The Cosmopolitan Offering Gamblers $1 Million!

Identity Players Club Booth At Cosmopolitan
Identity Players Club Booth At Cosmopolitan

The Cosmopolitan has been trying a lot of tactics to draw both local and tourist gamblers into their casino. On the surface it doesn’t look like it’s working but their casino revenue has been increasing just about each quarter for the past year.

This $1 million tournament for Identity players club members is their latest tactic to draw playing into the casino a couple of times in the next year. I guess you should consider yourself lucky if you’re invited. Here are the details.

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Here’s Why SLS Las Vegas Opening A Week Early Is A Good Sign For Gamblers

SLS Las Vegas Sportsbook Rendering
SLS Las Vegas Sportsbook Rendering

SLS Las Vegas announced that it will be opening a week early today and that’s a good sign for gamblers. Casino openings are usually filled with hype. I got sucked into that when Downtown Grand opened last year.

There was a lot of over promising from Downtown Grand before they opened. Expectations were high from everyone. They promised more great dining options than anywhere else in Downtown Vegas. Instead they offered a food court with mediocre food, a sub-par cafe and a shave ice stand that may never open.

Outdoor gaming was a great idea but 2 blackjack tables facing a wall with homeless people wandering the street behind is not ideal. Street dice is nothing like they described either. Besides outdoor gaming, Downtown Grand never talked about their gambling. Typically when a business avoids a subject there’s nothing good to say.

Downtown Grand ruined Mob Bar by removing video poker and a great beer selection. In fact, all of their bars have sub-par beer options (see more at Vegas Chatter). Now it’s just where I park when I want to get chicken parm sliders.

Downtown Grand under delivered on just about everything. I don’t hate them for it but Downtown Grand was poised to become my new Downtown Vegas home.

SLS Las Vegas hasn’t promised much that doesn’t seem attainable. Affordable luxury sounds achievable. Many of their restaurants have outlets in LA so researching them on Yelp should give you a general idea of what to expect. SLS Las Vegas has promised one thing that we know little about.

SLS Las Vegas has repeatedly said that the casino would offer gambling that locals would enjoy. This generally means good video poker, ample slot machines and good table game odds.

If SLS Las Vegas can over deliver on construction by finishing earlier than expected perhaps they will over deliver on their casino odds and returns. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking. Maybe I’m on to their strategy. I always bet on myself being right. :)

I’ve been cautiously optimistic about SLS Las Vegas’ casino but I’m throwing caution to the wind and now I’m straight up optimistic.  

These Are American’s Favorite Casino Games

I love a good survey. Today’s question from the American Gaming Association is a simple one.

What’s your favorite casino game?

  • slots 48%
  • blackjack 16%
  • none 14%
  • poker 6%
  • roulette 5%
  • video poker 4%
  • craps 4%
  • sports book 2%
  • baccarat 1%

These results are from casino customers across the country. Since slot machines and video poker are combined in revenue reports this almost makes perfect sense.

The only minor surprise is that poker sneaks in with 6%. If it wasn’t such a popular home game I might be more surprised.

What do you think of these results?

Why Do People Visit Casinos?

I love a good survey. Today’s question from the American Gaming Association is a simple one.

“Why go to a casino?” Here are the results.

  • 26%, primarily to gamble.
  • 24%, primarily for entertainment.
  • 24%, mostly gamble, but also entertainment.
  • 22%, mostly entertainment, but also gamble.

These results are from casino customers across the country so this isn’t much of a surprise. I suspect the answer would be slightly different for people visiting Vegas.

I’ll share more results from this survey throughout the week.

Average Age Of Vegas Visitor Dropping Fast. Here’s How Fast.

Jim Murren, CEO MGM Resorts
Jim Murren

No, you’re not that old. The people around you in Vegas are younger.

In the last five years the average age of a tourist in Las Vegas has declined from 51 years to 46, and it’s still falling. Vegas isn’t what it was 20 years ago and it’s not even what it was 2 years ago.

Out with gambling. In with “things to do“!

Understanding that, you can see why we are spending more of our effort and money on nongaming, on theaters, showrooms, hotel remodels, upgrades and public environments like these open spaces. That’s what consumers are asking for. It’s why we are doing festivals.

This weekend’s Foodie Festival was incredible. Rock in Rio coming to Circus Circus … iHeartRadio is another. These environments are so popular. We’re gaining so much market share hosting these types of events. We know that we can take this model even farther.

If you’ve been following previous incarnations of this blog you’re aware of many of the changes to the Vegas Strip and Downtown Vegas. Many of the changes are great but most don’t include gambling (yet). That’s not the Vegas I’ve come to love but it’s what we have. That’s what new customers want. That’s what new customers get.

Onward and upward, I say! There’s still plenty of awesome in Vegas and I find something new every day.

Changes will continue and MGM Resorts will play a large roll in diversifying the Vegas Strip as much as Downtown Project is diversifying when you find in Downtown Vegas.

Photo: Las Vegas Sun

Vegas And Gambling Podcasts

Podcast Feed Icon
Podcasts

These are most of the podcasts that I listen to. Some are daily, some are weekly and others are whenever they feel like it. This keeps me up to date on baseball (my favorite sport to bet), gambling, Las Vegas and casino news.

Tweet me @MeltzVegas with any podcasts you think should be added.

Batman™ Classic TV Series Slot Machine By Aristocrat

Batman Wonder Wheels Slot Machine
Batman Slot Machine

I’m barely old enough to remember watching the Batman TV show but I remember the BANG! BOOM! POW! This new slot machine uses the Wonder Wheels technology that you’ll find on Wheel of Fortune and Twilight Zone games. The Batman TV show slot machine is from Aristocrat and even though the technology isn’t new it looked like fun when I first saw it at G2E last year.

What do you think…is it worth your $20?

Keith Olbermann Sets The Record Straight About Soccer And Gambling And Drinking

I usually find Keith Olbermann to be an obnoxious blowhard but every now and again he says something that I agree with. Last week he took issue with the New York Times calling soccer a trend in America. Deadspin picks apart the article too. The article is in the fashion section and should have focused on fashion a little more – not the game itself. Regardless, KO is on point here.

Keith Olbermann on soccer: “If you couldn’t drink or gamble there would be more people on the field than in the stands”.

Saint Hoods Is Why I Stopped Betting Sports

Saint Hoods TV Show
Saint Hoods

I caught the first episode of Saint Hoods on Discovery over the weekend and it reminded me why I stopped gambling when I was younger. Saint Hoods is an entertaining show about Boston mobsters and how they make much of their money from people betting on sports. Here’s a snippet of the overview on Saint Hoods from Discovery.

For centuries, Boston has been run by tough neighborhood crews that are in a constant battle for ultimate control and power. On the streets these crews are the law, the keepers of an old world way of life, running Boston’s underworld with an iron fist. Now, for the first time ever, we are on the front lines of this never-ending turf war between Boston’s oldest rival crews of Southie, Roslindale and Dorchester as they use any means necessary to maintain their stranglehold on one of the oldest cities in America.

These powerful crews vie for customers in the lucrative business of sports gambling. However, these businesses extend far beyond just taking bets. The crews claim to offer loans, move merchandise and solve “neighborhood” problems on their own terms.

The show is entertaining and no matter how staged the show may be (by producers or the participants) but it’s a little too real. I was introduced to sports betting by a friend’s older brother when I was growing up. We were all big sports fans. My friend’s brother was a little more into sports than either of us. At first I didn’t realize why he was so into the games at first then I was.

I later learned he had bets on the games we’d be watching. What seemed to be passion and excitement for the games was intoxicating. He seemed to be getting more excitement from just watching the games that I was getting playing the actual games.

I wanted to feel that excitement. Fortunately, I never really felt the rush that my friend’s brother had. I was, and still am, a pragmatic gambler and never bet too much. I saw the highs and lows of betting on sports and dabbled in it because I was a fan. I saw a few too many low points from this friend’s brother and other friend’s I stopped gambling.

Saint Hoods brings me back to those days where the benefits of winning didn’t outweigh the perils of losing. Saint Hoods shows the ugly side of gambling. The gambling is only part of the ugliness (if it’s ugly at all). It’s all the other stuff that comes with the people in charge of gambling.

The gambling that most people do in America isn’t with huge corporations like MGM Resorts or Caesars Entertainment – it’s with people like Tin Man or Pat Nee. TV shows like this put gambling in a bad light because it’s not all mobsters chasing you down because you owe them money. There are businesses – legal and not legal – that offer fair gambling for many people who can control their gambling.

Unfortunately the mainstream sees shows like Saint Hoods and Money Talks and sees the bad side of things. It would be nice if mainstream media showed the good, fun side of gambling but that won’t upset people enough to get ratings. There are plenty of intelligent and compelling people in gambling and it would be nice if that could give the mainstream media the ratings that they desire.