Home » VT News » The Steve Brags About Tightening Wynn's Casino

The Steve Brags About Tightening Wynn's Casino

By Chuckmonster on Thursday, 30th July 2015 2:04pm
  » filed under Wynn Resorts  comments: 18


On the most recent episode of The Steve Wynn Show, The Steve took 5 minutes out of the Wynn Resorts Q2 Conference Call (which doubles as his lunch) to give a history lesson on the craps odds bet and explain why they've tightened up the Wynn and Encore's casino floors.

The Steve is remarkably frank, stating simply "I raised the price."

By eliminating the 3x 4x 5x craps odds in favor of 2x max (except for players betting $1000 or more) increases the house advantage from 0.37% to 1%.

The reasoning? "With three dealers and a box man and a half of a floor man for every table, craps is not a really profitable game."

Wynn also stated their recent casino reconfiguration of their casino floor was also done to extract more value. They have done this by moving more popular, higher margin games (sucker bets) to higher traffic areas on the casino floor and moving games with lower house advantage to less prestigious locations.

Steve expects other Las Vegas casino operators to follow suit in adjusting odds, which they already have. Both of MGM Resorts International's luxury Las Vegas properties, Aria and Bellagio have reduced natural blackjack payouts on selected tables to 6:5 (from 3 to 2).

With Steve stating that Wynn Resorts' Las Vegas "clearly had the most powerful performance of any operator in America" during Q2, why would they mess with the odds of a game that has provided generous returns over Wynn's 40 years in the gaming industry. "We are not so much concerned in what has been or what is, but what will be."

If gaming play isn't growing, revenue is soft... doesn't increasing the price of the game have the opposite effect? A craps table is a craps table is a craps table. Why would a smart player continue to play at Wynn and not go somewhere else, say Aria or Bellagio where the odds haven't been hamstrung?

I'm eager to see how Wynn's craps odds experiment affects the other craps pits across the city. If you are heading to Vegas, take a peek at the craps odds and report back what you found.

For those interested in listening to this portion, it begins just after the 20 minute mark.

You can listen to the call here (this segment starts at 21 minute mark) or read the transcript at Seeking Alpha. Big thanks to RateVegas and Z for the tips.

Take it away Steverino!

We've readjusted our floor on the Fourth of July and interestingly enough, many of the games in Las Vegas have become marginally profitable. Years ago down at Binion's, they started at the crap table of giving ten times odds. If you bet $100 on the line, you could bet $1,000 on the free odds behind the line if you bet the pass line. I'm getting a little technical. But in the old days in dice, whatever you bet on the line you could bet the same amount behind the line, and that was a hold percentage of a little under 1%.

Then they started giving double odds compared to the amount of money you bet on the pass line, and that lowered the house percentage to 0.57%. Then there became a pattern on the Strip of what's called the three, four, five. Depending on what numbers you were betting on the crap table to come up before number seven came up, you could get three times odds, four times odds, or five times odds. There are pairs of numbers on a dice table. Four and ten have two to one odds, five and nine have a different set of odds, and six to eight or six to five.

Well, depending on what number you were trying to get, you could get three, four, or five times odds. That became a house advantage of 0.37%. With three dealers and a box man and a half of a floor man for every table, craps is not a really profitable game at that level.

So I changed the casino. In effect, I raised the price, and I went to double odds only except for extremely high play with $1,000 minimum bet. I also rearranged the floor in the casino to put our specialty games that are very popular with the public that have a higher margin and I put them in the 100% location and I moved my games with less of a margin to secondary locations. Those changes have worked out favorably to us in the past three weeks, and that kind of re-examination - our slot floor has been redone. We win more money with less games now. These are some of the reasons why we make more money than anybody else in Las Vegas.

Now some of the operators will copy us. We're not allowed to talk to one another because of obvious legal implications of price-fixing, but we don't really care what the other guys do. We run our own business the way we see we should, and we're not in business to offer games that don't make money, and I don't mind saying that publicly. So, we've done quite a bit of work in tightening up the way the casino works, and I know our competitors are on the call and they probably - everybody knows that the minute you make a change like that in Las Vegas, it goes around town like a wildfire. But those are some of the things we're doing and it touches every aspect.

We're constantly re-examining everything we do here. We sit in my office and discuss the most fundamental aspects of this industry every single week. We are not so much concerned in what has been or what is, but what will be.

Tagged: steve wynn show   craps   odds   wynn   gambling   


Comments & Discussion:

I've stayed at Wynncore more than any property in my near 30 trips to Vegas. I love Wynncore. I will return. I've gambled more at Ellis Island in one visit than I have at plastic-faced fuck's casinos. I feel vindicated. He can eat my asshole on September morning after I get off one his magnificent elliptical machines.

Staying at Wynn when I come to town in September.

Craps is my game, and I need at least the 3x4x5x odds, so I guess I'll play elsewhere.

The switch of blackjack payouts to 6/5 has been around to some extent for around 10 years but seems to have gotten more widespread over the past year, starting with the Venelazzo complex pretty much making all blackjack tables on the main floor 6/5. A lot of MGM properties (Mirage, MGM, Monte Carlo, Mandalay Bay, and now Aria and Bellagio) have followed suit, with my understanding being that its pretty tough to get a 3/2 blackjack table unless you are playing at least $25 per hand.

As for Wynn.....doesn't he make enough money from all the folks who bet the props in the center of the craps table (which carry a far higher house edge) to offset offering the standard Strip odds? Or from the players who feel they HAVE to take the max odds (because of what they read) but are underbankrolled and soon find themselves tapped out? I guess the players in the high limit room make the same prop bets, and thus Wynn feels he can give up a little to them becuase of what they lose on such bets.

In any event.......many of us here are Wynn fanboys who love the properties he has built, but this move does tarnish my view of him.

"Hi, I'm NoDeuces. Find the surprises."

Nothing more to say than comment 1...Dear Gawd classic.

He's done the same with slots, raised the price.
"Slot machine handle of $712.1 million was 0.7% above the $706.9 million in the comparable period of 2014, and net slot win was up 10.6%."

Go fuck yourself Steve! I'm done with you and your casino. I'll be shooting dice at The D/Golden Gate an there 10X odds.

Wynn's "price" was already high for my entertainment budget, so I'm not going to get on too high a horse to protest the price being raised. I only ever spent money there for Le Reve tickets, so he hasn't lost me as a customer. Of course now it's even less likely that I will play in his casinos.

I'm not convinced that 3x-4x-5x made it an unprofitable game. Did Wynn casinos see fewer side bets than anywhere else in town? Were all those tip-reliant dealers draining all the house profits?

I thought that one of the premises of Steve's operations was that customers want to spend more money. Isn't this sort of a piece with how he has generally does business?

I stayed at the Wynn the first week of July. I'm usually there every six months or so. I'd swear there were more 6/5 blackjack tables than I've ever seen before. Even in the Encore. Many of the tables had $25 minimums at certain times of the day. I made a point to complain at each table I ran into (I doubt Steve cares). Another reason why I know prefer gambling at places like Planet Hollywood. Really sad that Wynn is squeezing out odds. Sad thing is most of the players I ran into at Wynncore had no idea how to play blackjack and were tossing money down the drain. Terrible card players overall there.

his sports odds are terrible too. both same-day and futures were worse than MGM/Caesars/CG(venetian) when we stayed there last. they didn't even bother posting any money line odds on college basketball for same day games, ridiculous. Anyhow, had a great room there and fantastic view...nice and close to hope over to TI for 3:2 blackjack.

The shame is that the chinese slowdown in Macau is translating to tighter Strip odds to make up the difference, who'd have thunk it!

For all the razzing everyone does here about Caesars, there are more 3:2 tables at Paris/PH/Ballys at decent (i.e. $10 and $15 limits) than possibly the MGM resorts and Wynn combined.

Like others, love and will continue to stay at Wynncore (for the rooms, the hospitality, and the nightlife). I will continue to go elsewhere to throw dice.

I have an operating theory: there is an inverse relationship between the existence or caliber of nightlife and the quality of dice play.

When you squeeze out the people that know how to play the game, the only people you have left are those that know nothing. As they learn more, they stop. When there's no Blackjack or Craps fans left to play at Wynn, they'll remove tables. And then they'll crank the price up higher. The process repeats and eventually the entire floor will be nothing but slot machines.

I think the clientele will leave before that.

I am sure someone has done the math. Is it even possible anymore to turn a profit on the strip with a traditional approach to treating gamblers fairly? Is it possible that a casino can't win just by being a casino anymore on the strip? High odds on craps, 3-2 liberal BJ, and full pay VP is probably not enough anymore even if the tables and machines are full. Either that or they are taking advantage of the clubbers, conventioneers and others that don't know any better or are playing for convenience. As mentioned in this thread, there are still honest games to be found on the strip, you just have to look for them. If The Steve raised the price on cocktails at Parasol Up; eh. I just don't know if the traditional house edge carries enough weight to carry the house; and that's a problem.

"I'm getting a little technical" LOL

This is tragic and reports of 6:5 at Aria and Bellagio are frankly frightening. To be fair though, there have been other "scares" like this in the past and I've always been able to find a few good tables. But still...

But how would tightening the odds make more money? Odds bets are statistically fair - i.e. they have zero house edge. The casino gains nothing from an odds bet - they only make money on the pass line bet. If Steve wants to make more money, tightening the odds doesn't help and it also feels cheap (and it reduces the thrill of the game). Plus, isn't the advantage of 3-4-5 that it makes the payouts easier to calculate for the workers? Wouldn't making their job harder be counterproductive, slow down the game and thus lower the amount Wynn makes?

Steve makes most of his gambling money from slots and high-limit Baccarat so I guess he thinks he can give up some craps players and free up floor space. But still... this nickel-and-diming mentality seems much less productive than Wynn seems to think.

Sadly, I think "Preying on the weak/dumb/ignorant" is the playbook. How many club kids know dick from poon about Blackjack, much less craps?

I'll see that plastic-faced fuck and raise you a plastic fuck-face.

Oh wait, wrong game... sorry...

Since craps is my primary casino game, 2x odds at one strip casino is concerning. I fear that 2x becomes infectious and spreads to other strip properties, just like 6:5 BJ.

Although I do not play full odds at the local casinos offering 10x to 20x, it is always nice to know that you can place greater than $50 as odds with a $10 pass line bet.

Comments Are Closed

Subscribe via RSS

Recent Comments:

michigan2010 posted: "MGM equals cookie cutter casino. No to reason to step foot in Bellagio again. Just hope they don't screw up..."
» Sayonara Bellagio Table Game Canopies...
saharalv posted: "I wish the editors were the entire electoral college in 2016...."
» Introducing the Trippies Class of...
fatbastard posted: "So many people letting a billionaire live rent free in their heads. Funny. Too bad it also detracts from the..."
» Introducing the Trippies Class of...
wpsteel66 posted: "Total bummer…talk about taking the class and uniqueness away from the Bellagio…another smart move on CEO Jim and making all..."
» Sayonara Bellagio Table Game Canopies...
damania posted: "Is there a podcast?..."
» Introducing the Trippies Class of...

» More Comments