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We love checking out Old Vegas. Whether browsing through black-and-white era photos in books, watching old 8mm footage online, or getting out and seeing the artifacts for ourselves, we’re always coming across intriguing similarities and differences between days gone by and present Vegas. Sometimes, they’re obvious and give us a laugh, like the differences in attire. Other times, we’re left with questions. Today’s is “where did all the chairs come from?”
If you look at the images from way back in the early days of Vegas, you can’t help but notice that nearly everyone is on their feet. Slot players, armed with handfuls of nickels, stand shoulder to shoulder as they watch the cherries spin by on old-fashioned reel machines. Ties, pocket squares, and hats accessorize the suits worn by roulette players crowding around green-felted tables. Even blackjack players, notorious for putting in long sessions, are often seen upright.
Players Clubs / Hard Rock / Backstage Pass / Gambling / Poker / Slots / Off Strip / → All Tags
It’s been almost two years since the Hard Rock made any changes to its Backstage Pass players club so it’s time to shake things up. They’re kind enough to give a little warning so you can prepare for the changes and even jump a tier or two if you want.
Effective March 31, the invite-only Nirvana tier of Backstage Pass will be replaced with a tier called Multi-Platinum Access. The only way to receive an invitation to this level is to achieve a tier score of 300,000 in a calendar year. The General Admission, Entourage and Platinum Access tiers remain the same. New tier benefits will be announced later this year.
For slot players, waiting out bonus games can be a maddening process. Bonus rounds generally provide the best opportunity for a large payout on a machine. They’re also the most fun part of playing. Many modern video slots are indistinguishable from one another during standard reel play and watching row after row of familiar symbols spin by can get tiring. It’s not until the music starts and the bonus round begins that games like Monopoly and Wheel of Fortune really get exciting. If you’ve never had the patience needed to wait out triggering a bonus, slot makers finally have the answer for you.
Vegas Observations / Downtown Vegas / Downtown / Fremont Street / The Strip / Slots / Gambling / Gaming / → All Tags
Visitors doing Vegas on a budget often head downtown to get more for their money. There’s no denying that when compared to the Strip, downtown is full of bargains. Average room rates are about half of what you’ll find ($66 vs. $126 in 2014). Dining downtown is easier on the wallet as well, with the priciest downtown buffet coming in at just over $20. That’s a deal when compared to the more than $50 you would spend on The Strip. A commonly repeated piece of advice suggests that in addition to these savings, downtown offers better returns than the Strip when gambling, especially at slots. That seems to makes sense, given that everything else downtown is cheaper, but is it true?
Slot Machines / Slots / Gaming / Tips / Survival Strategies / → All Tags
It isn’t a secret that slot machines are some of the worst bets in the casino. Unfortunately for some gamblers, like this writer, they’re also the most fun bets in the casino. The penny slots with the mainstream entertainment themes are the biggest winners for casinos in Las Vegas. Here’s a look at how much casinos won from different denomination slot machines in 2013.
1 cent - 11.90%
5 cent - 9.03%
25 cent - 8.63%
$1 - 6.70%
$5 - 5.26%
$25 - 4.80%
$100 - 3.74%
Slots / MGM Grand / Lion's Share / Jackpots / Winning / → All Tags
While some VegasChatter readers may be sad about missing their chance to hit it big at MGM Grand on the Lion’s Share slot machine, we know many of you are wondering if the lucky winners will be taking home the actual machine, in addition to the $2.4 million jackpot.
Linda and Walter Misco of New Hampshire won the jackpot on August 22 and legend had it that the winner of the Lion’s Share also would inherit the machine as it was intended to be retired after it hit. MGM officials have confirmed this is their intention and they’re working with the Nevada Gaming Control Board to make good on the promise.
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. poker’s 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. That’s 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, they’ve introduced some game enhancements that have us rolling our eyes.
First up is an easier way to bet. Hitting “spin” 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. We’re 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 won’t find a cash-out button on the unit and, unless you’re 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 Fool’s joke for about a half of a second. When I read the Lion’s Share slot at MGM Grand machine hit on April 1, I was about to send the story to friends when I noticed the date… 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. It’s 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 Reno’s Nugget hotel and casino. The game’s 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 “gifts.” 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 what’s 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 let’s get it out of the way. Yes, the game is free. It’s 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, it’s 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. That’s 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 I’m 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 they’re 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, it’s a game that we’ve 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 haven’t played before. If a game hasn’t been particularly good to me in the past, I’ll 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.