Whale hunting

Often, people from other countries or even other states think that government regulation of gambling is faintly repressive–that the Nevada Control Board works hard to limit gambling in Nevada. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. As this story from the Sun shows, the GCB actually is pushing casinos to attract more gamblers:

State gaming regulators on Wednesday asked two of Nevada’s largest casinos to make like Capt. Ahab and hunt more vigorously for so-called “super whales.”

Representatives from Caesars Palace and Mandalay Bay came to the Sawyer Building seeking Gaming Control Board approval to continue operating private gaming salons in their respective Strip casinos.

Both officials got what they came for, but only after board members spent several minutes chastising them for failing to meet past promises that the salons would attract more high rollers, or “whales,” to Las Vegas rather than other international gaming destinations.

Board member Bobby Siller said he was discouraged that Caesars has only lured one new customer, and just two players overall, to its private salon during its first two years of operation. He was more upset when a Mandalay executive added her resort’s private gaming area was only used 10 times by six players, all existing customers, during that same span.

“It just seems like no one is making an effort to go after this selective group,” Siller said of extreme high rollers, which he dubbed super whales. “What have you been doing the last two years?”

When gaming companies in 2002 asked the state to overturn a law that required all gaming to take place in public, Siller said the casino industry indicated a pool of high-end players had been identified and was seemingly waiting in the wings to gamble privately in Nevada. Though he does not oppose salons, Siller wondered why those players have not materialized.

“It just seems like you’re not holding up your end of the commitment to create new customers,” Siller said.

Casinos save whales’ salons: Officials told to work harder to lure bettors for high-roller rooms

Only in Nevada. I love this state, where gaming regulators want to attract high rollers more than casino marketing people.

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