We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Discussion for Vegas veterans re: Non-gamblers

Which Las Vegas hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Level Contributor
15,119 posts
31 reviews
Save Topic
Discussion for Vegas veterans re: Non-gamblers

Over the past several months, I have seen more and more posters on this forum who are planning to visit Vegas as non-gamblers. Either they really will not gamble at all, or they will at most stick a $5 bill in a slot machine and call it a day.

The problem with this is that gambling revenue in Vegas is way down. People who come and take advantage of the cheap hotel rooms but don't give anything back through gambling will, in large enough numbers, cause problems for the industry. This will result in fewer discounts and comps for those of us who do gamble.

I say this as someone who might well be considered a low roller by many here, and someone who pays for my hotel rooms and rarely gets a comped night. The point is not how much you "contribute", it's that you do contribute at whatever level you can afford. Simply paying for your hotel room does not begin to cover the actual cost of your stay at current rates.

Of course, you can't force people to gamble. But I wonder whether the casinos, and also we on this forum, should be encouraging non-gamblers to visit Las Vegas. The casinos might be better off raising their rack rates but giving greater discounts and comps to those who gamble.

The only reason I even bring this up is the serious financial straits the casinos are in. MGM/Mirage, Harrah's, and Sands are all flying by the seat of their pants right now. If business were booming then I wouldn't care whether anyone else gambles or not.

Just trying to generate some discussion. Flame away.

Alexandria, VA
Level Contributor
3,705 posts
69 reviews
Save Reply
21. Re: Discussion for Vegas veterans re: Non-gamblers

I understand where you're coming from although I respectfully disagree with your solution a bit.

I'm a low-to-no-roller myself. I'm in Vegas primarily for the entertainment value of the restaurants, shows and general people-watching. I think it was a smart move for Vegas to diversify its offerings. If it weren't for those options, many non-Southern Californians would already be gambling closer to where they live. I know I wouldn't travel 3000 miles to what would be, by my personal reference point, Atlantic City in the desert.

I think where the conglomerates went wrong is by building too many high-end Strip properties. When the stock market and housing values were flying, the aspirational middle-class could hobnob with the high-rollers. Now that the economy is in the tank, a lot of that aspirational crowd has other priorities. Now, the "Bally's" person may be suddenly getting deals only to find the restaurants and other amenities are still the same... so they go back to eat at Bally's.

I believe that "The Big Four" may need to re-evaluate their demographics to include more middle-market offerings. I think that will help shore up what looks to be a rough ride in the foreseeable future.

Carmel, IN
Level Contributor
19 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
22. Re: Discussion for Vegas veterans re: Non-gamblers

Stratton - Funny I posted something similar to this last March saying something's got to give. You replied, by saying that the reason people don't gamble is because the Vegas odds have gotten so crappy. TRUE better odds equal more gamblers.

Yes, non-gamblers hurt the Vegas economy. Gambling is what the city was built on.

I've been going to LV for 20+ years. I'm by no means a high roller, but I receive decent comps because I do gamble. The free rooms and discounted food make it possible for me to gamble.

All the comp changes are probably going to hurt me in the future. I've been a loyal player over the years, not just Vegas but locally as well. I think this helps, at this point anyway, when I receive offers.

I've only seen a few shows over the years (Jersey Boys is great!) and I don't care where I eat. As long as it doesn't cut into my gambling budget and stops my stomach from growling I'm good.

Weather permitting I do spend a few hours at the pool in the mornings. Vitamin D is good after a long Indiana winter.

All this being said, I have to wonder if LV will start pricing the rooms like other cities for non gamblers; and get back to the better gambling odds, comps and cheap food to draw gamblers back.

I have a feeling Vegas will experience builders remorse before all is said and done.

San Antonio, TX
Destination Expert
for San Antonio
Level Contributor
7,418 posts
74 reviews
Save Reply
23. Re: Discussion for Vegas veterans re: Non-gamblers

Most sound businesses - diversify, diversify, diversify. That's exactly what the big boys have done. While their gambling take may be down, I think they are doing pretty good with other forms of of tourist money. ($100+ for a good show)

I would think the area (city, county, business) would want to cultivate non-tourist streams of revenue.

I don't understand why you're worried about the casinos. I'm sure it would be a long, long time before they'd all disappear, and you'll be able to gamble for the rest of your life.

God bless capitalism.

St. John's, Canada
Level Contributor
719 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
24. Re: Discussion for Vegas veterans re: Non-gamblers

Good point, Stratton.

It does appear that Casinos do direct much of their marketing efforts to the non-gambler. I agree that comps should be more fairly distributed to gamblers vs non-gamblers.

Although, I do like the fact that Vegas has many fine dining, show, and spa choices. The glitz and glamour of Vegas is unique.

I'm not sure about MGM rewards, but didn't HET begin giving out rewards points for money spent on meals, shows, and spa services, last year? That seems fair.

Let's face it - Vegas is big business and as such will experience the cyclical nature of the economy, good and bad, just as the the rest of us do.

Level Contributor
15,119 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
25. Re: Discussion for Vegas veterans re: Non-gamblers

To clarify my thoughts a bit:

I am certainly not shedding any tears for the casino empires. It is not *their* losses that concern me in the abstract - as several posters have noted, they are to blame for the consequences of their own decisions. I agree with that completely. My only concern is with the impact that their losses may have on those of us who like to visit LV.

Second, I think some people are forgetting that most of the dining and many of the attractions in Las Vegas are *not* owned by the casinos. If you go to MGM, half the restaurants located there are not owned by MGM/Mirage. So to suggest that non-gamblers are supporting the gaming industry by going to restaurants is not a very good argument.

Third, to the person who said that hotel rates in LV cover the cost of providing the hotel's services, you couldn't be more wrong. Do you think it's a coincidence that hotel rates in LV are lower than in comparable major cities? No. They're lower because they're being subsidized by gaming. There is no way that hotels like Wynn and Bellagio could continue to operate without the gaming revenue. Take out the casinos and the room rates would more than double.

Finally, to the person who clearly didn't get the point: Nobody is talking about making people gamble. What I am talking about is discouraging people from coming to Las Vegas who are really not paying their fair share. Though obviously there is disagreement over whether that is in fact the case.

Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
509 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
26. Re: Discussion for Vegas veterans re: Non-gamblers

I think the hotels would appreciate non-gamers coming into town and staying for $100 a night (or whatever the rate is). Isn't $100 profit better than nothing? I'm sure it adds up as many non-gamers enjoy Vegas.

Level Contributor
113 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
27. Re: Discussion for Vegas veterans re: Non-gamblers

"Finally, to the person who clearly didn't get the point: Nobody is talking about making people gamble. What I am talking about is discouraging people from coming to Las Vegas who are really not paying their fair share. Though obviously there is disagreement over whether that is in fact the case."

At the risk of getting slammed in this forum, you have convinced me.

I am not a gambler. I don't find it to be entertaining to shove my hard earned money in a machine or slap it down on a table and watch it get gobbled up.

Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed my trips to Las Vegas!

I was planning my third trip to Vegas this fall but you have convinced me to take my $6000.00 Canadian and spend it elsewhere - probably in CANADA.

I would have spent that money in retaurantss, at shows, shopping, liqour stores, Hoover Dam, etc. but I wouldn't want to risk being accused of not supporting the local economy.


Omaha, Nebraska
Destination Expert
for Omaha
Level Contributor
3,478 posts
181 reviews
Save Reply
28. Re: Discussion for Vegas veterans re: Non-gamblers

I know a lot of people that go to Las Vegas and do not gamble. I also know quite a few that do!

We we attended conventions there most of my co workers do not gamble or , like you noted drop a few bucks in a slot machine and call it a night. I have two co workers who have had trips this year and neither gambled a dime.

One co worker went back with family last month, they stayed in a rental condo, saw LaReve ( liked it ) and Donnie and Marie ( and he suprisingly liked it ). They ate at the buffet at Wynn and a few middle of the road places. He does not like Vegas and would not have gone unless the wife and inlaws dragged him but he had a good time.

A lady I work with went a few weeks ago - stayed at Encore ( loved it ) 4 nights with her daughter. They did no gambling, did some shopping instead. Saw 'O' - loved it, Chris Angel ( her daughter is a big fan and actually got called up on stage to participate - the highlight of her trip! ) they of course loved that show. Ate at Cafe Ba Ba Rebba ( good ) , Bartolotta ( loved it ) and some other places....

Some relatives / friends of mine went in November with a group of 6 adults - stayed at the Luxor ( OK but didnt like th elocation too well ) - that group gambled regularly - she broke even for the trip on the last day on the Ebay machine at the Luxor so was very happy when she came home - one other gal in the party hit a big slot win on the last day and got her money back and all that she borrowed off everyone - too funny - not sure where that was though. These people drop a few hundred each a day into mostly slots and the guys some BJ. 4 of the party went back last month again.

Of course we will be gambling when we get there with a group of 12 for an International horse show. Most of the people that we will be there with do not gamble or only play a little - the show is their focus. Most of these folks would rather drop the money on a good meal / wine / drinks than gamble it. As far as gambling - since I have nice places to play 30 minutes away from me and play very regularly, I don't really go nuts to get my 'gambling fix' for the year or whatever when I get there - I will play when and what I feel like playing.

Level Contributor
15,119 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
29. Re: Discussion for Vegas veterans re: Non-gamblers

LuvH20 - If a hotel room costs $100/night that does not equal $100 *profit* for the hotel! Believe it or not, it actually costs money to pay employees, buy supplies, pay for utilities etc.!

*sigh* I guess they don't teach basic economics in school anymore. No wonder people think corporations are evil.

Level Contributor
15,119 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
30. Re: Discussion for Vegas veterans re: Non-gamblers

mason1 - That sound you hear is the complete absence of public protests demanding your return :)