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Slots have always struck us as one of the most laidback forms of casino gambling. Play craps and you have to be on your feet. Choose blackjack and you can sit, but keeping track of the game can keep your mind racing. pokerís constant pushing, shoving, and stacking of chips can be exhausting. Even roulette requires some counting and sorting. Slots are the game for the truly lazy. Sit in a chair, sip a drink, and slap a button. Thatís all there is to it. Slot manufacturers, however, seem to think the games are still too strenuous. In a never-ending quest to combat slot player fatigue, theyíve introduced some game enhancements that have us rolling our eyes.
First up is an easier way to bet. Hitting ďspinĒ sounds painless enough, but apparently pressing a large round button is a process that needs improvement. Could valuable seconds be lost with each reach of the arm? Or, maybe frequent players are plagued by elbow strain. Weíre not really sure where the need for this innovation came from, but remote play buttons are here. Connected to the machine via cabling approximately two feet in length, these handheld devices let you enjoy another spin without the discomfort of raising your arm. You wonít find a cash-out button on the unit and, unless youíre willing to make the grueling reach six inches over, your only option is to continue playing. Sneaky.
MGM Grand / Slots / Lion's Share / Gambling / → All Tags
Before this VegasChatter writer was a regular contributor to the site, I was a reader of its content and definitely fell for this year's April Foolís joke for about a half of a second. When I read the Lionís Share slot at MGM Grand machine hit on April 1, I was about to send the story to friends when I noticed the dateÖ the joke was almost on me!
Even as we complain about MyVEGAS, we have to acknowledge its success. The social casino game has helped MGM Resorts keep their customers engaged year-round while at the same time allowing Vegas visitors to get more bang for their buck. Itís a win-win, so it should come as no surprise that others are trying to get in on the mobile gaming action.
While MyVEGAS offers slick graphics and increasingly realistic slot games, other casinos are going the low-tech route. We recently stumbled across an intriguing text-based promotion while up north in Renoís Nugget hotel and casino. The gameís simplicity was a refreshing change of pace. There was no Facebook account required and no web-enabled mobile device needed. No loyalty points to track or friends in need of daily ďgifts.Ē All the action happened either via text message or in-casino display. The ease of participating certainly seemed to make the promotion a popular one and it may not be long before the concept catches on.
MyVEGAS / Slots / Slot Machines / Konami / Vegas Observations / MGM Resorts / Free Vegas / → All Tags
Now two years old, social casino game MyVEGAS continues to add new users, new rewards, and new mini-games. Earlier this month, PlayStudios unveiled its latest slot title, China Mystery. New ways to earn those valuable loyalty points are always welcomed, but we were even more excited by the addition of new dining rewards. As we took a closer look at whatís new, however, we were left wishing we could turn back the clock.
Anytime anyone criticizes MyVEGAS they are inevitably met with the same response, so letís get it out of the way. Yes, the game is free. Itís been possible to rack up free hotel stays, dining vouchers, shopping credits, show tickets, and more, all from day one without spending a dime. For those who joined early on, itís been a great ride. Many of us here at VegasChatter are MyVEGAS players and this writer alone has racked up at least $1,000 in rewards. Thatís the good, on to the bad.
Gambling / Slots / Downtown Vegas / Downtown / Casinos / The Strip / OpenThread / → All Tags
When we looked at the average Las Vegas visitor, a few things that stood out. Some commenters were surprised so many people (15%) still book Las Vegas visits through travel agents while other commenters were surprised that some visitors (13%) had a gambling budget between $0 and $99. Today's average Las Vegas visitor isn't quite the same as we remember from Vegas Vacation.
People reached out directly to discuss the subject of gambling budgets since Iím a gambler. According to research by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, 80% of visitors who gamble do so on the Vegas Strip. Those people may not be spending as much money on gambling as they did 30 years ago, but theyíre making their gambling budgets last all day.†The report indicates 54% of those gamblers play slot machines†and the Vegas Strip might not be the best place to get the most bang for their buck.
Slot Machines / Slots / Gambling / Luck / Vegas Stories / Vegas Rants / → All Tags
We all have our favorite slot machines. Usually, itís a game that weíve had a nice score on in the past. Or, it may be a game like Wheel of Fortune that draws us in with familiar sounds. Few of us, however, have probably given thought to our least favorite machines, but could certain games be cursed? Consider this tale of woe we recently heard:
When I play slots, I usually just wander around until one catches my eye. I have a few favorites that I might hit, but I typically go for something that I havenít played before. If a game hasnít been particularly good to me in the past, Iíll eventually try it again in hopes of settling the score. Never have I sworn off a machine for good, until my final time playing JAWS.
Vegas For Beginners / Gambling / Slot Machines / Slots / Jackpots / Bally's / → All Tags
Some of our friends scout out slot machines with low minimums. They bet only a few cents per spin, and usually only when the cocktail waitress is nearby. Youíll never find them sitting at any of the new, high-denomination machines. Others are looking for big payouts. They canít resist the allure of a monstrous progressive jackpot and will play several bucks a spin if thatís what it takes. Itís the latter type that always reminds us of the importance of making a max bet.
Encouragement for betting big is nothing new. Slot revenue is the biggest slice of the gaming pie, accounting for nearly double what table games bring in. Casino operators, naturally, pay a lot of attention to ways they can maximize their take from machines. Penny slots get people in the seats, but todayís casinos want your dollars, not your dimes. To encourage gamblers to risk more, the bonuses on many machines are designed to offer better returns when you bet more per line and bet more lines. Customers often sit down expecting to play a few cents a spin, but quickly find themselves increasing their bet to 10, 20, or more credits per line.
Blackjack / Tournaments / Stratosphere / Slots / Gambling / → All Tags
One of the most frequent questions we get about gambling is from people looking to get into tournaments -- specifically blackjack tournaments. Most blackjack tourneys in Vegas are by invite only for casino players club members while slot tournaments are more widely available in many different casinos. Stratosphere, however, is changing the game up a little. While Station Casinos is offering a free slot tournament every Sunday in June,†The Strat is offering blackjack tournaments every Saturday.
Besides being different games there is a monetary difference in to the tournaments as well.†Registration for blackjack tournaments at the Stratosphere is $40 for Ace Play players club members. Everyone that reaches the final table will receive some form of monetary prize, ranging from $800 for 1st place to $150 for 6th or 7th place.
Cashing Out / Slots / Vegas News / Gambling / → All Tags
It's no surprise that Megabucks is one of the most played slots. Nor, is it shocking to hear that Wheel of Fortune ranks right up there, too. But, we didn't expect to hear that the King of Pop is the King of Slots, too.
Vegas Inc. reports that those three slots were the top games for the fourth quarter of 2012. (WoF ranking first and the other two tying for second.) The news should make Mandalay Bay extremely happy as it prepares to launch Las Vegas' newest Cirque du Soleil production which just so happens to celebrate Michael Jackson.
Downtown / Downtown Vegas / Las Vegas Club / Plaza / The D Hotel / Four Queens / Fremont Street / El Cortez / Gambling / Video Poker / Slots / → All Tags
We would like to welcome our brand new VegasChatter contributer, Nick Holliday. A recent transplant from Chicago, Nick is firmly settled on the east side of Las Vegas. Nick spends most of his time and dollars as far from The Strip as he can since he works there all day. That means you can expect coverage of both off Strip and downtown finds. Nick loves punk rock, craft beer, decent whiskey, casinos, dive bars, and being comped which is fitting because, for his first post, he shows us how to turn nothing into something at the casinos of downtown Vegas.
There are so many possibilities when it comes to how a Vegas vacation will turn out. Maybe you win big and take some of the casinosí cash with you. Maybe you ďbreak even.Ē Like the majority of thrillseekers, you will probably party and gamble nonstop until your vacation bankroll is spent. There is always something going on in this town, so whatís a visitor with hardly any cash in their pocket do when they want to have a little fun in Las Vegas?
Fremont Street offers a ton of opportunity for the average small-time gambler. The great promotions, cheap food, and cheesy neon reminds us of a Las Vegas that we have only read about. Where the Strip is full of luxury resorts and high-end shopping malls, Fremont is all about the gambler. That sits right with this low roller.
Openings / Rock of Ages / Venetian / Slots / Gambling / → All Tags
The live show doesn't start until December 18, but you can practice some early head-bangin' at the Venetian's all-new Rock Of Ages slot machines. The 80s, hair-metal, jukebox musical Rock of Ages, replacing the departed Blue Man Group, is benefiting from a hard sell by the resort.
We stumbled upon the new display just as it became operational. Twenty dedicated, themed, Rock of Ages penny slots. The slammin' square set-up features a drum kit, flames and a boat load of steel. But, wait. There's more!
The clanging. The jingling. The search for a bucket that hadn't been used already as an ashtray. That dirty, metallic-y scent on your hands.
Oh, the lost Vegas days where coin slots actually required, you know, coins. And, spit them out, too. Those times are gone, but if you're willing to brave the north Strip, you'll find at least one hold out.