Saturday, February 7, 2009

Suggestions for Vegas Hotel - Casino Management To Increase Patronage.

The Las Vegas gaming and tourism industry is in the throes of a disparaging economic situation. It's why they're jumping through their collective asses to offer all those often mentioned room deal offers and attached freebie incentives to encourage us to show up and spend some money. I've personally noticed an increased level of accommodation and better verbal attitude from the reservation reps on my recent phone calls to book our upcoming's a 'sweeter' version of communication with them these days. I truly hope things improve for all of us...both visitors and the Vegas tourism industry as a whole.

The casino-hotels are in deep doo-doo financially..yet, so are a lot of potential customers. Still, the biggest draw in Vegas is , as always , gambling. Here's some thoughts / opinions on how the resorts could potentially maintain or perhaps enhance their customer base . Routinely, it's mostly about 'us' defined as the potential patrons but in my opinion would also add to the
casino-hotel's bottom lines.

1. Loosen up slots/ video poker paybacks on a small percentage of machines at all denominations , but particularly the penny,
nickel, and / or quarter machines ; revenue from slot play has been the real proportionate bread winner (vs. table games ) for several years now. Offering us free or reduced rate rooms is lovely and appreciated but if we can't hit a bonus payout / experience higher payback on these machines with a little higher frequency then we're less apt to return without a sour taste in our mouths . A small yet significant portion might not return at all. Empty rows of tight slots can't help the casino's plight.

2. Offer a higher percentage of better blackjack games (those with better rules and 3 : 2 natural payouts) . I think the average
table games player would run to those casinos who offer games that lower house edge percentages during these difficult financial times.

3. Increase short-term gaming promotion offers and player's club member contacts (mailers, e-mails, etc.)

4. Increased coupon offers from the upper - tier resorts. If Steve Wynn and / or the gurus at MGM Mirage and Harrah's
properties offered a few more table games matchplay / free slot play coupons more people would be drawn to their castles.

5. Offer more accommodating meal comps for gambling play in progress. Again, I think the strip properties would generate
some significant patron goodwill if they'd loosen this aspect up a tad.

6. In general, reduce the greed- mongering tactics. The industry has made some recent progress in this area..they can continue to work for their customer base by enticing us with a "fair shake" at the gaming venues. It's the biggest reason
Vegas exists obviously.

Good luck, spins, and cards to us all.



FleaStiff said...

Change the payout on some of the slots?
That takes time and paperwork and is not without cost, but it gains little. Far too few people will leave Vegas and go blabbing to their friends about a really loose slot machine. Plant one puff piece in a newspaper about loose slots and you get better results than actually touching any of the machines.

Chuck60 said...

The casinos have been touting "loose slots" for years.
We're in a particularly atypical economic situation now
and as gamblers, it's just natural for us to want a better payoff at the slots. The lower denomination
slots is one area where changing out the RNG chips
might entice a semi-regular influx of sustained patrons. And , surely, it will require some expense and time efforts on the casino's part to accomplish it, as you pointed out. Do you play slots / VP yourself? Thanks for your comments.


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Mostly Useless (and approximate) Las Vegas Facts

1. Number of Las Vegas citizens   500,000
2. Number of Clark County residents   1,500,000
3. Year first casino licensed   1931
4. Number of slot machines in Vegas   200,000
5. Number of annual Vegas visitors   40,000,000 (and dropping)
6. Number of licensed gambling entities   1700
7. Hours per day average visitor gambles   4
8. Annual state gaming revenue   9 billion (and dropping)
9. Average gambling budget per trip   560  (and dropping)
10. Mean price per acre in valley   161,000.00
11. Price per acre on the Strip   11,000,000.00
12. Number of  hotel rooms   137,000 +
13. Number of pillowcases washed at MGM daily   15,000
14. Number of doors at MGM  18,000 
15. Annual no. toilet paper rolls used at Bally's   1 million
16. Lucky The Clown marquee sign at Circus Circus has
      1232 fluorescent bulbs, 14,498 incandescent bulbs, and
      3/4 mile of neon tubing light  (no wonder they're replacing
17. In good times, Excalibur goes through over 44,000 
      Cornish game hens, 15 thousand pounds of hamburger
      meat, and 4200 pounds of prime rib monthly
18. Caesar's Palace has used 2 million plus maraschino 
      cherries, 11 thousand ounces of caviar, 2 million ounces
      of tomato juice, and close to 600 thousand ounces of
      vodka yearly (bloody mary winner?)
19. Mandalay Bay has 5,300 palm trees and their wave pool
      has a capacity of 1,640,270 gallons of water
20. Average nightly room rate  119.00 (and dropping)
21. Average number of Vegas weddings per day   300+
22. Number of golf courses  37
23. Miles of neon tubing on the Strip and Downtown  15,000
24. State's nationwide rank in gold production  1st
25. Cost of Nevada marriage license   35.00
26. Average cost of filing for divorce  450.00
27. Average length of stay for visitors    3.7 days
28. Number of hosted conventions annually  3750
29. The electric bill to operate the Luxor pyramid beam is
      approximately 55.00 per hour.
30. Las Vegas has 17 of the world's 20 largest hotels   


Just a cautionary tip when in Vegas.. there are active
pickpockets all over town. I experienced this first-hand
and came within 10 seconds of losing my cash stash last July
while visiting one of those upper end joints on the strip.

I was gambling significantly at a video poker machine, unabashedly slipping C-notes in them. Somebody had been
observing my wagering behavior. I was happily winning at the time and my cautionary tendencies regarding my bankroll
money went south and out the window.

A lady approached me from behind as I played and was all aglow with my run of good luck. She initiated a conversation about nothing and anything . I was concentrating on proper VP strategy and responding to her comments with a lot of "yeah-yeahs". I was fortunate enough to get ahead on the machine again and I cashed out. I had a satchel (I normally never gamble under those conditions) with me that had assorted trip stuff in it. The satchel presence and the relatively high denomination coin-in amount collectively screamed " please rob me!" I placed my wallet in the satchel along with the machine cash-out tickets and proceeded to reconnect with my family and head to our room.

I had developed a sense of cautionary unease as I mulled over the contact with the effusively talkative woman at the VP machine. My senses told me that something about that encounter was skewed, although at the time I didn't know what it was and I wasn't bleeding profusely..yet. My group then proceeded to meander through a very crowded slot machine aisle and some other 6th, 7th, or 8th sense that vaguely detected an impersonal yet succinct encroachment into my personal space kicked in. Instinctively, I immediately dug into the satchel to locate my wallet and it was gone. I then immediately turned around and backtracked about ten feet (a matter of maybe 3 seconds, tops) as my endogenous adrenaline kicked in. I'm not sure that my hair wasn't on fire briefly.

I then spotted my wallet (and life) in a woman's hand who was playing a slot machine. I walked straight at her and demanded it post-haste in a tone that screamed seriousness. I immediately grabbed the wallet and called for security. The woman claimed she picked it up off the floor and so did the man (her accomplice) behind her, both vowing that they were planning to remit it to the security desk. My svelte ass they were.

This team of thieves including the woman who was all goony-googoo at the VP machine were pros. I have to claim part of the blame for the openly careless manner I had displayed with my money. They were held by security and the eye-in-the-sky tapes were to be reviewed.

The good thing is I didn't lose a cent because my peripheral senses kicked in immediately and they didn't have time to bury the evidence ( perhaps they weren't the best of pros?). Take heed folks..these people are everywhere in Vegas. Know where your cash is at all times; take precautions to protect it, don't flaunt it around carelessly as I did, and if you sense something is awry while gambling trust your instincts.

Distractions from one member of a team of thieves is a common MO. Store your gambling session monies in a front pants pocket or in one of those god-awful front-loaded fanny packs (pride be damned). The lesson I learned here after several years of Vegas gambling experiences turned out to be one of the most valuable for me personally.