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The Reason for the Non-Gambling Focus

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by sco5123, Apr 6, 2013.

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  1. sco5123

    sco5123 VIP Whale

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    It seems these days that people are focused more on the non-gambling activities than gambling itself. What are your postulations about this shift? Are people truly reducing their gambling, and for what reasons? Is it just a mere product of increasing non-gambling activities? Or changing interests?
     
  2. texdan17

    texdan17 Low-Roller

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    As I get older, I want to gamble less and enjoy time with my wife and friends more when we go to Vegas. I'm a solitary gambler (like don't talk to me, we're not friends, go away type of gambler) and so this isn't social hour for me. But, I do enjoy socializing outside of gambling and need to get away from the casino to do so. I also know that in the 17 years I have been going to Vegas, whereas my bankroll has increased, the games get prettier but suck away more money. While I am not what people would call an advantage player (i love some vp carnival games), some pay schedules are just too terrible to consider. SO, to be conscientious, we vary it up with shows and food...and of course, booze. :)
     
  3. sco5123

    sco5123 VIP Whale

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    Texdan, that pretty much sums up my take on the matter. I personally go on long trips which require me to focus on things other than gambling, and the sheer amount and quality of the non-gambling activities are tremendous.

    Based upon stories of the past, I understand that money is taken faster today seemingly. My mother who used to get handpays regularly has not seen a handpay in years. Rewards have also decreased, possibly creating some bad blood with players.

    I think the companies get more bang for their buck building more nightclubs, shows, shopping centers, etc than casinos unfortunately because they have sucked some of the fun out of gambling. All they have to do is build and maintain something and the money comes pouring in and rarely pours out (unlike a casino). Though I bet building some of these non-gaming venues/activities is more expensive in the initial investment than some slot machines. But I am sure such a discussion on investment and return gets complex.

    But I can't say it does not benefit us too. It hurts us in some ways and greatly benefits us in other ways. The amount of entertainment on the strip alone is far more concentrated than other cities, making these resorts full vacations all on their own.
     
  4. LolaDoggie

    LolaDoggie VIP Whale

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    Sco, good question. Here are my uneducated thoughts. 1. Gambling was a forbidden fruit, both illegal and immoral. As laws and society changed, it's become just another way to spend your spare time and money. 2. Baby-Boomers are getting older and dying off. This the last generation that has done better financially than their parents. 3. Everybody is value conscious, even the much reviled 20-something dayclub/nightclub crowd. They feel they are getting value for money in shopping and clubs.

    One of my nephews is 4. His age group is going to be the next big demographic group. Who knows what his age group is going to find valuable? Who knows what's going to be new and fresh to them?
     
  5. sco5123

    sco5123 VIP Whale

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    Good assessment. It's true that the younger crowd is being catered to even though Vegas used to be mostly a gambling town. Many people in this demographic are not gambling (or gambling very lightly in Vegas). I appreciate the framing of it as a value-conscious decision. Because as I have heard from my friends, they would rather spend money on something tangible like drinks and clubs, something they can enjoy, something to build memories on. There is little value placed on gambling. In fact many of them who shy away from going to Vegas still believe it to be a gambling town.
     
  6. CannibalCrowley

    CannibalCrowley Tourist

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    Gambling can be had just about anywhere now, that's why it's no longer the prime focus for some. Sure gambling used to set Vegas apart, but now it's the shows, restaurants, atmosphere, and sights.
     
  7. sco5123

    sco5123 VIP Whale

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    Absolutely. I believe a lot of things are happening at once. This is probably highest on the list from the standpoint of the casinos. Visitors consider this as well. imo
     
  8. hondo230

    hondo230 Tourist

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    The gambler doesn't matter anymore.

    MGM recently stated that only 35% of profit/revenue comes from gaming. Why would they cater to a dying profit generator? They earn so much more with all the other things. With focusing on clubs, food, daybeds, etc. they no longer have to deal with "giving away" comps for rooms, free play, etc. The club goers, pool party type people, they pay full price for rooms & overpay for pricey bottles of alcohol....and they don't complain about feeling like they have been short changed on gambling rating or a comp offer. The days of the gambler being the profit generator are over. At least until things flip, & the casinos need us again.

    I have noticed my comps, offers, everything have deteriorated to the point of no return.


    I would suspect that it is pretty similar at other properties.
     
  9. sco5123

    sco5123 VIP Whale

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    WHat makes Vegas stand out from other cities/places to gamble are its high concentration of non-gambling activities for sure.

    I still think they are losing something by making gaming (and reward) conditions worse. Still, I hope there was some serious cost-benefit analysis done to justify this.
     
  10. mike_m235

    mike_m235 Tourist

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    I've always focused on the non-gambling sides of my trips. It's simply because the non-gambling side takes thought while the gambling...it's there and you can fit it around whatever else you're doing. So I plan all my non-gambling (for example, I've got tickets to shows and dinner reservations for my upcoming trip, and I plan to be at TI on the 26th for the VMB meetup.) All the time that's not dedicated to those events is available for gambling. The craps table doesn't take a reservation.
     
  11. LV_Bound

    LV_Bound VIP Whale

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    The non-gambling focus? We call that our sleep time. :beer:
     
  12. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    I may be wrong but I don't think people have been gambling less than historically on a per capita basis. Just googling it I find something that says North America gambling revenue increased 85% between 1999-2007 which is far faster than inflation or population growth. Gambling has just spread out so much more so its become less important to travel somewhere far for it.

    I know people say that those of us in the generations younger than baby-boomers care about gambling less but I don't know if that's really true. I actually wouldn't be surprised if its higher in our generation just because we have so many more gambling options close by compared to boomers when they were younger. My bigger concern is that younger generations are getting more accustomed to worsening odds in games and becoming ambivalent to it.
     
  13. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Other cities or other gambling locales? Your statement rings very true for the latter, though if you subtract the Strip and five blocks downtown, Vegas is effectively just another poorly planned western sprawl. Yet on the margins and sprinkled throughout, there is good golf, and desert, (limited) mountain and lake recreation, decent shopping; the accoutrements of vacation. Compared to Scottsdale or the Palm Springs area, that no-gambling Vegas does not stand up, however. Put it up against a San Francisco or NYC, and forget about it.

    The 50/50 Rubicon was passed, what?, a decade ago on the Strip, and then when non-gambling revenue dipped below half at old school downtown, I think that blew a lot of peoples' minds.

    Why? Evolving consumer tastes. Back in the "beloved day," Vegas was gambling, gambling and gambling, with headliner entertainment and a cement pond tossed in to fill in a couple hours/day. But it was all about the felt. And it took something to get to Vegas, compared to today's ease and multiplicity of access.

    I don't think it's the incremental ratcheting down of odds. Yes, I'm sure some gambling purists have been put off, but when 40 million gladly come in annually, the house can do just fine thank you very much with fewer advantage players. You posted elsewhere an anecdotal reference to hand pays being down. Could that not have as much to do with the Xbox-like diversion that is the modern slot machine? There are a lot more options between "cherry" and jackpot on the newfanglers than the old flat tops.

    I think it goes w/o saying that take away gambling and even those of us who have gambling somewhere down the list of the many things we like to do in Vegas likely aren't coming back. It's almost a Catch-22 when you think about it.

    Good job, kiddo. One of your better inquiries.
     
  14. mike_m235

    mike_m235 Tourist

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    Part of it is that gambling in vegas > gambling locally. We have a casino an hour away. I've been twice, because although I like to gamble, it's depressing and there's no other reason to make that drive.

    In Vegas, if I lose, I'm still in Vegas.
     
  15. LolaDoggie

    LolaDoggie VIP Whale

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    The other thing to consider is the change in ownership of Vegas hotel/casinos over the years. The figure of 35% of revenue coming from gambling was quoted. I don't see that as proof of gambling going down. It's proof of other areas going up. These publicly traded corporations demand profit from all areas of business. There are no loss leaders in their world, not anymore.
     
  16. heatherlovesvegas

    heatherlovesvegas VIP Whale

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    People don't have as much money anymore. I don't know a single friend or family member that wasn't affected by the recession or layoff, bankruptcy, forclosure whatever... discretionary spending habits have changed.

    But overall everybody does Vegas differently. I like gambling, but I just don't have that kind of money. Also every time I go, at least half my party doesn't want to gamble, or can't afford to really lose a lot of money, so I can't just sit there and gamble for hours. But I do love shopping, and sightseeing, and sleeping in, and having a nice fancy dinner.. whatever. Everything in Vegas is at your fingertips. I can't think of anywhere else you can do so many different things on one trip. You can really make your trip anything you want it to be. My trip won't ever be about gambling unless someone wants to gift me like $10,000 haha.

    I think my dad summed it up best for me when we stayed in this HUGE ridiculous suite at the Trump last year, I think we paid $160 a night or something. He said where else could you stay in a room this nice, and be treated with this level of service and have this level of luxury for this price? It makes us feel special! I couldn't afford a 5 star in NY or Beverly Hills!
     
  17. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    I don't think that the drop in gaming revenue is due to fewer gamblers. I think Vegas switched its focus from gambling and lost customers over it. I understand why diversifying the customer base has been good but it was done in a way that alienates other market segments. And although production shows, restaurants and clubs are things Vegas can get attention for, some other city could always emerge as the "IT" place for that stuff.
     
  18. mjames1229

    mjames1229 VIP Whale

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    Other than certain states, there is a casino ever 50 miles. I can gamble at home.

    I can't do most other things that Vegas has to offer at home.
     
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  19. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

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    People in many areas don't have to go to Vegas to gamble any more, so Vegas needed to diversify.

    Revenue stream from non-gambling activities is smoother than from gambling, which accountants and shareholders like.

    If you can get someone to pay $300 for a $20 bottle of booze, why not? That's more profitable than getting someone to lose $300 for a $50 room.
     
  20. Buddha

    Buddha VIP Whale

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    We typically take three trips a year out to Vegas ... and gambling (mostly video poker) is still what we do most. It's been said that gambling is everywhere around the country now, but it is still not like being in Vegas. And, Vegas is still the place where we find far more full-pay VP than anywhere else. Sure, we take in a show, or two, and drive around a little doing some sightseeing, but again, we always come back to the VP.

    Our goal on each trip is to break even in the casino, as we rarely ever pay for a room, and have almost all of our meals comped, or with our own points, and with coupons & points. On several trips, we have even won enough to pay for the airfare, and rental car ... and where else can you have a trip so economical, and yet have so much fun ?
     
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