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Perception vs Reality?

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by Gaggles, Mar 25, 2013.

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  1. Gaggles

    Gaggles VIP Whale

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    So I was thinking this morning how the persistent criticisms about the strip casino's and gaming conditions (CET/MGM/LVS) are starting to wear me down and give me a negative attitude. Now I must temper this with the fact that I have had three losing trips in a row since December despite low rolling and not tilting last weekend. That may contribute to this sour taste.

    I hear people say gaming conditions have worsened, and I have bore witness to that on vp pay tables, but is it really as bad as people think/say it is? Yes a buffet used to be $2.99 but buffets aint like they used to be. You simply have to charge more. But I also think the $45.00 that Bachanal is charging at Caesars and every casino charging for champagne brunch on Saturday and Sunday whether you want champagne or not is out of line.

    Do we have some hard facts and data to support how much "the strip blows" compared to back in the day?

    And please don't wax poetically about the days of the mob and how they treated you right. They were the mob. They were bad guys doing bad things and would have killed you and your family as quickly as they would swat a fly. I suspect mob supporters are the same people that think the Hell's Angels are just a playful guys motorcycle club who give toys to kids every Christmas rather than the guys who commit extortion, assault, murder, larceny, prostitution aka human slavery, drug dealing, gun running, etc. etc.

    So while I'm not opposed perceptions, do we have some quantifiable realities or perhaps a good example or two?

    I know gambling is a losers dream but holy sh+t I burn through Benny's pretty fast even on .25 or .50 Draw Poker lately!
     
  2. Username

    Username VIP Whale

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    So if you were WINNING everything would be fine on the strip ? ? ?
     
  3. Ezzy711

    Ezzy711 Low-Roller

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    I think you make some great points. The only constant in life is change. People discuss the "bad old casino management" for taking away all their perks and increasing prices. I still think it's a great deal in today's market.

    When I lived in South Florida for several years my gambling was based mainly in the bahamas and ships going to/from. It was a quick trip and I sometime didn't even have to stay overnight. The costs are outrageous for a hamburger but the resorts were nice. Never stopped me from gambling, just had less to play with.

    Now that I'm back into the US system, I think I do very well. My offers are never consistant but I don't have to time to use them all anyway. When I see one that appeals to me I jump on it. I still get a very nice room, some half way decent freeplay and sometimes F&B added in. I'm not a high roller so am grateful for anything they offer. Maybe years ago they would have been better, but no point in worrying about it. You have to live for now.
     
  4. BeeeJay

    BeeeJay President of The Red Lobster Hostess Satisfaction

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    Your own game is the best example. Full pay video poker with a .5% house edge used to be readily available on the strip, now Caesars has bartop 6/5 just as bad as a cruise ship with 5% house advantage.

    That may not sound like much but consider how many transactions occur in an hour of video poker play.

    Basically the change in odds is increasing you risk of ruin exponentially.

    The math is obvious.
     
  5. MikeOPensacola

    MikeOPensacola VIP Whale

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    I think the best barometer to gauge the hard facts are to ask those who have experienced the Vegas of old vs. the current edition. I have experienced LV since the sixties and I can say that I enjoyed it much better pre-Mirage......
     
    Annual Summer Bliss in the Land of Milk and Honey!!!
  6. shokhead

    shokhead I'm no big spender!

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    I lost and won in old Vegas just as I have in new Vegas. Biggest difference is how Vegas has screwed with BJ for me.
     
    Here we go again!
  7. UTE

    UTE Plastics

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    I think The Strip is better than ever. It's simply different - which is not necessarily a bad thing unless you don't like different.

    Everything is more expensive. Vacations elsewhere too.

    Bill
     
  8. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    Calling Viva Las Vegas.....

    He usually has a lot of the hard numbers handy.

    But as far as gaming goes the average house edge has undoubtedly increased. The more interesting question would be by how much? I know for AC the gaming regulators release the data on how many of each game exist each month so you can compare against historical figures if you wanted.

    I'm fine with the changing trends and higher price points on the strip. But the reduction of good gambling really irks me and just seems too unsportsmanlike. The worsening odds keep creeping up to higher and higher limits as well. At a certain point it's no longer serious gambling but playing carnival games instead.
     
  9. mike_m235

    mike_m235 Tourist

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    Some of what went away is a result of the consumer, as well. There used to be games and/or promotions that were positive expected value. Not everywhere, but some places at certain times. Certainly there were a few people who took advantage of these, but not enough to hurt the bottom line. If you put out a play like that today, there's an entire community that will communicate and swarm on it until you're out of business.
     
  10. mjamesp

    mjamesp High-Roller

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    I won't play crap rules VP or BJ. If they mess with the craps tables I'll be left with poker and the sports book. Maybe not enough to keep going.

    I keep waiting for them to come up with a way to increase the house edge at craps.
     
  11. Viva Las Vegas

    Viva Las Vegas Ramblin' Gamblin' Man

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    Thanks. :beer:

    What I can make of Gaggles' question / observations is it's a request for a comparison between gaming conditions and general costs between Vegas of say 20-40 years ago and today.

    Gaming - The good old days weren't always good, and tomorrow ain't as bad as it seems:
    I can't speak to video poker conditions as I've only played a few years, but it's likely Strip casinos have decreased in pay tables over the years. Bellagio & Luxor still offer a $2 9/6 game, and lower priced games can be found near/off-strip. Gaggles plays games with higher variances (such as DDB), and coupled with the non Full Pay payouts, liberal pours of booze and small sample size leads to a decent probability of losing sessions, especially if they are lengthy sessions.

    I can speak to Blackjack. While it's harder to find a $25 two deck game and red chip games with decent rules, they still exist. Ironically, blackjack downtown is often worse than the strip (4 Queens has only 1 or 2 decent tables & Boyd casinos do not allow DAS). Craps and Roulette remain unchanged and consistent.

    The bottom line is you can find similar gaming conditions than back in the day if you are somewhat savvy (i.e. don't sit down to a 6/5 blackjack or 6-7/5 VP game) and willing (in some cases) to bump up your average bet (with dollars which are worth about 1/3 as they were 40 years ago).

    Strip travel costs - Total trip costs are cheaper in real dollars (even more cheaper in Canadian Dollars 80s/90s vs. today):

    Airfare: About the same in dollar terms, much cheaper in terms of inflation adjusted dollars. A $300 bargain 1980 airfare from O'Hare would cost $845 using our soon to be worthless current dollars.

    Rooms: Inflation adjusted rooms are a little higher, but the room is likely much nicer. Average room rate in 1991 (my first trip to Vegas) = $56, the equivalent of $100 today. My room back in the day may have had a wall (loud) AC unit, a crappy 19 or 25 inch TV limited to over the air broadcasting, and was likely smaller.

    The average strip room rate today is $120, or $20 more per night. You can still find standard rooms at 5 star resorts in off periods at or even below this average.

    Buffets & Giant Hot Dogs: Sure you could have bought a $2.99 - $5.99 buffet (you still can for breakfast at Stations Casinos or at Gold Coast) or a $0.99 giant hot dog. You didn't get much for either. I'll take a Wynn/Bellagio/M resort buffet (or Stations / Gold Coast Breakfast buffet) and expanded dining options at all price levels and the better quality of food.

    Exception: Booze for club goers. The one exception to this rule is drinkers.

    Before, gaming made up close to 2/3 of total casino revenue. Today on the strip, gambling makes up 1/3 of the revenue. The difference is largely made up in dining costs (see above), paid for rooms (vs. comped rooms to gamblers) and drinking.

    20-30 years ago, 60% of drinks issued were comps for gamblers. Today, it's 40%. A good portion of the 60% who pay today pay a premium (non Casino Royale specials). If they are paying for bottle service, or buying triple vodkas at a City Center pool, they are paying ultra premium prices.

    The bottom line is your total (air, room, food & booze - except club goers) inflation adjusted cost to get to and stay in Vegas is likely lower than it was 20-30 years ago, and you are getting a better room and better meals.

    My biggest regret comparing the Strip today vs. 20-30 years ago is the mass of humanity assembled daily on the strip, including a much larger number of porn card hustlers and their equally annoying brethren - the bums, the beggars, water/sunglasses/cheap knock off crap sellers, costume wearing beggars, people pimping club cards, poetry, drugs, cd samples, time shares, etc. ad infinitum. Cues Ludacris....
     
  12. dooner

    dooner High-Roller

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    It also comes down to the entertainment factor.
    What is the price you are willing to spend for this?

    Comparing anything to gambling is outrageous - when you are home, why do we buy 5 huge boxes of cereal at Costco to save money, but, when on a Las Vegas vacation, throwing out a $25 tip to the cocktail waitress, or put a $20 in a maching for a 'free' drink is just fine!

    All perspective!

    (but is there any other vacation that has the allure of winning and 'paying' you to go on it!!)
     
  13. BeeeJay

    BeeeJay President of The Red Lobster Hostess Satisfaction

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    Interesting statistics.

    I agree with the point made about quality improving I am happy paying more for the increase in quality of the room and food.

    On the other hand I also agree that the odds have made almost everything into the equivalent of a carny game.

    Vegas is still an incredible deal for what you get in comparison to elsewhere, as long as you hit a low sweet spot of gaming where you don't blow more money gambling than you gain in room discount.

    The one thing that is less quantitative but qualitatively Vegas has taken on a real gouge mentality rather than a service mentality. Its not about friendly service and pleasing the customer, its about squeezing every last dime as quickly as you can.

    But this can't be surprising in a city where x-wall street gaming analysts are now becoming CFO's of major gaming companies.
     
  14. VegasDave

    VegasDave Addicted

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    Some great offerings and beaufitful setups. I was not around for "old Vegas" but know that the if they want to play that game, I play back with things like:

    Sitting at VP machines at the bar and tipping the staff well (especially for the first round if I know Im going to stay a while) while only playing 5 cents a hand VP. All you can drink basically!
    Programs like MyVegas! I am going in May and bought 2 nights at Mirage, but am not going to gamble there since I just found out they use it against your comps. I have been to Vegas many times, lost quite a bit of money but can't get any offers. Now I just use my girlfriends players card so she gets the offers and we are combined. I used to use those casino guide books but they are no longer that great.
    Websites online offer freeplay and many casino promotions are how I plan my trips out. If I see a good deal on any casino with credit or whatever else offered, I am flexible enough to plan my vacations around that. Usually pretty sweet deals!
    Budgeting as best I can by bringing the money I want to gamble and leaving the cards in the room.
    Sneak drinks into the pool if I notice they are not checking bags
    Buy food for snacks and liquor at nearby stores instead of eating every meal at a restaurant
    Yelp every thing so I am not disappointed 90% of the time I do something!
    Groupons!

    I agree that it is pretty slim pickings for good odds on some of the fun tables, and the machines always get the best of your $$$, but aren't they programmed to take it anyways? I never really understood how they calculate the % the machine keeps and don't try to. In reality, I usually walk away with no money, but the above maximizes my Vegas experiences. Im still waiting for that huge jackpot, but really I can party, spend time at the pool and use up time with things besides gambling.
     
  15. VegasBJ

    VegasBJ VIP Whale

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    They have - by introducing carny bets like the Fire bet, all Tall, all small, etc. Most players are playing these high house % bets on each come out roll, and for a low house edge game like craps, these small added high house % bets have adjusted the overall take % upwards.
     
  16. sco5123

    sco5123 VIP Whale

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    A fairly critical point.
     
  17. mike_m235

    mike_m235 Tourist

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    That's why I love those bets. They keep the rest of the game intact. That's also why I love 6/5 BJ tables. I don't play them, but the fact that some people play them subsidizes the better table that I play in the back of the room.

    So I guess it's how you look at it. The fact that there are bad bets out there allow people to make bad bets. You don't have to make them -- you can seek out the bets you want. Yes, you have to look around. But we know where they are.
     
  18. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    I agree with you on the side bets. I'm all for them adding more and more to raise their take instead of screwing with the base game. Those are all optional and sometimes I play them as well. But I disagree on 6:5. That is messing with the base game and it replaces real BJ tables. Maybe it's only concentrated on lower limits and party pits but it feels like its just creeping upwards and outwards. I don't fear it hitting $100 tables in the foreseeable future but I see a generation of people thinking of 6:5 as being the norm and 3:2 being some kind of bonus which just irks me.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2013
  19. woodsie

    woodsie Low-Roller

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    I wouldn't sweat it too much. Even if people get used to the idea of 6:5, there will still be competitive pressure that causes some casinos to offer 3:2. If you are an older property struggling to bring in guest you'll probably consider the lack of 3:2 elsewhere as an opportunity to differentiate your casino. If a casino can make money on 3:2, then you can be sure that it'll be offered somewhere.

    I also suspect these things come in waves and as the clubs fall out of fashion and revenue shifts back to the gambling side you could see things go the other way. Recency bias suggests that HA will continue to creep up indefinitely but few trends last forever.

    I'm with you though. I refuse to play 6:5 BJ.
     
  20. Funkhouser

    Funkhouser In Charge of the Big Door

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    I hate to be the bringer of reality, yes it does suck majorly (CET observation) in a period of two years major decline in benefits to the gambler. Have not calculated 2012 benefits yet but for my evidence I submit to the board the following:

    Major comp offerings for 2009 from CET
    - 16 compd nights CET (Caesars Palace and Paris LV)
    - 3 Major event invites with 200 to 400 FP, FB credits $100 per day. Event tickets, free show tickets, Celine Dion, Nascar, and Big Game Party invites.
    - Multiple Diamond party events, golf trip outing invites.
    - Multiple small Royal payouts, average daily TR earnings 800 to 1100TR per day.

    Net result I figure I garndered around $5000 to $6000 in comp value with CET losses around 8K

    Lossvscomp2009.jpg

    Now compare this to 2011

    - 20 comp'd nights CET (Planet Hollywood, Ballys, and 4 days CET Octavious)
    - 1 Major event invite NYE party Flamingo
    - Limited show ticket offering 6 free tickets, subpar show offerings (Tony and Tinas weeding, Xburlesque, Penn and Teller)
    - No diamond events. TR insider offering. $1000 in Bonus credits
    - $2300 in Freeplay and $1240 in descrenciary comps.
    - 1 jackpots including 5K hit. Couple of small royals 1K. Average TR earnings 1300 to 2000 per day.
    Estimated Comp value - $8740, Net losses $38,000 (Yes thats 38K) CET did not catch some of my table wins.
    Lossvscomp2012.jpg

    - 54,000 TR credits earned, Diamond status.

    So the end effect of this is a lot more coin in with less return. Higher limits on tables for less favorable odds.

    So is everything in LV bad? No I am seeing some really good offers from downtown joints with better rules. N.on vegas markets with better rules and comps, and smaller joints like TI giving great front end comps, hell even Cosmo gave me 2 nights for very little 2012 play. IMHO CET is giving it to me hard in the rear end for my vegas play. That is why I am resolved to low play them in 2013, at least in Vegas.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2013
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