Experts say casinos need to be creative to profit off younger bettors
The old canard “The only way to make money in a casino is to own one” may soon be going by the boards.
That’s the possibility offered by noted legal gambling authority I. Nelson Rose, who in his latest “Gambling and the Law” blog series raises some bright red flags for anyone currently running a casino or planning to do so.
“People under 30 are different from prior generations,” says Rose is his blog, entitled “The Fourth Wave." “They don't carry cash; they don't buy postage stamps; they don't have land-line phones; and they are not particularly interested in craps, blackjack or slot machines. The big box casino is going to join the big box store and big box movie theater as an outdated means of delivering a product. And if the product does not also change, then casinos will disappear.”
The comments echo closely those made by veteran casino consultant John Acres, who has often warned casino operators that they face near-extinction unless they modernize and change the way they do business.
Rose cites the new Cosmopolitan hotel-casino in Las Vegas as clear evidence that casinos have to re-order their priorities in a fast-changing gambling-entertainment climate:
“The Cosmopolitan . . . has done a fantastic job of marketing to people in their 20s and 30s,” notes Rose. “Its hotel rooms are full, and they are literally turning away customers from their exceptional restaurants and nightclubs. But the casino floor is sometimes empty. If it weren’t for these other forms of entertainment, the complex would probably be bankrupt.”
The challenge, says Rose, is in trying to predict what games will work, and how casinos will present those games to a public with a short attention span. “Games like roulette, which worked in the days before the light bulb was invented, won’t necessarily work tomorrow.”
William Hill faces choppy waters in Nevada license bid
Hill, the largest bookmaker in Britain, has run into some problems in
its efforts to make its mark in the U.S. sports betting market. WH had
purchased American Wagering, Cal Neva Sportsbook and Brandywine last
year on the expectation that Nevada regulators would OK its gaming
license application. But the Nevada Gaming Control Board hasn’t given WH
the rubber stamp that some might have thought was coming.
Despite the speed bumps, the international sportsbook remains positive about its Nevada bid.
"We have previously indicated that we expect the licensing process to
take 12-18 months to complete," William Hill director of IR Lyndsay
Wright said in an email statement to Covers.com. "We are
progressing well and await confirmation of the dates when the State of
Nevada Gaming Control Board and Nevada Gaming Commission will meet to
review our application."
Florida anti-gambling legislator knows where his bread is buttered
An anti-gambling state legislator in Florida was one of the leading supporters of the “Stand Your Ground” law which is under intense scrutiny since the death of teenager several weeks ago. Dennis Baxley, who championed the law and argued that citizens should have the right to use deadly force in protecting themselves, has railed against the evils of gambling and opposes efforts to change Florida laws to allow a major casino expansion in the state.
All well and good, except that Baxley is being rather selective in his anti-gambling zeal. Turns out that the Ocala area that he represents has several horse farms and – surprise, surprise – Baxley is just fine with gambling at tracks. BTW, Baxley is a funeral director by trade, and a decade ago he was fined for the way he sold funeral contracts to grieving families. The state determined that he did that 556 times.
Casino boss turns his attention to House races
In the end, the $20 million that Las Vegas Sands boss Sheldon Adelson shelled out for failed presidential candidate Newt Gingrich had all the bounce of a dead cat. But Adelson isn’t done yet. One of the country’s richest people has decided to provide ammo for selective Republicans running for Congress this November.
It’s unlikely the House GOP will lose control to the Democrats in the election, but Adelson is taking no chances. Adelson’s electoral purchase would no doubt mean that there would be a strong caucus in the House to oppose any efforts to legalize online gambling on a federal level.
Dealertainers the latest schtick in Atlantic City
It works at the Imperial Palace in Las Vegas, so Bally’s in Atlantic City is following suit. The latter property will soon merge the entertainment and gambling experiences into one when it opens a blackjack pit manned by celebrity lookalike dealers. At the IP they’re called Dealertainers, and they sing and dance while they deal out hard 15s and 16s to distracted players.
The Bally’s promotion is actually a partnership with the Legends in Concert show, which has troupes across the country and on cruise ships selling impersonator entertainment nostalgia to the over-50 crowd.
Ports easing restrictions on cruise ship casinos?
Speaking of cruise ships, it looks like Carnival, Norwegian and other top lines are starting to make some progress in their efforts to keep their casinos open while they are anchored in Caribbean ports.
Until recently casinos were open for business only in open waters as ports did everything they could to get travelers off the ships, but the companies started to push back by reducing the number of visits. Message received.
In Bermuda, the capital city of Hamilton is expected to soon implement a law which would allow ships’ casinos to remain open while docked. It is expected that others ports would follow suit.