Scott Roeben of Vital Vegas
Scott Roeben of Vital Vegas

The Casino Industry is full of characters – personalities as wild, as fun, and as polarizing as the entertainment industry it runs with.  Besides the provocative stories and fascinating insight into the industry claims our recreational time and money, many of those colorful “characters” have compelling information that helps our understanding and eventually our success in our casino visits.

download (2)Our post today comes right out of “Vital Vegas,” a website whose reason for existence is “….to give you the essential news and information you need to get the most from your next Las Vegas visit, all with a slightly skewed, and often highly-intoxicated, perspective.”  However, many posts are true of casinos all over the country – which is why this post is shared today.  (Please forgive the NETG asides to his aleady excellent article.)

I must thank Scott Roeben, of VitalVegas, for his permission copy this post.  It covers myths about casinos – general, outdated myths put in perspective only in a way Scott can do.  It’s colorful, it’s humorous, and it’s informative.  Think how it relates to our seven casinos here in New England and comment back to us.  Or, send a note to Scott at scott@vitalvegas.com.  More about Scott, his website, and his podcast (yes, the man does it all) after his guest post.  Here’s Scott…….

10 Ways Thrillist Got Casinos, and Las Vegas, Wrong

We make no apologies for the fact this blog loves it some “listicles” (a catch-all for “information presented in list form”), and we also love a site that frequently publishes them, Thrillist.[a eat, drink and travel website]

Recently, though, Thrillist was responsible for a story we simply can’t let stand.

The piece is called “10 Sneaky Ways Las Vegas Casinos Take Your Money.” The article rehashes lots of outdated Las Vegas myths, jumps to lots of erroneous conclusions and states a number of falsehoods as truth, so we figured it would be fun to lend our two cents to the conversation. If you don’t already live by the credo, “Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet,” now might be a good time to start.

1. Casinos are Windowless Traps – Right up front, Thrillist asserts “casinos are windowless traps.” We call bull.  Many newer casinos have windows and natural light. The extent to which this assertion is misguided can be easily illustrated by the fact casino companies are now building entire venues outside. Those include the multi-million dollar Linq promenade and The Park, between Monte Carlo and New York-New York……because it’s all outside.

Foxwoods open ceiling in the Grand Pequot casino. It also included to areas with windows until boarded up for Tanger Outlets addition.
NETG Addition – Foxwoods open ceiling in the Grand Pequot casino. It also included to areas with windows until boarded up for Tanger Outlets addition.

The article also asks, “Where is the nearest exit?” Seriously? There are signs for exits everywhere. Fire and safety regulations require casinos to post exit signs everywhere. Being sneaky about exits simply wouldn’t be tolerated in casinos.

Although these tidbits make for a colorful conspiracy theory, they’re simply not true upon further scrutiny.

2. Casinos Don’t Have Clocks – The Thrillist article asks, “What time of day is it?” We say it’s time to get a clue about Las Vegas and the modern world.  While you can’t often find clocks inside a casino, why would you need one? Just about every person in a casino has a smartphone on them that shows the time!  Whether the trope about clocks is true or false, why would it matter if casinos provide clocks? Let’s put this old saw to rest, already. (NETG – So true, besides, most millennials can’t read a clock if it’s not digital!)

3. Casino Cages Are Hard to Find – The Thrillist article posits, as fact, casino cages are difficult to find. “It always seems that the casino cage is hard to find, requiring a walk deep into the casino—past many other games and temptations.”

Riviera cashier cage
Placement of casino cages has more to do with structural demands and security than anything nefarious.

The hooey is strong with this one.  There’s nothing sinister going on with the placement of casino cages. The location of cages is based upon security concerns, and signage for cages is everywhere. Today’s casinos are all about customer service. Annoy a customer by hiding a cage and they won’t be back. Also, many casinos have players club desks at the cage, so why would they want to deter players from signing up?  (NETG asaide – As an example, Mohegan Sun has closed a few cashier cages, changed them to Harvest Moon & Lodge bars, with no complaint heard.  However, because of numbers of new guests daily, they have expanded their players club desks.)

In addition, most people playing in casinos are doing so at slot machines. Those machines spit out TITO (ticket-in, ticket-out) vouchers that can be redeemed at self-serve kiosks, more numerous than ever. (NETG – The need for cashiers greatly diminished because of TITO.  No need to bring big buckets of coins to cash in! Nailed it, Scott)

4. Casino Cages Are Intentionally Understaffed – The Thrillist story continues, “And once you find it, often there is a line with only one person there to service those who want to trade their chips in for cash.”  We have personally been to every casino in Las Vegas, for a time period spanning more than a decade, and we have never been to a casino cage with one attendant.  Again, slow service doesn’t benefit a casino. We presume there are also regulatory and security requirements about someone being left along with millions of dollars in cash. If hogwash and hokum had a bastard child, it would be this.

5. Wild Casino Carpets “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize” – We’ve heard this ridiculous theory for years now, and it’s never been true. We’re very familiar with the concept of “unpleasant design,” a concept covered masterfully in a recent episode of the exceptional 99% Invisible podcast. (Many Las Vegas casinos use sharp and pointed design elements on their outdoor features to keep vagrants from sitting or sleeping at their venue, for example.)

Mermaids carpet
Las Vegas fans love casino carpet, even if it looks it was designed by someone with severe head trauma.

But casino carpets aren’t that.  The reason casino carpets are colorful, and have distinctive design details, is to disguise stains. Casino carpets get a lot of traffic, and much of that traffic is drunk and carrying liquor. Spills are frequent, and busy carpeting helps camouflage spills and stains. As usual, practicality wins over conspiracy.

 

(Check NETG’s post “Name That Casino Rug” to check out similar rug patterns in New England Casinos)

Aahhhh – time out & let that all digest for now.  Our guest post from Scott Roeben continues tomorrow!  Part 2 – don’t miss it!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  I first heard Scott when I first started listening to Las Vegas Podcasts. He often would call in to “Five Hundy by Midnight,” the premier Vegas Podcast. He still appears on 360Vegas Podcast, and has his own VitalVegas podcast available for subscription from iTunes.  His bio includes:

  • Contributor to LasVegas.com.
  • Wrote the blog for Caesars Entertainment. The blog was named the “Best Blog” in the country in PR Daily’s 2012 Digital PR and Social Media Awards.
  • Named the most valuable blogger/blog in Las Vegas in 2011 by CBS Las Vegas
  • Editor’s choice for Best Blog in the Trippies Awards in 2010.
  • We were recently honored to be named “Best Blog” in the 2013 Las Vegas Digital Media Awards, presented by the Las Vegas Interactive Marketing Association.
  • We were also named the “Best Las Vegas Blog” in the 2014 Trippies Awards, hosted by VegasTripping.com.
  • As of March 3, 2014, our day job is that of Interactive Marketing Manager for the Fremont Street Experience. Fremont Street Experience serves as the marketing umbrella for a group of casinos including The D Las Vegas, Fremont, California, Main Street, Four Queens, Binion’s, Golden Gate and Golden Nugget.

 

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