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Do you think raising bet minimums are a good thing for casinos?

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by Electroguy563, Oct 7, 2014.

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  1. Electroguy563

    Electroguy563 Over-Fried Gambler

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    What-ever your comfort level is in betting, if the casino(s) you enjoy playing in were to raise their minimums permanently a notch higher, say twice what you're used to, how would you respond?

    Would you grin and bear it and play as usual?

    Would you play less hrs. and shorten your trip?

    Would you quit gambling?:eek:

    And what-ever you end up doing do you think it was a good move in part of the casino? I'm a 5 dollar minimum player, and sometimes I'll play 10 dollar minimums. If the casino were to go permanently to 15 dollar minimums or higher I don't think I can play comfortably, based on the bankroll that I can come to Vegas with. I'd end up playing less and shortening my trips.

    So I started thinking (dangerous, I know) that the majority of visitors to Vegas fall into this category to some extent. Wouldn't it hurt the casinos more than help them? I know that at one time the minimums were a dollar and then it went from there to 3 dollars and now we are at 5 dollar minimums. To me it seems that this is the magic number as far as low-rollers go. In my opinion going past this number is like treading into dangerous waters for the casinos. I think low-rollers keep a lot of casinos afloat as far as cash flow.

    High roller players probably won't be bothered with this change and higher -end casinos with more affluent clientele can probably raise the minimums with little opposition.

    But Downtown, some Strip properties, and local off-strip properties should try to find ways to keep the minimums at 5 dollars to keep me and other low-rollers happy. Lots of low-rollers are on fixed income (retired) and I'm soon to be one of them.

    What do you think?
     
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  2. Readingfanman

    Readingfanman Low-Roller

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    Pretty sure the casinos would survive without the low rollers, don't they make 90% of their income from 10% of their players, sure I read that somewhere a while back.
     
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  3. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    I've already seem it and I stopped playing at one local casino over it. And we are talking slots. They removed 1 and 5 line bets from most of their older games which didn't bother me because I always do max line. But now they selectively removed 1 and 2 credit bets from popular games. A Day and Night game that used to be 25 cents a spin is now 75 cents a spin and there are other really popular games they've touched. It's only on a handful of games but it left a bad taste in my mouth. I don't like being pushed into bets I don't care for.

    Unless you are trying to create a small exclusive casino catering to a higher roller, it doesn't make sense to me. I don't know what percentage of income low rollers comprise but they are less likely to actively pursue comps and because they are making lower bets, they are taking home smaller wins if at all. It's not like they can't be profitable customers.
     
  4. fenway68

    fenway68 High-Roller

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    I was just talking with my father about this the other day...

    By the time I started going to Las Vegas in the mid 90's, the table min's were already $5 at most properties I played at. I made about 40% less (base) salary back then, but was comfortable at that level. So why do my Dad and I complain when we cannot find a $5 table almost 20 years later...?

    I am no economy expert, so I ask, have table minimums gone up commensurate with the value of the $1, commensurate with salaries? Is this even a valid argument/justification? Just putting it out there....
     
  5. Turtleman

    Turtleman VIP Whale

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    I'm always amazed (and bothered) how some casinos might have a dealer standing ideal at a $25 table for hours when lower limit tables are packed with people standing around waiting for a seat. I think that might be a clue how the casinos feel about betting minimums. I think it's a good thing to have a mix, and lower limits are where most (smart) future higher limit gamblers start out.

    I often play at $5 tables, though most or all of my bets are for higher amounts. I just like the option of cutting back to minimum and waiting out a downturn instead of leaving. If I can't find a table with comfortable limits (and decent rules), I'll go to another casino (if practical), switch games, or quit. That applies to past and future trips.
     
  6. ncfatcat

    ncfatcat Low-Roller

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    The cost of living index used to calculate Social Security adjustments was 129.05 in 1990. In 2013 it was 229.324. I think that's about a 177% increase in 23 years. Average wage index in 1990 was $21,027.98 in 2012 was $44,321.67 a 210% increase. So wage growth has out gained inflation by about 33% in 23-24 years. Of course you are a lot happier if you are the CEO of a large corporation.
     
  7. bardolator

    bardolator Lifelong Low Roller

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    Carefully selected statistics going back to 1990 do not seem very relevant to adjustments in game stakes now. However, some states have been raising the minimum wage, and that could have an effect casinos would consider.

    I read a new book last week that said a lot about the evolution of the Total Rewards system. The raising of requirements for Diamond and Seven Stars tiers a year or two ago has caused players to make fewer visits to casinos in both local and destination houses. When they do visit, players are being encouraged to gamble more per trip than they did in previous years. Stakes might be raised to help accomplish that. Total Rewards sees this as good, because they're running out the pikers and lounge lizards (known as "grazers" to casino managers) that kept dedicated players waiting in line instead of losing more money. Since businesses in general and casinos in particular tend to mimic one another, the same policies could be cropping up elsewhere.

    If I don't like the stakes at a table or machine, I look for lower stakes at another game or table. If high stakes games are all the casino has, I play elsewhere.
     
  8. woodsie

    woodsie High-Roller

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    That may be true on the casino floor but the hotel side still needs to keep occupancy rates up to make the building pay. I don't think a place like Bellagio would be profitable if the only had 10% of their rooms booked at a any given time even those bookings were higher rollers.

    The take from non-gaming revenue streams is pretty significant last I read.
     
  9. Readingfanman

    Readingfanman Low-Roller

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    Granted, the resort needs occupancy, but the casino doesn't need a low roller.
     
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  10. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    I think you need to back that up because why else do they have penny slots, carnival games and low dollar tables if they really didn't need low rollers.
     
  11. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    No! They've driven me totally away from all table games. I know others who will not play the tables either simply because of the high minima.
     
  12. BayouBengal

    BayouBengal VIP Whale

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    At local casinos near me and downtown casinos it seems like minimums are pretty close to the same as 10 years ago. Back then I would only touch and could only afford $5 tables. Right now, I think $15 is the right cutoff between low end and nicer casinos as I see Cosmo tables routinely $15 at off peak times with the occasional $10 craps or roulette. I think we will see it slowly creep up as inflation goes up. The boomers are becoming the senior citizens and the gen-x middle aged. It will be interesting to see how the boomers children approach vegas and gaming.
     
  13. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    Using the 'Inflation Calculator' http://www.dollartimes.com/calculators/inflation.htm
    $10.00 in 2014 had the same buying power as $5.41 in 1990.
    $5.00 in 2014 had the same buying power as $2.71 in 1990.

    So, $10 as the "new" standard low-end BJ minimum is ok with me... but only if we use the 1990 $5 rules (3:2 two-deck, S17, DAS).

    In order to find such a game, the cheapest available is at $25 minimum.
    $25.00 in 2014 had the same buying power as $13.53 in 1990.

    So - it's not just the rising minimums, it's the deteriorating rules.

    I like to play a $10 base bet at a $5 minimum table.
    That pretty much limits me to downtown & Gold Coast... & I'm ok with that.
    IF they all upped the minimum from $5 to $10, it wouldn't impact me much at all.
     
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  14. Breeze147

    Breeze147 Button Man

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    What's worse is the end of "Grandfathering". I guess too many people who were late-comers bitched that one out of existence.

    I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that I may never visit Las Vegas again. Maybe living off of my pension is not enough to warrant the gambling and other high costs.

    I don't even go into the high end casinos anymore. It's a waste of time.

    I don't know, I had a decent run. I think it's over.
     
  15. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    And while I'm sure Vegas properties appreciate, to varying degrees, all customers and are sorry to lose someone like yourself... there're planes and cars full of 20 somethings making their first trip into Las Vegas, as we speak... such is the circle of life!

    On the raising of the minimum "front", I'd guess it's a bit of a calculated gamble on the casino's part, analogous to setting a price point on any product and assessing what the market will bare. That's why they change 'em up on the weekend and during peak hours. "Price conscious" consumers back away, but are hopefully replaced by those willing to pay more for the seat. I must plead guilty to being one of those who avoids a $25 and up blackjack table and will only play at the $5-$15 level. It's not that I can't afford the higher limits, but I gamble for entertainment and I just value my $$$ more than the entertainment at that price-point.
     
  16. blackjacknut

    blackjacknut VIP Whale

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    Wouldn't bother me I would continue to play.
     
  17. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    What is interesting is that when I first started visiting Las Vegas when I was in my 20s, I felt like an outsider. There were very few 20-somethings there at the time. I felt like I did when I was invited to one of my parents' cocktail parties and all of the other guests were a generation older.

    Uh-huh, basic Econ 101. Willing buyer and willing seller meet at the price point. I guess I'm on the wrong side of that one.
     
  18. stackinchips

    stackinchips High-Roller

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    Two thoughts on this:

    Every once in a while, there's a poster on here whining about how Vegas doesn't treat them right any more, and they're never going back. Further information then reveals that they're mad that they aren't getting comped rooms anymore with their .40/spin slot play for less than an hour a day, nickel VP play, or $5 BJ. They complain that they're getting shafted, when the reality is that they never should have been comped in the first place. The drinks they're probably consuming while playing are already far exceeding what the casino is making off their play. The casinos loosened up their comps when the economy was slow, but now as they tighten them back up, people who wouldn't have otherwise been comped are now complaining about losing the comps they shouldn't have had. They feel like something is being taken from them, when the reality is, it wasn't something that would have typically been given in the first place. That's the downfall to loosening comps, is that once you give someone something they expect it going forward. Of course those posters will swear off Vegas, talk about what a ripoff it is, that they're never going back, etc. The reality is the casino doesn't care, you're a losing proposition for them. This doesn't apply to all low rollers, but there are many who are flat out cheap, and are only in it to take advantage of anything they are given. They typically are the ones to bitch and moan the second they aren't getting overly generous comps for their miniscule play. There's nothing wrong with being a low roller, as long as you have realistic expectations of what your play warrants. I get that for some Vegas is just a Value vacation, and when it stops being a "cheap" trip, they'll look elsewhere. That's fine and they can't be blamed, but the rants about casinos screwing you over and how "I'll show them by not playing" don't really understand their place in the food chain.

    Secondly, the talk about Whales vs. the lower rollers and who is more important to a casino has been discussed before. The answer is that, like any ecosystem, they need both. It's not an either or proposition. While the majority of casino revenue comes from the top tier players, the casinos must lure those players in with many extras. They need the nice suites, the nice restaurants, the great shows, etc. Casinos couldn't build the big suites, operate the nice restaurants, shows, etc., if they were just giving away all those things for free to a handful of players. The reality is that they need all the lower rollers who are paying out of pocket (at least for some of these items) in order to be able to provide those resources for the big players.

    With all that said, what it comes down to is that casinos know that their whales are their most important customers. They also know that they need the mid and low rollers to level out the gaming swings somewhat, and offset the costs of creating the resources that allow them to bring in the whales. However, they also know that at the low end of the spectrum, there are people who they're losing money on, and they don't care if they piss those people off. Like many other businesses, those people will storm off yelling about "taking their business elsewhere", not realizing all along that that's what the business wants, as they aren't profitable and/or are a PITA.
     
  19. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    Damn... I wish I'd said that!!! +1
     
  20. polkarandy

    polkarandy Tourist

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    Well said Stack.....I'm a very low roller, and annoyed that it is hard (read impossible?) to find a $5 BJ table with decent odds. But....I don't go with the expectation that I'm going to get anything for free. I do know that if I don't find a low limit table, I don't play...mainly because I am not that comfortable with my play since I don't play often enough. Sort of a catch 22, I suppose.
     
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