The Formula 1 Grand Prix will be run in September in Las Vegas and controversy has erupted between the organizers and the city’s casinos.
Liberty Media, the show’s promoter, has decided to require commercial venues located on the circuit strip to pay a license fee of US$1,500 for each visitor who wants to watch the race from their premises. This has generated a strong debate about the public nature of the event.
F1 is already preparing for Las Vegas.
The dispute arises because the establishments located within the 6 kilometers of the circuit’s strip have the possibility of hosting about 1,000 customers who wish to watch the race from their premises. The proposed rate per person could imply that some of these casinos, resorts and commercial establishments would have to pay a sum of up to US$1.5 million just to enjoy the spectacle.
According to specialized media reports, the company claims that these “license fees” are a way to recover part of the investment and ensure that the event generates profits. However, locals, especially casinos, have expressed their dissatisfaction with this requirement. They consider that charging money for allowing the public to watch a race taking place on public roads is unfair and question the ethics behind this practice.
Some casino owners have expressed their displeasure at Liberty Media’s possible move that threatens to obstruct viewing. They argue that Formula 1 is a public event held on the street and that charging for allowing their customers to enjoy it from their premises is unsound.
In the midst of this controversy, the exception of the Venetian and Wynn casinos, who have chosen to sponsor the motor racing event, stands out. In return, they paid between US$ 2 and 10 million to be associated with Formula 1. This decision has been interpreted as a show of support for Liberty Media’s demand, while others see it as a way to secure exclusive benefits for their establishments.
The final decision on this matter could have significant implications for future Formula 1 events in Las Vegas and other cities. Only time will tell how this controversy will be resolved and whether there will be changes to show access policies.