Las Vegas Themed Slot Games

June 2nd, 2011  |  Published in Gambling Games

There are currently several online slot games that boast a Las Vegas-theme. The latest addition is the Hot Roller online slot game from Vegas Technology. Set with the Las Vegas Strip as the background, the title of the game is displayed with a neon sign. The symbols on the reels transport the player into the casino. These symbols include:

  • Stacks of chips
  • Welcome drink
  • Lady hot roller
  • Pair of dice
  • High value card symbols

Although a slot game, the represented table game is craps so the most important symbols are the lady hot roller and a pair of dice. The lad shooter represents the wild symbol which yields the highest payout of 10,000 coins. This character also doubles all payouts when it acts as a wild symbol. The animation of the lady hot roller is impressive as she kisses the dice for good luck prior to taking the shot.

The pair of dice feature hot flames and act as the scatter symbol. Aside from the lady hot roller icon, this is the only other symbol that showcases animation. When two of more scatter symbols appear on the reels, scatter payouts are given. These payouts are multiplied by the total bet to convert them to casino credits.

Three or more of these symbols activates the free spins bonus round. This game begins when the layer rolls a single white die and two red dice. The white die awards the free spins multiplier which ranges from 1x to 6x. The values on the red dice are then multiplied to give the total number of free spins which varies from 1 to 36. This round can be retriggered during play but the multiplier and number of free spins cannot be determined for a second time.

Vegas Technology also recently launched a slot game entitled, “Vegas Party”, which features the same Vegas-theme. The symbols on the reels are fairly similar to those in Hot Roller. Vegas Party also features a free spins bonus round but it is much easier.

Hot Roller went live at all Vegas Technology-powered online casinos simultaneously. The most popular include, Go Casino, Grand Vegas and Online Vegas. These two Vegas-style online slot games appear to be exciting and innovative additions to the Vegas Technology portfolio of games. Stop by any one of the large number of Vegas Technology online casinos to try your luck in a glamorous environment.

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Nongaming Revenue Proving to be a Double-edged Sword

February 10th, 2011  |  Published in Casino News

Nongaming attractions helped to make Las Vegas what it is today: a world-class resort and convention terminus. The transformation of this small mining town into the gambling mecca of the world began many years ago when mobsters ruled the casinos. In the Great Recession, these nongaming attractions are beginning to hurt Las Vegas casinos.

An Increase in Business

Business experts have seen a sharp increase in the number of visitors, automobile traffic and convention attendance. However, they have also noticed most of this recovery is a result of nongambling spending. Despite being good for the local economy, a large gap exists between the amount visitors spent prior to and after the recession on nongambling attractions. This tends to rely less on the economy’s overall health.

The Numbers

In 2009, nongambling revenue on the Las Vegas Strip accounted for 61 percent of all revenue compared to 42 percent in 1990. This indicates that it is going to be a long, slow recovery in the future and that it is going to take more than gambling revenue to bounce out of this recession. This is primarily due to the change in spending habits of regular Americans.

The Old Las Vegas

In past years, Las Vegas casinos would break-even on nongambling activities such as shows, restaurants and other family functions. Many casinos even operated at a loss in an attempt to entice visitors to gamble. To make up for these losses, amenities on the Strip were upgraded. On the road to the recession, nightclub admissions and room rates greatly increased to meet the demand of luxury offerings.

The Forgotten Middle Class

As a result, resort operators saw a major potential for profit in luxury resorts as opposed to middle-of-the-road hotels. Since Las Vegas used to offer great deals on food and entertainment, this drove away the budget-seeking customer base to cater to high rollers. Over the years, developers have forgotten about the middle-market which has crippled business in Las Vegas. Casino operators have learned a valuable lesson: don’t take any market segment for granted.

Casino operators and developers must learn to cater to all segments of society. It is possible to create a city that caters to high rollers by offering all the luxury amenities available while offering a budget meal to the low rollers. This is what Las Vegas was built upon. Hopefully in the future they will be able to target all types of people and help bring the economy back to what it was.

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Improvement in the Las Vegas Sands

October 14th, 2010  |  Published in Casino News

The properties held by the Las Vegas Sands Corporation in Singapore are doing extremely well despite the global economic crisis. Also, analysts believe that a reevaluation of the Chinese Yuan will help the company further. This growth is primarily attributed to the huge increase in visitors each month since Singapore added two additional resorts.

Arrivals are Increase

Since January 1st, 2010, the number of arrivals from visitors to the resorts has increase by 23 percent. As a result, analysts have upgraded their forecasts and now believe that each resort will appeal to a variety of new tourists thus further increasing the number of guests than previously thought.

The Reevaluation of the Chinese Yuan

Since the Chinese Yuan is being reevaluated, it will greatly improve the company’s financial statements. Currently, the Sands own three resort-casinos in Macau, which is a Chinese gambling area similar to Las Vegas. Their other properties on the Las Vegas strip include the Venetian and the Palazzo.

The United States continues to put pressure on China to allow the value of the Chinese Yuan to rise in relation to the U.S. dollar. U.S companies believe the Chinese Yuan is undervalued by approximately 40 percent to the U.S. dollar. As a result, Chinese products are less expensive and more competitive compared to finished goods manufactured in the United States.

In June, the Chinese government announced it will allow for more flexibility in its currency value. Unfortunately, since then the Yuan has improved less than 2 percent against the dollar. Once a full reevaluation is completed, the Sands finances will greatly improve due to the dollar to Yuan currency rate.

The Sand’s

The Las Vegas Sands is the world’s second largest gaming company after Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. Analysts have lifted the original 2010 share estimate from $0.52 per share to $0.84 per share. The 2011 estimate was $0.85 per share but is now $1.25 per share. These numbers look quite promising for the company and investors alike.

The huge increase in visitors and the reevaluation for the Chinese Yuan will be two areas that may save this company. With a strategic location in Macao, a growing gambling area of China, not only are the number of guests increasing, but the fact that the Chinese Yuan is undervalued with greatly help this company get back on its feet and become more competitive with Harrah’s.

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Harrah’s to Build Sports Arena

October 11th, 2010  |  Published in Casino News

Harrah’s Entertainment was granted approval by a judge in Carson City, Nevada to pursue a local petition that would allow them to build a 20,000 seat sports arena right on the Las Vegas Strip. MGM attorneys attempted to prove that Harrah’s was logrolling and that the petition was not genuine. The judge dismissed these arguments and favored Harrah’s.

The Petition

The petition created by Harrah’s outlines a statewide initiative to impose a 0.9 cent tax within the district near the site of the arena. This slight sales tax would help to finance bonds used to erect the arena. The petition must be signed by 97,000 voters by November 9th which is the cutoff date to be presented for the 2011 Legislature. If all signatures are acquired, the Legislature must decide within 40 days of submittal.

The Legislature can either approve the sales tax increase or create an alternative which will be placed on the election ballet. At this point the residents of Nevada can vote on the different plans.

The Hearing

The judge hearing the case believes it will be appealed based on the arguments presented although there has been no word of this yet. The primary argument made by MGM attorneys is that the petition misleads voters. The petition does not make it clear that only a single location can be selected for the arena to be built.

The Locations

There are currently five locations that have been suggested for building the arena, three of which are owned by Harrah’s Entertainment. They have also agreed to donate 1,700 acres of land for the arena. MGM attorneys argued that there are two parts to the petition, the imposition of the tax and the description of the arena site. The law only allows a single subject per petition.

Harrah’s Response

Harrah’s attorney’s stated that Clark County has not yet approved any proposals and opposing attorneys are doing everything in their power to ensure this does not get passed. They also stated that the petition is valid but the issue is whether voters will approve the tax increase. Harrah’s feels the voter’s should make the decision, not the courts.

The process of signature gathering is currently underway as the November 9th deadline is quickly approaching. A new arena may be just the spark Las Vegas needs to put the economy back on track. It will add yet another tourist attraction to the area hopefully filling hotel rooms.

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CityCenter Las Vegas Stealing more Visitors than its Creating

August 12th, 2010  |  Published in Casino News

The opening of CityCenter Las Vegas brought fun and excitement. Month’s later statistics are showing that there are more hotel rooms in Las Vegas than people to fill them. Evidence is appearing that indicates CityCenter is stealing business from other resorts.

Single-Property vs. Multi-Property Owners

This information is much more detrimental to single-property casinos such as, the Riviera and Tropicana which have more to lose than their competitors like MGM International who own multiple establishments on the Las Vegas strip. In the end, the single-properties are generating less money and have a smaller customer base to market too.

Also, visitors are staying at fancier, more expensive hotels because they have lowered their rates (which are aligned with budget hotels) due to the global recession. Many properties are back in the black, but aren’t making as much as they would if CityCenter wasn’t open.

The Numbers

From January through May of this year there was a 1.5 percent increase in visitation to Las Vegas. On the other hand, the number of overall hotel rooms jumped by 5.6 percent over the previous year. The occupancy rate throughout the city from January to May was 80 percent which is a 10 percent decrease from 2007 when Las Vegas tourism was at its greatest.

The total cost of CityCenter is $8.5 billion. The whole complex continues to struggle, not yet turning a profit. In the second quarter of 2010, an operating loss of $128 million dragged down MGM International’s earnings.  MGM believes that its competitors are losing even more money due to decreased gambling and room revenue.

MGM’s Aria consists of almost 30 percent gamblers. This is higher than any casino and resort in the Las Vegas area. This is due to marketing specifically to the gaming community who are expected to take the place of the traditional business. The gamblers are MGM loyalty program registrants that receive discounts.

Causes of a Decrease in Revenue

The global recession is the primary cause for the decline in the leisure and entertainment business. Also, with the opening of CityCenter, there has been a huge influx of competition in a tight market. Additionally, there is currently an overabundance of convention space but not enough conventioneers to fill it.

The combination of these things adds up and results in a major decrease in business. Casinos and resorts will need to look to new methods if they want to attract new guests and retain the loyal. Promotions and offers don’t seem to have the same effect as they once did. A new idea must be implemented for the gaming industry to jump back on its feet.

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Blackjack Payouts Declining in Las Vegas

July 7th, 2010  |  Published in Casino News

The overall blackjack payout has slowly declined at many Las Vegas properties. The trade-off is that minimum bets have also decreased. Over the past few months, over 24 tables at Harrah’s Casino properties have begun paying out 6 to 5 for blackjack games at various limits. The previous payout standard was 3 to 2.

Payout Example

When running the numbers, the difference is minimal in the short term, but over a long playing period can be quite significant. For instance, the conventional payoff on a wager of $10 will win $15. With the new pay structure, the player only wins $12 on a $10 bet.

Payout Origination

The idea behind the new payout originated from party pits approximately 10 years ago. These are areas of a nightclub or bar in which the table games (such as blackjack) are dealt by attractive women. Since gambling isn’t the main attraction, the payout is 6 to 5. This structure seems to have made its way onto the mainstream gambling floor at various casinos. The idea was for casino managers to increase profits from low stake games.

Blackjack Players Reaction

It is estimated that nearly 25 percent of the casinos on the Las Vegas strip are offering blackjack games with the 6 to 5 payout arrangement. Blackjack gurus have always criticized this payout differential, stating that it’s simply a way to swindle unsuspecting tourists that aren’t familiar with the different payouts. Many believe once tourists realize the difference, this will hurt the casinos further economically.

The Numbers

According to the Gaming Control Board during the past 12 months, wagers on blackjack on the strip were $1 billion less. On the other hand, blackjack is currently less profitable than it was twenty years ago. Presently strip casinos keep 10 to 11 percent of profits compared to the 13 to 14 percent just a decade ago.

An Explanation

Although the economy is playing a large factor in the decline, a complimentary explanation is that Vegas is becoming a destination that offers more than just gambling. Consequently, gamblers are distracted by other attractions such as nightclubs and pool parties, all of which cost money.

In the past, casinos have managed to remain profitable even with cheap inexpensive food and rooms, better odds and better comps. Perhaps they need to return to the Vegas of old where the deals draw the customer in to gamble. Since customers are cutting back, the idea of cheap food, rooms and better comps may entice them to gamble more and increase profits for the casinos.

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Where to Gamble in Atlantic City

May 28th, 2010  |  Published in Inrodution

If you are looking for an alternative to Las Vegas, Atlantic City may be your answer. Atlantic City offers much of the same amenities you will find in Las Vegas. They have several top-notch casino resorts where you can stay, spend some time at the poker tables, get a facial, play around of golf, and enjoy world class dinning. However, Atlantic City, much like Las Vegas, is frequented for its casinos more then anything else, and the city has plenty to offer.

Casinos in Atlantic City

The Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort

The Trump Taj Mahal Casino is one of the most famous casinos in Atlantic City. The casino is home to the United States Poker Championship. There are over 3,000 slot machines, 210 table games, a smoke-free section, and a separate baccarat room. There are several dining options to choose from at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino included a highly rated steak house and a late night sushi buffet. In addition to a casino, the Trump Taj Mahal Casino hosts a nightclub with live entertainment throughout the year, a spa, and several shopping facilities.

The Tropicana Casino and Resort

The Tropicana Casino and Resort has a large casino with a wide variety of games. The casino covered all of the basics with slot machines, video poker, and table games. There is also a separate room, known as the Jade Palace, which features Asian inspired games like Pai Gow poker. Outside of the casino the resort features several amenities, such as a full service spa, an IMAX movie theater, and a comedy shop. There are over 20 restaurants at the Tropicana Casino and Resort offering dining options from all over the world.

Atlantic City can be just as exciting as Las Vegas and a closer stop for some poker enthusiasts.

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Where to Gamble in Louisiana

May 14th, 2010  |  Published in Casino Tips

When people think of gambling, their mind’s eye often trails to Las Vegas, Nevada or Atlantic City, New Jersey. There is a good reason for this. Las Vegas is the original gambling city. It is known across the world and receives visitors looking to win it big every day of the year. Atlantic City has also become popular in its own right, almost an east coast answer to Las Vegas. However, there are other places to get your gambling fix. If you are looking for a new adventure for this years casino vacation, you may want to consider Louisiana.

Casinos in Louisiana

The Harris in New Orleans

The Harris Casino in New Orleans offers a taste of old world New Orleans charm with modern style Harris gambling. The casino itself is located in the heart of downtown, New Orleans and features an adjoining hotel with reasonable rates. The casino has both low-limit and high-limit slot machines as well as several poker tables. All of the popular games, like Texas Hold ‘Em, can be found inside the casino. In addition to gambling, the Harris casino features a nightclub, several bars, a buffet, and a Starbucks. The casino is also hosts live entertainment several times a year.

L’Auberge du Lac

The L’Auberge du Lac is located in Lake Charles, Louisiana, a four hour drive from Houston, Texas. The L’Auberge du Lac is a true casino resort. The casino itself is 30,000 square feet with 60 table games and 1600 slot machines. There is an adjoining hotel with luxury rooms and several amenities. The L’Auberge du Lac has two locations for live entertainment, including a large theater and a smaller club area. There are also several dining locations on site.

Coushatta Casino Resort

The Coushatta Casino Resort is located outside of Lake Charles, Louisiana. The Coushatta Casino Resort is one of the largest casino resorts in Louisiana and worth a visit. The resort offers live entertainment, several dining options, a high class hotel, and a golf course. The casinos comes in at 100,000 square feet and includes both table games and thousands of slot machines.

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How to Choose the Right Casino

April 6th, 2010  |  Published in Casino Tips

Players often focus on choosing the right game for them. This is an important step to take as playing a game that you excel in and enjoy leads to big wins. However, how often have you stopped to consider the importance of which casino you play in? If you have multiple casinos in your area, or are visiting a casino hotspot like Las Vegas, you need to  select a casino that fits you and your gaming style.

The same could be said for online casinos where there are an abundance of casino web sites available, and many offer enticing sign up bonuses. Thus, the decision of choosing a casino can be difficult and it is worthy of your consideration.

How to Choose a Casino

What Games Does the Casino Offer?

Not every casino will host the same poker games, hold the same amount of tables, or play the American version of Roulette. If you are a poker player, look for a casino that has several poker tables and offers a variety of poker games. If you are a video poker player, make sure the casino has more then one video poker machine to offer you. If you are a slot machine player, you will want to check out how many varieties of slot machines the casino has.

What Are The Betting Limits?

Different casinos have different minimum and maximum betting limits in place for both their table games and slot machines. This is an important thing to consider, especially if you prefer to bet very high or very low. For example, not all casinos carry penny slots. If you are not prepared to play at a nickel or higher slot machine, then you should find a casino with a penny slot section.

Land Based Casinos: Does the Casino Have a Smoke Free Section?

Most casinos allow smoking on the floor. This is done to keep the smokers from growing anxious and leaving the casino. After all, if they are allowed to smoke they are much less likely to get up and leave the poker table or slot machine bank. A few casinos offer smoke free sections where their games are played. If you are sensitive to smoke, look for a casino that offers this option, and make sure the game you want to play is located inside the smoke free section.

Online Based Casinos: Are the Deposit and Withdrawal Methods Convenient

A large and determining factor when choosing an online casino is ones ability to deposit and/or withdrawal funds. Many casinos will entice you with large bonuses, substantial games, and amazing graphics. However, these are all insignificant if you are unable to deposit or withdrawal funds. Always check to ensure that they accept monies from deposits made within your country, and then review their withdrawal methods and available merchant providers.

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