Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 13)

Reinhold Schmitt
ISA-GUIDE Chefredakteur (V.i.S.d.P.)
E-Mail: info@isa-guide.de

(rs) The City Las Vegas, including its Suburbs Henderson and Summerlin counts now more than over 2 Million inhabitants! The amount of Casinos, including all Slot-Casinos and Restaurants, in which slot-machines may be set up, is esteemed to 160-180. Even at petrol stations and at Supermarkets there are slot-machines and for the fully extremes under the tourists there are McCarran International Airport offers an own little Casino: there could already after the getting off the plane been hop on at the next best slot-machine and cash in on it the Jackpot.

At the Las Vegas Strip alone are approximately more than 40 Casinos, and who believes, this would be enough, lets oneself be fooled thoroughly. The boom goes always still further and permanently there are new projects realised. Our Historical Review has been concentrating so far at all on the developments at the Las Vegas Boulevard and in the Old Las Vegas that is hence in Downtown. The reason for it that You might come as a tourist, who gets to Las Vegas for a few days, stay most likely somewhere in a hotel at the Strip and will admire the whole sightseeing that are presented at the Strip. There is no doubt that the Las Vegas Boulevard is the most visited tourists‘ attraction at all. There is no place on earth, where there are permanently more tourists staying than here in Las Vegas. The Hotels at the Strip have an average rooms’ exploitation of more than 90% and that calculated over the whole year. That has one has to be considered. And this, in spite of the keenest competition battle, that could just be thought of. There is one Super-Hotel besides another Super-Hotel, and however the system works. The room prices vary permanently after the law of Offer and Demand.

The problem of the Las Vegas Boulevard has become obvious a long time ago. Every time, when one new Super-Hotel has been opened, that meant hence, that the traffic will once again increase. The Casinos possesses meanwhile own drive ways that even have multi-lane access roads to the hotel and again multi-lane approach roads off. At the Strip itself the traffic is regulated at any hotel by traffic lights, which are a necessity, but leads to additional traffic jams. At a Saturday-evening it is not advisable to drive around by car at the Las Vegas Boulevard. Most of the time the traffic is standing still! Amazed and celebrating tourists from California or the rest of the world are sitting in their cars and try in vain to get ahead. Transfer-shuttles and coaches as well as hundreds of taxis are the regular picture of the Strip. At the crossings Flamingo/LV Blvd or Tropicana/L-V Blvd there is the traffic course that much taken a prominent stance that there are on each side 6 or even 8 tracks foreseen for the traffic. Only like that one could grasp the traffic problem partly.

And even on the pavements for the tourists is a intense jostling. The whole is going to be even aggravated over the last years by so called free Velo-taxis. These are the transporting-means that are available to the tourists. One could have themselves driven in such a vehicle from one hotel to the other and the whole is supposed to be „gratis“. Gratis is meant in that sense as there is no licence needed, when someone is giving something away, also a service. Hence it is not forbidden, yes it is even expected that one would give the poor guy an appropriate tip, one who is to be drudge off himself in front of the carriage. 5-10 Dollar are accustomed for a 15-minutes drive from „Bellagio“ up to the „Mandalay Bay“ for example.

There are not only inhabitants in Las Vegas, who were choosing this city because of the gambling. The real boom of this city happened due to the fact that over here no State’s tax has to be paid. The Casinos undertake this part. Truly it is to be understood so that the gamblers take simply over these taxes, just over the Casinos. Also for the workers in Nevada it very lucrative as everyone is free from this State’s taxes. For this reason so many inhabitants from California have settled over to Nevada over the years. Whereas current and everything else that is necessary for a living, is in California unbelievably become expensive, so one finds in Nevada almost paradise-like circumstances. The only trouble of this city is the water supply that gets every year closer to a limit in which it sometime could get problematical.

To raise taxes on the Casinos: Comparing to the European Casinos, who have to perform payments to the State within the margin of 50 up to extremely 90 (!!!), so a Casino in Nevada is being eased for just some 6 ½ percent of its income. That enables the Casinos on the one hand in order to meet the keen competition battle however and on the other hand it allows them, to offer the guests and visitors something, for what we in Europe really have to pay additionally. Gratis drinks are only natural in Nevada, and for gamblers there are different evaluation systems that are enabling the gambler after a certain amount of games, he had risked, so to have Gratis-dishes in the Gourmet-Restaurant or Gratis-Rooms.

All casinos do use for this means a relatively skilled marketing-tool, so called Players – Clubs. The Player gets a personal Players‘ Card that looks like a credit card. He could use this card simply for his game at the Slot-machines he just sticks it into the device or he hands it over at the gambling table to the Croupier, who does the appropriate input in the Computers‘ system. Now the so called „rating“ is to be done. Depending on how high a Player gambles, the more points will be given to him. As an example to simplify it, one who is playing at a Quarter-Slot-machine, is getting after 4 games per 25 Cents each of Bid 1 point accredited, it doesn’t matter whether he is winning or loosing – that is fully irrelevant. Other casinos give other points-valuations, but the principle is everywhere the same. With 1.000 Points, that are cumulated – or 5.000/ 10.000 points, depending on after which criterions are to be noticed – so the Guest gets the appropriate favour up to Gratis-gifts, rooms, and so on. Additionally to this privileges or gifts many Casinos offer already a so called “Cash Back”-program. This is really nothing else than a payment of a part of the already won money, calculated on the performed turnover. Again also here it is considered like who plays a lot, gets also much cash-back rewarded, independently from the fact whether he looses or wins. Cash-Back bases on the turnover, normally this digit quotes on 0.30 % or something more. Who hence has been making 1.000 Dollar turnover at a slot-machine, gets 30-35 Dollars in cash back, independently whether he has won his game or he has lost.

For the Table-games is the calculation quite similar. The guest presents by his start of his game at the Black-Jack his Players’ Club Card, when he is going to be exchanging Chips against Cash at the table. The Croupier registers the exchanging amount or informs the Floorman, who is making appropriate notes or the value directly within the Computers’ system. But it is not decisive for the rating, how much money a Player exchanges, but how high his average Bid is per game. Who exchanges 1.000 Dollar and then plays only with 5 Dollars Bid, that is logically less profitable for a Casino as a Player, who lets himself give Chips for 500 Dollar and plays with a Bet 25. The Rating follows after a certain key, where the following reasoning is applied on.

The average Profit for the Casino = Average Bet x Amount of Plays per Hour x Home-advantage. And after this principle the Casino pours out a part of the THEORETICAL PROFITS to the Player. So it can happen that one wins within a evening 5.000 USD at the Black Jack, and furthermore he is getting also the Suite and all Restaurant visits for free from the House. Welcome to Las Vegas, my Dames and Gents. Who however looks behind this concept, will understand, why the Casinos apply this Marketing-tool. On the one hand they are forced to do so, because of competitors has similar promotions in function, on the other hand such Casinos are such Players’ Clubs binding the Players to a Casino and avoid, that the money is been lost with the competitors. But the real Las Vegas Professionals use such Players Clubs up, by being member everywhere and in every Casino, where they are just about to playing they are presenting the according Players’ Cards.

Through the years the Marketing analysts have tried to sort the distinguished types of Players somehow. Generally it can be said that the whole market is to be subdivided, on the one hand on the local market (aims on the inhabitants of Las Vegas) and on the other hand the Tourism market. While a tourist spends in gambling per Trip to Las Vegas about 500 Dollar, so a native looses maybe some 50 Dollars by his visit. But lets us bethink that a tourist comes maybe 2-3 x a year to Las Vegas whereas the native one goes 1-2 x every week in the Casino. So by that the effective value of a native from Las Vegas is just to be appreciated as high as at least the value of a tourist, if not even higher.

This concept has had at first been recognised by the „Showboat Casino“ in 1954, which opened on high risk and far apart of the Las Vegas Boulevard a Casino that should be operating over Decades successfully. Neither in Downtown nor at the Las Vegas Boulevard, just somewhere else and much more simple and convenient to approach for the natives, that was the principle. Other Casinos followed after the same principle: Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall opened in 1979 and were from that time on al the time enlarged and increased.

The Bingo Palace, a Casino which is situated on the other side of the Interstate 15 and runs today under the name Palace Station, was the first Casino of the meanwhile very successful and also the at the Stock Exchange noted Station Casino Group. The Gold Coast Casino, which should proof to be a further Locals’ favourite, is still today operative and keeps itself brave against the iron competition like the RIO Hotel, which stand directly beside it. 1986 opened by Michael Gaughan, the son of Jacky Gaughan, who where already earlier making a fantastic career for years and with his shares at the Flamingo, El Cortez and Union Plaza to write history. With the never ending boom and permanent growth of this city towards all directions there were always built new Local Casinos. In 1991 the “Santa Fe Casino” opened with an own ice-hall, Boomtown Hotel and R/V Park in 1994, then the Hard Rock Hotel, which came in 1995 to join and of course then the unbelievable jump to the peak of any Locals’ Casinos by the Station Casinos Group with their Casinos‘ Boulder Station, Sunset Station, Texas Station and Green Valley Ranch Station, then the takeover of the Casino in Henderson, The Reserve, a Theme-alike Casino, which should shift the visitor back in the jungle, latterly renamed after the takeover of the Fiesta-Group into the Fiesta Henderson, and then after the takeover by the Station Casinos also counting to belong the Station Group.

All these Casinos are since then extremely successful, as they are skilled and targeted aiming to meet the needs and expectations of the natives and besides appealing also to the tourists.

Las Vegas lays in the Middle of somewhere, in the dessert, where are really not much to see, except one copes to be able to admire. For inhabitants of Las Vegas, who see over years and always again the same, the needs change. A tourist goes to the Las Vegas Boulevard and admires the Hotels and plays at the slot-machines or amuses himself at the Dice-tables. A native in contrary wants just more than to see only water games to admirer or pirates’ battles. A native is searching for VALUE! And absolutely exactly this is offered of these Locals‘ Casinos.

The 2 most important and popular leisure’s time entertainment activities of the natives of Las Vegas are Restaurant-visits and Cinema. Also in order to come up to the Locals’ Casinos expectations in the local market, these both criterions are to be fulfilled. The most successful Casinos in the neighbourhood have hence a Multi-Theatre Cinema at their disposal and also some different restaurants that are offering to the visitor quality for very fair prices. And the Cinema-visitor is sits in air-conditioned rooms with large sized screens and a sound quality, we could in Europe only admire. Who gets before 6 p.m. in a showing, enjoys the special discount price of 5.50 Dollar and who wants to be fed up watching, can attend with one entrance even different films, because within the cinemas there are no further controls and so could one theoretically watch the more films at a chunk and go from one auditorium to the next. The Local’s Market offers also for the tourists additional possibilities. The Pay-Outs at the Slot-machines are higher and the Casinos that lay apart from the Strip offer better Compound-programs. The hotel-room prices are lower, but that does not mean that the rooms are qualitatively of less value. Mostly they are even nicer and in the Hotel/Casino is essentially less stress. On a Saturday in a Casino at the Strip, when all tables are fully overloaded and it is difficult to get a seat in the restaurant, then one is better served, when someone chooses a nice Casino apart from the whole stress. But attention, even the Locals‘ Casinos have meanwhile increased in size and dimensions. The parking areas-parks are distributed round about the hotel. There is an entrance from any possible side, so that the guest could get as fast as possible to approach the Casino.

For this reasons it is advisable for every Las Vegas visitor, to have in any case a hired car, in order to be able to view the city from all sides. On what we like to point out in particular, is the fact that Las Vegas has essentially more to offer than only Las Vegas Boulevard. Digits and statistics proof evidence that a tourist stays generally for the most of the time 3-4 days in Las Vegas. In this time he spends the most of the time either with eating, gambling, Swimming-pool or any other amusements. In 3 days it is sheer not possible to get properly familiar with the city. Our Historical Review end here, but as an additional incentive, quasi as a Bonus, You will find in our conclusive report valuable advises that might be useful for Your stay in Las Vegas. About where You could eat favourable and good meal and how You can get the maximum value for Your holyday-budget. It is important that You have fun in Las Vegas. It should be a holiday in that you really could enjoy yourself and come back home with gut memories – it does not matter whether you have won in this city some money or lost – and you could say to yourself: O.k. I did loose, but basically I have won, an experience that I don’t want to miss in my life any more.

See also:
New reports: Gambling in Las Vegas
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 1)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 2)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 3)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 4)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 5)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 6)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 7)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 8)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 9)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 10)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 11)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 12)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 14 – End)

Walk through Las Vegas