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.

Conclusion

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.

Binbin

 

Recreational Gambling and Acceptance

Acceptance is the key to your gambling woes. As we say at NETimeGambling, “Embrace the math, not the myth.”

Many recreational gamblers use exaggerated statements or claims that are meant to be taken literally by the listener.  Aside from the nonsensical myths and mathematically proven superstitions that permeate the gambler-sphere, three sayings are often heard – I always win, I always lose, and the casino is paying out today. Let’s take a look at the truth behind these three sayings.

Who wins and who loses

Let’s first look at all those casino payouts.  I swear that I have no idea how these properties stay afloat. Signs exclaiming “millions of dollars paid out!” – implying that players at “Best World Casino” can expect to be winners.  The numbers of the daily payout keep scrolling higher and higher. How could you not choose to play at “Best World Casino?” (Just once, I’d like to see another running total next to it showing the money being made by the casino in real time) One CT casino is always announcing “another jackpot winner.” No specifics, but another jackpot winner. 

The math insists the casino is the big winner. Al Moe, in his article How Casinos Make Money: The Handle, House Edge & More, explains that “Casinos make a profit by offering games of chance where the average payouts are lower than the income produced by the overall wagers.”  With so many bells, whistles & lights showing other guest wins on your walk around the casino floor, it makes sense that you can win if they can. And everybody knows you can’t win if you don’t play, right?

Embrace the math – and the math says the Casino Industry is in the business of making money. You should expect to leave a winner 20% of the time or less.

Now, what about Willy & Whinny, the luckiest people on the planet – you know, those people who say they win all the time?. LOL!

I hear that so much that I’m surprised casinos are still in business.  Usually I hear it from a third party – “My wife never loses at slots – it’s uncanny.” Or  “My brother-in-law told me his cousin’s sister’s mom always wins at blackjack.”

The math tells me to not believe it.  Sure, there are lucky sessions, and lucky people, but even playing a $5 slot machine at an approximate house advantage of 95% is going to end up biting you in the butt in the long run. The fact is it is getting more difficult to win – lower VP pay tables, confusing bonus slots with higher volatility, and new table games without knowledge of correct strategies all lead to the road to ruin.  So how can there be so many winners?

And then there’s unhappy Harry (or Harriet) – those recreational gamblers who are so annoyed that they never win.  What they don’t realize is that at times they might get ahead, they continue playing. They continue to play – unhappily losing and playing  forcing themselves to live their self-fulfilled prophecy. Much revolves around how many gamblers love to whine and complain. But gambling addiction is a huge concern if the whining turns into more playing beyond one’s means and bankroll. 

What The Research Suggests

Mark Maremont and Alexandra Berzon at the Wall Street Journal analyzed new data that shows that on any given day, the chances of emerging a winner aren’t too bad—the gamblers won money on 30% of the days they wagered. But continuing to gamble is a bad bet. Just 11% of players ended up in the black over the full period, and most of those pocketed less than $150.

This particular study, they said, used 4,222 casino customers of different levels of play. It showed that just 2.8%—or 119 big losers—provided half of the casino’s take, and 10.7% provided 80% of the take. Such revenue concentration long has been quietly acknowledged in the casino industry because it does show that the casino industry takes advantage of high-end addictive gamblers. But that’s a topic for another time.

The fact is, if you want to leave a winner, you need to leave after you win. Sounds obvious? Yes! But, although gamblers know the house has an edge, the average person doesn’t understand that casino games are nibbling machines, and the more nibbles you have, the bigger your losses. The recreational gambler should accept the following:

1) The Casino Industry is in the business of making money. I should expect to leave a winner 20% of the time or less.

2) Bankroll should be determined before a casino visit. Only take what you can afford.  The money you win is not “house money” – it’s YOUR money. try leaving when ahead.

3) Don’t believe in absolutes. No one always wins or always loses.  But everyone can enjoy gambling on their own terms.

4) Gambling is recreation. Recreation should bring joy, but only if you accept the basic realities of the casino’s take. If Gambling doesn’t make you happy – find another recreational activity.  Life’s too short – and gambling can be TOO expensive!

That’s all for now.

Binbin

12 New Year Resolutions for All Gamblers

new-years-resolutionDo people really make resolutions and stick to them? C’mon now – really?

We make resolutions on January 1st with all good intentions. We really do! They represent hope – change for the better – improvement. Whether we follow them or not, they represent what we think are important changes to make as individuals and as a society.

So resolutions are good, right? But making too many is fodder for disaster!  Suggestion: better to pick one or two that are best for you, then, work on them for the year.

Here are twelve gambling resolutions for the new year, courtesy of the Casino Answer Man, – John Grochowski. Please note John’s acknowledgements at the end of his article.

Thank you again, John.

GAMBLING NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS:

Bankroll1) I will stay within my Bankroll!

Know what you can spend.  If you have a winning session, great! If not, stick to your limit. If losses approach the amount you’re willing to spend, slow down. Take a timeout, get a snack – people watch! If you hit your limit, it’s time to stop

2) I won’t bother people near me – I will respect other players space and focus.

Instead of bothering others, I will do my own homework and learn the games myself. This includes not being a pain in the #$% to the dealer and wait staff. Remember to keep your advice to yourself, unless someone asks.

3) I will learn the games before I play:

A little homework goes a long way in helping to cut the odds against you at casino games. Learn basic strategy in blackjack and for each video poker game you play. Know the rules and best bets in craps. No matter your game of choice, buy a good book and read about the best methods of play.  If you have to ask a stranger about the game or machine, chances are you shouldn’t be gambling.

4) I will keep part of my winnings:

Your winnings are just that YOUR WINNINGS. It isn’t “their money.” As soon as you’ve won it, it’s yours, and you don’t have to give it back. On any sizable win, put at least half of it away. You can buy yourself a treat, go out for an evening on the town, put a little away for the kids’ or grand-kids’ educations, pay bills — whatever you want. Even better, keep part of your winnings for your next session.

They Represent Real money! Treat these chips as such.

They Represent Real money! Treat chips as such.

5) I will keep track of my gambling.

Keeping track of stats such as time spent, casinos visited, promotions used, money won/lost, etc…will force you to look at your gaming experiences. Patterns of losing play, or machines played, may indicate that changes are needed.

6) I will play only with money I can afford to lose:

When the losses come, make sure you don’t have money earmarked for food, clothing, school, the rent or mortgage on the line. Play with money budgeted for entertainment, not for life’s necessities.

Does money just seem to be floating away?

7) I will never chase losses:

What’s worse than losing money? Losing even more in a desperate attempt to win it back. You’re never “due” to win, and wins and losses don’t have to even out in the time we play. A losing streak means it’s time to ease back or quit, not bet more.

8) I will never use credit card cash advances for gambling money:

Think the house edge is high on some games? Try comparing it to credit card interest rates. The house edge added to interest on borrowed money and ATM fees — that’s a tough combination to overcome.  Bring your cash, or if your a big player, get your marker from the casino.  Either way, hide those credit cards and ATM card in your car, or don’t bring them (locals.)

alcohol-gambling9) I will go easy on the alcohol:

If you want to have a drink while you play, that’s your business. You don’t want your judgment impaired with money on the line. Have a good time, but keep a clear head, too.

10) I will keep perspective and play for fun:

Keep perspective and play for fun. Gambling in a casino is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Only a handful of blackjack and video poker players have the skill, discipline and bankroll to enable them to make money in the long run. Most of us will lose more than we win at any game. Most players are best off to treat losses as the price of admission for a day’s entertainment. Casino gambling is a form of entertainment, a way to have a good time. On those days when we take a little extra cash home, so much the better. But even a losing day can be fun if you keep your expectations realistic. Remember, it’s not about luck, or casino conspiracies – it’s all about math + science = house edge.

11) I will pay attention to my TITO Tickets and my belongings in the casino.

 Be careful with your money. There are people out there who look to take other players money, TITO vouchers (TITO = Ticket In, Ticket Out) purses and more. That’s their job! Be careful out there and be aware of those around you.

Players Club

12) I will be more aware of my Rewards Account. 

Remember, all rewards clubs have different rules. 1 point in one club equals $1, but other clubs have 100 points equaling $1. Take advantage of Players Club promotions – especially 2X & 3X (or more) points days. Be aware of when your points expire.

I’m sure there are more. Whatever your resolutions may be, I hope you keep them as long as possible. I hope your New year is a prosperous one – make 2017 the best gaming experience yet. Get that royal!


That’s all for now.

Binbin