‘Time’ isn’t on
Doc Holiday’s side

Feb 26, 2007 5:16 AM

To understand why the activity of gambling will continue indefinitely, one only need look to the warm glow of television’s reality shows. While 50,000 delusional singers may line up in each city to audition for American Idol, the contestants who actually win overwhelmingly have had serious amateur — bordering on professional — singing careers before submitting to the verbal lacerations of that whack pack.

Sprightly Jillian Barberie on Skating with Celebrities maintained a pretty serious amateur skating career before her on-screen personality "developed." And Mario Lopez on Dancing with the Stars was obviously a trained dancer.

And who can forget the numerous dance-offs on Saved by The Bell (always to that bizarrely generic synthesizer that must have been used to avoid paying royalties)? The character A.C. Slater had nearly as many chances to twirl-about as Elizabeth Berkley’s character, and we all know how her dancing career culminated — Joe Eszterhas’ cinematic masterpiece, Showgirls.

Much like the careers of some members of Saved by the Bell, all endings are not happy.

The approximately 141 machine, three table Doc Holiday’s casino in Central City seems to be on its last legs, mirroring the troubles of the casino across the street, Scarlet’s Casino, that within the last year was vanquished.

Some might consider Central City the casino equivalent of the Galapagos Islands, where only the strongest survive.

Well if evolution is measured by the mastering of economy of scope and scale, this sentiment might be true. The smaller casinos simply do not have the critical mass of multiple restaurants, entertainment venues, lodging or "professional" management. These locales are by virtue of their smaller size and lack of non-gaming amenities tantamount to David versus Goliath.

However, this particular property may be figuratively cutting of its nose to spite its proverbial face with their current actions. Instead of limiting hours to those observed to have the most significant patron traffic, the casino has eliminated the majority of its table games and more surprisingly, axed its somewhat bizarre slot club called, the Doc Holiday’s "Time Pays" Slot Club.

Why was it called the Time Pays? Because this slot club was based on time (in hours) played on a machine, not coin-in, coin-out, theoretical or win earned.

This method of evaluation translates to a nickel player playing one coin at a time receiving the same levels of comps as a dollar player playing maximum three coins.

Looking at the theoretical math, it is easy to see why this club probably grossly over-invested in some of its customers.

On a standard reel machine like IGT’s Double Diamond:

$1 denomination * 3 coins-in * 360 decisions per hour at six pulls per minute * an average Central City house hold of 4.38% / 95.62% payout (December, 2006 percentage) for dollar slots = $47.30

$0.05 denomination * 1 coin in * 360 decisions per hour at 6 pulls per minute * an average Central City house hold of 6.76% / 92.24% payout (December, 2006 percentage) for nickel slots = $1.22

Calculating reinvest at one-third of theoretical per hour, there is a difference of $15.20 ($15.61-$0.41) or 38x fold variance to the Doc Holiday’s property, and yet both these players were rewarded or reinvested in at an equal rate for the same hour of play.

By any measure, this discrepancy is exceptional.

The Time Pays club is now closed, and the staffing has been laid off. While this article may seem like a deathwatch, it is probably only a matter of time before this operation ceases to exist.

The most regrettable matter is that Central City is pocked with empty store fronts that at one point or another in the last 15 years in which gaming has been legal in Central City have hosted casinos.

To remain viable as a casino host community, the long standing vacancies must be filled.

Founded in 1996, Yarborough Planning, LLC partners with select clientele to better understand and address business process issues. Core competencies include training, providing reliable and valid research, strategic / analytic marketing, and accountable Customer Relationship Management (CRM) development and implementation. David Paster is accepting new clients and may be reached at (702) 813-5062 or [email protected]