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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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No free drinks at Wynn video poker?

18 October 2010

I really love your online articles and insight into casinos.

Here's a gripe from a couple of bar/poker slot drinkers.

A recent trip to Vegas brought this cheap touch out.

Every casino gave us free comp drinks at their poker slot bars, we generally hang out several hours, several hundred bucks.

At the Wynn hotel, when our wives were drinking champagne at the penny slots, we could not get free comps at the bar. The embarrassed bar gal told us that it's policy not to comp free drinks at this section.

We paid her our $12.00 each, gave her a good tip, and extracted our $100.00 bills out of the machines, and walked our suitcoats out of that joint, never to return.

Is business really that bad here, or is Steve actually that cheap???

Thanks,
A couple of gamblers from New York state.

Dear NY gamblers:

Thanks for the kind words about my columns.

Business is that bad in Las Vegas, but still I expected better from a Wynn property.

I suspect their theory is that the house edge on video poker isn't high enough to support some free drinks. You were probably playing at about 98-99% long-term payback, while your wives were closer to 90%. No wonder the champagne was flowing freely at the penny slots, but it's a cash bar at the video poker.

Your story raises a point that I think is lost on many casinos. When their actions or policies cause a patron to leave, they never know how many other people will walk with the patron. Wynn lost two profitable penny players by denying a couple of drinks to you. When they cause a dice controller or card counter to walk out, they may also lose the spouse or friend or child or parent who is more profitable.

You did the right thing by leaving. As you said, there are plenty of casinos on the Strip that will comp you drinks for video poker play.

You wrote that you paid the bartender. I hope that she told you that you would be charged for the drinks before serving you. Because charging for drinks at a video poker bar is the exception, not the rule, they should let you know about the policy when you order.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at slotexpert@comcast.net. Because of the volume of mail I receive, I regret that I can't reply to every question.

John Robison

John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots
John Robison
John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots