The Death Of The Low Roller Joint.
Started by TheVegasKing on Saturday, 5th January 2013 2:05 am
Is anyone else as concerned/bummed about the loss of The Sahara, O'Sheas, Slots A Fun (without table games anymore it's dead to me, and the "Outdoor" Craps table was the coolest table game setting in town) and now Bill's?
As a low roller, these were the main establishments I gambled at. Not just because of the lower table limits but also because I enjoyed the more laid back and entertaining environment that existed due to the patrons and the overall vibe of these places.
I know I can always head downtown but it saddens me that the Strip seems to be losing a lot of the Casinos that had their own unique character and charm.
Last response by Sturmgeist 8th January 1:33pm
Jammer responded on Saturday, 5th January 2013
Have to agree with you. I am gutted Bills is closing down, more and more generic 'nighclubly' places on the strip and more chain resturants. That's fine in some places but don't take them away totally.
Where else can you go in the world and have a top notch steak dinner then move onto play beer pong (RIP O' Sheas) and $3 craps? At least Casino Royale is still around.
Bills, I will miss your $2 margs, cheap gaming and cheap steaks.
vespajet responded on Saturday, 5th January 2013
You still have places like Casino Royale and The Quad on The Strip and there are plenty of low roller spots Downtown. When I was out there back in October for VIMFP, Casino Royale was packed on the Friday afternoon of the Casino Royale Challenge. I didn't venture into the Imperial Palace to see how busy they were.
One thing to remember is that gaming revenues are not the main source of revenue for casinos these days. Years ago, the casinos made their money off of the gaming and stuff like food and shopping were afterthoughts. Entertainment was big as well and very much tied into the gaming, as folks would likely do some gambling before or after seeing a show and it was the casinos that created the 90 minute show length so to not keep patrons off of the casino floor for too long.
Catering to low rollers may pack a casino, but in the end, they may not be able to maximize revenue off of them. With the vast majority of casinos owned and operated by publicly traded companies, they have stock holders that they have to answer to and stock holders want the companies they invest in to maximize their revenue potential so they can make money off of the stock.
saharalv responded on Saturday, 5th January 2013
I'm a sucker for tradition and nostalgia and I'm beginning to think that is the only reason I stay on the Strip when I'm in Vegas. I still like the Mirage and roaming the Strip, but all of the new developments on the Strip bore me to tears these days. It all looks the same. Yawn. I do love low-roller Casino Royale, but it's not a place I can linger for hours (mostly because of their beer situation).
I have much more fun downtown eating and drinking at Triple 7, playing at Main Street and El Cortez, etc. I used to stay on the Strip for my entire trips, but these days Downtown is more my speed. Give it some time and you'll fall in love, too.
theROLA responded on Saturday, 5th January 2013
Freemont Street stole my heart a long time ago, but the things that pulled me to the Strip are going away. I haven't even ventured to LV BLVD my last 3 trips. No O'Sheas, no me :(
Bills falling victim to modern Vegas is sad. I don't mind some of the glitz, glam, shopping, high end dining, but without the mix of places like Bill's and O'Sheas, I will keep preaching Downtown to anyone who will listen.
vespajet replied on Saturday, 5th January 2013
I still love Fremont Street, but I rediscovered my love for the Strip back in March 2011 (split my stay between Fremont Street and the Strip) and have stayed on the Strip exclusively my last two trips and will be doing so my next trip as well.
I do miss a lot of the old places that were great for cheap gaming on The Strip, but in recent years, I'm finding that gambling has become less and less of the reason why I go to Vegas. If it was just about the gambling, I would opt for casinos closer to home in Mississippi and North Carolina instead of going to Vegas.
dmouldon responded on Saturday, 5th January 2013
AS A LOW ROLLER, I LEARNED LONG AGO THAT THE STRIP IS FOR SIGHTSEEING AND PEOPLE-WATCHING AND NOT FOR A LOT OF GAMING. STILL SOME REASONABLE TABLES AT TROPICANA, STRATOSHPHERE AND THE MARGARITAVILLE SECTION OF FLAMINGO, BUT EVEN WHEN WE STAY ON THE STRIP, WE OFTEN TAKE THE FREE SHUTTLE TO ORLEANS AND GOLD COAST TO GAMBLE. THESE LOCALS JOINTS ARE FUN, FUNKY, INEXPENSIVE FOR FOOD AS WELL AS GAMING AND JUST HAVE MORE OF THAT UNPRETENTIOUS VIBE THAN THE UPSCALE JOINTS ON THE STRIP THAT NOW CATER TO THE YOUNG, WELL-OFF YUPSTERS.
coybotjr replied on Saturday, 5th January 2013
IF I TYPE IN ALL CAPS, PEOPLE WILL LISTEN!
Chuckmonster replied on Saturday, 5th January 2013
Okie21 replied on Sunday, 6th January 2013
Sturmgeist replied on Tuesday, 8th January 2013
CAPS LOCK! I UNDERSTAND YOU MOAR NOW DUE TO IT!
edrock responded on Saturday, 5th January 2013
I agree with several sentiments on this thread. In my 20's(the mid 90's) I lived at O'Sheas, Barbary Coast, Casino Royal and other low ball strip joints. My thing was sight see all the nice new places by day, gamble and drink cheap by night. By 99/00 I was pretty much staying exclusively at the Golden Nugget. I have in the past few years started staying on the strip again, usually once a year when I take my mother. I usually go 4 times a year or more to Vegas.
I have also started staying locals joints on occasion too. I go to Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender at the Orleans every year and I have had good experiences there as well as the Gold Coast and Palace Station as well. Ive never set foot in a legit club in Vegas and dont ever plan too. Not my thing.
I am always amazed at the posts on here by the amount of money people throw around in Vegas. Playing at Bellagio, Wynn Or Aria is not in my cards. I always try to get the best I can for as little as I can when I go to Vegas. I have been fortunate to find some good places in town.
levans responded on Saturday, 5th January 2013
I cannot say that I will miss places like this because gambling has become a relatively small part of the time I spend in Vegas. As it has been said in previous posts gambling isn't a major part of revenue for most places-entertainment is. I wandered into the Sahara once and couldn't get out of the place fast enough.
Drake responded on Sunday, 6th January 2013
Hell, let's not forget Boardwalk!!! I loved playing $5 BJ there under the clowns, and the years that Purple Reign played in the lounge were just outstanding. You couldn't go wrong if you liked cheap gambling, colorful fellow gamblers, great music, and heavy boozing. And their 24-hour seafood buffet, oh my. It took a brave man or woman to belly up to that at 3:00 am.
I don't sit down much at the tables anymore myself, but it's the ambiance that I miss. When a place is rockin' like an old-time saloon and gambling hall, it's just a whole different experience.
motoman responded on Monday, 7th January 2013
Oh Hell yeah!
Agree with OP's remarks on Slots A Fun, especially. Without the table games and that awesome craps table, the place is dead. Period. I just hope those dealers got to keep their jobs at other MGM properties (and not just CircusCircus either).
Even after we began staying at Wynncore, we'd hike up to Slots for the fun low-limit (and therefore, low-pressure) atmosphere. And they had Newcastle! But now... well at least they sell the casino card decks cheap at the gift shop.
blissfulignoramus responded on Monday, 7th January 2013
It was a slow death. As far as I'm concerned, the classic low roller joints had been on life support for years, moving to almost all novelty card games, and no good rules on blackjack. You might find a $5 table on the strip, but the rules have been terrible for years. I'd rather put more money down per hand and play less.
And don't get me started about the demise of the the low roller's paradise: the sports book.
level42 responded on Monday, 7th January 2013
While I really enjoy staying, dining, and hanging out in the higher end places, I did a lot more gambling at Westward Ho, Bourbon Street, and Barbary Coast than I've ever done at Wynncore/Aria/Cosmo/Venetian/Palazzo/Bellagio. I played more at Stardust than all of those combined. These days I don't have the bankroll that I once had, so the small amount of gambling I do happens at El Cortez, Bill's, LVH (Sportsbook), M Resort, or Main Street Station. I'm very sad Bill's will be closed by the time I get back out again...would like to stay there one more time before they replace the dealers with DJ's.
The reality is, this era of Vegas that we're in is not about gambling...and I don't see that changing anytime soon. Speaking as someone that has recently been forced to sell a once very profitable business for pennies on the dollar, I imagine it would be near impossible to keep the lights on at a small, independent joint located on The Strip, with $0.10 craps and $1 Blackjack. Look at The Western...the ultimate low roller joint. That place was most certainly completely paid off, they didn't have the expense of operating a hotel, and they had a very loyal group of patrons that spent 8-10 hours a day, 7 days a week there. They were not putting any money into improving the property, but their owners still felt it wasn't worth keeping the doors open and the lights on for whatever small amount of income it generated.
While I care nothing for the Daylife/Nightlife scene, I completely understand why the operators are investing heavily in it. 5000% profit on a bottle of liquor is what is keeping the lights on the strip burning brightly in 2013...not the gaming floor.
jinx73 responded on Tuesday, 8th January 2013
As others have pointed out, low roller havens have come and gone over the years, Bills and Osheas were just the new flavor, there are still plenty of options on the strip and if there is a market will continue to be. If I was looking to low roll, then I'd put Casino Royale, Quad, Tropicana, Hooters, Westin, and Excalibur (you could add Riviera, Strat, and Circus Circus here too) on my list, better then average shot at finding regular $5 tables at all of those and many have bars positioned for that crowd (read: beer pong and drink specials).
As others have mentioned, be around Las Vegas long enough and it's mostly just the names that change, not the types of spots. Bourbon Street, Boardwalk, Slots of fun, Osheas, Sahara, Stardust, Westward Ho, New Frontier, etc.
Sturmgeist responded on Tuesday, 8th January 2013
Slots-A-Fun also became dead to me when the craps table vanished. I loved the Sahara even if it was a dump. So much history in it. O'sheas was meh to me but still fun. Now that Bill's is going to be changing I'll be spending some time there in 3 weeks.
Riviera and Casino Royale could be gone within the next 5 years as well for some other stupid beancounters idea.