Encore Player’s Club Makes a Play for Millennials But Creates a Space for Everyone

The new Encore Player’s Club had a specific goal in mind. Encore wanted to turn a low-earning section of its casino floor into a place that would appeal to Millennials.

In the process, it’s done what we expect many other casinos will soon do—it’s created a space that’s accessible and inviting, a mixture of casino and game room and lounge. While it’s intended for a nightclub crowd, it’s nothing like a nightclub, which makes it all the more appealing to a certain Las Vegas blog.

Encore Player's Club

Doesn’t look like a casino, does it? That may just be the point.

It should be noted the Encore Player’s Club has nothing to with the casino’s loyalty club. That confusion is likely to be cleared up when Encore Player’s Club gets another name. Yes, already.

Executives realized quickly the name was misleading, and we’ve heard the shiny new Encore Player’s Club signs will be coming down soon. Rumor has it the name “Millennial Club” was being considered, but the prevailing thinking is the word “club” tends to imply exclusive access, when the Encore Player’s Club is meant to be appealing and accessible to everyone.

Encore Player's Club

These signs are on the way out before most people even know they’re in.

Encore Player’s Club is a roughly 5,000-square-foot section of the Encore casino, part casino, part arcade and part man cave.

The location of Encore Player’s Club is a key asset. It’s in very close proximity to Surrender Nightclub, VDKA bar and Andrea’s restaurant.

Encore Player's Club

It’s fun watching what casino suits think Millennials want. This may just be that.

Encore Player’s Club has several traditional casino table games, and a few slot machines, but most of the space is taken up by couches and touchscreen tables.

The touchscreen tables provide a number of entertainment options. There are a slew of free games, plus they can also be used to watch TV. From what we could see, guests can watch four sporting events on the tables at one time. Not too shabby.

Encore Player's Club

Ever been in a bar or lounge that had the wrong game on the TVs? Problem solved.

The walls of Encore Player’s Club are lined with an additional 23 56-inch HD TVs.

It’s anticipated guests will be able to place sports bets at the tables in the future.

The games on the Suzo Happ InteractivePro tables may not hold the interest of Millenials, the stated audience. The games are sluggish and simplistic compared to games played on dedicated videogame consoles, or even smartphones.

But the games are a fun diversion, and a great conversation-starter and social lubricant.

Encore Player's Club

Don’t play solitaire in a social setting. People will think you’re a serial killer.

The tables allow guests to log into their various social media platforms, which seems an odd thing for someone to do at a casino-lounge. Smartphones will run circles around these tables, but again, they’re more a conversation piece than the actual point. (It should be noted we couldn’t find any outlets for charging mobile devices. These pesky Millennials are sure to notice such things.)

The point? It’s a place to hang out with friends (most of the tables can accommodate groups of eight people), to order expensive cocktails, to grab a quick bite and gamble a little.

Wynn’s Vice President of Operations Sean Christie (who was actually in the Encore Player’s Club during the entire duration of our Saturday afternoon visit) says the goal is to “create a distinctive social space to gamble with friends, watch the game or hang out before hitting the club.” Mission accomplished.

Aside from the touchscreen tables, Encore Player’s Club also features a shuffleboard table.

Encore Player's Club

Shuffleboard and cleavage should provide some additional amusement.

There’s also a billiard table from the Manhattan apartment of none other than Steve Wynn himself. You can see the table in its native habitat in Architectural Digest.

While anyone can play pool on the table now, it’s rumored once Encore Player’s Club opens officially, it will be reserved for invited guests only.

Encore Player's Club

Blatt Billiards table take six to eight months to complete, and run between $20,000 and $65,000. Some specialty tables cost as much as $185,000.

A DJ spins starting at 9:00 p.m. each night.

Next up, the libations! Here’s a look at the signature drinks offered at Encore Player’s Club.

Encore Player's Club

Yes, they’re $18. Millenials splurge on experiences!

We tried the Cherries and Berries, the drink which most clearly qualifies as a panty-dropper cocktail.

Encore Player's Club

The Cherries and Berries has Grey Goose Cherry Noir vodka, Berry Fusion liqueur, sweet and sour, pineapple juice and simple syrup.

During our visit, we also had a Cosmopolitan. The garnish was on the fancy side.

Encore Player's Club cocktaill

Guess who’s getting a billion repins on Pinterest!

Food is served in Encore Player’s Club, courtesy of the nearby Wazuzu restaurant.

While the cocktails are on the pricey side, the bites are moderately-priced by Strip standards, with nothing on the special menu costing more than $16.

The menu features starters like pot stickers, dumplings and Indonesian corn fritters, “Cut Rolls,” entrees like a grilled chicken salad, chicken fingers and sliders, and desserts like a dark chocolate brownie, a fruit bowl and a warm chocolate chip cookie for which we will be returning soon.

One of the more appealing features of the Encore Player’s Club is that one can do the aforementioned hanging out at the touchscreen tables, order food and drinks, and then step over to the craps or blackjack tables. It’s sort of like your house would be if you had a full-sized craps table in your house. Which we’re going to someday, mark our words.

Encore Player’s Club doesn’t officially open until Jan. 6, 2015, so for now it’s free to occupy the tables. Word is there will be a $100 minimum for the tables once the area is officially open, which won’t be too difficult to hit if you order a few drinks and menu items.

The staff at Encore Player’s Club were exceptionally friendly and helpful. The casino staff were especially outgoing, seemingly relaxed being in such close proximity to a place intended to invite chillaxing.

Encore Player's Club

Come on, Millennials, casinos are freaking out. Throw them a bone by throwing dem bones.

On the casino side, the tables have surprisingly reasonable table limits for a Strip casino of Encore’s caliber. Blackjack had $15 minimums, craps was $10, as was roulette.

Overall, we found Encore Player’s Club to be an unassuming, welcoming place to relax and enjoy a great hotel-casino. Bonus points for them not freaking out about us taking photos.

Encore Player’s Club is touted as being the first of its kind, which is only true if you’re not aware many of its offerings have been tried elsewhere.

SLS Las Vegas, for example, has a lounge in its casino, near its Center Bar. Rio Las Vegas has had Microsoft Surface tables in iBar for some time now. The Cosmopolitan has Millennial-friendly common area with a pool table. Lavo Nightclub at Palazzo recently opened a gambling area, Lavo Casino Club. Slots-A-Fun at Circus Circus has pool tables and foosball in the middle of its casino floor.

Still, Encore Player’s Club is just different enough to warrant watching. The challenge for casinos is to try and capture younger guests who may not see gambling as the main reason they visit Las Vegas resorts. Encore Player’s Club is sort of a bridge between nightlife and gambling, and we’ll be back despite liking only one of those things. (Hint: It’s the one that doesn’t involve cochlear damage.)

Encore Player's Club Las Vegas

For a frame of reference, Encore Player’s Club resides on the opposite end of the likelihood-of-success scale as hosting an eSports team. Long story.

Encore Player’s Club is open Monday through Sunday, 8:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m., with extended hours on game days. The touchscreen tables are on at other times, so stop by and check them out. You can get the signature cocktails on the Encore Player’s Club menu anytime at VDKA bar, by the way.

A final insider tip: To get the most out of your Encore Player’s Club experience, be an attractive woman. Staff will often give drink tickets to attractive woman to keep them lounging, which in turn draws men, often the big spenders at the tables.

If you swing by Encore Player’s Club, let us know what you think. Tell them the blog with the uncanny shuffleboard skills sent you.

Encore Player's Club

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  • Funkhouser_1

    Ugh! Wynn took what was a beautiful casino floor dropped a turd right in the middle of it. All in the name of being hip and inviting to the young beautiful people. Who came up with this idea?! We who frequent Vegas know that The Steve does not do anything out of the kindness of his heart. This place was built to extract more revenue than the casino space was producing, what was absent from this article is the F&B minimums guests stopping by “Encore Players Club” will be expected to shell out to gaze upon those new TV screens. Nothing about this place evokes an atmosphere to make me want to travel down the street and “hang” with The Steve and his minions. Sure the table top screens are cool, but didn’t The Rio try something like this years ago at i-bar or flirt? Nope my guess is this will be a quick failure since the millennials would rather be spending that money at a cool bar, nightclub, or even down at the Golden Spike where they can talk about hanging out where the Real World 100 filmed. Hoping this place fails fast, and The Steve goes back to what he does best creating luxury in Vegas.

  • Troy Swezey

    While I was reading the article I thought, “Hmmm… This is a place I could take my tablet and hang out and get some work done like I do at that bar near Parasol at Wynn or the asian area near Mizuya at Mandalay or the Airstream bar at Silverton but then I read something about having to pay $100 and my eyes glossed and or glassed over.
    Saw, what are some other places in town where I can sip a drink and get some lounging / laptop work done?

  • Mako10

    The name wont be the only thing they change. This just looks…BAD. They just took out the slot machines and put in some couches and velvet ropes. Sorry, who wants to pay to sit on a couch with people strolling by next to you…no walls, no privacy. At least Alibi is dark inside and has curtains. And Lavo Casino is completely closed off. Whoever thought of this obviously saw those two places and had a cockamamie idea to try to combine them. A pool table? sorry folks, im not gonna get dressed up to play pool. And shuffleboard? LOL You kidding me? This is a big ole Fail.

  • Bouldersteve

    The pool table is cool. But that is about it.

    • Brian Roeder

      Great table made by Blatt Billiards.

      • Yeah, it sounded like a top of the line table, thanks.

  • Table minimums aside, I actually think they’ve done a pretty good job with this space. It’s all about $/sq ft. I find it interesting when people claim they don’t connect with a certain space or atmosphere, failing to realize it’s not meant for their taste. I don’t think everything here is a winner, but it’ll be pretty easy to pivot after a few months worth of analysis.

    This place isn’t for the frequent Vegas gamblers. This is designed to reach out to a certain demographic and to enhance profit in an otherwise under-performing space. Hopefully it works out for them.