FleaStiff
FleaStiff
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July 7th, 2010 at 3:02:22 PM permalink
The mathematics and business policies are discussed elsewhere in this forum (Under Slot Machines) I'm just establishing this thread so as to indicate that selected slot machines at South Point had their chips changed to create a higher payout rate as a means of coping with the recession.

See Las Vegas Sun 07/06/2010 article for full details.
Nareed
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July 7th, 2010 at 3:11:38 PM permalink
First Hooters has a 3:2 BJ game and now this. I think I'm beginning to see a trend in lower gambling prices (i.e. if interest is the price of a loan, and it is, then house edge is the price of gambling).
You can visit my blog Kathy's Cooking Corner at kathyscookingcorner.blogspot.mx ... .... When someone offers you friendship with one hand and stabs you in the back with the other, you tend to notice the knife a little bit more.
teddys
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July 8th, 2010 at 11:15:00 AM permalink
I assume you didn't post the link to the article because of copyright issues. You can easily find it by googling "South Point Higher Payout," where it is the second result. (Ironically, this thread is the first.)

I think Gaughan is an idiot. Why would you give the patrons a hardly noticeable 1% higher return when they obviously will keep playing anyway, and you are cutting your slot hold by a small fortune? Doesn't he realize how easy it is to shear the sheep by now? I tend to side more with the Lucas guy they quoted in the article who said that increasing payback percentage is not going to effect one single punter's session play. In other words, they won't notice it nor will their bankrolls.

He says he did this without advertising it, but he got a newspaper article out of it. Publicity would be the only reason I can think of for making such a boneheaded move. Gaughan is known as one of the "old-school" casino guys, similar to his father Jackie who used to run the El Cortez.

(Edit: This is partly a devil's advocate response to stimulate discussion. I have great respect for the SP and the way Gaughan gives customers a fair shot with his video poker machines.)
"Dice, verily, are armed with goads and driving-hooks, deceiving and tormenting, causing grievous woe." -Rig Veda 10.34.4
Wizard
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July 8th, 2010 at 11:33:17 AM permalink
First, here is a direct link to the article.

Second, I always applaud when a casino makes rules changes in the player's favor, because you see it happen so seldom. I'm also not as cynical as Tony Lucas (who I like and respect) is about the change. True, a player likely won't feel the difference between a 94% and a 96% game over a short sitting. However, over more time, he will. Everywhere I go I ask people if they gamble. If they say yes, I ask what game. If they say slots, then I'll ask about how they decide where to play. They always state two reasons for their choice of venue, (1) convenient location, and (2) the slots just feel loose.

In my opinion, increasing the theoretical payout will create over time a feeling that the slots are indeed looser, which will generate more repeat business and good word of mouth. It may be a short term negative, but I think a long term positive. At some point a slot can be too loose to maximize profits. However, as a player advocate, I think the South Point deserves some praise.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
Nareed
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July 8th, 2010 at 11:45:43 AM permalink
During business downturns, or other times of excess inventory/low sales, it's common practice to lower prices. Usually this means discounts, promotions (2 for 1, for example), and in some cases straight-out gifts (buy one item and take home this other item we just couldn't sell).

A casino can lower prices two ways: 1) by allowing lower minimum limits, 2) by lowering the house advantage. This refers to gambling only, naturally they can also lower hotel room prices, restaurant prices, etc. They can do promotions, too, like match play, free play, promotional chips, etc. The objective is to increase sales and perhaps revenue.

The housa advantage is the price of gambling. Regardless of your average bet, what determines your long-term loses is the house advantage. This is very similar to the use of interest rates to price loans.

There are many different ways to lower the house edge, depending on the game. In VP all it takes is a better pay table. In BJ there's a plethora of rules to meddle with, from unlimited re-splitting of Aces to the much-discussed triple down promo. In craps you raise the free odds. In slots you change the payout percentage.
You can visit my blog Kathy's Cooking Corner at kathyscookingcorner.blogspot.mx ... .... When someone offers you friendship with one hand and stabs you in the back with the other, you tend to notice the knife a little bit more.
Ayecarumba
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July 8th, 2010 at 11:49:03 AM permalink
Quote: teddys

He says he did this without advertising it, but he got a newspaper article out of it. Publicity would be the only reason I can think of for making such a boneheaded move. Gaughan is known as one of the "old-school" casino guys, similar to his father Jackie who used to run the El Cortez.



After the initial hoopla, I would not be surprised if the chips are quietly changed back to the original 94% returns. Thanks to the "free" publicity, there are plenty of people who now have a positive impression of the South Point as a great slot destination, but unless they ask, will not be told the promotion ended.
America is all about speed. Hot, nasty, bad-ass speed. - Eleanor Roosevelt, 1936
ruascott
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July 8th, 2010 at 12:17:48 PM permalink
I always giggle when I hear people around here talking about casinos having "tight" or "loose" slots. You'll hear them say, 'Blahblah Casino used to pay out all the time, but they don't pay out at all anymore' 'No one in our group won, that place really stinks now', or somehthing along that line. Then you look at the actual gaming numbers and find that the payout % are the same as they always have been.
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
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July 10th, 2010 at 12:51:48 AM permalink
Quote: Ayecarumba

After the initial hoopla, I would not be surprised if the chips are quietly changed back to the original 94% returns. Thanks to the "free" publicity, there are plenty of people who now have a positive impression of the South Point as a great slot destination, but unless they ask, will not be told the promotion ended.

That is always a possibility. Indeed its only about ten percent of the machines that were changed anyway so its really a public relations gesture rather than a profound or fundamental change in their policies. Left unchanged is the VERY tightfisted attitude in the craps pit of 2x when fifty percent of the town is at 5x and a good many are at 10x or even 20x.

I think the casinos should be giving gamblers better deals, but this article is mainly hype and the primary benefit of changing the chips was to get the article published.

All this Loose Slots is marlarkey anyway as crossing the street to get to those "looser" slots probably costs more in shoe leather than is gained in some supposedly greener pasture.
pacomartin
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July 10th, 2010 at 11:48:42 AM permalink
I see that he only changed the penny machines which are already set at complete rip-off. Now they are 1% to 2% higher.

The machines are still much looser at the El Cortez where slot machine hold is set at over 95% (overa ll machines). Better yet don't p;lay slots.
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
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July 10th, 2010 at 12:27:40 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

Better yet don't play slots.

Yes, that is the best advice but it appears to be impractical with many gamblers. They seem to equate gambling as slot machines. Its strange but I guess the casinos love it.

The El Cortez probably is not really in competition with South Point. Geography, demographics, transportation, etc.

Still, I think this is what Vegas should have been doing instead of complaining.

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