2014 wish: Let's win and make casino gambling fun
January 07, 2014 3:00 AM
by Marc Meltzer
Welcome to 2014. Along with a new year there are some wishes I’d like to see in the casinos. No matter how realistic they are they probably won’t come true…but a guy can dream.
My first wish is to see better gambling returns on the Vegas Strip. The Strip is a tourist destination and they don’t necessarily gamble. Non-gaming revenue has been the majority of revenue on the Strip for years. Casino operators have looked to expand profits from less money by increasing their advantage.
I understand the majority of people visiting don’t care about odds and returns when they gamble but there is a contingent that does. Increasing returns across the board may not make sense for most casinos on the Strip but something is better than nothing.
Maybe a casino can have one single deck blackjack game that pays 3:2 during the day. They can switch it to 6:5 at night when more tourists are out. A casino can have one craps table that allows 10x or 20x odds. Most people won’t ever play full odds anyway. This would certainly get the attention of gamblers like me. Years ago there used to be small banks of “loose slots” where returns were higher than other parts of the casino.
Changing a few slot machines to return 95% instead of 92% would give gamblers an excuse to visit a casino. Chances are the smart gamblers also have money to spend on an overpriced, yet delicious, steak dinner. I can taste this already.
My second wish is to see more fun brought into the casinos for gamblers. Fun can be more televisions to watch sports games I may have bet on. It could be more party pits or as simple as improving cocktail service.
Some casinos have cut back on staff so drinks don’t come as quickly any more. A few have even stopped serving premium liquors to lower tier gamblers. Perhaps the hope is we’ll buy a premium drink at the bar instead of drinking the bargain swill they serve at the tables.
If you make me go to a bar for a drink, I’ll probably just stay there and you won’t get my money from gambling, which would be much more in your pocket. Maybe the casino operators would like to funnel my money to the bar but I’d rather gamble. When I’m in a casino I usually want to do three things – eat, drink and gamble. I’m simple.
My final wish is for casinos to continue to offer a variety of games. It seems as if casinos are offering more variety in gambling than ever before. I’d like that to continue even if it means more games with a large house advantage. I’m a sucker for the different table games molded from poker like 3 Card and Mississippi Stud.
These games have a big house advantage, but let us turn up the fun.
Marc Meltzer covers Las Vegas, gambling and men’s lifestyle for various outlets. Follow Marc on twitter @eastcoastgamblr. Check out his blog at www.AC2LV.com Contact Marc at MarcMeltzer@GamingToday.com.