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Slots still rule locals casinos

Nov 30, 2004 5:46 AM


Despite statewide trends that show table games enjoying a resurgence in Nevada casinos, slot and video poker continue to reign supreme in Las Vegas’ neighborhood casinos.

That’s one of the trends revealed in Goldman Sachs bi-annual Las Vegas Locals Survey 2004 released earlier this month.

"Locals casinos" includes Station, Coast, Boyd, Rio, Palms, Arizona Charlie’s and a few other non-Strip, non-downtown casinos.

The survey, conducted every two years by Goldman Sachs’ Global Investment Research division, revealed that 30 percent of respondents said slots was their favorite game while 23 percent picked video poker.

The combined 53 percent easily outdistanced blackjack (16 percent), keno (3 percent) and other casino games (28 percent), which includes sports, bingo and other table games.

The results weren’t too far removed from what players said they liked two years ago. In 2002 slots and video poker enjoyed a 62 percent favorability rating (26 percent for slots, 36 percent for video poker), while blackjack polled 13 percent, keno, 6 percent and other games, 19 percent.

Survey results also showed that IGT continues to dominate the casino floors. In answer to the question, "What is your favorite slot game?" about 43 percent of respondents picked IGT’s Wheel of Fortune, which polled 26 percent two years ago.

Running a distant second was video poker with 20 percent of the poll, Megabucks (also an IGT game) with a 16 percent following, then half a dozen slot games with single digit responses.

In 2002, Megabucks was the top choice with slot players with a 26 percent following, Wheel of Fortune was second at 24 percent and WMS Gaming’s Monopoly was third with 14 percent of the vote.

In a somewhat surprising result, the survey revealed that cashless gaming — ticket-in, ticket-out technology — is more widespread in locals casinos today (71 percent versus 60 percent in 2002). But the number of players who prefer to use tickets has dropped from 59 percent in 2002 to 49 percent in 2004.

There must be something reassuring about those clanking coins.