Las Vegas has become famous for its casino games. But Sin City will soon offer an entirely different form of real money gaming through indoor golf.
MGM Grand has opened Golfstream, which is being billed as the world's first indoor laser golf course and luxury lounge. Golfstream is housed in the casino's Level Up area - a 12,000-square-foot arcade between MGM's race & sportsbook and Hakkasan Nightclub.
The brainchild of friends Darren Dummit and Sameer Gupta, Golfstream is a virtual reality golf simulator that allows players to tee off on the world's top golf courses. All the while, they can challenge their accuracy on putting and long drives.
Going further, you can choose three types of tournaments, including a 30-second timed Putting Challenge, Longest Drive Challenge, and Closest-to-the-Pin Challenge. Each tourney format sees the four players with the best scores move on to the semifinals; the top two players here advance to the finals, where a grand prize awaits.
What's nice is that the Golfstream simulator features a number of options, including one that adjusts slopes on the putting surface. And amateurs can use a laser-guided tracking system to find the best direction for their putts. The goal is to make 5 putts from varying distances within an allotted 30-second time frame.
As for the Closest-to-the-Pin and Longest Drive Challenges, players will hit the ball at a screen that measures their direction and distance.
One example of what you can expect from the Golfstream experience is Idaho's Coeur d’Alene course, which is featured on a lakeside resort and has a famed island hole. Aside from the joys of hitting out to the island green, you can even take an electronic boat towards the green to finish the hole.
As for the aforementioned lounge, this lets 10 people watch the events or participate. You can also take advantage of food and drink services, as well as a caddy who provides support to players while also running the simulator.
The only downside is that the tournaments are small right now, and available for group reservations and walk-in golfers. But Dummit and Gupta hope to grow the tourney sizes in the near future.
Obviously golf betting is nothing new, but the way that it's offered through Golfstream will be something totally new to Las Vegas visitors. Furthermore, this fits the city's new gaming image, which is transitioning towards more skill-based activities. People can now bet on eSports in Vegas, and they'll soon be able to play skill-based slot machines.
This is the idea behind MGM's Level Up, which offers a mix of beer pong, arcade machines, and casino games. The casino games, including blackjack and roulette, feature lower minimum bets to make low-stakes players comfortable playing.
Level Up is also home to the first-ever Frogger machine that offers cash prizes. Konami's Frogger: Get Hoppin' debuted in February 2017 and has quickly become a popular attraction at MGM.
The casino hopes that Golfstream will also be a big draw, given that it's the first real money golf simulator.