Las Vegas visitor numbers are up for the 9’th straight month, but gambling revenue keeps falling. Players aren’t stupid: When a machine (or a 6-5 blackjack table) can suck down $40 before you ever feel like you got going, you start to think about spending it on Las Vegas shows, tours, and restaurants. At least you know what you’ll be getting in return for your dollar!
One hotel owner is taking things back to “old school Las Vegas”: South Point owner Michael Gaughan has been loosening his slot machines and running some intense drink specials. (Wow… people who drink will gamble, and people who will drink more will gamble more… a concept seemingly lost on present-day Las Vegas). Gaughan realizes that he’s going to get that money you stick in the machine. Does it matter to him if it takes him 60 minutes or 90 minutes to get it from you? No… because he’s going to get it. Casinos were not built on winners.
So, why not let you play a while on that same amount of money? Why not let you have fun and get some bang for your buck, just like you’d do spending money on a movie or anything else? How about letting you win once in a while, so you have good memories and want to come back!
For the past couple of Fridays, Gaughan has also been offering $2 drinks — ANY DRINK –all day long. And over this coming weekend (as I write this, July 16 and 17, 2010), he’s offering $2 drinks from noon to midnight. OK… so he’s going to make very little money on booze (and barely break even on top shelf stuff). So what? He’s got you in the casino. What are you going to be doing here, reading a good book? Hell no… you are going to be gambling! And the more people that gamble, the more money he makes.
Granted, Gaughan isn’t carrying the kind of debt that most of the major Las Vegas properties are carrying (and/or operating out of bankruptcy). And, he’s a very wealthy man who has no one to answer to. He owns the place himself. No stockholders or bankruptcy parties pushing to earn every last nickel.
But let’s hope for Gaughan to succeed. If going back to the loose games and cheap booze that Las Vegas was built on works for him, expect other properties to follow suit.
Unfortunately, you have to go a few minutes out of your way to enjoy the South Point. Their shuttle runs $8 (all day pass – call 702-889-4242 for shuttle info). Perhaps they should make it free so more of you who stay on The Strip would use it. But… the $8 is a drop-in-the-bucket for truly looser slots, the friendliness of a locals casino (a relatively brand new property at that), and if you hit them during one of their $2 drink special times, you’ve paid for the ride with a couple of drinks. (Follow our Access Vegas Twitter feed for drink specials).
If you are looking at how to do better gambling at the table games and slots, we can help you with that as well!
If you’ve been thinking about checking out a local’s Las Vegas property, check out one that is trying to do the right thing for their players and visitors!