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House edge isn¡¦t the whole keno story

Jan 7, 2003 1:53 AM

There are several other areas of concern to keno players besides the house percentage available at the keno game. These items, while not reflected in a list of house percentages on various casino keno tickets, do have a great impact on how much fun and entertainment value the player gets for his or her money spent.

1. Does the casino have clean and moderately priced restaurants? It costs a lot of money to maintain a clean restaurant, and in many cases casinos subsidize their restaurants to draw customers into their casino. You might find a casino with the very best house percentage in the state on their keno tickets, yet that place might have an overpriced and under-maintained restaurant. There is no such thing as a free lunch! Three quarters of all keno players list good food as one of the reasons for playing keno where they do.

2. Does the casino offer complimentaries to its keno players? Although free drinks and free meals are not important to every keno player, they certainly do account for a major expense at many keno games, and some casinos are far more liberal in this regard than others. You might find a casino that only has an average house pc on it¡¦s tickets, but gives away three times as much money in comps as another casino with a lower house pc.

3. Does the casino keep its keno counter and lounge area clean? This too, costs money, and though it does not go directly to the player, it certainly does add to the playing comfort of the player, and is a valuable feature for many players. Similarly, some casinos offer a non-smoking area, something that a lot of folks look for these days.

4. Does the casino offer good keno runner service? Here again, keno runners are not for everyone, and the provision of this service is very labor intensive and expensive. Many keno players enjoy the service of a good keno runner, and it adds value and enjoyment to the player¡¦s gaming experience.

5. Does the casino employ competent and friendly employees and supervisors? Nothing frustrates me more as a player than to run into keno employees who are less than competent and less than friendly. Yet, to hire and more importantly, to KEEP good employees requires a considerable monetary investment. Some poorly managed casinos think of wages paid as pure expense, not the capital investment in their employees (and hence customer satisfaction) that it really is. This is not reflected in the house percentage, either.

6. Does the casino employ ENOUGH employees to adequately service their customers? Here again is an expensive proposition for the casino, and this is an area where many casinos are likely to fall short.

If you are fortunate you may find a casino with a low house percentage that offers many or all of the above features. If you do, that casino is worthy of your business, for they will be among the BEST.

My point here is that just because a Keno game offers the customer a very low house percentage does not make it a great place to play Keno. In fact, it is possible that a casino with a moderate house percentage might actually pay out more to the customer in combined winnings, comps, and services, than a casino with a very low house percentage.

What we are talking about here is value received for your entertainment dollar. The house percentage on a Keno ticket is not the whole story!

Well, that¡¦s it for this week, Good Luck! I¡¦ll see you in line!