Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

November 25, 2008

Vegas Gang #22 - November 25th, 2008

Posted by Hunter

Vegas Gang #22 is online:

This time around we cover:

This is a special episode, focusing on the annual G2E gaming conference.

Feel free to leave any comments below.

Also, please consider voting for us in the Trippies!


Read archived comments (5 so far)
November 27, 2008 2:59 PM Posted by Jeff in OKC

Let me give you the perspective of a 50 year old Okie regarding "Server Based Gaming"(SBG).
All I'm looking for from SBG is a cool, blinky console bank that says "Your favorite games from IGT". I expect that my wife and I could sit together, with space between us and people we don't find attractive, such as loud, stinky drunkards. We could sit and choose from a clump of games like "Munsters", "I Dream of Jeannie", "Frank Sinatra", "Elizabeth Taylor", "Marilyn Monroe", etc. Now, with that many choices, we don't need to search out "Invaders From The Planet Moo-Lah", and get p.o.'d because there are only 2 in the whole place, and the old ladies playing them have 2500 credits, which prompts us to go to Casino Royale. We can spend our whole slot allowance at the Flamingo in just 2 hours. I don't want the drink order feature because management will set it up so that my slot play doesn't rate another beer, yet. I don't want to order show tickets, although I might want to reserve my place in line for the buffet, leaving the slot console just long enough to gorge myself. I see the usefulness of SBG as getting me to sit, spend, and not leave for the longest period possible. Am I wrong?

November 29, 2008 10:22 AM Posted by mike_ch

Jeff Simpson's thing about building towers VS building hotels doesn't ring with me. Mandalay had a successful thing with Four Seasons and wanted to extend it's "hotel in a hotel" concept (and perhaps also draw some attention from Four Seasons, where they don't stand to make as much profit.) Bellagio had plans for Spa Tower that predate MGM's ownership. But to suggest that these places aren't luxury properties makes my head swivel. Bellagio was so overbuilt it was thought to be unprofitable for a decade. It's because of the market that it was able to become a profitable enterprise. It's only because Bellagio and Mandalay and Venetian opened up all at once that people were even stimulated to want this product anyway.

I'm not sure how Wynn makes everybody freak out and build, either, except maybe Sands. That sounds like the kind of thing we heard a lot of pre-opening, that Wynn would blow the late 90s luxury resorts out of the water, and yet Bellagio is still competitive (Venetian is as well but with different customers) with them over a smaller pool of players. I'd say the biggest change Wynn has made from the others is in the chase for Asian players, Wynn has done a lot to try and absorb Asian (particularly Chinese) culture, mindset, etc in his business plan. As opposed to Caeasars, where it seems like Asian culture means hanging a banner of Chinese symbols off the front porch and luring in a Cantopop star to have a concert in the theatre.

The real question mark is what MGM is doing for Aria, and nobody knows and anybody who knows won't tell. If you ask me, Aria is probably the biggest question mark on the Strip since at least the 94 MGM Grand (everybody knew before opening what Treasure Island and Luxor were going to be, MGM's intentions were a bit more foggy) or even The Mirage. It could change everything, or it could be all hype and little substance.

And to the other Jeff, the one in OKC, kinda funny about your comment, Moo-Lah isn't an IGT slot.

Really, that's the other thing about this server thing, and a buzzword I heard being bandied about a few times at the show this year, that if we're going to have truly interchangeable slot machines than manufacturers have to work together for how these things network, or else you're going to have three different types of "all-in-one" slot machines that claim to have every game you ever need, but don't have the other two's.

November 29, 2008 12:40 PM Posted by Jeff in OKC

That's the point, Mike. If there's enough IGT choices (Or Ballys, or WMS, in the case of "Moo-Lah"), the customer will probably find something acceptable, and stay and play. I'm sure we'll have 3 or more server choices, but any of them can be good enough to keep me fron going next door if they are done well.

November 30, 2008 7:00 AM Posted by Jeff Simpson

I don't necessarily disagree with the decisions of the four major operators to add towers to their top hotels in the early part of the decade. What I do believe is that while the towers at Venetian, Caesars, Bellagio and Mandalay were sensible, budget-minded additions to those properties, the big operators (Las Vegas Sands, Park Place/Caesars Entertainment, MGM Mirage and Mandalay Resort Group) allowed Wynn Resorts to open the only new Strip hotel (WLV in April '05) between Aug. 2000 (Aladdin) and Dec. 2007/Jan. 2008 (Palazzo) -- and Wynn will have the next one to open. I WAS criticizing the conservative decisions of the big operators to ONLY build towers instead of also building new resorts during the Strip's biggest boom.

December 10, 2008 5:27 AM Posted by milo

About the Star Trek slots - the username/save progress feature is implemented nationwide (I'm not aware about internationally, although that may be a possibility). So if you start playing with a username in Vegas, you can pick up where you left off at any Star Trek slot at any casino in the country, whether it's Atlantic City or a Native American casino in Minnesota.

Great podcast guys, thanks for doing it.