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Best of Mark Pilarski

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Deal Me In: About those resort fees ...

26 June 2015

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
Recent Articles
Best of Mark Pilarski
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.