Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

July 8, 2007

Wynn Las Vegas: Q2

Posted by detroit1051

Steve Wynn talked with Jeff Simpson of the LV Sun again. Wynn said the Q2 numbers are in for WLV, and that the blackjack hold percentage doubled. He credits the improvement with his change in tip policy:
"Wynn said the final numbers for the Wynn Las Vegas second quarter are in, and the blackjack hold percentage doubled from 10 percent in the second quarter of 2006 to 20 percent this year .
He credited his crew of team leaders, motivated after receiving partial shares of the tip pool, with the improvement, saying that they had obviously been able to stop some blackjack mischief - referring to the lower hold percentage that he thinks was likely caused by cheating, collusion or supervisors who didn't stop card counting.
"The change is too big to be driven by luck," Wynn said. "Statewide the hold is about 15 percent. I think I've pulled the sheet off of some problems, and when you look at the statewide number , there must be problems at a bunch of other places."

Steve should quit talking. His comments today will further alienate dealers and other casino operators.
Wynn Talks With Jeff Simpson


Read archived comments (18 so far)
July 8, 2007 1:48 PM Posted by Brian Fey

Don't worry, this stock will never see $100 ever again. King Leonard told me, so it must be fact. I'm sure we'll report a big fat loss this quarter. :)

July 8, 2007 2:33 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

Wynn + Pascal are absolutely desperate at this point regarding the outcome of the upcoming NLRB hearing. Read my blanket response, confirmed in advance by a leading federal labor relations attorney to all of those who are concnerned by, what clearly appears, to be intimidation + possible coercion by Steve personally in causing these innocent employees to have to report to him for a one-on-one individual interview in connection with this hearing. Steve, you are digging yourself your own grave all by yourself.

Technically it is ILLEGAL in the state of Nevada to record an audio conversation, whether it be in person, over the telephone, etc. without the other party's knowledge in advance. Actually, it is legal to videotape a conversation that does not contain the AUDIO portion without informing the other party. Even the FBI, for different reasons, NEVER tape records an interview with a subject so that they can eventually transcribe [in their field report] the conversation any way they seem fit in order to misrepresent what the subject said + make it appear as though the subject was lying to the agent, a federal criminal felony offense. Likewise, if you are being interviewed by a federal agent + notify him that you intend to record the conversation, he will not continue with the interview.

Wynn is clearly overreaching here. By separately, individually interviewing selected dealers himself for the sole purpose of determining what [their] specific position regarding or relating to the facts of the NLRB hearing, might not necessarily be illegal, but most certainly is "intimidating" to say the least, especially when that employee is confronted with the likes of Steve Wynn on a one-on-one basis. "Intimidation" is a form of coercion which IS illegal under federal labor statutes. This is the primary reason that the dealers organized! There is always safety in numbers. It is my belief, although I'm not a labor relations attorney, since this interview is based on management determining the specific position of its own employees surrounding the active/pending July NLRB hearing, that NO dealer or ANY employee is otherwise obligated, nor should they, discuss ANYTHING in direct connection with this matter. I strongly suggest that the major players in the union contact a seasoned labor relations attorney ASAP in order to determine what the individual's rights are in advance of any interview with Wynn.

The purpose of these "interviews" smells like complete shit to me. Clearly it is intimidating, whereby the employee is in fear of losing their job, but also affords Wynn, the biggest sleaze in the industry, an opportunity to break ranks + "bribe" that person either with cash or some other offer in exchange for their cooperation at the NLRB hearing. Wynn will stop at NOTHING in order to come out of this whole. THESE EMPLOYEES NEED TO STAND UNITED, SEEK THE PROPER ADVICE + DON'T FALL FOR STEVE WYNN'S MANIPULATORY AGENDA!!

July 8, 2007 4:38 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

Yeah right Brian, MGM is currently + consistently trading at a mere fraction of its all time 52 week high. No one seriously takes ANYTHING that Steve says seriously, including this B.S. spin on why the tip-sharing ploicy is working. I know for absolute fact the actutal numbers, that place is mired in morale problems + general all around mistrust of management. Every time this idiot Wynn opens his mouth publicly defending his overreacing + illegal policy, he is creating nothing but more enemies among, not only his employee base, but other major operators as well. Trust me, NO OTHER OPERATOR has elected to adopt this illegal policy + Steve is really starting to cause an unwanted stir among the major players here. Steve, you are nothing but a loudmouth sight-impaired narcissistic total idiot, you always will be + that will never change, so afford your shareholders, empoloyees due diligence + shut the f*ck up!!! You have proven yourself to be nothing more than a windbag hypocrite throughout your career, + your feeble attempt to justify this 'crap' only continues to prove what your true underlyng character actually is, that is a greedy common thug who thinks he's above the law.

July 9, 2007 1:35 PM Posted by You Heard Me Before On Lighter Subject

Let me get this straight. Before the tip sharing policy, floor managers slacked off and allowed card counters and cheaters to steal from the casino? And Wynn hasn't fired these people, but instead rewards them? And players don't know the hold has doubled, and won't stay away when they find out? Great management! Short this, go long MGM.

July 9, 2007 11:52 PM Posted by Tom M

Oooops, sorry I tripped over the I Hate Steve Wynn blog looking for two way hard three.

July 10, 2007 5:22 AM Posted by david Slavin

It's amazing how every single press release from or about wynn Las vegas is met with the vitriol of those who obviously have an axe to grind. Yet Hunter continues to publish everything that the sometimes vile and crude Stern has to say. Yes this blog has become a joke and nothing more than a forum for stern and other disgruntled dealers .

July 10, 2007 10:00 AM Posted by Leonard Stern

[Ed: Snipped for content.]

I prefer to let the author remain anonymous:

Subject: Re: Wynn/Tokes/ Article

"After reading the article, I think I need to clarify it so the readers can understand why it is completely irrelevant between the hold percentage and the tip sharing program. First, let's explain what hold percentage is. Hold percentage is not the same as casino advantage. On an American roulette game, the house has an advantage of 5.26%, this number is fixed and will not change no matter what the Wynn policy is, unless we change the payout on the game. It means that if a player bet $100 on the game, on average in the long run he will get
back $94.74. Now we can talk about the hold percentage. It is the amount casinos retain out of all the buy-ins from the players. A player bought-in for $100,
played 2 hours and left with $50, the hold percentage on this player is 50%. Most casino has hold percentage of about 10-20% since some players will win and some players will lose. Example, the cash box count $5000 at the end of shift and the table lost $4000 chips. Net $1000 for the casino, so the hold percentage is 20%. The longer the player stay at a table, the higher the hold percentage, since the players will lose more. What happened to the higher hold percentage at the Wynn can be explained as follows, since I don't see all that much difference on the team leads' performance (The good ones always do their job right, and the bad ones still ignore the players, chatting with cocktail waitresses, etc. with or without tip sharing. As for game protection or avoid cheating, it is business as usual, where team leads are busy rating players, changing cards, counting,and rolling over shifts. No extra attention to the games noticeable compare to before. So Steve Wynn claim is just.....a claim). First explanation, the shopper effect. The Wynn hired shoppers to spy on dealers. Dealers are so afraid of losing their job that they kissed every players' butt just to make them happy since we couldn't tell who the shoppers were. The players stayed longer because of the dealers, not the team leads. Secondly, the luck factor. Some quarters hold more than others, it is normal for casinos to hold 10-20%. Steve was just being lucky and he cleverly use that to justify his tip sharing program. He said that so other casinos will think tip sharing is the only way to increase profit on table games, that all casinos should use tip sharing. The truth is, Harrahs has been using shoppers and good customer service to maintain 17% avg hold for many years. Finally, hold percentage is higher when players are playing badly (they lose more if they don't play correctly on blackjack, etc.) Inexperienced players will increase the hold percentage since the difference between a good player and bad player can amount to 10% extra profit for the casinos! During March and April spring break, we saw an increase of younger inexperienced players than during the winter months, who came for the ball games and have no real knowledge of the games. (I must admit this is a theory of mine). When we read story from the newspaper written from someone who is probably in the pocket of big casinos we have to be aware of the intent of that writer. Don't believe the half truth laying out as facts."

July 10, 2007 11:11 AM Posted by Hunter

I've instructed the folks that help me approve comments to reserve publication for comments that add to the thread so we're going to try to reduce redundancy as well.

Just as many in the tech press are sick to death of iPhone, maybe we need to stick to one thread of Wynn per week max or something to keep things sane... Breaking news exempted of course.

Is it a bad sign that I've stopped reading my own blog? I think so.

July 10, 2007 4:31 PM Posted by david Slavin

No that's not correct and you know it Hunter. This is a DESIGN BLOG. You should publish everything relevant to a Design Blog as it pertains to Wynn las vegas. Not the neverending crap from Stern and others. You have allowed Stern(if that's even his real name} to take over this blog. Simply stopping all posts by this guy would eturn the blog to what it once was: an interesting read. You have allowed one entity to ruin it for all of us.The typical reader of this blog coulndn't give a **** about some guy's personal vendetta against Mr. Wynn. What happened to him? Did he stay at the Wynn once and they forgot to leave him some new towels? Truth is, none of us care. Except maybe you. You keep publishing him. Maybe it's time for you to hand over the blog to someone else. Maybe someone who wants to run a Design Blog about Wynn Not a Vendetta blog. If you don't stop publishing this garbage many of your readers (myself and my friends will stop reading it) Please come to your senses as alot of us enjoyed your blog until you turned it over to some guy named stern.

July 10, 2007 6:42 PM Posted by Tom M

I was in Las Vegas last week and noticed that there were considerably fewer gamblers at Wynn than the other strip casinos. I was wandering about on Tuesday before the 4th of July and every casino was packed except Wynn. I have no comment other than to pass along this observation.

July 10, 2007 8:12 PM Posted by MGK

Funny you mention that Tom M because Wynn's casino floor seemed rather busy on Sunday compared to Bellagio. However, the Esplanade area, as usual, was quite empty compared to the rest of the resort.

July 10, 2007 8:58 PM Posted by Adam F

Tom is correct. That whole week Wynn was dead in comparison to Bellagio and other hotels. Whether morning, noon, or night; Bellagio�s casino was always busy...

July 10, 2007 11:24 PM Posted by Jon Liebowitz

Wow, how's the view from the cheap seats? Please remind us of your contributions?

July 11, 2007 11:48 AM Posted by Hunter


I went back and looked at your contributions and comments to the Web site, based on your name and email address. I didn't find anything of note. Perhaps you've contributed under an alias but if not, I would suggest leaving the slamming of the site owner to those that are actually in the game.

The header for the site says a 'Las Vegas Hotel and Casino Design and Commentary Blog' - it covers all sorts of Las Vegas stuff (and some non-Vegas like Macau, et al) by that definition but there's only one that matters and that's mine. It's my site and I can do whatever I want with it. The stories about the financials and deal making in the gaming industry are really interesting to me and if I want to post them I will continue to do so without apology.

As far as 'handing the site over', if someone thinks they aren't being served by this Web site, they obviously should feel free to 'compete' with me if they want to... Go for it, start a site - I promise that I will link to your new site as long as the content is Vegas related. This isn't a profitable enterprise, I do this cause I love Vegas and am into all of these topics.

As far as Stern, I don't care about him any more than I care about anyone else's story (well, I actually do care about the many friends I have made as part of running this Web site but I think you know what I mean). I've never met him and I disagree with him on almost all points. You're implying that I have somehow elevated his standing above anyone else's - he's just good at being loud.

It's not like we have him posting stories on the home page - he's just a commenter like everyone else. I don't want to get into the merits of individual postings but if you go back and look at all of his stuff, I don't think anyone could deny that on architectural and building issues, some of the nitty gritty of building the super structures, he's got insight as an architect and son of a hugely influential Las Vegas casino designer that none of us have.

Do I get sick of the endless anti-Wynn ranting? Yes. I have reigned him in several times as I try to take the pulse and I will continue to do so, now even more aggressively but I do so because I choose to improve the quality of the experience for the regular contributors, those injecting vitality into the site, not because of your threat.

I published your comment because while I don't find your specific post to be all that helpful, I do like constructive criticism and my senses tell me that other regular contributors are also becoming (increasingly) fed up, though most have had the respect to share this with me privately with an aim to improve the quality.

Never forget one thing - there's a person on the other side of the line when you leave a comment like this and most people, especially those providing a service free of charge, deserve at least some respect and dignity.


July 11, 2007 2:49 PM Posted by steve_c

I've been reading the comments here for a while, and I came here for the design and architecture blog, not "Lets bash Wynn into the ground". I, and I am sure many other people who visit a design blog for Las Vegas give a RATS ASS about what is going on behind closed doors, etc. This blog has become a joke, and Hunter, you have let this Stern guy take over with all this Wynn crap. I am not the biggest fan of Steve Wynn, but enough is enough. Just because his late father designed some of what I think are the ugliest buildings in Las Vegas, doesn't mean he needs to hijack every other top with this crap. No one can even talk about their ideas, or questions without a bunch of backbiting.

I am only twenty one years old, but I swear to god you people are acting ten years young than me.

Grow up! Thank you.

July 11, 2007 4:18 PM Posted by Hunter

This is off-topic now and I'm closing the thread.

July 17, 2007 2:43 PM Posted by Burbank

Anyone know Doug Castaneda from the sportsbook at Wynn? I could sure tell you some stories about him.

July 19, 2007 12:49 AM Posted by motoman

I have to respectfully agree with detroit and Hunter that the business stories are quite interesting, and I'm a big fan of the "behind the curtain" stuff. My first taste was on one of my earliest stays in Vegas (think circus big top), when I saw listed on the stationary and player's club card all the properties under that corporate banner. This was years before the mergers and mega-mergers started happening, so the events leading to the current ownership situation have been fascinating to me.

Also on that list I would have to include info from two contributors I've (indirectly) been negative to myself, specifically:

-- molly's explanation of how these hotels maintain their high occupancy numbers

-- Leonard's bits on history, window glazing and other technical details. (EIFS? OMG! As detroit said, Thanks for the education!) You might be interested in the article I linked here sometime ago, which described and contrasted the foundation techniques used for "LeReve" (as WLV was called then) and THEhotel. Say what you will about WLV's decor, I'd feel much safer there during a quake.

And of course, Hunter's BOH report from Bellagio told a lot about design aspects that a guest or tourist would never see.