Ah, the glitz and the glamour… There’s plenty of excitement whenever time and money afford me the opportunity to travel to Sin City for a little R&R.
There’s whimsical melodies and multi-colored lights emitting from the slot machines, the thrill when one of the machines pays off big, and the hooting and hollering of the lucky.
Let’s not forget the elegant and sophisticated manner of the dealers, the colorful chips, the intensity at the roulette wheel, and the crowd gathered around the craps table where cheers, hoops, and hollers or exasperation, defeat, and disappointment pepper the tone.
Oh, and there’s the inebriated man in the corner talking to himself. A world within a world.
Las Vegas Casinos are not all wine and roses. There are a few aspects of casinos that irritate me to the point of wondering, “Is it me or does anyone else see what I’m seeing?” Learn about the seven things most people hate about casinos below.
1 – The Drinks Are Watered Down
Free drinks are provided in order to entice you to play as much and as long as possible. Also, having a buzz doesn’t hurt as further incentive to continue to spend freely and frequently. But still, the drinks are watered down.
And I know this because the people working the floor are all too familiar with who’s spending a substantial chunk of change and who’s plucking in a few nickels and dimes into the slot machines.
If I want a cocktail, then I’d better at least spend what said cocktail is worth.
Let’s face facts. They water down drinks, and the alcohol I manage to consume is not exactly “top shelf.” It’s not rubbing alcohol either, but it does seem to be somewhere in the middle of third-rate wine and gasoline.
Also, it helps to produce a generous tip if I want that waitress to continue to come my way. And don’t even think about asking for a double. Not gonna happen, unless of course, I’m willing to pay for the beverage.
Now, if you’re paying, that’s a different story. Paying customers are king in the gambling world. If you’re pouring money into the slots, throwing Benjamins around at the tables, and tossing dice at craps like there’s no tomorrow, believe me, they’re going to be happy to send you some top-shelf stuff.
But, if I want a bottled water, well, that costs money. Kinda ironic, isn’t it? Could I simply request the cup of water that douses the cocktails and call it a day?
Well, the less I spend, the less I get. I totally get it.
2 – Comps Aren’t Great Unless You’re Really Spending Money
The insulting nature of the “comps” at a lot of places are a huge turn-off. Thanks for the free shirt that features your casino’s logo, I’m now your walking advertisement. That’s what I’ve always wanted to be, especially after I lost $5,698 but hey, it’s a free T-shirt letting everyone know where I went bankrupt.
How about a souvenir shirt for the family?
“My wife lost my 401k, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.”
Those prizes are going to people who spend so much cash that they practically own the place.
So, keep that in mind when you’re trying to get comps. You’re expected to be a serious high roller to get a good one.
3 – There Are No Clocks or Windows
This is because they don’t want me wondering, “Is it 3 PM or 6 AM? How long have I been playing? Wow, I’ve been here for 10 hours! I’ve used my debit card 72 times!”
Also, the lighting is geared to make me feel like I’m at home. Soft and low. But home is where there’s no one in the wings attempting to lift my wallet.
Weaving my way through a myriad of slot machines and table games, I tend to get lost and can’t find my way back to where I began. That’s because they are quite literally building physical casinos to be mazes.
And the carpeting is so busy that I keep my gaze where it’s initially supposed to be, front and center.
Also, the music is generic. There’s never any pop culture crooners droning on while the bells and bursts of carnival-style music erupts all around. Again, the “time stands still” theory would be botched if Whitney belted out “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” and four hours later, I’m hearing her tunes again.
Yikes! Four hours passed, and I’m down $572 bucks! They ought to play the song, “Show Me the Way to Go Home.” But it’s not gonna happen.
4 – It’s Hard to Keep Count When Playing Blackjack
In fact, the fewer people at the table, the more intense I feel it becomes. Okay, hit me again if the house has 18, and I’m at 15? Er, ah, that’s gonna have to be a six or less, right? …But more than a three?
Then, the deer-in-the-headlights look tips the dealer off to my deplorable math skills. It helps to find a table where there are a number of players so that I have a bit of time to figure out what the heck I’m doing.
However, the best odds are with blackjack, poker, and even video poker. According to studies, the craps table offers a greater opportunity to make a few bucks rather than plucking money down in the slots.
The slots, as I see it, are designed to keep the elderly busy, while more active gamblers take on the “real” games at the tables… Or so I’ve been told.
Either way, with all the distractions, the traffic, and the sounds, it can be hard to keep up at the table.
5 – It’s Hard to Win Against Locals
Once in a while, you’ll come across someone who apparently has so much extended experience that the dealer not only knows him by name, but he is actually able to carry on a casual conversation.
The dealer might ask, “How’s that hernia?” “Did Bobby make the little league team?” “What’s the wife spending your winnings on today?”
Check, please! This may not be the table for you, and it’s clear as day.
6 – They Don’t Clean the Chips
Seriously. With visitors in the millions, what must be crawling around in bacteria form on said chips? From the dealer who’s trying to hack up a lung to the gambler with the propensity to place a few chips in her brassiere to “save them for later,” there is a veritable plague on every chip’s surface.
Then, you have those stellar members of society who opt to wear an adult diaper so they aren’t bothered by the inconvenience of a bathroom break. Don’t want to have to spare the time to do that when a winning streak may be imminent!
Note to self: Those same people also handle the chips. Don’t mind me, just gonna carry a pint of anti-bacterial sanitizer with me at all times.
The smoky atmosphere ain’t helping my health either. I realize there are ventilation systems in place to help absorb some of the secondhand smoke, but still. The air is significantly different once you step inside of a casino.
And sitting next to a smoker at the poker table just makes the experience that much more memorable.
7 – Big Brother Is Always Watching
You are being watched from a wide variety of angles. There’s cameras, undercover security, and casino managers roam constantly to keep a keen eye on everything, especially the big winners (otherwise referred to as “whales”).
Talk about your candid camera!
From the hallways to the bar, there’s more eyes on me than a three-month-old potato. I suppose it’s also for my own protection, as there is a veritable soup of disreputable individuals floating in the mix.
Don’t leave your property unattended.
8 – Getting Paid With a Voucher
In the old days, coins actually fell from the slot machine and you hoisted the loot up in a bucket or bag. Now, it’s a voucher, and that’s because studies have shown you’re more prone to slipping it back into another machine where you might just lose it all.
You’re going to have to face the fact the house always has the edge, or else the house would fail to stand. But then, what if you’ll be one of the lucky ones who beat the odds? That’s the mindset they hope you maintain, along with the 2,000 other suckers on their gaming floor.
Listen, I have nothing against casinos per se. Plenty of them are reputable and try their best to deal with all of the problems I’ve mentioned here, but there’s a reason I prefer playing at online casinos. It’s just so much better to be sitting at home, lazing around on my computer or phone, than dealing with the madness at the casinos.
So, what about you? What do you hate most about brick and mortar casinos? Let me know in the comments!