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Do you think casinos will ever stop offering free drinks?

Discussion in 'Comps' started by JDinTN, Dec 22, 2012.

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  1. JDinTN

    JDinTN MIA

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    I get the feeling that this can happen. Gary Loveman of Caesars has stated he'd rather not give free drinks to gamblers. A lot of their casinos already advertise you can upgrade your drinks to premium brands for a cost and a lot of them have already installed the electronic ordering system on their machine games which can make for an easy transition to them deducting points or credits automatically when you order.

    Most of us adults have seen many things that used to be free or included in other places like airlines & hotels that are now charged for and they never make these changes all at once but in small steps.

    What do you think? Do you think its likely casinos start charging for drinks in the forseeable future? High-limit gamers not included -- just talking about the average recreational gambler.
     
  2. gpenguins67

    gpenguins67 High-Roller

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    I really don't see it happening. I think they make more money off the irrational drunken betting that occurs than they would make on charging for drinks. But you never know
     
  3. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    I don't think so, cause it works! When I sit down to VP, I generally play at the quarter level ($1.25 a hand)... I'm always at the bar tops, so I watch the game, look around, chat-up whoever and play pretty slow... check my e-mail/texts, etc... 3-4 drinks in and I'm at the fiddy-cent level ($2.50 a hand) and starting to concentrate on only the game... I've missed home-runs, free- throws, whatever until I hear somebody yell then I look up for the replay. Somewhere in this range the bartender has upgraded me to the larger glasses!

    After 5-6+, I'm now playing DDB at the $1 level ($5.00 a hand) and crankin' it out at warp speed... the bartender is now setting a full drink right behind my one that's 1/3 full and off we go... I generally play for 2-4 hours depending on the cash on hand and since I have business in the morning I "usually" have the sense to shut it down around 10. If I divided the amount I spent by the amount of drinks, I'd hate to know what I paid for the "free" drinks! BTW... I always tip $2/drink and am never empty at the Hard Rock.

    When I first sit down, I stick that first hundy in like I've never had one before... several drinks later, I feel like I can just go print more no prob!
     
  4. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    rationally, I would sat it would not change.

    But, based on how accountants are running MGM - anything is possible.
     
  5. C0usineddie

    C0usineddie VIP Whale

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    There are casino around san diego with no booze and they do a decent business but for me its just not the same thing.

    If they tale away the free booze there wont be much of a reason to go to vegas anymore seeing as I can do the same thing here.

    i dont think they will do this anytime soon if ever.
     
  6. Alwayspackedforadventure

    Alwayspackedforadventure Tourist

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    Maybe. As much as I love the perk of the free drinks, I find myself paying for them more often than getting them free. I only gamble for a few hours a day, so I am not spending enough time in the casino. i can see where people who gamble a ton would really be upset if they stopped offering it. I drink a lot in Vegas, but it's mostly buying drinks at the pool or in a lounge.
     
  7. BeeeJay

    BeeeJay President of The Red Lobster Hostess Satisfaction

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    They are moving in this direction.

    On our latest trip last week, I could not believe all the bartops VP paying 6/5 or 7/5 which used to be 9/5 a year ago. In the past we might see the occasional 7/5 if it had a progressive.

    I drunkenly played a bunch of 6/5 at Caesars and Cosmo and this was on $2. One machine I noticed at Cosmo actually paid 8/5 of 25 cent, 50 cent, and $1 and DROPPED DOWN to 7/5 on $2, $5, and $10!!!! That had to be some kind of mistake.

    Anyway, the bartender might not be charging for these drinks, but the machine is, so they aren't free. The machines out on the floor are still 9/5 or 8/5 unless they are progressives.

    Agree, its a bone-head accountant-driven move. Probably legal making an argument as well. More likely than not casinos on the block trying to goose earnings in the short term, cause I think we all know what happens in the long term if they take the drinks away.

    I had a great trip last week and you think I'd be chomping at the bit to return, but I don't see any reason to ever go back to Vegas to play 6/5 when I've got a brand new casino 5 minutes from my house with 9/5.
     
  8. Funkhouser

    Funkhouser In Charge of the Big Door

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    They could. No one figured the airlines would charge for checked bags or seat assignment fees, but it crept in over time. Now we just assume its the norm.

    The ugly truth is that when the casinos provide patrons with alcohol it impairs the gamblers judgement and adds to the house edge. So could it happen "yes", but only when the bean counters figure that the cost of the booze does not add to the house win margin.

    Rather I think we will see a continued downgrading of comp'd alcohol at the bigger joints.
    The Steve-O stopped comp'ing drinks on WynnCore VP bartops (Not sure if still in effect.) and the sport books raised the min bet for free cocktails. Anything is possible.
     
  9. domeboy

    domeboy VIP Whale

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    In the short term, they could downgrade the quality of drinks unless your are a premium tier player. The electronic ordering system at some CET casinos does this. If you are diamond you get a better selection, and priority delivery. I hated this system at Harrahs Atlantic City when I was Gold and Platinum, but I am warming up to it now that I am diamond.

    In the long term anything is possible.
     
  10. KingBBInLV

    KingBBInLV High-Roller

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    If any casino were to do this in Vegas I would bet that Wynn/Encore would be the first to stop serving free drinks. As it is now they don't give free drinks at their bars that have video poker. Even if you are playing $5 denom VP they still charge for the drinks there.
     
  11. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    They will try. I did notice in some casinos that no one really services the penny slots already. But for me, I can gamble and pay for drinks at home. This would be one less reason to come to Vegas.
     
  12. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Again, silly logic. Not serving the most profitable machines is crazy.

    Okay, I could be wrong on that one. If those machines have people playing only $0.40 a pull... then maybe they are not that profitable. When I am playing penny machines at $5 a pull... they should have waitresses lined up. Just my two cents anyways.
     
  13. ardee

    ardee VIP Whale

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    Not seeing this at all. At least at Wynncore, I've found the drink service to be more than adequate at the penny slots.

    Quite frankly, I think one casino will try going without free cocktail service, get their ass handed to them when the quarterly profits are figured, and that will be the end of that idea.
     
  14. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    I was at Bellagio. Granted I wasn't there long but whenever I do stop and play there, I have never been offered a drink nor have I even seen a CW in the penny slots. I suppose if I were there more than an hour at a time my results would be better but in pretty much every other casino I will at least see a CW in an hour's time. I've never had an issue at Wynncore. And considering how many bets an hour a person makes playing even twenty cents a pull, I agree: All casinos need to consistently treat slot players like the profitable customer that they are.
     
  15. vegasqc

    vegasqc VIP Whale

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    could happen, here they only serve coffee/water if you want something else you have to pay for it
     
  16. onsan

    onsan Tourist

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    I would imagine the more a person drinks, the worst the decisions they make...and doesn't the casino want that when you're gambling? I don't see them taking that it, it's part of the experience. I can gamble and pay $7/beer from where I am...but I rather fly down to Vegas and get plastered and having fun playing $10 blackjack.
     
  17. blackjacknut

    blackjacknut VIP Whale

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    At the Monte Carlo it the tables are the first priority for the CW's...then I noticed the higher value slots seem to be next. When I'm at the tables though at Monte Carlo no issues getting a drink...my glass is never empty. But I tip well to...so that may have something to do with it.
     
  18. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    Yeah I think it can happen, and for all the reasons you and many others mentioned. I don't see them ever charging for alcohol across the board, but at the lowest limit games sure.

    CET has been rolling out their automated ordering system which they are promoting heavily in AC at least. It's called Total Touch I think. It's naive to not believe they're gathering the data from that to better determine how profitable of a customer you are after factoring in how much alcohol they have to serve you.

    Here's what I can easily imagine happening: Just like they only rate table players at $25 and above they start offering complimentary drinks to people at $25 and above tables as well. Lower limit tables get charged a small amount - like $2 a drink. For machines the same thing, there its easy since the order is done through the machine it can determine if you qualify for a complimentary drink.

    You don't think CET will be closely analyzing the data they collect from the Total Touch system? Of course they will. I imagine they will always offer non-alcoholic drinks free, but there are a lot of customers that probably aren't profitable after factoring in all the complimentary alcohol.

    And as far as those lower limit players leaving CET because of this.......hmmm I don't know. They have a pretty loyal following with their rewards program and easy free room offers, etc. We see on this board all the time how slot players with a couple hundred dollar a day gambling budget always get free rooms at CET properties. They also have the biggest footprint throughout the US, in many areas being the only sizable casino around.

    But from the casino's standpoint do you think they really want that? At $10/hand blackjack the casinos expected gain off you is only around $10 per hour. Factor in the cost of running the game and then the cost of a couple of alcoholic drinks per hour you may have and they may be making nothing.
     
  19. DonD

    DonD Super Moderator

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    I believe that the comp drinks will continue for a long time. You can go to a place that has $2 BJ and they still comp your drinks. There's a reason for that, it works out in the long run on their bottom line.
     
  20. Big Tip

    Big Tip VIP Whale

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    I think the reason is that the casino has to. You'll go somewhere else if they started to charge.

    I am sure they will start to charge for drinks. CET will be the first one to do it to. The "upgrade your drink" thing at Harrah's is the first step. The next step will be to cut off the lower limit tables and machines. They'll roll it out with some b.s. about how they don't want to promote over-drinking by giving free drinks.
     
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