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Deal Me In: About those resort fees ...

26 June 2015

By Mark Pilarski
Dear Mark: I would like to take exception to your column last week as regards to resort fees. I manage the pool at a Las Vegas casino, and I can tell you that today’s pool setting is not your Motel 6, let alone a casino hotel of 15 years ago. You should have taken into consideration that just because a player does not use any of our facilities, the costs of the building and maintenance of the world-class amenities our casino provides do not go away. Could you please not mention my name or the casino that I work for if you decide to publish my comments? Thank you. Anonymous

At the outset, as for both you and your hotel/casino remaining anonymous, I’m down with that. Upstairs management, rightfully, does not want just any employee taking over the public relations department.

As for me not “taking into consideration that just because a player does not use any of our facilities, the costs of the building and maintenance of the world-class amenities our casino provides do not go away,” oh, but I do.

I live on a golf course, and pay a pretty penny to do so. And yet, I do NOT golf, nor do I use any of the course amenities, at all. The occasional wayward ball I come across while taking an evening stroll – I’ve been told the Titleist Pro V1x are worth some ka-ching – doesn’t even come close to covering any of my homeowners association fees.

Furthermore, allow me to post some poolside pricing from one receipt a reader sent me from the Encore Beach Club. Let’s begin with a bottle of Grey Goose vodka ($695.00), followed by a Mag of Grey Goose ($1295.00). Multiple bottles of Corona and Heineken at $12.00 a pop; a pitcher of John Daly for $297.00; Frozen daiquiris at $19 each. One bottle of Ciroc Berry vodka for $675. Huh, look here: seems they waived the price of the cabana ($0.00). With a bit of luck, probably not, what happened in this Vegas cabana, stayed in Vegas.

Granted, this receipt was not from the casino/resort where you work, but with mark-up pricing at 25X what I am paying off the shelf at my local party store, I continue to have a problem with a casino that wants to charge me a $30 nightly fee for NOT using their swimming hole. Just sayin’.

Dear Mark: I am glad that Reno is still giving away freebies. I just visited this past May and was comped for three nights at the Peppermill. The Peppermill is a beautiful casino, great pool and eateries. I am not a 'whale,' and visit Reno, at most, twice a year. I usually 'donate' and have not gotten a royal flush on video poker in 11 years. At all the Reno casino bars, I was NOT charged for drinks while I was playing video poker. I did have a 'hold' put on my credit card for the resort fee, but after a few days at home, I checked the bank and the fee was NOT deducted. Gerry P.

Reno has always been a competitive market, which certainly benefits the low-roller. True, those $0.99 breakfast specials at the Club Cal Neva are long gone, along with many other ultra-low-priced food deals from yesteryear, but I just can’t imagine a Reno casino charging for a drink while you’re playing video poker at the casino bar.

As you well know, Gerry, Reno, besides now having three In-N-Out Burger locations, still has plenty to offer the bargain player, and I would encourage those that are choosing between Reno/Tahoe and Las Vegas, to give Northern Nevada a second look.

Gambling Wisdom of the Week: “Comps are the Marxist dialectic of casino play. The haves lord it over the have-nots, and the have-nots want what the haves have.” – Frank Scoblete
 

Deal Me In: Change only happens when customers demand it

19 June 2015
Dear Mark: After reading some of your recent columns about gambling in the Detroit Free Press after a recent trip to Vegas, I thought I would share some observations of how Vegas is prying more money out of our pockets. Regarding ways to pass time at low cost, as I have done in the past, I sat down and played video poker at a bar-mounted machine, and ordered a beer. ... (read more)
 

Deal Me In: Guaranteed jackpot not related to random number generator

12 June 2015
Dear Mark: How does a casino promise that a specific jackpot will be hit within a certain time frame? For instance, say a machine starts with a jackpot of $25,000 and it is guaranteed to be won by the time it reaches $100,000. If all spins are random, how is this possible? Jim D. Guaranteeing that the ... (read more)
 

Deal Me In: Doing dice the easy way

5 June 2015
Dear Mark: I would like to learn how to play dice. What is the best way? Dave K. Craps with confidence, Dave, commences by reading a decent book on the game. For the dice apprentice, Henry Tamburin’s Craps: Take the Money and Run or Beat the Craps Out of the Casino by Frank Scoblete are two of my favorites for the beginner player. ... (read more)

Next 10 Articles >

  • Featured Articles

Deal Me In: Time-killing bet causes confusion

Dear Mark: I enjoyed your May 1, 2015 column on "low roller" time-killing bets (keno in particular). It brought back memories. I only dabbled with keno when I exceeded my gambling budget for the day, and I'm certainly not an expert.However, it seems that you should have mentioned that keno odds vary between ... (read more)
 

Deal Me In: Think of keno as a spectator sport

Dear Mark: My wife has an upcoming convention in Las Vegas, and I have decided to tag along. As I am from Vermont, where at least for now there are no casinos, my experience in gambling is very limited: none! Considering this, and with me needing to kill time, along with an unwillingness to spend a lot of ... (read more)
 

Deal Me In: A courtesy, or something more ominous?

Dear Mark: In a recent column you addressed a reader named Danny, who only likes to play on hand-shuffled games. Include me on that list. Where you find hand-shuffled games, I have noticed signage posted along these lines: “As a courtesy to the other players, no mid-deck entry." Interestingly, you never see this same sign at machine-shuffled games. ... (read more)
 

Deal Me In: Appearances can be deceiving

Dear Mark: I have been a longtime, 20-year reader of your column. Your weekly column offers terrific material for us aspiring gamblers. I do strictly abide by your “make only bets that have less than a 2 percent house rule” with one exception. As you advise, I am always on the lookout for a single-zero roulette table where the house edge is cut in half. ... (read more)
 

Deal Me In: Using this lotto write-off ruse is ill advised

Dear Mark: I have a tax liability from a slot jackpot win from this past November of $20,000. Because I have never won any sizable amount in the past, I didn’t do what you have suggested multiple times, that is, keep accurate records of my play. All I have is the tax form from the casino and no documented losses to offset that win. ... (read more)
Mark Pilarski
As a recognized authority on casino gambling, Mark Pilarski survived 18 years in the casino trenches, working for seven different casinos. Mark now writes a nationally syndicated gambling column, is a university lecturer, author, reviewer and contributing editor for numerous gaming periodicals, and is the creator of the best-selling, award-winning audiocassette series on casino gambling, Hooked on Winning.
Mark Pilarski
As a recognized authority on casino gambling, Mark Pilarski survived 18 years in the casino trenches, working for seven different casinos. Mark now writes a nationally syndicated gambling column, is a university lecturer, author, reviewer and contributing editor for numerous gaming periodicals, and is the creator of the best-selling, award-winning audiocassette series on casino gambling, Hooked on Winning.