Sports Betting In Vegas Becomes More Homogenized

I love sports betting. I write about it pretty often on ECG and I tweet about it even more often.

People throw their virtual hands in the air whenever a company like Harrah’s or MGM Resorts International expands in Vegas and other markets.

Well, that’s happening with my sports betting more and more by the day as Cantor Gaming expands their reach with sports betting on a regular basis.  Tropicana and Cosmopolitan are the two most recent casinos to add Cantor products.

Cantor is apparently getting another excellent “display case” for its growing line of wagering products that now include remote/mobile gaming and In-running Wagering, which are now available at casinos such as the M Resort, the Venetian-Palazzo complex and the Hard Rock Casino.

Cantor also recently negotiated the right to operate a race and sports book at the Tropicana, a casino whose new owners are looking for the customer-pleasing tools with the potential to give them a step up on the competition. Current plans call for the Tropicana book to be open in time for football season.

It’s already difficult to find a point spread advantage in Vegas casinos and Cantor’s expansion can’t help that as they can hit one button and change lines in multiple casinos.  No different than Harrah’s and MGM, respectively.

With that being said, Cantor may bring more good than bad to sports betting.  My first instinct always thinks the worst.

MLife On Hold In Vegas

MGM Resorts M Life Players Club
M Life

Vegas Tripping noted last week that MGM Resorts International was delaying the arrival of, MLife, their new players club in Las Vegas.

The club, which has already been implemented at MGM Grand Detroit, Beau Rivage and Gold Strike Tunica was originally planned to make its way to Las Vegas in the 4th quarter of 2010. As of this week, the M Life website predicts “early 2011” as ball park date for its debut.

Well, that’s lame.  MGM’s forray into mass marketing a la Harrah’s Total Rewards will have to wait.  Postmen across the nation are stoked.

Garth Brooks – A Case of Supply and Demand

I write about the consumer speaking with their dollars if they have a problem with the way they’re being treated.  I’ve walked out of enough businesses to show that I practice what I preach.

Last week Wynn announced that they’re raising, wildly popular, Garth Brooks concert tickets $100 each.

Wynn is jacking up the Garth Brooks tickets by $110 to $253, including taxes and pencil-sharpening fees and whatever else.

These illicited an outpouring of complaints in the blogosphere and twitterspere.  Why wouldn’t Wynn raise ticket prices to the always sold out show?  It’s a simple case of supply and demand.

Sure a $100 raise in price is shocking, but until shows go with empty seats there’s no reason for Wynn to stop increasing prices on the Garth Brooks concert.

If you don’t like the price increase don’t go.  The best way for any business to hear you is for your money not to continue flowing their way.  If you’re very upset, stay away from the Wynn and Encore hotel, casino, restaurants and bars and spread the word to your friends.

For full disclosure I don’t care for Garth Brooks, so this won’t effect any plans I have in the future.

Global Gaming Expo

Next week is the annual Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas.  I first learned about G2E last year.  G2E is like most expos and where most of the gambling companies will be debuting their latest and greatest casino games.

IGT was the first company to announce some of their new games.  Slots in their case.  I look forward to seeing what else is coming out next year.

Numerous new games from pop culture joining the MegaJackpots family include Godzilla, Dirty Dancing, Ghostbusters, and a new addition to the popular Sex and the City family of games.

I’m already bored with the slots that came out this year and I could enjoy Godzilla and Ghostbusters penny slots.

Las Vegas Video Poker Check

I have another trip to Las Vegas coming up next week so I decided to check video poker pay tables on vpFREE for games at the two casinos I’ll be staying.  For this trip I’ll be splitting time between the Mirage and Harrah’s.  I check check other casinos on my iPhone, so I only checked where I’m staying since I play video poker at these the most.

There isn’t much good video poker on the strip so I didn’t expect much.  However, when I checked the Mirage I got less than I ever expected.  There isn’t a machine under $1 that any smart player would recommend playing.  At least they have a good restaurant selection.

Here is the info from vpFREE, which is a must read before any trip to a casino if you play video poker.

Mirage (Last updated June 2010)

99.54% JoB 1-2-3-4-6-9-25-50-800 JoB (FP)
(4)$53/5/10 1 Play Slant bank 2 rows away from hi-limit, next to the table games
$5 1 Play Bar @ Kokomo’s Bar
(8)$5 1 Play Slant between Players Club and Caribe Cafe
(10)$5 1 Play Slant outside high-limit slot room
(1)$5 3/5 Play Slant in high-limit slot room
(1)$5 10 Play Slant in high-limit slot room
(3)$5, $10 3/5 Play Up in high-limit slot room
(1)$5, $10, $25 1 Play MG Slant in high-limit slot room
$5, $10, $25, $1001 Play Bar at the high-limit bar
(2)$25 1 Play Slant in high-limit slot room
(1)$25 3 Play Up in high-limit slot room
(3)$25 3 Play Up in high-limit slot room
(2)$25, $50, $100 1 Play Slant in high-limit slot room
(2)$100 1 Play Slant in high-limit slot room

99.45% BDW 1-1-3-4-4-9-20-40-80-25-200-400-800 BDW (FP)
(1)$5, $10, $25 1 PlayMG Slant in high-limit slot room

99.17% BP 1-2-3-4-5-8-25-40-80-50-800 BP (FP)
(8)$5 1 Play MG Slant between Players Club and Caribe Cafe
(1)$1 1 Play Slant near Players Club
(4)$10 1 Play Prog outside high limit towards atrium
(4)$25 1 Play Prog outside high limit towards atrium

99.11% DB 1-1-3-5-7-9-50-80-160-50-800
(5)$1 1 Play Slant $1 on west side of high-limit area
$10 1 Play MG Bar @ the new high-limit bar area

98.98% DDB 1-1-3-4-6-9-50-80-160-160-400-50-800 DDB (FP)
$10 1 PlayMG Bar @ the new high-limit bar area

98.45% JoB 1-2-3-4-5-9-25-50-800
(8)$5 1 Play Prog Up near Samba Restaurant Continue reading “Las Vegas Video Poker Check”

Station Casinos Offers Veterans Free Buffet on Their Day

Stations Casinos is offering Veterans a free buffet, today, for Veterans Day.

Station Casinos are mostly for the Las Vegas locals so this should fit nicely with their overall marketing scheme. In the event that some Veterans are traveling this weekend they increase their reach a little with a promotion like this.

This is a nice piece of outreach to the people that spent part of their lives protecting and serving this country. Kudo’s to Station!

Step Off…Step Off!

On my last trip to Las Vegas I was yelled at while I skipped a line of about 20 people at Starbucks at Planet Hollywood because I have a Diamond Card.  Judging from the girls at the counter this happens a lot in Vegas.  People don’t like being slighted for people that gamble more.

I used to be shy about this privilege, but after watching others do it with no problem and hating lines I’ve grown out of that shyness and just take what the casinos give me.  It’s a nice perk that I only get a Harrah’s properties so I enjoy it.

The latest Seven Stars Insider posted to a link to an article that talks about why Harrah’s caters so much to their big spenders.

June 2004 relaunch introduced a fourth tier (Seven Stars) to the (Total) rewards program that caters to the 0.15 percent of customers who contribute 12 percent of Harrah’s revenue.

As many know the old saying that 20% of tax payers contribute 80% of the revenue.  This isn’t much of a surprise as that’s the case with many markets.  This is the first time I’ve seen numbers put to gamblers.

I don’t need any further reason to use the “privileges” of my Diamond card, but the next time some jerk cuts the line you’ll understand why.

Photo: Harrahs Blog

By the way, if you’re interested in Harrah’s direct marketing efforts there’s some good information in the source article.

Las Vegas Roundup

As I’ve mentioned I’ve been prepping for a move and haven’t had much time for ECG the past couple weeks.  I wanted to share a few articles that I’ve enjoyed recently just in case anyone missed them.

This roundup is all Las Vegas.  I love Vegas!

Calling All Baby Boomers: Tropicana Wants YOU

There was a good interview with Alex Yemenidjian, CEO of Tropicana in Las Vegas. In the interview he discusses target markets and renovations among other things.  The most interesting thing to me is their desire to focus marketing on baby boomers, who seem to make a large portion of the Las Vegas market.

If a property wants to cater to Gen X and Gen Y, that is the new entertainment. Clearly we want to cater to that market, but not ignore the Baby Boomer, which is 70 percent of the Las Vegas market. Whatever a show is to a Baby Boomer, a nightclub and beach club are to Gen X and Gen Y.

Their take on consumers and marketing is interesting and Yemenidjian seems very honest about how people view Tropicana in this interview.  It seems so much marketing in the past few years has been focused on top tier customers.  I imagine the expectation is that by marketing to the top tier you’ll get those that want to be in that income bracket.

On the surface, this tactic seems to be working, but we’ll see as financial result are released after the end of the year.

Photo: Wikipedia