Nongaming Revenue Las Vegas vs. Atlantic City

It shouldn’t be a surprise that Las Vegas earns more than Atlantic City on things other than gambling.  However, it’s a little shocking – not surprising – to see how much Las Vegas’ percentage of revenue comes from sources outside of gambling versus Atlantic City.

…But Atlantic City still has a long way to go before it can reach Las Vegas’ level, where about 60 percent of revenue comes from nongaming ventures, said Cory Morowitz, of Morowitz Gaming Advisors LLC, in Galloway Township.

Last year, nongaming revenue in Atlantic City was probably less than 10 percent after discounting comped goods, Morowitz said.

“I don’t think we can get to 60 percent,” he added. “We just don’t have the room size that Las Vegas has. Rooms are the biggest driver.”

As I mentioned there’s no surprise that the nongaming revenues are greater in Las Vegas than Atlantic City.  Las Vegas has put a lot of effort into creating those revenue streams for better or worse.

Borgata was the first casino to really put effort into creating nongaming revenues and Harrah’s Resort and Tropicana have followed suit by enhancing their club experiences.  Bally’s is starting down that road by renovating their properties (Claridge and Wild Wild West) and Harrah’s is considering rebranding Showboat.

These are all good steps to separating Atlantic City from the rest of the East Coast casinos that have been popping up over the past few years.

In addition to expanding their club scene I think (actually, I know) that better restaurants and more shows need to follow to grow this revenue stream and separate Atlantic City from the rest of the casinos.

Gwen Stefani - No Doubt - Borgata

Photo: Flickr: woundsarebleeding


Bills Gambling Hall Getting Cleaned Up

Bill’s Gambling Hall & Saloon, formerly Barbary Coast, is getting cleaned up and rebranded by Harrah’s or maybe even another company.

I’m (Robin Leach) hearing exclusively from very reliable sources that the 4.3-acre property is part of a staggering deal with a major nightlife entertainment force, and everything including the 17,200-square-foot casino will get a major overhaul from top to bottom. When the news is officially announced, it will rock the nightlife scene.

Bills/Barbary Coast has never gotten my interest.  In fact, the only time anyone mentions this place is because of Drai’s.  A makeover to fit that crowd might make a lot of sense.  Since there isn’t a hotel component, I can see Bills being changed into a building with multiple clubs and gambling.

**UPDATE: Thanks for the heads up that there are actually hotel rooms at Bill’s.  I’ve never been, but now I know better.


Cosmopolitan Roundup

There has been a lot of excitement with the Cosmopolitan starting their grand opening marketing campaign.  I love what’s going on and instead of multiple posts about it I’ll share what I’ve found online in the past week.

  • Cosmopolitan website launches.  Looks good.  Not much about the casino though.  Vegas Tripping has an opinion.  Of course.
  • Steve Friess from The Strip Podcast (which is awesome) shows why the Cosmo flash site isn’t good for those of us with macs or ipads or iphones.
  • The Cosmo has a flickr page with some nice pictures.
  • West Vegas has a slew of pictures of the Cosmo. The touch ups make some look like paintings, but that’s kind of cool.
  • MSNBC sees the site and reports that reservations are now being taken.  So does the Las Vegas Sun but they have more info.
  • Vegas Tripping looks at the rooms.  NOT into a window view of the toilet.  Way too hip for me.
  • Stiffs and Georges shows that there may be a little doubt that The Cosmo will succeed.  It’s nice to see a different opinion.  It’s too early to tell if this is on point, but I think it may be close.
  • Vegas Chatter also looks at the rooms.  Again no toilet talk.  I had to comment.
  • New pictures of Cosmo pool area at Vegas Today and Tomorrow.
  • Here are some other ECG blogs on the Cosmo.

Photo: Flickr: Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas


Rumor: Mandalay Bay and Las Vegas Hilton For Sale?

Robin Leach has been on fire with somewhat interesting rumors this past week.  One of his quick hits this week is that Mandalay Bay and Las Vegas Hilton may have new owners soon.

I’m hearing that a group of well-heeled moneymen has decided that it’s time to start buying again in Las Vegas, and they have started discussions to bid on Mandalay Bay or the Las Vegas Hilton

There seems to be a few investors looking to get into Las Vegas casinos with properties being available at bottom dollar.  Investor John Paulson has been the most recent money man getting in on the action, purchasing almost 10% of Harrah’s.

This is only rumor and it’s from Robin Leach, so I’m not going spend much thought on what the future may hold for the properties.  I wonder who else is sniffing around.


Jeff Ma Interview

Jeff Ma wrote the awesome book Bringing Down The House with Ben Mezrich.  Looking at him, you may remember his cameo in 21. Besides being a card counter for the MIT blackjack team Jeff has also been a part of fantasy sports (he used to appear on the MLB fantasy podcast) and got into sports in general.

This interview, from tech crunch, touches on his new book in addition to blackjack, sports and movies.  It’s a nice view/listen.  Enjoy.

Buy Bringing Down The House

Buy 21


6-5 Blackjack is “Great” For Tourists!?

I don’t know how this one slipped past me until today, but the headline says it all.

..6-5 games are “great” for tourists..

The exact quote is “The 6-5 games are “great” for tourists getting a feel for blackjack, Rubin says.”  Rubin is “Max Rubin, a casino consultant and gambling book author.”  It’s this attitude that angers people that pay attention to pay tables and such.

There is lots of great fodder in the article for me to spew anger at, but even in context there’s no way anyone can justify that 6/5 blackjack is better for the player than 3/2.

Like all casino games you just look for the slowest bleed and odds to maybe win a little.  6/5 blackjack speeds up the losses.  Animal psyche will run away if it endures too much pain too quickly.  Less people gambling less lead to $1 billion less in blackjack take for the Vegas casinos.

Time for the casinos to slow do the lust for money and get consultants that don’t look down on their core consumers.

This morning Vegas Tripping has an article that touches on a similar topic.  As usual, a good read on VT.


World Series of Poker Registration Up At Least 20%

Registration isn’t over for all events at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) yet, but the total number of entries is already 20% more than last year.

Official statistics from the 41st World Series of Poker currently running at the Rio in Las Vegas indicate that through the first 56 events, there have been 65,647 entries, surpassing last year’s total entries including the main event of 60,875. And this year’s main event registration numbers have yet to be recorded!

I thought interest in casino poker might be slowing last year with the 8% drop in TV ratings.  Maybe, I was wrong.  It can happen.  Maybe people still have dreams of a dollar and a chip.


Seven Stars Insider – July

Here’s the latest edition of Seven Stars Insider.  This is an easy read and an excellent resource for Harrah’s players.  Head over to Seven Stars Insider to sign up for the newsletter.  There is lots of information in this edition, so read on for all the goods.

Seven Stars Insider – July 2010

NOTE: While this newsletter was originally designed exclusively for Seven Stars members, there is useful information for anyone who has a Total Rewards® player’s card and/or plays/stays at a Harrah’s property.  Please feel free to pass this on to your friends.  Back issues of the Seven Stars Insider newsletter are available online at  You will need Adobe Acrobat to view them, but this is a free program available at

Fall Signature Event

The fall Signature Event has been confirmed for September 10-12 at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.  September 10, however, is the last day of Rosh Hashanah, one of the holiest days on the Jewish calendar, and many players are not happy about the scheduling.

Harrah’s Plans Las Vegas Retail, Entertainment Complex

Harrah’s Entertainment plans to develop a retail and entertainment center in a short thoroughfare that runs from the Las Vegas Strip to Audrie Street, between the Flamingo and O’Sheas.  “Project Linq” will include 20 restaurants and bars, and 20 individual retailers along a promenade that leads to a 550-foot observation wheel in the back of the property.  Construction is expected to begin next year.  Here’s a link to a Las Vegas Review-Journal article which appeared July 1.

Cashback Back – Sort Of

It’s now official.  No need to look in your mailbox for those Reel Rewards coupons that replaced the actual cash cashback from Atlantic City casinos.  While you still won’t get cold hard cash, you now will be able to retrieve a coupon through the kiosks.  Simply print the voucher – minimum $5, in increments of $5 – and take it to the cashier.  In the future, the only thing you’ll get in the mail is a postcard telling you how much you’ve earned, and you’ll probably receive at least one last Reel Rewards coupon in the mail for all cashback earned prior to the conversion.  If you have any cashback balances prior to April 6, you can still get the cash up until July 15.  After that, you won’t get the cash, just Reel Rewards coupons available through the kiosks.  All existing cashback offers that were sent through the mail as Reel Rewards coupons will continue to be valid through their expiration date.  Finally, don’t cash out more coupons than you can use during your visit because they expire sometimes within a day or two after you receive them.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I received a survey from Harrah’s asking my thoughts on the “new” – now “old” – cashback program the day after the revised program was announced.  Some department wasted a lot of money, and a lot of our time, by polling us after the decision was made.

[Read more…]


New Blackjack Basic Strategy Calculator

Wizard of Odds just added a new blackjack basic strategy calculator.  You can create your own blackjack strategy cards based on the following variables:

  • Number of Decks
  • Hit on Soft 17
  • Double After Split
  • Surrender
  • Dealer Peek

The number of decks only goes up to 4+, so I’m not sure if this calculator is perfect, but it’s a nice resource to use as reference and more accurate than generic cards.


Did Charles Barkley Lose $100K Gambling For A Few Hours?

Greenbrier Resort opened this past weekend in West Virginia and they threw a star-studded party where they paid some famous people up to $100,000 just to show up.

A mix of sports icons and entertainment stars — Jennifer Garner, Ben Affleck, Jessica Simpson, Brooke Shields, Lionel Richie, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Jane Seymour, Debbie Reynolds, Raquel Welch, Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus — showed up Friday night at the luxury resort in West Virginia.

Celebrities seems to matter to some people.  I’ve met enough to be not be phased by their stardom.  Anyway, one of the celebrities in attendance enjoyed the casino a little too much.

The only real player of the night was Barkley. “Blackjack, roulette, craps — I play it all.” We spotted the basketball great in the high-roller section a little after 11 p.m., sitting next to (Jim) Justice and Shields at a blackjack table with a rack of $50,000 in $500 chips in front of him.

Justice was casually tossing $100 chips in front of Shields. “I can’t play,” he said. “All I can do is help.” He left shortly after, but Barkley wagered until about 2 a.m., rumored to have lost all the money — if it was even his, or part of his appearance fee. Whatever.

Charles Barkley likes to gamble and has never hid that fact.  I actually saw him playing a few years ago at Venetian.  He’s probably the most famous person I’ve seen on the floor gambling with the “common folk.”

What he chooses to do with his money is his call.  I always like to think that the money someone else is playing is their equivalent to mine.  So if someone is gambling a $100 chip I like to think that it’s their equivalent to my $10/$25 chip.  Truthfully, I don’t care what how much other people gamble.  It’s not my business. Enjoy yourself, Chuck.

Copyright © 2017 Marc Meltzer & EDGe Vegas