billionaireben
billionaireben
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August 7th, 2016 at 9:26:50 AM permalink
Which is more cost effective, driving a car you own or Uber/Lyft/cab (during peak hours to avoid surge fares) for a casino hopping card counter? I'll try for 10 hours a day (that's not hard, but 10 one hour sessions can be challenging) so I'm wondering which is more cost effective.

This example:
A car costs $220 a month plus $150 a month insurance, gas and theoretical repairs. Gas can add up, even without traffic; city driving is getting 19 mpg (30 hwy if I don't go too fast.) Valet parking at casino's that don't have a general parking lot, tips are almost as much as an Uber.

Vs.

Uber (and similar):
It's like 90c a mile plus 15c per minute +3.20, if there is a surge; I'd go with a cab if there is a surge.

Obviously, costs go down if sessions are longer. I had longevity at most places last time I went, but I don't know if I want to use the same camouflage. Uber charges more in Vegas than other places, so it's less desirable; even worse if there are surges often.

For driving, traffic increases gas costs and valet tipping is a factor (what's a good valet tip?) Is there a list of casino's in the greater Las Vegas area and their parking styles? Does Uber surge a lot in Vegas?
MathExtremist
MathExtremist
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August 7th, 2016 at 9:58:03 AM permalink
If you're going to that level of detail in the analysis, I think you also need to factor in taxes and expense deductibility. Have you asked your accountant which of the above costs would be deductible?

Also, consider which is more efficient (not effective) -- if Uber is down, or if there are no drivers around, you're stuck with a cab or you're waiting. That can eat into your playing time, thereby lowering your revenue/hour. Plus, I can't imagine not owning a car in Vegas.

My instinct would be to own your car and deduct the expenses for your job (that job being card counting, assuming you file as a professional), but I don't have the numbers applicable to your specific situation.

And while you're at it, if it's truly about the money as opposed to the lifestyle, I'd consider whether your net after all that effort is still greater than what you could earn at a less peripatetic desk job. Food for thought.
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
RS
RS
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August 7th, 2016 at 10:15:27 AM permalink
I don't know about the OP, but either you own a car or you don't. It's not like you can just buy a car for one month or something like that. So if you already own a car, obviously that's gonna be better, since you're already paying insurance and whatnot. Plus it's way more convenient to be able to drive yourself. Waiting for a cab or uber IMO sucks. Also if you have your car you can have stuff with you -- leave chips in the car if you have some extra, food and snacks perhaps, just random other stuff too, so you're not walking around the casino with your pockets full of random stuff you need but not at that time.

Don't valet, just use self park. Only place it gets weird is downtown, but you can just play like 50 coin in on a machine and get your ticket validated. Strip you can walk the entire (or most) thing without having to drive from one to the other. And off strip properties like stations that are spread out, they all should have free self parking. Only place I remember that doesn't is downtown, but there may be another off strip that may charge for parking.
sabre
sabre
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August 7th, 2016 at 10:18:03 AM permalink
Quote: RS

Only place I remember that doesn't is downtown, but there may be another off strip that may charge for parking.



A huge portion of the strip now charges for parking. I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of the strip charges for parking in the near future.
billionaireben
billionaireben
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August 7th, 2016 at 10:57:07 AM permalink
For downtown, I'd just get there and walk to different places; most of the down town places are within walking distance.

"50 coin in" I don't spend much time with VP, it's okay for comp redemption if you play rated and don't want to stay somewhere and they don't do cash rebates (at the same rate) or promo chips.

(To the comment on taxes), that's a good point; if I was itemizing. Since I use the standard deduction and not forming a corporation, it's not worth it.

I'm in a situation where I may either buy a new car or sell it, depends on some things going on.

Some things are dependent on how much people pay attention to my action, I may have longevity with longer sessions. Last time, MGM was the only one that payed any attention to me; Trop was no issue but nothing playable. No heat at single and double deck games and I only lost 1 session (at MGM). I did get pref shuffled at SD by a middle aged asian woman, but never at DD. A lot of SD has closed down, but there are DD tables as well as shoe games with good pen and LS.

How often is Uber surging?
billryan
billryan
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August 7th, 2016 at 11:23:40 AM permalink
Living in Vegas, or even staying there for an extended period, a car is needed for many other things. Will you use uber to go shopping? Doctors appointments? Banking?Church? Dinners, shows?
I can't imagine uber being cheaper than owning a car.
I bought anew car when I moved here. Between payments,insurance and gas, it's about $500 a month.
That's roughly $17 a day. Pretty sure your plans would run more than that
billionaireben
billionaireben
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August 7th, 2016 at 5:17:32 PM permalink
Billryan: You forget to include tips to valets, what % of casino's is that essential? What % of the time is traffic slow? On the strip, It may be high; outside of that area, not so bad. Repairs? Liability of owning a car? I'm not saying anything for sure, it's a question.

I mainly plan on focusing all my time at casino's in the various regions of vegas (i.e. a few days in DT, some time on and near the strip, east, north etc.) But, outside of the strip and DT, things are often far apart. Having friends to share expenses with is good. If I have a car in Vegas and meet friends that want to go to the same places, we might all chip in $2-5 each place to give to the one driving. It's only gas money in reality.

You are probably right, owning a car is better; and if I have a run of bad luck, I've driven professionally. Escorts pay the best (they have no concept of money, they pay 30-150 for a ride somewhere depending on the circumstances), but it's not always easy to meet new escorts that trust you. On your suggestions of my time uses outside of casinos, the only church I want to go to is when I am very rich; I will found a church to give all my money to with the purpose of searching for my reincarnation to give me back my money!
billryan
billryan
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August 7th, 2016 at 6:35:46 PM permalink
I've lived here for almost three months, and have valeted twice. Once at South Point the day I'd twisted my ankle and once Downtown because there were competing concerts and parking was a mess. When I was a tourist, I valeted all the time, but as a resident, those fees add up quickly.
With a Nevada license, parking is free on the strip, valet isn't.
Most cars these days come with a bumper to bumper warranty so repairs aren't a problem.
I'm not sure how effective uber would be at the outer casinos.I'd imagine the drivers want to be in the airport to downtown corridor., not hanging around the EastsideCannery or Big Horn.
I prefer to Lone Wolf casino runs, myself.
ams288
ams288
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August 7th, 2016 at 7:04:33 PM permalink
I took an Uber from the Mirage to the Aria and it cost $6.50.

Lyft was doing surge pricing at the time, Uber wasn't. So Uber won.
Ding Dong the Witch is Dead
Ibeatyouraces
Ibeatyouraces
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August 7th, 2016 at 7:25:03 PM permalink
Quote: ams288

I took an Uber from the Mirage to the Aria and it cost $6.50.

Lyft was doing surge pricing at the time, Uber wasn't. So Uber won.


I'd have walked and paid $0.00. :-)
DUHHIIIIIIIII HEARD THAT!

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