Wynn takes a swat at casino barflies

Nov 13, 2007 7:12 AM

In a somewhat "short-sighted" maneuver, Wynn Las Vegas has decided to stop comping drinks for slot machine players at its bars.

The move reverses a long-standing Las Vegas tradition in which gamblers drink for free, at least in Wynn’s bars, whose drinks are among the most expensive on the Strip.

Observers believe the ploy is as much a swipe against bartenders as it is against barflies.

"Machine players in the bars almost always tip for their free drinks," says a shift supervisor at a Strip casino. "All of that money used to go straight into the bartender’s tip jar. If the players stop drinking in the bars, all of that revenue is lost."

The supervisor added that the tactic was "short-sighted" in expecting that players would simply start paying for drinks that had been free.

"It’s bad enough to shovel money into a video poker or slot machine, but it’s asking too much to start paying top dollar for a bottle of Corona," he said.

Moreover, those players will still be able to drink for free simply by moving to machines on the casino floor.

"I can get the same drinks playing the machines on the floor," said a slot player who asked for anonymity. "Besides, I’d rather tip a half-dressed cocktail waitress than a bartender any day."

The same tactic was tried before by MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay but was reversed when players stopped gambling in their bars.