Here’s a retread, one of my first posts – updated. It was true then, and it’s true now. I just want to reflect on why I like mornings for gambling, or at casinos in general. I can hear Linus singing “Happiness” at the end of the first Peanuts Casino animation, coming soon. “Mornings In Casinos is the Best for Me…..”
serenity in an empty casino😊
First and foremost – There’s nobody there! I’m talking 6:00 am. I mean, to hop to any machine, play a little BJ, hit a whole row of Video Poker – it’s just the best. And the quiet is just surreal. The few people who are there either just got up or are looking for breakfast somewhere – or asleep on a machine!
Beverage service – nothing like black coffee and all the water you want – and not having to wait long to get it.
Smoke – you can just feel the last remnant of it being cleared before the weekend crowds appear. It’s the crispest air you’ll find at a casino (if anyone can refer to casino air as crisp?)
Cleanliness – Machines are wiped down, and there aren’t as many machines to sit down at where there are ashes all over and/or drink glasses not picked up.
If it’s a local casino, I get to to leave before the buses and weekend crowds arrive, and I still have the rest of the day to myself.
Two additions from our friend Mike T. – 1) No machine hoggers, and 2) not a lot of machine slappers…..if any!
Viva Las Vegas in the Morning
It’s also a great time to people watch the few people up. Ah, that walk of shame and the business girls parade after their night shift.
The action is still going, but still not busy.
A healthy walk outside in the morning to start your day. We visit usually in July and August and it gets hot! A walk down Las Vegas Boulevard without mosiers, huskers and time share hawkers is devine in the cool of the morning.
Serenity now? Yes, in the morning. Keep Calm and Gamble in the morning.
So much has happened this past week, I felt a post with related links might be in order. Accordingly, here is a number of news snippets in “New England Casino News You Might Have Missed.”
Plainridge Racing at the Mercy of Mass Legislators
They did it last year, and they’re doing it again. Who? Massachusetts state lawmakers are bringing the horse racing to the brink of extinction once again. According to Colin A. Young in
Plainridge Raceway at Plainridge Casino, Plainville, MA
the Lowell Sun, “If the legal authority for racing and simulcasting is not extended before Thursday, all racing and simulcasting must stop. Subsequently meaning it must be enacted by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Charlie Baker. Plainridge Park Casino, the only remaining host of live horse racing in Massachusetts, is planning to hold races until then.”
Live racing has come under attack in New England in recent years. Unfortunately, Suffolk Downs, the last thoroughbred racing in Massachusetts and New England, closed in July. Maine still has racing at Scarborough and Bangor (connected to Hollywood casino block away) with parimutuel betting. The summer fair season in Maine has horse racing which helps the Maine horse breeding market.
CT Lawmakers announce comprehensive casino/sports betting plan
A bipartisan group of Connecticut lawmakers announced a wide-ranging bill they hope could lead to legalized sports betting. Furthermore, it also hints at the addition of a Bridgeport casino and the completion of the combined tribal venture in East Windsor. The tribes must spend a minimum of $100 million on an entertainment and gambling facility in Bridgeport. Consequently, the tribes will receive authorization to conduct sports wagering at Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun. In addition, sports wagering through mobile applications, online and other locations in the state would be approved. The original tribal compact will stay intact, with 25% slot revenue going to the state from the two current tribal casinos. In addition, the tribes would contribute 10% of their table games revenues generated. Only at both the proposed Bridgeport casino and East Windsor casino would add this to the state’s tourism marketing fund.
Rhode Island Sports Betting is up
Inside the Twin River Casino Sports Book
Rhode Island’s two regulated sports betting operators, Twin River and Tiverton Casino, recorded a combined book revenue of $2.15m in June. Presently, that is a record high for the Ocean state. As a matter of fact, the total sports betting profit for the fiscal year is nearly $6.9 million. Rhode Island became the eighth state to offersports betting in 2018, months after the Supreme Court struck down PASPA.
Mohegan Sun Prepares for sports betting
Mohegan Sun announced signed an agreement with Kambi Group plc to provide online and on-property betting products. The Kambi Sportsbook will be integrated into Mohegan Sun’s iPro gaming platform to power a free-to-play sportsbook. Equally important, it will enable Mohegan Sun guests to familiarize themselves with the Kambi product ahead of a regulated real-money launch. Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment currently has casinos and resorts in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Canada, and Connecticut. At this time, both Pennsylvania and New Jersey already offer real-money legal sports wagering through retail and mobile sportsbooks.
Rhode Island Problems include deal with IGT
IGT Headquarters in Providence, RI
To begin with, the agreement would start in 2023. Through IGT’s $6.4 billion merger with Rhode Island-based GTech Holdings in 2015, the company already controls 84 percent of the slot floors at the Twin River and Tiverton casinos. Scientific Games has 12 percent of the remaining slot space, and Everi Holdings has the other 4 percent. In fact, Governor Raimondo and top lawmakers announced they had reached a tentative deal with IGT to extend its Lottery contract. In exchange, the company will keep 1,100 workers in the state employed. Although this is true, a major concern is a monopoly of gaming machines by IGT. Besides, there would be an absence popular brands found in other casinos across New England and the country by Aristocrat, Konami and IT.
another Blackjack class-action Suit, this time MGM Springfield
According to MassLive, “Blackjack players have filed a class action lawsuit claiming MGM Springfield is paying less than state regulations permit on winning hands at some tables. The claims, including in a lawsuit filed Monday in Hampden Superior Court, echo those made in a similar suit filed recently against Wynn Resorts’ Encore Boston Harbor. Similarly, claims were made concerning Encore Boston Harbor after it opened. However, they were dismissed by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
Wynn Not a Win?
Approaching Encore Boston Harbor, Everett, MA
Encore Boston Harbor has been the most anticipated resort Casino to open in New England since Foxwoods in 1992. Even then, Foxwoods was just at the beginning of its expansion. I even called it the “Jewel” of New England’s Casinos.
Wynn’s new Massachusetts casino, Encore Boston Harbor, has sizable competition, and has significantly fewer amenities than that competition.
Sentiment from early patrons skews negative.
The location won’t be Encore Boston Harbor’s “silver bullet.” It’s not ideal, and it’s unclear how much convenience even matters to New England gamblers.
We are projecting that EBH will fail to meet most revenue estimates, including the projections from Wynn itself.
Although it’s unlikely that Encore Boston Harbor will be a significant catalyst for Wynn stock, we recommend a smaller gaming stock with large exposure to this new resort.
This is a must read as well as the comments if you are interested in New England’s casino expansion.
Finally, Maine’s Casinos Had a Record Year
Officials attend the grand opening of the Oxford Casino Hotel on Route 26 on Nov. 9. The 107-room, four-story hotel is attached to Oxford Casino, which opened in 2012 and is owned by Churchill Downs Inc. (Oxford Casino photo)
Robert F. Bukaty of the AP reported that Maine’s two casinos raked in close to $144 million last year, setting a state gambling record. The recent rise is considered tied to Oxford’s hotel addition and expanded gaming floor. But Milt Champion, executive director of Maine’s gambling control unit, doesn’t expect the windfall to last due to increased competition across the board. Maine is one of 12 states with record casino gambling last year, according to a report from the American Gaming Association released Tuesday. Nationwide, gamblers spent almost $42.7 billion in two dozen states with legal casinos, the association said.
Meanwhile, Maine’s positive path towards sports betting has skidded to an unexpected halt. Gov. Janet Mills decided not to sign the bill that would legalize sports betting in her state due to concerns over expanded gambling. At this point, the bill is going nowhere fast and could stay that way forever.
Service tips are nothing new. Here, in our Ultimate Guide to Casino Tipping, we truly believe good service deserves good tips.
Outside the casino, tipping at the end of a meal is the report card of how your server took care of you. Attentiveness, and friendliness are key factors in my book. Take a taxi, tip at the end. Get help with your bags at the hotel, tip at the end. I soon learned that tipping at the casino is a little different.
As service providers, the majority of their income, up to sixty-six percent, is actually earned by tips and not their base wage. It is the same for casino employees.
Tipping on the casino floor should be approached differently. For example, I tip big with the first drink whatever game I’m playing. Depending on the attention I get, the friendliness I receive and the quality of drinks, further smaller tips continue. Tipping bigger at the beginning of service tends to grease the wheels of service in a casino. This practice also signals your server or bartender that you’re interested in their service, not entitled to it.
Service with a smile.
While their persona should be to treat you well, nothing is a sure thing at the casino. But that initial tip can mean the difference. It can also mean the difference in the quality of your drink. At a video poker bar, a little friendly socializing with the bartender in a good idea. Don’t be a pest! It could mean the difference between middle shelf and a taste of the top shelf. Bartenders who get to know you tend to make your drinks a little heftier, if you know what i mean. Remember, mileage may vary depending upon how busy the casino may be, or what kind of a day the server has had.
My favorite bartenders, Tammy, Steve, and Kay at Play Bar, Foxwoods
I was always the kind of guy that waited to tip the dealer at the end, much like a restaurant. Only, this was more dependent upon what I had won or lost. But, it’s not the dealer’s fault how my bankroll goes. If I don’t realize the house edge, I shouldn’t be there. Again, there is a better approach.
Table game dealers should be friendly, helpful and sometimes even entertaining. That being said, they can often be matter of fact, if not aloof. There could be lots of reasons. I always thought “hey, it’s called the ‘service industry’ for a reason, buddy.” But, just imagine how many Bozos and idiots these people put up with on a daily basis.
Tip ahead?…….well, maybe not all dealers.
Here’s are my suggestions for the recreational table game player based on personal experience and networking with other players:
Greet the dealer, and ask how his/her day has been as you lay (not throw) your money on the table.
When the pit boss comes over, address them the same way as you give him/her your players card.
Tip the dealer during play – better yet play for the dealer. Put a smaller bet down with yours. Many dealers look forward to be part of the action. Now that you and the dealer are a team, watch for a positive reaction. If none, no more play for the dealer. However, I’m yet to see that. If they appreciate it, occasionally repeat, or more depending on your bankroll’s progress.
Dealers at tables such as Pai Gow Poker may really appreciate it. With such a slow game that doesn’t bring a lot of tips their way, dealers may particularly take notice.
Back to that pit boss – remember they were dealers once. When they see you tip, or play for the dealers, pit bosses may bump up your bet-per-play rating. Tipping isn’t automaticaklly included as part of your wager amount, but it could mean a bump up to a higher denomination.
Table Game TIPPING GUIDES
The following are tipping guidelines for table games. It is my opinion that part if the dealer’s service responsibility is providing a good time, or at least a efficient run of the game. I don’t tip “Debbie” or “Donald” Downers. But, as long as the game is being dealt in a professional, pleasant manner, it is appropriate to tip your dealer periodically regardless of whether you’re winning or losing. Besides, having the dealer on your side can certainly help. Many dealers will look out for your bets if you even place a bet for them, including them in the game.
Blackjack – A good rule of thumb and proper tip etiquette is to tip the dealer about one chip worth five dollars during each session. A session is the amount of time that a dealer works the table before their replacement steps in. Some blackjack players set aside as much as ten percent prior to starting gambling.
Craps – Again, like blackjack, it is custom to give the dealer a minimum of one chip worth five dollars during the session that they man the table. A side bet of as much as ten percent can be set aside to compensate the dealer. Craps is a tough game for dealers and takes a special person to follow all the action, especially on a busy table. A “two-way hardway” bet, even at $1 denomination, includes the dealer and is always appreciated. Dealers at the craps table especially will take care of you more if you forget a typical wager, or forgot to pick up a winner. That should weigh in on your tip considerations.
Poker – Tipping etiquette for poker is much like blackjack and craps in that most players give their dealer a minimum of one chip worth five dollars during the session that they deal. Depending on the amount you win, you can give the dealer an extra ten percent but do not tip more than twenty-five dollars.
Roulette – While at the roulette table, the tipping rules are pretty simple. Keep your tip around one chip worth five dollars for each session.
Tipping after a Jackpot
This is a tricky one. You’re never required to tip after a jackpot, but you will look very stingy if, after you hit a nice jackpot, you don’t.
Some players feel a tip is not needed for someone giving your deserved jackpot. Others realize that there is a process they have to follow before that moolah gets into your sweaty little hands. What to do, what to do…?
I’ve heard about the “10% tips after jackpots” rule, but I don’t know many who tip that much. If you tip, only tip the person paying you – the others can divvy it up amongst them. Here are some typical jackpot/tip amounts:
$1250 gets $10 or $5. Some will give $20 off the top.
$1000 gets $5 on a hand pay, and that’s generous. Frankly, it shouldn’t even be a hand pay. I don’t tip at this amount.
$2000 gets $20 or $10
$4000 gets $40
$10,000 up to $20,000 gets $100
If you win more than $20,000 no more than 1-percent.
PROOF AT THE TABLE
Recently I played Pai Gow Poker for a few hours at Foxwoods. Even recreational gamblers can play this game at a higher level denomination due to the number of pushes that occur. I was playing $25 a hand, with a few side bets and often a single $1 bet for the dealer. So, a spread of $25 to $31. As I played, I was friendly. At one point, I even made a mistake in organizing my high & low hands once, which the pit boss and dealer collaborated to allow reorganizing my hand, which I thanked them with a slightly higher dealer tip. Remember, there are a lot of pushes in this game, so a dealer’s bet can be repeated more than BJ or roulette.
When I inquired how I was rated after my session, the pit boss said $50 a hand! Higher than I expected. Coincidence? I say ney, ney.
Take the plunge – tip ahead, be friendly and good things will happen.