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Strip Changes Pushing Out The Gambler

December 7, 2012 at 4:52 PM | by | ()

We're in the middle of a major change to the Vegas Strip right now. It actually began a few years ago with CityCenter. Right now, Caesars Entertainment is renovating a large portion of the center of the Strip.

O'Sheas closed earlier this year to make way for The Linq and Imperial Palace is being transformed into The Quad. The next transformation will be when Bill's Gambling Hall & Saloon closes in February to make way for a new boutique clubby hotel-casino. One common denominator of each of these properties is their cheap gambling.

O'Sheas' low cost gambling likely won't be filled by The Linq, which will provide more shopping and dining (for the most part) on the Strip. When Bill's re-opens as (actual name TBD), the casino will likely cater to a more upscale customer with higher table limits, similar to The Cosmopolitan. The Quad room rates remain inexpensive because they aren't a part of the property renovation (for now). However, the casino is being renovated and the table limits may rise to pay for the remodel.

Change has always been a part of Las Vegas so this should come as no surprise but, in a few years, the Strip may go from being a casino town to more of a resort and shopping destination. Caesars isn't planning on renovating Bally's hotel or casino. Rather, they're focusing on more shopping with the Grand Bizarre Bazaar shops planned for the front of the resort which will keep people outside of the casino.

This shift in priority for the Vegas Strip will come with both less and more expensive gambling (as well as food and drinks) in the future. Things will be different. The new Vegas Strip won't have $5 blackjack tables and $10 meals. Those will become a thing of the past like the $2.50 dinner buffet. The casino companies will have to increase revenue for all of this new construction.

If low-rolling gamblers want to stay on the Strip, they may be confined to the ends. The Stratosphere and Luxor have already undergone renovations and been able to keep their limits to the lower end. Even if The Quad keeps limits lower for the mid-Strip, it will be the exception and not the rule of gambling on the Strip.

As the gambler ages, they'll find more bang for their buck off Strip. There's nothing wrong with playing $5 craps at El Cortez then walking over to Mob Bar for comp'd cocktails while playing video poker followed by a pancake dinner at DuPar's for $6. I think this gambler just made plans for the weekend!

[PHOTO: The Las Vegas Strip on Foursquare]

Archived Comments:

Gamblers have been off-strip for some time now

Most serious gamblers haven't played on the strip for years.  Things like 6 to 5 blackjack and pitiful comps has pushed serious gamblers into places off the strip for a long time now.

Only so much

I agree with this for the most part...but one has to remember there is only so much money to go around...the reason bills, o'sheas, imperial palace etc...became what they are (other than neglect) is because someone has to fill that void ON the strip.

Once the Linq, Quad, (new) Bills open back up that will be default make one of the other hotels on the strip the "old outdated man" and thus shunned by the high spending trending gambler leaving those properties to focus on the budget gambler.

With the economy the way it is I cant foresee a situation where every casino on the strip caters to mid-high end gamblers/shoppers/vacationers and succeeds.

I agree

With the 6 to 5 payouts and crappy comps on the strip I have moved all my action off the Strip. I now play at Sams Town.

Downtown, at least for a while

While I have to say that I like what's been happening downtown, I hope it's "gentrification" doesn't go too far.

I don't have any numbers to back it up, but it feels like more and more people are moving off the strip to the more gambler-friendly confines downtown.

If downtown hotel rooms all fill up, what's to keep downtown casino operators from following suit - raising minimums and changing rules to their favor?  Yes, they can only go so far (otherwise people will just move back to the strip), but they will certainly feel pressure to squeeze out extra profits where they can.

Viva Downtown!


Who else had 6 to 5 Blackjack besides O'Sheas, IP and Bill's? Most try to avoid that payout anyways.

Your kidding me, right?

ALL CET properties have these!  It is almost the only blackjack payout that they have on the floor.  Caesars Palace has a ton of these, yet the uneducated tourist are flocking to these tables...like it is the end of the world.  

The tourists deserve what they get, if there wasn't a demand for it, it wouldn't exist.

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