Recreational Gambling, ADT and ITV

Recreational gambling has never been accepted as it is today.  With lotteries and sports betting available, and a local casino so close to so many Americans, gambling has never been so popular.  We know about casinos and your ADT, but what’s ITV you ask? Read on….

TravelZork’s Michael Trager recently wrote an article “Why Vegas Casino Loyalty Is Broken” looked at what is happening in Las Vegas with casino rewards and casino fees. Previously, in his TwitPic of the Week Monologue (360 Vegas Podcast Episode #282) Mark Wojtowic eloquently refered to it as well. Both inspired me to consider the following question, “what is the casino industry missing in offering a better recreational gambling experience?”

What motivates our recreational Gambling experience?

Intrinsic motivation refers to behavior that is driven by internal rewards. In other words, the motivation to engage in a behavior arises from within the individual because it is naturally satisfying to you. This contrasts with extrinsic motivation, which involves engaging in a behavior in order to earn external rewards.

External rewards in casinos would include offers from Rewards Clubs such as comped dining, entertainment and free slotplay. Also included would be those things that appeal to your senses, such as the slot machine’s themes, bells and whistles, chair comfort, casino design, and even the scent of casino air.

Recreational gambling offers lots of extrinsic rewards, but the gaming industry has forgotten, or chose to disregard, the most important part – The chance winning and the time spent in the chase. In other words, the intrinsic incentive of fun in recreational gambling.

Average Daily Theoretical and Intrinsic Motivation

Your ADT (Average Daily Theoretical) is how the casino measures your worth, considering how much you play, the denomination of your play, and the length of time you played in a day. I suggest I t’s time we, the casino guest, measure the casino’s worth by developing an IVT (Intrinsic Theoretical Value). It would be a measure over time of bankroll length, gaming rules and rewards club comparisons.

Seriously, an ITV sounds crazy, but, it could work. By logging casino visits and comparing how your bankroll lasts, gaming rules and your awarded comps  “over time,” we might be able to compare casino value in a vaguely measurable way. Think how cool it would be to visit a casino on the basis of their “ITV.”

With lower slots odds, 6:5 Blackjack, automatic shuffle machines, less odds at the Craps table, (and don’t get me started on unplayable video poker), they have taken away the our intrinsic motivation. Most of us wouldn’t mind a decrease in “bells and whistles” if it meant an increase in the hope of winning and the length of time our bankroll would last. The ever-present greed in the gambling industry is causing a feeling  of “why bother?” This is your recreational gambling ITV taking a hit.

las Vegas data misunderstood?

Las Vegas

Resort Fees, Low Gambling Value Increses in Las Vegas & the rest of the U.S.

In Las Vegas, gambling CEO’s seem puzzled by the dip in gambling revenue, even though most months have a higher visitor stat. One main reason is that the total gambling bankroll is shackled by parking fees, resort fees, CSN fees, higher food and drink prices, and less player comps.  Add a bigger house edge with game rules and pay out percentages like 6:5 BJ and 7/5 video poker and “why bother?” That response is an internal feeling of hopelessness in the experience of gambling, a decreased ITV.

Casino Rewards Clubs are also squeezing the fun out of the experience.  Cut backs in comps and rewards, such as in CET’s Total Rewards and Boyd’s B Connected, are changing where we gamble. Shortened periods for accruing rewards points, and the tightening of casino rewards programs are making harder to rise in tier level and hold on to the points earned.


Casino guests could be made to feel special and appreciated with greater hospitality, gambling options, and less “nickel & dining.” CEO’s wouldn’t need to be looking for skill-based games, stadium gaming and sports betting as THE panacea for their misappropriated understanding of getting guests of all ages through the doors.

It’s really so simple.  If I feel good on the inside about my gambling experience lasting longer and potentially better financially, I will visit more, stay longer, and take in more amenities the property has to offer.



Don’t Let Casino Trickery Turn You Into an Irresponsible Player

Oh, those who think that casinos should run their business and still let everyone win – and still pay the bills! Human beings are becoming so entitled. If you ask casino patrons on a bad streak, they will say the casino is up to something – they aren’t winning – and it’s the casino’s fault.

Listen, casino gambling is a recreational activity, with the vast majority of games offered having a skewed advantage to the house – we all know it, we just sit at that slot machine, riding that trip down the river of denial.

An article by Dr. Harrigan, the lead researcher and contact person for the University of Waterloo Problem Gambling Research Team. His primary research interest is in gambling addictions with a focus on why so many slot machine gamblers become addicted. In his article, he deals with many factors that the “Casino Industry” is basically trying to make addicts out of all of us – real, concerning, and a serious topic for potentially addictive gamblers.

So, how do casinos entice the individual gambler into gambling more? One way, to reference Dr. Harrigan’s article, is that the casino is not truthful about how much the slot machine pays. I’ve got news for you – hold on to your hat – that’s why it’s called “gambling!”

Big Win – Everytime?

Dr. Harrigan’s article says “…..on modern slot machines, half of ‘wins’ are actually net losses. An example would be a $1 bet with a 30¢ payoff. This is a loss of 70¢, but the machine shows bright graphics and makes sounds announcing a win. Researchers call these events Losses Disguised as Wins (LDWs) and have clearly shown that players experience these as actual wins, giving the players the (incorrect) positive feelings that they are winning.”

No kidding. The invention of video slots gave the impression of lots of small hits instead of waiting longer for bigger hits in reels. Bonuses also play in this game – individual hits can be small more often due to the chance and volatility of hitting a bigger bonus. We all wait to hit THE BIG ONE! Lotteries, the worst odds of all, wouldn’t be so popular – but we want the chance to hit the BIG ONE! In the longer run, the real problem is that the payout percentage continues to be lower throughout the country. Why? Because as a culture, we still intend on being constantly entertained, so it doesn’t matter to most players. We know the games pay less – but we like the fun, so we play them anyway. Why would so many people settle for 6/5 blackjack? or 6/5 JOB Video poker? Or Keno?

Caveman Keno

Doesn’t the responsibility on which games to gamble on rest on the shoulders of the gambler? YES!

Shouldn’t gamblers that play often be responsible enough to KNOW the best games, best strategies, and the pitfalls of high casino-advantage games? YES

So, be aware of the “tricks” (or maybe they are just good business practice) and take responsibility for your gaming. If it’s not fun anymore, contact GA, tell the casino to not allow your entrance (which casinos do to help addicted gamblers any time you feel you can’t control staying away) and seek help.

It’s not a black and white situation. It is neither solely the casino’s fault or the addict’s – it’s a gray area, more complex than any single blog could summarize.

So, be careful, be smart, be knowledgeable, and go to the casino with a money management plan for your visit every single time. This way you limit the “trickery” of those casinos, and also help to either leave with money, or at least lengthen your bankroll’s life.

Remember – Of all things, if you can’t control your gambling, seek help.  

That’s all for now.


Is Video Poker Advantage Play Gone? – The NETG Monday Link



Many of us play video poker on some level of expertise, and most of us play for the fun of it.  But, years ago it was still a game that could be beat with perfect play.  Today, full pay VP is hard to come by.  Usually if you find a great game, it won’t earn points as the other less favorable machines.

Today’s link is a great article by NETG friend  

His bio reads “Robert is a veteran writer and analyst for the gambling industry, with a particular focus on the emergent US online gambling market. An avid poker and gambling enthusiast, Robert offers unique perspectives from both the vantage point of the player and industry professional, and is fit to cover a broad spectrum of topics.”

Always with an entertaining opinion, here is Robert with: