National Blackjack Day Interview with High Roller Radio

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts it has been a pleasure getting to know many of the people out there who have similar interests as I do in the gaming industry.  Recently I was lucky enough to be interviewed on High Roller Radio about National Blackjack Day.

We had a fun conversation about 3:2 blackjack, #NationalBlackjackDay and the ways casino companies can improve their experience for everyone, including millennials.  If you have a moment take a listen and let me know what you think!

Also, while you are there check out some of the other fun interviews and content from some great experts and characters in the gambling world.

Blackjack Day Goes International

Today I had a great conversation with High Roller Radio about 3:2 National Blackjack Day as well as some general gaming industry trends.  He is a strong industry advocate with a passion for Poker and all things gaming.  Since he is based in Canada I’m chalking this up to an international expansion of #NationalBlackjackDay.

If you’d like to hear our conversation you can listen here and if you’d like to hear more interesting people than me interviewed about gaming you can visit High Roller Radio to find all of this great content.

As always I’m impressed with the people who have personal interest and passion for the gaming industry and it was a pleasure to take part in this interview.

My Idea to Bring Millennials to Casino Gaming (Not VR, eSports or Video Games)

Holy hell, if I never read another article about millennials and gambling it would be great by me.  And yet here I am writing one.

So let’s get to it, how can I, an unknown blogger who doesn’t work in the industry add any value to this conversation?  I’m a digital and brand marketing strategy guy by trade and so I look at this as a strategic marketing question rather than a gaming issue.

What do millennials want?  I don’t really know.  I’m GenX, my kids aren’t old enough to be millennials, but I do know how I would create an experience that may make the gaming experience more attractive to those who will be the next generation of players.

Experience.  That is the key word.  When between 3 to 8 millennial friends get together and say let’s go to Vegas (or another gaming destination) all of them can have an experience at the pool, or the club, or a show, or shooting guns, or driving exotic cars or picking up girls/guys, etc with ease.  But how many of them can have an experience at a craps table or blackjack or roulette without any friction?  One, maybe two?  Maybe it is the money, or not knowing the rules, or losing too quickly, or feeling insecure, or who knows why, but there are too many potential barriers which don’t exist with other activities.

So here goes.  Let’s make gaming an experience.  If you have 3+ people under 35 in your group staying at my casino you get to have an hour behind the tables – not the ‘free gaming sessions from 11-noon’ but a real experience.  You get your own private tables to deal blackjack to your friends, you get to rake the craps dice, you get to spin the ball in the roulette wheel.  Holy shit I want to spin the ball!!!  But wait, random blog guy, with no experience in the industry we can’t do that!  There are rules, and millennials want to play Frogger, and what about the social media, this will never work.

Whatever, you are smarter than me, figure it out.  Do this with Total Reward credits, oh snap, you just signed up a bunch of millennials to your rewards program!  Screw Frogger or whatever the hot game is, by the time you put it in your casino the kids will have moved on to the next game and you’ll have a bunch of lame old games on your floor.  And can you think of something more Insta-friendly than a pic of you spinning the roulette ball for your friends at your own private table in Vegas?

And after your super-friendly staff has made this experience amazing for their new friends, guess what, they will feel really confident in their ability to play these games with real money using the credits they just earned on their rewards cards.  And maybe they’ll tell their friends about it and when they come back to see their favorite DJ this summer.  They can tell their friends they once dealt blackjack and they will show them how to play after they hit the pool.

So there you go.  You’re welcome casino industry.  And when you are ready to run the test case I’ll be happy to be your marketing strategy consultant.

 

When the Family is Away This Gambler Will Play

My wife and kids had a couple of days off last weekend and headed out of town to visit some of her friends and their kids.  I had a few items on the honey-do list, but knew that I’d be able to work in at least one session at our semi-local casino.

As their plans took shape I realized I could get in two trips with a little creative planning.  I split the weekend into 2 parts with a quick day trip to Cherokee Valley River which is only 2 hours away and then a short overnight at Harrah’s Cherokee to play a little poker in addition to my usual blackjack.

Saturday Day Trip: I got up early, walked the dog and headed up to North Carolina for a short day-trip to play some blackjack at Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River.  If you recall from my previous posts this isn’t a great resort destination, but they do have a decent amount of tables and since I had some things to do over the weekend it fit into my plans.

I made the 2 hour drive and for some reason was surprised to find nearly every single seat at every blackjack table full.  This place is not for vacationers so crowded tabled made for good people watching.  I literally saw people running to get a seat when a new $15 table opened and at another table every seat was full while the dealer and pit boss opened new cards and went through the slow process of opening the table.  With that backdrop I actually played some video poker to kill time and broke-even which ain’t bad for a guy who has no clue about the right strategy for that game.

Finally, I was able to find a non-smoking $25 table with a couple of guys who seemed to know what they were doing and jumped in at first base.  The session was pretty decent with only a few bad plays from a guy who couldn’t seem to find the nerve to hit on 14, 15 or 16.  I was flat for the first few rounds and then had a couple of good shoes to get slightly ahead.  The last show before I had to get back in the car and head home was solid and as it came to an end I was on a nice roll when I got to the last hand which of course turned into a big bet, split and frustrating loss which cut into my total win, but being up a few yards overall made the drive home bearable.

President’s Day Overnight: With the holiday I was able to get my work done at the office in short order and head out in the early afternoon for a one-night trip to Harrah’s Cherokee which feels like the Wynn after visiting Valley River earlier in the weekend.  This was my first trip to a casino resort with my dog which was an interesting experience, apparently it is fairly common based on the number of people I passed on the dog trail and the fact that they have a very nice woman at the bell desk who calls herself the ‘Milk Bone Lady’.  The dog did great, which is completely inconsequential, but good to know I can do it again if necessary.

On to the gambling.  I arrived in time for their $80 Monday night NLH poker tournament which was relatively small with under 40 total entries (including re-buys) but well run.  I enjoyed the tournament, made some decent progress and then busted out with pocket 10s vs pocket Jacks in 8th place at the final table.  Not a bad result, I could have gotten away from the 10s but it was getting late and I wanted more action.

After the poker I headed downstairs to the blackjack tables to see what the action looked like.  As usual virtually every seat was taken from the $15 to the $50 tables.  I sat at the one open table on the entire floor which was a $100 6 deck.  I played one shoe solo and broke even, then two drunk guys joined me after asking if I knew how to play since apparently they ran into some of the morons I’ve also seen at the tables in the highest grossing Harrah’s property in the U.S.  These guys were pretty fun, knew how to play, and we went on a nice run which netted over 10 yards in 2 shoes.  After that a couple other people wanted to join so I wished them good luck, cashed my win and headed back to walk the dog before bed.

It was a fun and profitable weekend.  I got the honey-do list done around the house, made 2 trips to my ‘local’ casinos, and learned I could travel for gambling with my dog.  Overall I’d call it a win on all fronts.