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’sMichael 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.
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?
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.
“That’s all I can stands, cuz I can’t stands n’more!” – Popeye
Alright, now you did it. MGM, you even got Popeye all upset with your latest Connecticut propaganda!
When I first started NETimeGambling.com, all I wanted was two things: 1) to supply the latest news and information about New England’s Casinos, and 2) that these seven casinos would behave in a way that would benefit New England Tourism.
After almost five years, I now see it’s all about the almighty dollar, no matter what the economic needs of the residents are. How naive of me!
And how naive are Bridgeport residents to think that MGM’s prime purpose with this casino mumbo-jumbo is the well-being of Bridgeport. Yes, it will help the jobless plight of the city big-time, while bringing in the usual negative culprits, according to State Senator Tony Hwang:
Property owners see their home values decrease.
Communities see increases in crime, traffic, drunk and impaired driving.
Local businesses see people spend money in the casino instead of in the local economy.
Vulnerable residents — seniors, low-income residents, and the addicted — are enticed by the glitz of the casino and often succumb to their lure.
But you can say that about all casinos with vast differences in those negative effects from casino to casino. In Plainville, home to Plainridge Park Casino in Massachusetts, the Plainville police report seeing little of the expected increase due to the new casino.
But the scope of this bombshell dropped on CT must be seen from all sides. Let’s look at the whole picture, shall we?
Casino.org says, “Although Connecticut’s two tribal operators believe it’s part of a very elaborate bluff, an artist’s rendering of the proposed MGM Bridgeport casino, which the gaming operator says will bring 2,000 permanent jobs and a tax revenue stream of $316 million per year, has been created and presented to the state’s power brokers. (Image: MGM Resorts International)
Proposal After Proposal
MGM Resorts International’s announced this week plans for a casino and hotel on the banks of the Yellow Mill River. Three decades ago, the Carpenter Technology plant in Bridgeport’s East End shut its doors, costing 600 jobs. But, MGM has offered plans to build a new casino with 2,000 slot machines, 160 table games, a 700-seat theater, a 300-room hotel, restaurants and retail shops.
This is not a new idea. Large gaming companies, such as Harrah’s (now Caesars), Mirage Resorts (now MGM), Carnival Hotels & Casinos, Circus Circus Enterprises (now part of MGM), Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts and the Mashantucket Pequots all had letters of intent submitted for expanded gambling in 1995, which was defeated in a lop-sided vote in the legislature. The Bridgeport casino Steelpointe Harbor location is the same area where President Donald Trump proposed a casino in the 1990s. So what’s different now?
The New Proposal – Murren’s Ties
MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren, left, with Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim (Dan Haar / The Hartford Courant)
Dan Haar of the Hartford Courant quoted CEO of MGM Resorts International Jim Murren as saying “I know Bridgeport’s very historic, important roots and it’s heartbreaking to see what’s happened over the last 60 years.” Mr. Murren is heartbroken over the dire straits in Bridgeport. Mr. Haar then goes on to explain Murren’s ties to the area, having been “born here.” Be careful, reading this article may cause cavities from all the sweet sentiment involved – MGM Bridgeport Casino Solves A Lot Of Problems
Remember how naive anyone, including Bridgeport and the surrounding residents, might act if someone knocked on the door and promised the answer to all their economic woes. But, if Bridgeport is SO important to MGM and Mr. Murren emotionally, consider this.
The new casino in Springfield Massachusetts that MGM is building gives the city of Springfield a billion-dollar MGM casino, but Bridgeport–with ready access to the New York City, Long Island, and Fairfield/Westchester County markets, is only being offered warrants a half-billion dollar facility. Also, Springfield, as the host city, will receive payments of $25 million a year, and the proposal calls for Bridgeport to be paid only $8 million. If Jim Murren is altruistically concerned for his hometown’s economy, shouldn’t he be “showing them the money”
Location, Location, Location
Supposedly, Bridgeport is prime property to help the city and state out of budget woes, because it is close to the city that never sleeps – NYC. The Big Apple would be the answer CT is looking for concerning the state’s budget deficit and Bridgeport’s jobless residents.
Seen from the site, the P.T. Barnum ferry returns from Long Island, at distance. (Dan Haar / The Hartford Courant)
FYI – An hour away from Bridgeport there’s Empire City in Yonkers, which gets a lot of advertising and seems to be doing quite well. Then there is Resorts World, which is right within the 5 boroughs in Queens near Aqueduct Raceway and JFK airport. Monticello Hotel & Casino, and Resorts World Catskills (which opens in 2018, months before MGM Springfield) are similar distances to Bridgeport as the CT tribal casinos, which will pose a threat to anything MGM builds in Bridgeport.
Empire City Casino, Yonkers, NY
New York’s new casinos north of NYC still struggle to bring in the traffic they anticipated, and they would be more competition for MGM Springfield. Considering the third casino in CT on the CT/MA border, New York State casinos, and Wynn in Boston taking away VIP’s from all of New England’s casinos, one has to see the importance of a MGM property in Bridgeport – not for the betterment of CT residents, but especially for a worried MGM in their northeast expansion.
Speaking of Traffic…
Raise your hands out there if you have driven I-95 from New Haven to the New York State line, vice versa. C’mon, raise ’em up.
That’s right – it’s horrible. For commuters, it’s not just driving to work – it’s a non-contact (or sometimes contact) sport. Well guess how that traffic will be if a casino is built in Bridgeport. Traffic concerns will be exponentially worse – not even considering the 40-mile parking lot it will become on the weekends. MGM has offered no financial help for the already inadequate infrastructure of I-95. An example of what to look forward to is MGM’s beautiful MGM National Harbor around Washing D.C. When it opened, vehicular traffic to the doubled from 90,000 cars, buses and trucks a week to an astounding 180,000, according to Courtland Milloy of the Washington Post. “The casino has a pretty slick traffic plan once you get on the property, but off-site, it’s nothing more than a nightmare,” so his article says. Expect the same on I-95.
The Cart Before the Horse
There’s one little thing in the way of this proposal. Right now it would be illegal to build a casino – and heartless to build the hopes of the people of Bridgeport. James Murren said the casino “can help to turn the economic tide of this state [CT]” The plan requires a change in state law that limits the right to build casinos to the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes, owners of Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. CT Governor Dannel Malloy said “if the state violates the compact with the tribes, it could lose nearly $500 million over the next two years in revenue from the tribes’ two casinos.” The state gets 25 percent of the slot machine revenue from Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun under the compact. It’s difficult to have to decide between the future economic well-fare of Bridgeport, and the future economic revenue for Connecticut, which Bridgeport would receive benefits from.
MGM, the Casino Industry Powerhouse
Finally, let’s not forget MGM International is a business – a very good business. Jim Murren has built MGM to a giant in the casino and entertainment industry. It’s power and financial backing is not to be taken lightly. It’s very difficult to not have a love-hate relationship with MGM International. Here’s how I see it:
They offer some of the greatest Hotels & Casinos in America. (Love it)
They single-handedly started the demise of the tradition free parking on the Las Vegas Parking (Hate it)
They offer some of the best entertainment venues in the country (Love it)
Their lack of concern for gambling rules and limits makes it difficult for low to mid rollers (Hate it)
They will help the city of Springfield rise from it’s ashes, with the watchful eye of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (Love it)
They have said it themselves – MGM is an entertainment company, not a casino company. This does not bode well for cities like Bridgeport looking to raise revenue (Hate it)
MGM does create jobs with their casino/resorts.(Love it)
MGM seems to be a bully when pushing for casinos in states by excessive lobbying, negative television, mail propaganda, and time consuming tactics to get what they want, not necessarily what’s good for those involved. (Hate it)
MGM seems intent on keeping Borgata in Atlantic City the same, as the #1 AC property.(Love it)
MGM Supported anti-casino expansion groups in CT over the proposed 3rd casino in East Windsor, only now, having to face them supporting casino expansion in CT. (Hate it)
The Final Draw
It is still illegal. Massive changes and considerations are involved. MGM wants you to think it’s the only answer. The fact is their answer is a stalling tactic on the never-ending suit with the state of CT – rejected by the courts twice already.
Once upon a time, owner of the New England Patriots, Robert Kraft, was close to moving the Patriots to Hartford. It was a scam to get more out of Massachusetts interests to build Gillette Stadium and keep them there. There are still many that hold a grudge for using CT residents as pawns in his own scheme.
Mr. Murren, please don’t do the same to Connecticut. People will remember, and MGM Springfield may end up getting the brunt of the Nutmeg State’s ire and resentment.
I can’t understand the acceptance of paid parking at casinos in Las Vegas. Sure it’s going to happen sooner or later, but to accept the premise of it so easily, rattles me to the core.
This is not an indictment of MGM, even though it has a middle school tone to say “well, they started it!” To accept it’s happening is inevitable, but to compare the casino industry to all other forms of entertainment is false. Let’s visit the rationale for free parking.
On the Strip, it’s paid parking at all MGM, Caesars properties, as well as Cosmopolitan. Atlantic City has had paid parking for years, but at $5 and free pass for next garage.
WELL, EVERYBODY ELSE DOES IT!
If you visit other entertainment venues – stadiums, concerts, amusement parks – parking is paid for, and many times at a high price. So why not when you visit a casino? This is what the mayors of major cities, owners of professional sports and now casino operators are citing for reason that a tradition of free parking at casinos should change.
According to the annual Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority poll, in 2016, the average bankroll for a 3 1/2 day trip is barely over $600, or $200 per day. According to one Strip operator, staying at a mid-level casino/resort will cost about $20 per day of your stay. That is 10% of the average bankroll spent on parking at the hotel you are staying at! Most hotels have free parking when you stay in them, don’t they?
WHY IS CASINO PAID PARKING DIFFERENT?
When you pay for the parking at these venues, those behind the entertainment give you exactly what you paid for. But a casino’s entertainment (gambling) involves the “House Edge.” Remember the house edge? It refers to the fact that when you enter the casino, visitors who gamble are already losing money for their visit, the question is how much.
Simple House Edge
When you go to a concert in a major city, usually the paid parking is taken care of by a different entity other than the entertainment itself, not those supplying the entertainment. But check out this scenario:
How would you feel if after paying for parking, paying for food, paying for drink (yes that’s coming to a casino near you also, my friends) that you sat down only to realize that the ticket you paid for might not be for the entire show and encore! At any given time with your $50 ticket, an usher would come over and ask for more money (added bankroll) or you were done watching this show. Would you buy that ticket knowing ahead of time you had a chance of only seeing 75-80% of the show (penny slots), 90-98% of the show (video poker, table games) or missing the last song & encore?
That’s the difference. Free parking, as well as free drinks, was part of the balance for gamblers dealing with the house edge. Remember, the second you enter a casino, YOU ARE AT A DISADVANTAGE!
It’s not enough that the house advantage continues to bite at the ankles of the casino’s patrons, casinos are using more tactics to nickel and dime us to our bankroll’s quicker death – 6/5 Blackjack, three zero roulette, carnival games with high house advantage, diminishing video poker pay tables, lower slot payouts, less free odds in craps – WHEN WILL IT STOP?
JUST TAKE UBER OR LYFT
Taxi line at Las Vegas McCarran Airport to take you….wherever.
When I visit Las Vegas, I rent a car. Many people do. For over twenty years, I have navigated my way around the Strip, I-15, and around the surrounding communities like Summerlain, Henderson, and North Las Vegas. For $200 I get a car for 5 days, I get control of my life and control of what casino to visit – and how long. Go ahead, wait for your ride-share, pay twice – or even thrice a day that I do and tell me it doesn’t come close to the same price for the week. One taxi ride is the cost of one day rental for me – and I don’t have to depend on a smelly car and high prices to take me where I want to go.
But paid parking? Another attempt to keep you there, to pay for your…..well everything……and entertain yourself gambling at the house edge. The longer you stay, the longer the house edge works against you, the more your pay for parking, and the more you kid yourselves that “it’s OK, everyone else is doing it. It’s the price you pay for entertainment.” Hey, Mr. Oblivious, go read above in this post about HOUSE EDGE!
CASINO INDUSTRY RATIONALE
Finally, I will end with an explanation of paid parking by a well-known casino……. I mean resort…….giant who happens to own casinos across America. If you figure out who it is, please keep in mind the rest of the casino industry is looking to follow suit. And I’m not “lion.”
Parking at Cosmopolitan, or is it MGM? Caesars?
“At (fill in the name), our goal is to provide convenient, safe and secure parking for all of our guests. We are investing in new parking technologies that create a better parking experience for visitors to any of our Las Vegas resorts. These investments will ensure that our facilities are bright, clean and easier to navigate than ever before. Whether you are visiting for a few hours or for a few days, parking at any of our (fill in the destination) resorts should be easy and convenient for all.”
With a show of hands, how many of you feel that all the money collected in parking at America’s casinos is being collected with the casino “guest” in mind? Raise your hands nice and high……..