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If Casinos Were Smart...

It’s a familiar grumble from gaming authors and average gamblers alike.

“If casinos were smart, they would…..”

            give gamblers a better gamble.

            offer better comps.

            provide better customer service to their patrons.

            have more low stakes tables open and available.

            offer cheaper dining options.

“If casinos were smart, they wouldn’t….”

            sweat card counters and other advantage players.

            charge so much for big name entertainment.

These are just a few examples.   Gamblers complain and complain about poor comps, poor customer service, 6/5 payoff in blackjack, tight slots and a myriad of other things.  Why do casinos do this if it’s such a “dumb” philosophy?  To answer that question, I’ll pose another question you might be familiar with.

Why do dogs lick themselves?  Answer?  Because they can.

Why do casinos initiate major changes in their comps policies that negatively affect the average gambler?  Because they can.  Why have casinos banned savvy video poker players who win “too often?”   Because they can.  Why have they changed the payoff for blackjack from 3/2 to 6/5?   Because they can. 

There’s one property that is paying even money on blackjacks because players are being “entertained” by a dealer in a bikini.  Yeah, casinos are dumb.

Yes, the general consensus among gamblers is that the new “Rewards” program from Harrah’s is lousy for the average table player.   Have you seen or heard of a major exodus to other properties because of it?  6/5 blackjack is an abomination.  Have gamblers stop playing blackjack?  The answer to both questions is, in general, no. 

Yes, there have been a small number of gamblers who have abandoned Harrah’s because of their new comp policy and a few vocal blackjack players (mostly counters) who have tried to organize a boycott of casino properties that have implemented 6/5 blackjack.    Do you know what?  The majority of the millions and millions of average gamblers could care less.   

Charge $180 for a Celine Dion ticket?   There’s a waiting list. 

Surly dealers?  If you leave, someone else will gladly takes your seat. 

And in the case of the even money blackjack because the dealers are in bikinis?  Well.  That’s just too sad to comment on.

For the most part, gamblers will lament, complain and SAY “If casinos were smart….” but are not willing to take the steps necessary to back it up.  They continue to patronize casinos with 6/5 blackjack, tight slots, poor customer service, and expensive meals and entertainment.  They continue to play at properties with poor comps.  They continue to play in pits that sweat winners.

Do you think the casino corporations could continue to build larger and more glamorous properties if gamblers weren’t flocking to the casino despite poor comps, lousy customer service, and horrible casino games? They are quite aware that a minority of gamblers will be unhappy with the changes they introduce, but they understand the cost/benefit of these changes and certainly understand that the majority of gamblers will simply shrug it off.  

The funny thing is, these ambivalent gamblers are the same folks who would drive an extra few miles to a gas station that charges two cents per gallon less than the station just around the corner or would stop patronizing a business because of a lousy customer service experience.  Why are they so indifferent when they’re choosing a property to wager their hard earned money?

Here’s the reality, and the general gambling public doesn’t REALLY want to hear it. Casinos ARE smart.  The choices the casino corporations make about the games they offer are well researched.  Most of all, casinos understand the ambivalent gambler.  Until punters stop patronizing casinos with poor games, poor comps, and lousy customer service, then the casino corporations will not give you a good gamble, or good comps, or good customer service, or lower table minimums or better slots payouts.

The bottom line is not, “If casinos were smart…”  The bottom line is, “If gamblers weren’t so ambivalent.”

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