TheAmazingQuack
TheAmazingQuack
Joined: Nov 23, 2009
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November 23rd, 2009 at 8:31:41 AM permalink
Hey folks. I'm newly registered here, but have been visiting the Wizard's sites for several months now. I'm an econ and philosophy major nearing graduation but have a few term papers to finish.

I am looking for some help on an econ paper I've to write over this Thanksgiving break. What I'd like to do is analyze the competition amongst casinos in the blackjack tables- preferably in Indiana - within the context of Hotelling's model. My thesis is that while casinos can only compete in their physical location once, they can relocate along a one-dimensional "street" ranging from player-advantage to house-advantage.

The problem is the necessary data isn't exactly forthcoming, and the Indiana Gaming Commission hasn't been particularly helpful. They release monthly revenue reports for each casino but withhold data regarding the casinos' changing blackjack rules.

If anyone has any suggestions or comments, I would be immensely grateful.

::edit:: I was uncertain where I should post this, so I apologize if I overlooked a more appropriate section.
dwheatley
dwheatley
Joined: Nov 16, 2009
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November 23rd, 2009 at 8:34:36 AM permalink
If you're of age, sounds like you might have to do some field research.
Wisdom is the quality that keeps you out of situations where you would otherwise need it
boymimbo
boymimbo
Joined: Nov 12, 2009
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November 23rd, 2009 at 11:55:32 AM permalink
Quote: TheAmazingQuack

What I'd like to do is analyze the competition amongst casinos in the blackjack tables- preferably in Indiana - within the context of Hotelling's model. My thesis is that while casinos can only compete in their physical location once, they can relocate along a one-dimensional "street" ranging from player-advantage to house-advantage.

The problem is the necessary data isn't exactly forthcoming, and the Indiana Gaming Commission hasn't been particularly helpful. They release monthly revenue reports for each casino but withhold data regarding the casinos' changing blackjack rules.

If anyone has any suggestions or comments, I would be immensely grateful.



Having been inside a gaming agency before, I can tell you that they probably do not analyze table by table results, but aggregate for the entire game and certainly you wouldn't be able to access this type of data. However, visiting each casino on the same night of the week (such as a Friday and / or Saturday) will yield the breakdown that you are looking for.

But I think there are too many variables to balance in order to prove your theory.

First, an individual casino may have many different blackjack tables with many rules. For example, they might have the typical 8 deck stand on soft 17 $5 minimum table next to a double deck 6-5 blackjack table. And for $25 you can play the same double deck but have 3-2 blackjack.

Another variable is the number of tables available and the limits available. You generally find "less skillful" players at the $5 tables because they can afford it. Casinos in turn tighten up the rules a bit to push the skillful players to the more expensive but better game.

On top of that, a great variable is the experience of the game and the quality of the casino and the type of players that they bring in. For example, where I play, there are three casinos within a 5 minute drive of each other. One casino is smoking / free drinking, another is a large tourist casino (no smoking, pay for drinks) and another is a smaller casino that caters to locals. While all of the rules and limits are similar, the experiences are quite different in each one and the preferences of the players will likely be driven by the experience rather than the table rules.

Loyalty to player cards also hold weight. Maybe you collect points at Harrah's which are usable for comps in Vegas, while the other casinos may have their own Player's clubs where the points are usuable elsewhere.

On a single street casino (such as Las Vegas) where I am knowledgeable about the games, I will trade a couple of minor rules (never 6-5 blackjack, but hitting on Soft 17) to play somewhere that I want where I am collecting points or the environment is very nice.

Good luck.
----- You want the truth! You can't handle the truth!
TheAmazingQuack
TheAmazingQuack
Joined: Nov 23, 2009
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November 23rd, 2009 at 12:22:54 PM permalink
Thanks for the response. It's very much appreciated, though I'm confident I can control for what amounts to brand loyalty if I can get my hands on the data.

That three casinos you mentioned have similar rules and are so near each other actually supports my hypothesis and is in accord with basic microeconomic theory. Their different approaches to customer service is just a form of product differentiation. Is there any chance I could ask you to provide that information? The three casinos, their locations, and what their rules are? I've been poking around and making many phone calls and it appears that I'll have to make my own data set. Any help would be great.

Thanks.
boymimbo
boymimbo
Joined: Nov 12, 2009
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November 23rd, 2009 at 12:28:59 PM permalink
I was not allowed to take that information with me when I left :)
----- You want the truth! You can't handle the truth!

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