to-1. this is the only spot on the board for five numbers, which pays 6-to-1. lemonis: honestly, i had no clue. or you can bet on six numbers, and that pays 5-to-1. but you don't have to remember all that. and i should have stopped right there.
here we go. i only lasted three spins. oh, man. ohh! 17. 32. ohh! you were close. and just like that, i was out 85 bucks. you're not coming out here to invest money to win money. you're coming out here for entertainment purposes. that's all it is. i don't feel very entertained right now. -it's entertainment only. -okay. and you only want to risk and only want to come out here with what you know you might lose and are comfortable with. generally, what are the odds of roulette? on this particular game, the house advantage is higher than most. -it is? -absolutely. it's not just roulette. the house is favored in every single game here. thanks for bringing me to this one first, okay? -[ laughs ] -you asked for the wheel. lemonis: for a town built on games of chance, the truth is, very little is left to chance. -how are you? -hello, marcus. i'm great. -welcome to caesars palace. -thank you. nice to meet you. it's a pleasure to have you here. sean mcburney has been the general manager
of caesars palace for four years. -can i get a tour? -absolutely. follow me. 'cause i want to get -- but i want the inside tour. of course. as we walk, i asked him about that rewards card i got at check-in. turns out, it's mcburney's secret weapon. in exchange for points, it allows the casino to track every game i play, every meal i eat, every cent i spend, and everywhere i spend it. so when i spend on this card, i go to the club, i go to four restaurants, i go in here -- you're watching that. so, you know, one example, you play blackjack later. you hand them your card. we'll learn that you like blackjack. we'll learn the level at which you play blackjack and how long you play blackjack. ...tables? that's good. that's good. so if i spend some money at nobu at caesars and swipe my rewards card, caesars captures what i order -- a glass of wine or a sushi roll. that info goes into a computer which predicts what offers might appeal to me. maybe a wine tasting or a restaurant promo.
those offers are then sent directly to my smartphone. so being able to capture all of those preferences allows us to target-market based on your observed interest and preferences. proprietary software to do it? -oh, yeah. all internal. -all proprietary. it really is about understanding what does the person that walks through the front door want and how do i get more out of their wallet? right. that's exactly right. and caesars has got the profiles of millions of loyal customers. apparently, you have 50 million? yeah, 55 million. you don't get to 55 million overnight. over the course of 50 years, caesars palace has grown to cover 85 acres of real estate. with land currently valued at about $20 million an acre, that's worth an estimated $1.7 billion. and it all started from right here. lemonis: is that a historical piece from the hotel? it's original. it's original
from when we opened on august 5, 1966. -and it was there? -it was here. it's never been moved? so this is all original, and if we walk over here to the left, you can see the palace casino. original from when the property opened in 1966. just a very iconic part of the casino. this is where most of the table games are located. lemonis: table games like blackjack, still one of vegas's biggest moneymakers. there are nearly 40 casinos around the 4-mile-long strip with more than 1,200 blackjack tables. the casinos take in an average of $2,000 a day per table. that's about $900 million a year from blackjack alone. how are they pulling in so much money? i got to play to find out. how are you doing? -i'm marcus. -benny figgins is my name. -nice to meet you, ben. -nice to meet you. benny figgins has been dealing cards under the dome longer than i've been alive. so, how long you been here? it'll be 52 years sunday.
i opened this place up in '66. i started off as a casino porter. i cleaned the tables and ashtrays and taking out the trash. see, blacks couldn't deal on the strip yet. -really? -no. you weren't permitted to deal cards? yeah, blacks couldn't deal 'em. and when were you permitted to do it? i would say around '71. did they teach you how to do this? caesars palace set up a program, and they sent me to school, and i worked my way to the dealer. lemonis: and once he became a dealer, a who's who of old hollywood showed up at his table. have you met any fantastic people? -a lot. -any celebrities? yes. sinatra, sammy davis. -they played right here? -they played. harry belafonte, diana ross. joe louis. any dealer good enough for joe louis is good enough for me. -let's do it. -okay. -we're gonna have fun. -okay, let's do it. first, a few practice rounds. you don't need to explain anything. -21, baby. -we'll do it again. okay.
okay, that's 10. now, i have a deuce showing. okay. now, you have to assume -- always assume that it's a 10 underneath. -okay. -so what do i have? -you have 12. -okay. that's 18. now you want 20. there you go. -okay. we're doing good. -let me pay you first. to be honest, losing at roulette was a distant memory. you told me you didn't know how to play this game! then i was ready to join a real game with real money. -i can't beat you, marcus. -this is too easy. biggest bet you've ever seen? biggest bet i've ever seen was $75,000 a hand. and did they come out ahead or behind? they came out ahead. well, i wasn't willing to go quite that far. -come on. -benny dealt me a 20. i stayed. i was just wondering, was you thinking about splitting that? -[ laughs ] -when it first went down, but i remember what you told me. -right. -we don't split 10's. no. there you go. benny dealt himself 9, 12, 14,
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lemonis: i was playing blackjack with veteran dealer benny figgins and had two jacks on the table -- 20. benny's hand started with a 9, 12, 14, and finally, 19. ahh. blackjack rules meant he had to stay, and i won the hand. i ended up for the night, winning a total of $197. all this is profit. anybody ever give you business advice? yeah. save your money. i took that advice and called it a night. -you're a real gentleman. -thank you, sir. ♪ there's more than one way to gamble in las vegas. try getting married. more people say "i do" here than anywhere else, making it the marriage capital of the world. and the city makes it easy. no blood test, no waiting period. just 77 bucks and a photo id.
[ cheers and applause ] weddings here generate as much as $3 billion in revenue each year, and perhaps no one in vegas has helped more people tie the knot than this guy. ♪ ohh, come on ♪ get on, yeah i recently got married, too, but it wasn't anything like this. -and from this day... -and from this day... -...i promise to be... -...i promise to be... ...your hunka-hunka burnin' love. ...your hunka-hunka burnin' love. [ laughs ] yes. lemonis: brendan paul has been the co-owner of the graceland wedding chapel for the past 16 years. -how many weddings a year? -between 8,000 and 9,000 a year. -8,000 and 9,000? -something like that. on a good year, 9,000, yeah. [ laughs ] it's a lot of shakin'. [ guitar strums ] it's also a lot of money. every 15 minutes or so, another couple gets hitched or renews their vows at an average cost of around $350.
♪ [ cheers and applause ] if i just do the math in my head, it's several million dollars a year? [ laughs ] sure. [ laughs ] something like that. it's good to be the king. put it that way in vegas. oh, my gosh. lemonis: let me break it down for you. brendan says, in a good year, they see more than 24 couples a day. at an average cost of $350 per ceremony, that's $8,400 a day, or more than $3 million a year. man, i'm in the wrong business. ...once again, pronounce you husband and wife. and the ceremony is only one of the ways they make money here. how do you monetize things? i mean, you charge for the wedding itself? yeah, the wedding, flowers, dvd. limo service. we have six limos. our pink caddie that picks people up. so it's all in-house? everything? yeah. but perhaps the biggest moneymaker, outside of the actual ceremony, is the photography.
yeah. they say it brings in an extra $700,000 to $800,000 a year. paul: people get married for $199 and then buy $600 worth of pictures. lemonis: for better or for worse, and for more than 20 years, brendan's found success keeping the king alive. hey! whoo! and i had just one piece of advice for him. elvis had a manager, right? right, yeah, that's true. and he had somebody that handled merch sales. yeah, yeah. and somebody that did his record deal. yeah, right. and somebody that sold the keychains. -yeah. yeah. -you need that guy. or gal. you, honestly, are sitting on a gold mine. whoo! ♪ lemonis: back at caesars, they're taking a slightly more traditional approach to weddings. no king... -hi. how are you? -how are you? this is awesome. ...but they do have a queen. meet martha morales. morales: we have a wedding coming up, so i'm happy you're here 'cause i will need some help. lemonis: she's a 31-year-old single mom
who started working on the strip as a game operator at circus circus when she was just 16. now she runs four businesses for caesars. so grab some. we're gonna sprinkle them. work back, all the way around. martha is the general manager of the 182-room nobu hotel. she's also in charge of an award-winning spa, a high-end hair salon, and, most important of all, she makes sure all the weddings at caesars come off without a hitch. how many weddings do you do a day? a day, we could do anywhere from three all the way up to, like, ten weddings. we host over 600 weddings a year. lemonis: at an average cost of $5,000 each, that's about 14 times the average cost of one of brendan's weddings. [ cheering ] let me just understand this. so, you wake up in the morning, and you have essentially four businesses to manage. yes. are they tight on money around here?
[ laughs ] no, no. look, all kidding aside, caesars entertainment, which owns caesars palace, is a multibillion-dollar company with some 65,000 employees. of those in management, nearly half are women. how tough has it been for you to be a successful woman in las vegas? i had to work very, very hard. i think what really helped me was being a parent, at the same time, going to school, and being in management. so i became really strategic with my time and how i do everything that i do, and i pretty much matured rather quickly. but this town is not known for being women-friendly. we're changing that. what's the next ten years look like for you? 'cause i know you have dreams. of course. i think, ultimately, i want to be a ceo or president of a hotel company, so we're getting there. we're gonna make that happen today. they're gonna get married. you're gonna become a ceo. [ laughs ] [ mendelssohn's "wedding march" plays ]
you notice how my half looks more even? you know what? your half just looks better altogether, okay? just when i thought i was getting the hang of one job, martha offered me a totally different one. so you're not gonna believe this. okay. our wedding couple... yes? ...is actually a huge fan of yours. okay. it turns out, the couple wants me to help marry them. -how are you? -i'm doing very well. but before i agree, i have to meet them. first the groom, chris helms. -are you ready to get married? -i'm so excited. are you sure this is the right thing? without a doubt. she is the missing piece to my puzzle. i don't know who's more excited, you or me. ♪ oh, my gosh! next, april falls, the beautiful bride to be. -congratulations. -thank you. are you nervous? -yes. -he said he's not nervous. nervous, excited, anxious, everything. what do you love about him? he is so much fun and surprising.
and there's never a dull moment. he always makes me laugh. that was enough to get my blessing. [ pachelbel's "canon in d major" plays ] i'm your best man, too. officiant: marriage is a holy institution, established in heaven by the divine wisdom and kindness of a loving god. lemonis: repeat after me. with this ring... with this ring... -...i thee wed. -...i thee wed. -all my heart's affection... -all my heart's affection... -...all that i am. -...and all that i am. -i give to you now... -i give to you now... -...my wife. -...my wife. ...my husband. -before god. -before god. after the vows, it was up to me to close the deal. i now pronounce you husband and wife. -yay! -you may kiss your bride. [ applause ] -i love you. -i love you. i love you, too. don't make my boobs fall out. yay! about that "richer or poorer" part...
♪ i've been in las vegas nearly two days, and i gotta tell ya, this place has a million ways to take your money. ♪ first, i went to the pool and had lunch in a cabana. 226 bucks. then i found some nice sneakers. 860 bucks. and a new tie. this is what i want. $950. next, i tried the slots. thanks for giving me 50 cents back. another $99.50 gone. with my head reeling, i saw these giant tvs, part of the casino's sports book. i want to bet on college football. college football. what's your team?
the university of miami. i took miami and 3 points on their season opener against lsu. oh, there it is. college football, week one. i was also sure the hurricanes would play for the national championship. 40-to-1. well, that didn't work. down another 600 bucks. in a flash, my pockets were more than $2,700 lighter. proof that businesses here are diversifying. gaming accounted for just 34% of revenues on the strip in 2017. rooms, drinks, and entertainment made up half. food is another huge slice of the pie. with top restaurants from gordon ramsay to giada de laurentiis, las vegas has become a foodie hot spot. but it's always been a destination for one thing -- the really big buffet. and one of the biggest, bacchanal at caesars palace. coming in at 25,000 square feet
with 500 different dishes, i'm about to find out if this place lives up to the hype. it seems busy. -is it always busy? -it's always busy. okay, this isn't your average buffet. oh, my gosh. it's a football field of food. it keeps going? lamb chops, crab legs, paella. holy [bleep]. and the boss of this sauce? executive chef leticia nunez. -hi. how are you? -how are you? -are you chef leticia? -yes, i am. are you the head boss in charge? i am. that's what they tell me. to run an empire this big, you gotta work. she comes in at 5:00 every morning and puts in almost 70 hours a week. we do two tons of crab legs a day. -two tons? -two tons. that's how many crab legs will be put through this little station right here. so there's none left for america? they're all gone. lemonis: it's not just crab legs. in a year, they'll dish out
nearly 3 million pieces of dim sum, 650,000 oysters, and more than a half a million sliders. -do you do all the buying? -yes, i do. -for the whole place? -yes, i do. that's the bulk of my job, financials, the managing of money, and making sure that we don't run out of any single item. what if there's a shortage? oh, then we have a crisis. we will have very upset guests. the next time you're stressing over dinner, keep in mind that chef leticia and her team will serve a million people every year. yeah, one million. ♪ come on back here. lemonis: high stakes on high heat. -what is that?! -here we have octopus. nah, i'm gonna stay back here. is it still alive? no, it is cooked. it's been poaching for a while. why do i feel like it's gonna come up and eat me? [ laughs ] how many total employees work in this restaurant?
-324. -and it's 365 days a year? yes. because when you have to feed an army, you need to cook with one, too. here we're just getting the prime ribs ready. lemonis: and today i'm enlisting. we're gonna prep one of their biggest sellers -- prime rib. so, what is this? just salt and pepper? it's a sea salt, espresso. -can you smell the espresso? -a little bit of coffee rub? coffee rub, yeah. how many of these will you do a day? we do 54. -a day? -a day. that's 520,000 slices a year. this one's gonna taste the best. i'm just telling you right now. i'm gonna tell you that you're putting too much. [ laughs ] you're gonna come back through and fix this, aren't you? no. look how much you have on the side. it's tough to impress chef leticia, but i'm gonna give it another shot over at the sushi station where they can make a roll in 10 seconds. and i'm gonna be supervising this, okay?
no, no, no, 'cause you're gonna yell at me. you gotta be firm with it. like making a burrito. after a quick lesson... i'm ready to open up a sushi restaurant. ...game on. want me to show you guys how it's done? i just want to make sure it's even, like, you don't have any advantage. -where's my cheerleader at? -i'm right here! -okay. -wow. nunez: he's taking the lead, marcus. okay, slow down, slow down. -it's a race. i can't slow down. -[ laughs ] come on, come on, come on. where's my crab?! -right here, right here. -oh, i have to make it? -yes. -wait a minute. [ laughter ] -15 seconds. -all right. yours is looking beautiful, marcus. okay, okay, i got it. i got it. wow! awesome! great job! it's actually hard. i mean, nobody's buying that. -it looks really good. -it's my second one. -this is the big leagues. -this is it, yeah. this is the biggest experience in las vegas, is it not? the biggest buffet? -yes. it is. i was born to do this. this is what i love to do.
everything that you can imagine to do in food is happening in vegas. what are your dreams out in vegas? what are your dreams? long-term. i'm living it right now. lemonis: vegas has come a long way. the executive suite is no longer for men only. women like chef leticia and martha morales, well, they're proof of that. ♪ meanwhile, 6 miles from caesars, 11 stories in the air... you gotta be [bleep] me.
♪ lemonis: it's clear that las vegas has a way of making things magically disappear. in a matter of seconds, once-legendary hotels are reduced to rubble to make way for something bigger, bolder, costing billions. but there's a place just miles away from the strip where the past, well, it hasn't disappeared. i'm downtown on the famous fremont street where las vegas was born... to experience how the neon lights and the laid-back vibe still pack 'em in.
♪ -mr. lemonis. -how you doing? marcus. derek stevens owns the d, one of eight casinos on fremont street that offer a little less glitz and apparently a lot more for your buck. this place is way different than i thought it was gonna be. -really? -it's got good energy. -it's packed. -yeah. -is it always this packed? -yeah, pretty much. i mean, here's a great stat for you. 43 million people visit las vegas. 24 million people visit the fremont street experience. this is definitely a destination spot. ♪ one reason why downtown is so popular? its mix of the old and the new. at the d, there are go-go dancers who also are licensed to deal cards... bartenders who also entertain... i think it's the longest bar west of the mississippi. -if you add 10 more feet -- -believe me. every linear foot means something. ...and a casino that spans two floors.
downstairs is fast-paced, filled with energy... while upstairs is a little more chill, a throwback to the casinos that once made downtown famous. it feels different here. it feels old-school. it feels authentic. and i think a lot of people are looking for that again. they're also looking to win. some of the blackjack tables here offer better payouts than the strip's. $3 for every $2 you bet versus $6 for every $5 you bet. and according to the gaming control board, some of the vintage slot machines pay out more often, too. i decided to try my luck with one of the more unusual ones. you got 8 seconds to post. what do i gotta do here? pick a horse? yeah. pick a horse. there you go. you got the 3. all right. come on, number 3! marcus got the 3! marcus got the 3! -i got to win! -come on, 3! -come on, 3! -come on, baby! come on, baby! [ laughs ] what'd i win?
$15.50. not bad. not that much, either. good to see you. thanks for coming to the d. how are you? to keep track of how well his casinos are doing, derek relies on something that's king in vegas -- not elvis, but data. and it's available to him 24/7. what's really great, this is all real-time. i'm talking about, somebody buys a beer -- right now, boom. if somebody buys a beer, it hits that point of sale. this is updated within one second. so we're talking about really good, operational, nonstop data. -hello, derek! -how are you, my friend? lemonis: keeping tabs on the bar seems like a good idea. keeping tabs on what people are betting? even better. so this is on the penny slots. that's the volume on the -- $30,000 is what people played by the hour at 7:00 on the penny slots. well, now we're getting a little public here. oh, sorry, sorry. i'm showing this off the record. pennies count here on fremont street. the food and the drinks, well, they're generally cheaper
than you'll find on the strip. and the entertainment? there's all types here. some professional, some spectacle... and some just weird. ♪ how many people will be on this street? -on a given night? -yeah. could be anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000. that's one heck of a block party. and building an outside bar has certainly helped raise spirits. -i'm gonna get a lemon head. -okay. with the outside bar, it created this atmosphere, this party atmosphere. added the music and the bands and fremont street, and it just kind of took off from there. ♪ but downtown las vegas wasn't always this friendly. -how you doing? i'm marcus. -how you doing, marcus? -they call me sarge. -sarge. meet chris curtis, better known as "sarge." the former las vegas police officer remembers, as i do, when fremont street was way more famous for its crime
than casinos. so what about all this over there? so these buildings are the same? so the buildings are basically the same, and they've changed from different things. if you started on the corner down there where it says "inspire," that really cool building which is now a theater, a night club, also a place where people can just go for co-working space. but that used to be a 7/11. wow. and i remember taking calls inside that 7/11 for, like, people just going in, stealing beer, and doing all kinds of stuff. as we cross that street, to your right, you'll see container park. it's a series of containers that are put together as retail space. -storage containers. -it's like storage containers, and they're all different types of businesses and restaurants and bars inside of one little space. and what's a trip is that that used to be this really cheesy motel that prostitutes used to work out of. a lot of prostitution around here? crack and prostitution. ten years ago, you would -- if you wanted to find it, this is where you'd find it. sarge no longer arrests people. how's it going? did you guys come for the movies?
the so-called ambassador of good chill works for a company that's invested millions trying to revitalize downtown. and it's in their best interest to make it safe. in the daytime, i have a team of people that walk around and give directions to people. they help clean the streets. they walk people to and from places. they check to see if people's meters are going on their car. the night time, i go to our night-life venues because a lot of young people go out and party and have fun, and i make sure the security teams are doing the things to protect us from a risk perspective and that people are safe. -people aren't being stupid? -correct. ♪ back at the fremont street experience, i couldn't help but notice some high flyers soaring across the length of the mall. i had to experience this for myself. ♪ by the time they were tightening my harness and attaching it to the line, i was beginning to have second thoughts.
you gotta be [bleep] me. there was no turning back. whoo! yeah! of all the things you can do in vegas... you could spend $3,500 on a room... $75,000 on a hand of poker. but for $49, you can fly like superman. ♪ that was fun. but there's one guy in vegas who flies all the time and gets paid millions for doing it. so, when i levitate and fly around onstage, part of the audience will float out of their seat. -at least in their mind. -no. literally.
lemonis: it's early afternoon at the planet hollywood theater. ♪ and this dirty, dusty stage is undergoing a total transformation, becoming the criss angel theater. you think you're the only one with illusions? -there you go. -okay. i got up here like that. you appeared in the catwalk. i literally just levitated myself up here. -that's pretty good. -i'm gonna come down and see ya. come on down. [ laughs ] he's the mind freak. lemonis: not quite. criss is the only mind freak... with tv shows and specials, famous for walking on water. but the criss angel i know is much more than just a guy who does tricks. this is not a magic show. i want to make sure that people understand that. you're not a magician. you're not some strip headliner. you're a businessperson. -show business. -yeah. so there's no show if you don't understand the business.
[ saxophone plays ] there's 250,000 tourists that come through vegas every day to two days, depending upon the seasons. everybody's out there trying to get the attention, get people to see their show. you really have to understand the mentality of the public that come to las vegas to really understand how to capitalize on that. you really have to understand what the audience wants. believe me, criss gets it. he just spent 10 years at the luxor hotel and casino. great success. brought in $150 million a year in direct and indirect sales, revenue. it's incredible. number-one magic show on the planet. he's been lured away with a long-term megadeal. there's a rumor going around the street, and it's no illusion. people are telling me that you have struck the largest entertainment deal in las vegas ever. that is true. but you know something? people have to understand. this is not something that happened overnight. it took me 18 years to become an overnight success.
if criss' new show is not a success, this guy will feel the heat. jason gastwirth is the man who brought criss to planet hollywood. he's the president of entertainment for caesars. i always say the way that we seek out these artists -- can they go by one name? that's a pretty good start. right. and he's also the one that came up with the pop residency, having big stars like gwen stefani and jennifer lopez do long-term stints here. if we think back to the coliseum, when it was first created, it was for céline dion, and that was a residency which was wildly successful. céline and caesars grossed $385 million in ticket sales over 5 years. this planet hollywood theater holds 4,600 people. sell out all the seats, and the cash registers really ring. lemonis: this can get pretty close to a million dollars of revenue if all things are firing on all cylinders? -yes. -in a night? yes, and there's certain nights where,
even just with ticket revenue, we've been over a million. even with the resident artists. lemonis: the latest resident artist, criss angel, is feeling the pressure getting ready for his new show. he took me to his headquarters -- a 60,000-square-foot beehive where 100 employees run a combination machine shop, costume factory, and creative nerve center. lemonis: you're one of the few entertainers in the world that have figured out how to monetize a talent. well, yes. you have to think of yourself -- and a lot of artists get mad when you say, "you're a brand. i'm an artist." no, no, you're a brand. they don't want to be thought of as that. it's like a dirty word. right. for me, i'm a brand. i have multiple brands. part of that brand includes t-shirts and magic kits, little things that add up big. on the website alone, we've sold a million magic kits in 10 months at $30 each. so let me challenge you for a sec, because you know that i would.
i'm not questioning your creation or production of product. why do you have to be in the logistics business? why do you feel the need to have to have each tub and fill it up and pick up and pack it? no, it's just purely control, financial, quality control. i had situations where i had other people. i did a deal where i had a -- i licensed my name, and they produced a product, and it was garbage. yeah. and i don't want to be associated with garbage. his attention to detail doesn't stop there. every two weeks, i do payroll, and it's a painstaking process. i'll sign 100 checks because i've heard a million stories -- billy joel included -- a fellow long islander -- that had no money because somebody was ripping him off. criss' new theater promises to be spectacular and will raise audience participation to new heights. criss: so, when i levitate and fly around onstage, part of the audience will float out of their seats. -at least in their mind. -no. literally.
criss wasn't ready to show me that trick yet, but he did have one bit of magic up his sleeve. so, we're gonna try something. i want you to write really large a number between 1 and 100. don't let me see it. so, you wrote your number on here. is that true? yes, sir. now, we haven't set this up at all. i'm gonna ask you a series of questions. you just say yes or no. i'm permitted to lie to you? and you can lie to me, absolutely. -okay. -your number's between 1 and 10. yes, of course. that was a terrible lie. -21 and 30? -no. -31 and 40? -no. that's interesting. he's not getting into my head. 71, 72, 73. the number you wrote down. 72. is that it? -am i still allowed to lie? -no, tell me the truth. i'll look on the paper. is that it? 72! -get that five, marcus! -five! i could have used criss' magic for numbers at my next stop.
♪ lemonis: it's my last night in vegas, and i'm gonna win all of my money back. and with 7,700 bucks on the craps table, there's just one little problem. -i have no idea what i'm doing. -you came to the right table. we'll explain the game as we go along. here we go. -5, 5. point is 5. lock it up. -did i win? -no. -now we got the point at 5. -did i lose? -you didn't lose. lemonis: the rules are a bit confusing. she rolled a 5, so 5's the point. the objective of the game now is to roll a 5 on the pass line.
you could take odds like these three... okay, they're a lot confusing. but that's not gonna stop me. here we go. perfect! now your point's 8. -would you like a 9? -yeah. so any time an 8 or 9 rolls, you're gonna win. -i ought to put one on the 5. -5? -5, 8, 9, you win. -5, 8, or 9. -eight. -whoo! this is easy! i don't need to understand the rules. the crowd is firing me up. get that 5, marcus. -five! -hey! how much did i just win? -$700. -$700?! on one roll. and the more i win, the bolder i get. how much do i have on the table right now? -$1,150. -i have $1,100? hold on a second. i'm in business, and i know that the millions spent to build all this, it had to come from somewhere. -ohh. -what was that? that's a loser. [ players groaning ]
the casino's got the edge here, and i'm seriously outmatched. -line 'em in. -that was painful. i could feel the mood shift. i was once up by thousands. now i'm back to even. but it's vegas, and i can't resist one more roll. this is the last one. i'm gonna go big and then go home. i'm stressed. first i need to pump up the crowd. [ applause ] i need more than that! [ cheers and applause ] now i'm ready to get paid. -come on, baby! -ohh. -oh, my god. -oh. 7. man: ouch. lemonis: man, i was kidding myself. i'm out nearly $1,600. i feel like crap is what i feel like. and with a nod to my dealers... -i hope you had fun with us. -i did. thank you, guys. the other night on roulette than i was that i lost $1,800 just now. because you're having more fun doing this.
this is not a place you come to get return on investment. you're coming here to have a good time. there was moments where i had a couple thousand dollars down across the board. absolutely. is that a low bet, medium bet, or a high bet? i would use the gauge of $100, $150 being an average. if you're doing above $150, you're earning a lot of points. you're earning a lot of comps. and the way -- what do i get? a free buffet? you're getting a lot more than that with $1,000 bets. well, i guess i'll have to find out on my next trip. how did everything go with your stay? it was good. i'll let you know when i see my bill. perfect. during my stay, my room ended up costing $14,000. on food and restaurants, i spent $2,000... and $3,000 on shopping and entertainment. gambling? well, that totaled $2,500 in losses. gone are those $20,000 i came with and more. ♪ that's the thing about vegas. i need to cash in my chips. there's always this incentive to go for broke. [ coughs ] i lost my voice. i lost my voice at the craps table.
it offers you life in fantasy land, and the amount of money you spend there, it never seems real until the end. ♪ after three days here, it's clear to me that las vegas knows what it does well. at its heart, it's still all about entertaining you, and they've got that down pat. but i'm in business, and i take risks every day, so gambling is no vacation for me. oh, man. i'd rather stake my money on a small business or entrepreneur. those are my kind of odds. oh, yeah! i'm marcus lemonis. ♪ ♪
♪ good morning and welcome to "street signs" i'm joumanna bercetche. >> and i'm maddy these your headlines at this hour. >> the stock 600 opens in the red despite a surge in chinese stocks while the nikkei ends lower on its last trading day of 2019 but still up 18% for the year. fraudulent activity thailand plant taking the shine off shares with the eye ware maker expecting a negative impact to be recorded in its 201