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Resort Fees and The Death Of The Casino

By Chuckmonster on Monday, 29th July 2013 4:06pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 36


Caesars Entertainment announced their quarterly earnings report today. This is the first full quarter since they began charging resort fees earlier this year. The result, unsurprisingly, was an increase in hotel revenues.

From the earnings release:

Hotel revenues increased $12.8 million, or 6.3%, in the second quarter 2013 compared with the prior year, as the implementation of resort fees in March 2013, partially offset by a change in the mix of group business, led to an increase in cash average daily room rates from $97 in 2012 to $107 in 2013.

Yup, Caesars, you played us for fools. Or did you...

Casino revenue in Las Vegas was down, based on weaker gambling interest, a trend CEO Gary Loveman believes will continue. I agree with him. Resort fees probably ate $75-100 of the average visitors $500 gambling budget at check in. Paul gets paid, Peter's doesn't and the company they report hires marketing focus researchers to figure out why.

Did I ever tell you the story of how [resort name redacted] charged itself $300 to rent from itself two tables it already owned? Yup, the same tables you could go to Costco and get for $23.99 each. $300 for four hours of use... each table made $75/hour. Could've bought 12 more tables for that price and just think of how much money those tables could've made in their life time!

It amazes me how the casinos appear to be happy allowing casino revenue to decline. Instead of asking "why?" and "how do we fix this" Loveman accepts the decline of casino revenue as fait a compete. Perhaps the Las Vegas of the future is a drunk Branson, trading Oak Ridge Boys for deadmau5 and Cracker Barrel for Gordon Ramsay. Maybe it has already happened.

At some point, a smart casino operator is going to realize that kneecapping casino playability in search of short term profits and increase in house edge isn't how you operate a casino. It might be too late. The seven years of post-megamerger Vegas has taught an entire generation that casino gambling is pretty much a waste of time and money. For five bucks in a casino, you get 1 decision on a $1 video poker machine, maybe a pass line or hard ways bets, and a 30 seconds worth of entertainment on a slot machine. For five bucks you can download a finely crafted video game app to your mobile device that will provide weeks of compelling entertainment.

Strangely enough, Las Vegas has cured my gambling problem. The casinos have taught me, by repetition, that the money that hits the felt or the machine is definitely not coming back. Not even a little bit, temporarily. "The Gambler's Prayer" has changed from "papa needs a new pair of shoes" to "maybe I should put my shoes on and get away from this slot machine."

I have a hunch, I'm not alone.


Comments & Discussion:

Amen, Chuck. I was going to be down there tonight to celebrate the anniversary of my birth. When I did the math, as you did, I came to the same conclusion, especially after factoring in airfare and car rental (the latter having gone through the same process when the car rental terminal was built, necessitating the 3$/day car rental fee, and of course additional fees and taxes. It seems to be a never-ending series of gouging the average gambler. Las Vegas used to be a lot of fun, and offer value for the money. Now those times seem to be as distant a memory as secure jobs and pensions in Detroit, but that's another story.

I could not agree more with your sentiments in this article. How are you supposed to cultivate new customers when rookie gamblers have almost no shot at even a winning day? I know its cliche to romanticize the days when mobsters ran Vegas, but corporations are slowly killing Vegas.

Good post Chuck, and hope it generates some good discussion. I gained an appreciation for good value in Vegas from the LVA in the mid-1990s and always diversified my gambling bankroll between locals places, downtown, and the Strip. However, it was always cool to spend a lot of time on the Strip, but lately I've found little desire to hang there. Downtown has its cool aspects but its hard to justify flying out to Vegas just to hang on Fremont.

I know people will defend the corporations by saying that they have to take these measures due to the increased costs of these places; however, it seemed that there were some nice places built in the mid-to-late 1990s that did just fine without having to resort to crappy rules and jacking up the minimums.

The reason that Vegas draws fewer gamblers is the rise of regional casinos. Hardcore players don't need to travel all the way to Vegas to play, not from anywhere, even California. The reason I go to Vegas is to get the whole experience - dining, hotel, party atmosphere, clubs, and of course gambling. If I just wanted to hit the slots, I could go to AC or Foxwoods or what have you much more easily.

I envision the bean counters saying something like:

"Let's look at this from a totally dispassionate, dollars and cents viewpoint. And, remember-I got my MBA from FUU, which allowed me to get this great BFD job at FTC Gaming. I am...the smartest man alive!
The first question is-Where can we make the most gross profit margin? The resort fee allows us to collect $15/day gross revenue while only paying $0.52663, on average, for the R-J, which we make the idiot customer go to the sundries shop to ask for (upsell there adds $5.4427 gross revenue :-)!) and $1.78361 for the local calls and "complimentary" bottle of water that some customers are actually motivated enough to find out how and where to get it. (Changing those rules on a bi-weekly basis seems to be the best way to confuse customers without allowing employees to foolishly give away too many bottles based on their guilt reaction to their personal lack of knowledge of the "new rules".) This results in a cost to company of $2.31024 versus revenue of $15 daily. Gross profit of $12.79 a day! For nothing!! FOUND MONEY!!!

You might wonder if our customers might become disillusioned by this and stop staying at our properties? You must remember that Las Vegas casino visitors are Stupid, Lazy and Immoral human beings. They willingly, and aggressively, engage in the SELF-DESTRUCTIVE behaviors of drinking alcohol, smoking, attempting to engage in sex outside of marriage and...gambling...!!!! There is no salvation for them;-). It is our duty to move them through as quickly as possible in order to allow the vast number of people in the world who want to engage in the same activities an opportunity to do so!

On a personal note: I wonder, as so many of you fellow team members do, why I wasn't offered a job by Auto Nation, Enterprise Rent A Car, or Walgreen's upon graduation? Mysteries of the universe, I guess :-)"

The "drunk Branson" remark is interesting! I think it holds a lot of merit.

HedgedBettor is hitting at the heart of the problem. Las Vegas as currently constituted was built on gaming industry market conditions that no longer exist due to the expansion of gambling into virtually every area of the US. The only gambling experience not within relatively easy reach for most of us in the US now is sports betting and if other states get that it will be a huge blow.

So, widespread gaming, means that gaming isn't needed as much. There are also widespread restaurants, widespread nightclubs, widespread bars and widespread concerts.

I don't think I fully buy that excuse. Yes, lots of folks who gamble visit joints in their local territories and not every local territory has a Joel Robuchon or Thomas Keller restaurant. The question expands... why would these large corporations give up gambling dollars, either to F&B / Hotel or locale casino operators. Less risk is the case in F&B/Hotel, but locale doesn't make sense... Vegas is fucking Vegas, not Pechanga or Foxwoods or Sands Bethlehem. They should be - because of the strength of scale in F&B / Hotel ops (something stand alone casinos don't have) - on the front end of offering better games, better odds and better conditions than their locale counterpoints. If they don't do this, they've basically agreed to doing a slow motion, long term surrender to the competition. The casino should be cherished an nurtured not written off.

I'm a New Yorker, or close enough to one despite a recent move to the burbs, and yet I fly to Vegas twice a year. I can (and do) eat well in New York. I don't go partying much in New York - Vegas becomes an escape for that type of behavior with no open container laws, a much more accomodative club scene, and most importantly the gambling. I've yet to see any sign of the casino being "written off". Its merely not the avenue of growth. People of my generation are the growth in the casino business. It used to be my grandparents, but now the blue-haired crew is going to more local casinos. That means you need to attract younger money, and younger money wants everything. The casino is what makes Vegas unlike your local big city, but its not the ultimate draw.

Furthermore, I fundamentally see resort fees as something different. I don't see them as a detractor from casino revenue, I see them as a way to hide the cost of the hotel room. So you look at the quoted rate of 50 bucks a night and say wow, what a deal, when the extra 15 a night resort fee means its really 65 bucks. If they didn't have a resort fee the room rate would just be 65. But innumerate people (i.e. most people) didn't differentiate properly between an Excalibur room at 50 a night plus a 15 resort fee and a Harrah's room at 60 a night, no fee. So Caesars had to play ball the same way MGM did.

I think its a combination of all of the above. I miss the little things in Vegas. The comp for playing blackjack (a couple of free buffets used to be nice) or the screaming deal on a hotel room to get me at the tables. 20 years ago you could pickup a cheap meal that was very good. Now Vegas wants you to spend your money before you even hit the casino. Maybe they figure they have lost the small gambler to local joints? With show prices going up, hotels going up, and expensive food, I am spending less gambling and I think that is a bad trend for Vegas overall.

Hmm. The big picture here is still cloudy to me. The key word in your quoted paragraph is cash. That is one kind of hotel room revenue. The other kind is comp, as when you get comped a room and the casino reimburses the hotel a set amount, usually much lower than the public rate. Caesars notoriously has a much larger percentage of comp rooms and a piddling percentage of cash rooms compared to its major competitors.

So touting that the cash rate was higher than last year may be the attempt to find something, anything to highlight in an otherwise craptastic quarter. (and it doesn't matter what the comp room revenue was, since Caesars can make that whatever it wants to make it). My questions would be: are they having trouble finding enough qualifying players to comp, and so occupancy is slipping? Are they reaching deep, deep, deep into the Total Rewards database to find people to comp? The styrofoam cooler crowd?

The whole thing reeks of a really bad quarter. If people are staying away from the Quad because of the construction noise, then of course the average rate has gone up - the other hotels charge more.

As for the value proposition in the casino being a thing of the past: no argument there. If I want $1 shrimp and friendly blackjack rules I would go to Laughlin or Reno.

By the slots industry's admission, they now view slot machines not as gambling devices but as entertainment devices. They believe us stupid sheep will happily dump $100 into one of their 50-line "penny" machines for an hour of video-enhanced play and be totally satisfied by the experience.

But as Chuck points out, nowadays you'll more likely piss through that $100 in 15 minutes flat and walk away thinking, "That was the stupidest waste of good money ever." I just don't get it. My wife and I used to get a kick out of playing the older 3-coin WOFs, but they've been so tight the past few trips that we barely bother searching them out anymore.

This has been covered many times in this on line venue, but bears repeating..

The trend in Vegas is towards drawing a crowd of 21-34s who don't mind blowing hundreds, if not thousands, on booze that is marked up by percentages in the hundreds..

That's where the profitability is..WynnCore figured it out, and its pretty much what that property is all about now..pack in thousands of kids and 40 somethings looking to get really, really lucky, and you can make millions at various night and day clubs..

And this crew isn't going to read the fine print, or even notice, something like resort fees..

I go to the Strip now to see how certain joints have changed over time, and I'll be interested to see the construction around NYNY
and Monte Carlo...but I cringe when I see what happened to Treasure Island, and the inclusion of eateries around the Pirate Show that just destroyed the ambiance of that property.

I usually spend a night on the Strip to watch 20 something honeys packed into real tight dresses, and shoot pics of the Bellagio Fountains and other stuff, so I have some cool stuff on my iPhone...I'll stop at the Mirage and play video poker, but I find myself staying downtown more and more..better odds, cheaper food, and no resort fees for stuff I won't use, and don't want to pay for...

I'll go to Mohegan Sun or Foxwoods for the experience, to see new slot machines, and practice video poker under various noise and other conditions to simulate Vegas...but I spend my time at the D, or the El Cortez, playing hours and hours of video poker..its a release, and its what I like to do...and then I'll wander over to the Sportsbooks and lay down bets on the NFL or boxing...

If sports betting is expanded, to where I can head to CT and do that in Sportsbooks there..then Vegas could become a distant memory..

I primarily gamble at the off-Strip casinos but stay on the Strip for the spectacle (and the smoke-free rooms!).I think the real future for most of these companies like Caesars' and MGM will be gambling over the internet and their hotel rooms will be used as giveaways/incentives to play on their website. I can't wait til real-money poker and sports betting is legalized nationally!

The new gambler's prayer is "Dear God, please let me break even. I need the money."

Excellent post Chuck, and I think you have hit the mark on the issue, there is no reason for these corporations to surrender the casino business, whether they like it or not, I'm still convinced it drives the nightclub, restaurant, and whole resort aspect of the city.

The actions lately of the large corporations looks alot like it did in 2007, they just don't get it and with airfare rising again, and the middle continuing to be squeezed, I'm not sure that the resort side of things is sustainable.

Then again maybe we are wrong, after all, if you let your resort become roach infested and ply custome's with drinks until they puke and don't care about standard cleaning, then the resort side becomes much more cost effective to operate as well. Maybe Flamingo is the new way to do business in Las Vegas, as I'm sure that over time, no one will care that the 2500 room hotel is cared for like a campground.

I think it's simpler -- and sadder -- than that. These are huge, public companies. Even Wynn and LVS are no longer one guy's vision. They are driven by quarterly earnings, driven by maximizing shareholder return quarter-to-quarter. I don't think the execs have the stomach to deal with the swings inherent in gambling revenue. You can explain expected hold all you want, but shareholders don't care if you didn't bring in as much as they wanted.

Hotel and F&B revenues are easier to predict. They aren't subject to a couple whales going on a great baccarat run and torpedoing a whole company's earnings.

I'm over-generalizing here, but almost all big companies do this now. They sacrifice the long-time good of the company for the short-term stock price. That's how the execs keep their jobs. The irony here is that at least one of the casino companies in Vegas has demonstrably shitty stock performance and the same leadership team in place.

I suppose one could argue that the past is worth something: except in Las Vegas. To use blue hairs as a descriptor of human beings is obnoxious and deserving of a dry slap. To assume that Las Vegas has been re-purposed to a certain age group is also obnoxious and a typical outburst from the arrogance-without-the-resume crowd.

Actually, Las Vegas is many things to many people just as any experience is wont to be. I agree with the author of this post that it is unfortunate that Caesar's et al has determined that Las Vegas cannot support gambling and gamblers as Las Vegas once did, however, if Vegas stands for anything it is the notion that one can reinvent oneself in this strange and oddly beautiful place easier than most locations and perhaps Vegas will reinvent itself and regain the confidence of its past that included both young and old, gambler and non-gambler, nightclubbers and non-nightclubbers.
It's easy to be cynical and dangerous to be vulnerable: and perhaps
Las Vegas needs more of the latter and far less of the former.

What I don't understand is how people can really complain about the cost of rooms in Vegas. Go to NYC or SF or any big touristy city and see what you pay for a 4 star hotel. Also, if you're willing to roll the dice, use priceline. Here's a link to see what people are reporting they paid in Vegas:


Do the local casinos have better gambling conditions? As a resident of Hawaii the easiest place for me to go gamble is Vegas, as it is the cheapest place to fly. If there is another place that offers better conditions and a better cultural experience I would love to check it out. How does the gambling in Macau compare? It may be the next closest place.

I've been visiting the site and listening to Chuck on Vegas Gang since I discovered Vegas (two years ago) and I greatly appreciate all your insights into the city that I've quickly grown to love.

That said, discussions like these make me glad I'm a Vegas novice. Quite by chance I discovered the city two years ago, at the tender age of 42, when my uncle invited me to take a trip there with him. I live in the midweste, with tribal casinos in easy driving distance, but aside from a few lottery tickets, I'd never gambled. The Bellagio was the first casino I'd ever been seen in person. As I walked through, an angel choir sang and I realized that I'd found my new hobby, and my new home-away-from-home. I've been back five more times since that first visit.

Lovely as the Bellagio was and is, I am generally a CET guy when I'm paying my own way. I can play 3/2 $10 blackjack at Bally's and Caesars, playable (98% payback) VP at Bally's and Planet Hollywood, and the occasional carny game at the $5 level. (When I really want to low-roll it, I just walk to Ellis Island for $5 3/2 blackjack, full-pay VP, and a $9 steak dinner.)

But apparently things were even better 20 years ago? What did I miss?
My low(ish?) level of play earns me free or nearly free rooms at mid-level CET properties during the off-peak periods on the calendar, which seems eminently fair. I've not found any other place where it's as easy to take a break from real life. Resort fee annoyances aside, as chrisrobbins1980 notes, Vegas--even the strip--is still a bargain. We'll be taking our kids to Disneyworld sometime in the next couple years and that trip will be four times more expensive than any one of our trips to LV.

Chuck has hit on my recurring fixation.
I've been playing blackjack in Vegas since the late 60's.
While there are many, many more options to gamble I think Vegas could still reinvigorate it's long time rep as the gambling mecca.
What if one place tried a novel approach. Lots of $5 tables, 3/2, maybe s17 or good enough rules where the clubgoers could party and play at a drunken uninformed massive HA. But bj would become "fashionable" to that all important demo.
I think there is way too much emphasis by the casinos on their expected holds without really realizing their clientel.
There are really alot of newbies, especially from Canada and the UK, who could also get enticed into playing if their lower limit budgets weren't up against a huge RoR by $10 or $15 games.
I go to gamble and the only places that are even worth sitting in on the strip are Aria, Bellagio, and W/E. My long time fav Caesars tables are limited and V/P reeks of rip off. And that's in the HL rooms.
Somehow someone could try, even for 6 months a George Costanza opposite and see what happens.
Bobby Baldwin or Benny might have tried it if the non gambler suits' objections could get overidden.

I just came back from Disney World gradytripp on a business paid for trip. Stayed at the Disney Yacht Club. Rooms were nothing special, quite similar to MGM Grand Queen rooms. Pool was nice, perhaps Mirage level, yet the nightly rate was $394. I'll take Vegas and $100 4 star rooms any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

I would have to believe that these nice Vegas room deals have to be subsidized from somewhere. Hence Chuck's original post's point.

All the nickel and diming from the airline fees to get to Vegas, to the long hauling taxi cabs, to the casino resort fees and deteriorating customer service... It can all get you down if you let it. But there is still no place like Vegas. The anything goes feeling of being on vacation in a place that is always changing and has so many entertainment options just isn't duplicated elsewhere.

Basically, we have adapted to the times, & don't stay on the strip or downtown anymore, and have started staying out in suburb hotels in cheaper rooms, where we can just drive in to where we want to go. Just like the locals do.

With dining, shows, and similar, you at least know what you are getting for your money. For the average gambler (who has no clue of or refuses to play basic strategy), gaming is simply now a bad value. This is super-stupid of the properties because it means money that was headed to their own coffers via gaming now ends up somewhere that they see very little of. Shows are four-walled. Hence, if as show sells more tickets to people not gambling, the revenue goes into the producers pockets (and into the pockets of those of us who sell and promote various shows).

I believe that we're closing in on the time when Fremont (as a whole, Plaza to Atomic Liquors) and the surrounding area will become a destination, similar to Gaslamp in San Diego. You'll have enough to do and gaming and food values generally not available on The Strip.

I'm hearing a growing drumbeat of visitors who rent a car and bounce around the locals casinos. Obviously, this isn't for most. It precludes heavy drinking all day and night. As well as eating at celeb chef restaurants. But it is still superior to driving to a stand-alone casino two hours from your house and being STUCK. If you are at Horshoe Southern Indiana and getting your ass kicked at the tables, you just can't bop over to another property. Even Boulder Highway alone has four properties just a couple munites apart, with incredible gaming and food values. And no club douchebags.

Gambling isn't a major part of my Vegas time; wandering the Strip, eating and doing whatever I want that is legal whenever I want is. The fact that you can now gamble anywhere in the US (Chicago has no casinos yet but they are coming) is likely the main reason gambling revenue is dowa as is the fact that quite a few places push the club scene harder than any table/slot action. I will hit the casino, gamble a little then wander on and on my last visits there I have seen less gambling and more trying to get into the newest resturants.

I don't buy the Krispy Kreme-ization of casinos as a reason, either. I haven't had a time at any tribal casino that compares to even the worst time at a Vegas casino.
I just think that the shift began when the economy tanked and it's gone further since. People stopped gambling and probably started spending their money on something more substantial like food and live entertainment. Add a new generation who could care less about gambling, and would rather get wasted at a club while dry humping strangers, and you've got the new Vegas.
I still enjoy many aspects of Vegas and some of the Strip. I just hope that the pendulum will swing back at some point. If I ever lose my interest in Vegas there will be a pretty big hole in my soul.

I just want my god dam themes back!! I miss running into a Egyptian, Centurions walking the hallways, pirates!

When Vegas was different on every trip via new openings, significant remodeling, etc., it was all about the experience. Now, with little change (except for ferris wheels and incredibly tall signs), what's going to drive folks to Vegas? Gaming or resort fees? I think being lucky at a craps table, drinking lots of beer, and swapping stories beats going to an incredibly loud club or using the gym that my awesome resort fee provided me access to (that no one else was using).

NYT Article on Vegas and tourists gambling less:


These are all insightful and provoking thoughts. While Vegas has lost some of its charm and identity over the years, it is a frame of mind for me that I just can't replicate anywhere else. The problem with that for the casino owners is that despite my income, I am in my early 50's. That is not the desired age demographic that will be around to bail out the casinos after the clubbers grow up and get married and start coaching little league teams. I would also be interested in whether or not the high end shopping that exists in the retail sections of the resorts are bringing in substantial revenue/ profits. I rarely see a lot of traffic in there and wonder what the expectations are for their success. Along with the club scene, the shopping scene has also become a dominant presence.

I can't speak for all the shopping areas, but I do know that the Forum Shops at Caesar's is the most profitable per square foot in the world.
I usually see quite a bit of foot traffic in all but the shops that at the Palazzo, not sure when the foot traffic just seams to stop as soon as the canal does.

"Drunk Branson"? Nahh, Branson has real amusement parks and such.

chrisrobbins1980 hits on something that true. We are to some extent spoiled by the room rates in Vegas but at the same time, some of us have skewed mindsets about hotel room rates as a result. Last weekend I attended my 20th high school reunion which was held at a fairly nice hotel here in Atlanta (Westin Buckhead) and I considered getting a room for the night. The discounted rate we could get really wasn't much of a discount, as it was $8 less than the cheapest rate you could get by booking directly with the hotel online. The total for one night there was as much as the average rate per night (including resort fee) that I paid back in May at Vdara (which was a much bigger room with a lot of amenities).

For a few years there, I had very little love for The Strip and would limit my visits to it as a result. I had become a dyed in the wool Fremont Street guy and wouldn't stay or play anywhere else (My trips to the Strip were to go eat and maybe see a show.). Then came my trip about two and a half years ago in which the last two nights were spent staying on the Strip. The first full day of the trip I spend most of the afternoon on the Strip having lunch and then hitting my favorite cigar bar for a few drinks and a smoke. Ordinarily, that would have been the length and breadth of my time on the Strip. When I moved from Downtown to the Strip, I was staying in a part of the Strip I had never stayed at and had rarely ventured into and as a result, I rediscovered my love for the Strip (Plus it was my first time hanging out at Cosmo and I was hooked.). The next trip was another Downtown trip, but for the three trips after that, I stayed on the Strip and enjoyed it. VIMFP this year will be my first time staying Downtown in over two years.

Even I'm finding that I'm gambling less and less and my daily budget has been cut down as a result. There was a time in which I was budgeting $800-1000 a day for gambling, food and drink; now that's more like $500-$700 a day because I don't gamble as much. There will be days in Vegas in which I spend more on meals than I do gambling.

After my first two Vegas trips, I thought I was invincible when it came to gambling as I had nice wins and came back home ahead. The third trip, was a disaster from the start and was the first losing trip, a streak that continues to this day (Although these days my losses are not as bad in the past and I don't end up using my last day's bankroll at all.). I remember one trip in which I missed out on a $10,000+ slot progressive jackpot by one click on the last reel (The winning symbol I needed stopped on the position just above the payline and a winning symbol that would have resulted in a $5000 win was one click below the pay line.) and that actually led me to stop gambling for the rest of that trip (Which wasn't a big deal, as it was my last day....).

One type of slot I try to avoid these days are the "penny" slot as they really are bankroll eaters. The majority of my slot play is now on $1 slots as the max bets on many of them are similar to the penny slots and you don't have to hope for a bonus round to get a nice win. During the weekend of VIMFP last year, I won $800 in a little over an hour at two different casinos. I was on top of the world as those wins put me way up for the trip. Then the greed kicked in the next morning and I dropped that $800 and then some (I had even been told by fellow VT legend Spyder that I was going to lose all of that money and I boasted that I wouldn't.). The rest of the trip, I played a lot more conservatively and never even touched my last day's bankroll as a result.

As a long time and particularly astute LV observer your observations come with inate wisdom. I have been visiting LV for 35 years and while the rebirth that began with the Mirage was a wonderful thing I am saddened by the current arc. LV was built on games of chance. It is still the thrill of the chase of the gambling win that makes the pulse quicken.The fact that there are now wonderful restaurants, world class shopping and exciting bars and clubs should enhance but not replace that experience. My fondest LV stories are not of fantastic meals or particularly hot looking women or a scrumptious and well crafted cocktail--all of those things can be had in any big city. My favorite moments to recall and tales to tell are those of "gambling moments" I have observed-generally a decade or more ago when the players came to Vegas to play. And those are special moments. The money is just as usable when you win it a Pechanga but the moment is never as sweet--- A big win in Vegas is Vegas Baby.
So I guess like you I fear that Vegas is loosing it's soul. I enjoy the gorgeous hotels of the Strip all the trimmimgs but find myself travelling downtown just to feel like I really am in Vegas doing what folks historically have come to Vegas to do--enjoy a game of chance.
LV casinos made money for years with historical games where everyone knew the rules- because they were what they had always been. Now the corporations give us 6:5 blackjack, continuous shuffling machines, unplayable video poker pay tables, slots tighter than a drum and distorted carnival games.. And for this they charge you a resort fee!!!
The big casino companies deserve to lose the gambling clientele because they have disrespected us. If any force of nature dries up the funds for the 25 year olds who are spending $3000 for the VIP table at the club with the with the $300 bottles of Jack Daniels while still living in their mother's basement we won't be around anymore to bail them out.

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