Okay, I’m going to try to blog again and hope all the Web site problems are solved, with no more multiple notification e-mails. Do let me know if you get more than one – at email@example.com.
Players Club Locations
I have noticed a new trend in casinos, combining the cashier and players club in one area, with the same personnel handling both kinds of business. I saw this recently at the following casinos: Hooters, M, and the Riviera. This model surprises me. I would think the requirements and training for personnel in these two departments would be very different.
Related to this is another trend that I have noticed, that the area for the players club desk is getting smaller and the location harder to find. The Hard Rock moved their player club desk several times, each area smaller than the last. Caesars Palace used to have two booths, one by the main cashier and one in the Forum Casino. Only the later one exists now and it is a real hike from the hotel and VIP registration desks. Almost seems as if the casinos don’t care if they get new gamblers and they are uninterested in servicing their existing ones. I guess they are making enough money from the clubbers and those who are only interested in spending money on entertainment, shopping, and gourmet experiences?
Come the first of January, I may see something disappear from many restaurants, in or outside of casinos, something that has bugged me for years, the “automatic tip.” An editorial in the Chicago Tribune calls that an oxymoron. I have always called it a way for management to force me to make up for their giving low wages to their help. For once the IRS is coming to my side, with a new ruling that those “automatic tips” are wages, not tips. Many restaurants will drop this practice since it would result in their payroll taxes being higher. Read the article to see both sides of this issue.
The Gaming Expo
I attended the G2E this week, as I have done for many many years. As usual the machine manufacturers presented their newest offerings and the trend continues that many of the slot machine themes are based on movies or TV shows. Since I am really not interested in slot machines, I spent more of my time looking at the video poker. And as usual my “guide” in the IGT section was Ernie Moody, my hero for years for developing multiple-line VP. He knows me well so as he showed me how some of the new games work he would say, “Of course you won’t like this one.” He knows I am looking for a game where I might be able to get an advantage!
I noticed that many of the new VP games have a multiplier element, showing that the manufacturers are wanting to capture that large group of gamblers who like games that offer big jackpots. I call it the lottery mentality. Most casual gamblers aren’t looking to grind out small wins – they get an adrenaline rush at going for major big jackpots.
For an advantage player, sometimes these multiplier games, like Super Times Pay and Ultimate X, can offer a positive play with the bonus “rush” of a big jackpot. However, as many have found out and often to their regret, they require a monstrously huge bankroll. The volatility, especially for Ultimate X, is not only not for the underfunded but also not for the faint of heart. Brad and I have the financial bankroll to tackle the game, but we have decided that the occasional jackpot just doesn’t give us enough of a fun experience to carry us through the fast and long losing “drains.” We are happier to “grind out” our advantage.