Category Archives: Las Vegas Casinos

Station Casinos Tests Cardless Loyalty Club System That Could Change Everything

Easily one of the most annoying things about gambling in casinos is the loyalty club card shuffle. Carry. Insert. Insert again. Insert again, with profanity. Leave behind. Stand in line to replace. Repeat.

With all the technology at our fingertips, it’s baffling why players must continue to wrestle with plastic cards to get what’s coming to them.

Station Casinos feels your pain and is doing something about it.

Casino loyalty club cards

The loyalty club card struggle is real.

Station Casinos is testing a new system that promises to make connecting to your slot machine quick, easy and cardless.

We’re happy to report the new system fulfills on its promise.

At the moment, the new cardless loyalty system is only in one Las Vegas casino, Barley’s Casino & Brewing Co. in Henderson. Let’s just say Barley’s is quaint and leave it at that.

Barley's Casino

Barley’s. We don’t need no stinking table games.

Here’s how this cardless system works.

First, casino guests download the Station Casinos app. It’s a one-time thing, and takes a few seconds.

We made the mistake of downloading a similarly-named app, so make sure to get the right one.

Station Casinos app

It’s the one on the bottom. We just saved you upwards of three minutes right there.

Many Station Casinos customers already use the app to track their point balance, make restaurant reservations and book rooms.

Once the app is installed, players link the app to their loyalty club account, otherwise known as a “Boarding Pass.”

Station Casinos app

The account linking process is a great reminder you don’t know your mother well enough.

That’s pretty much it for the set-up, then you’re ready to connect to your slot machine. Without a card. Or one of those coiled leashes. Just your smartphone. Glorious.

Just hold your phone near the slot machine’s card slot (make sure Bluetooth is enabled), hit “Connect to Machine” (see below) and magical slot machine elves do the rest.

That’s probably not the technical methodology you were hoping to see here, but we are a blog, not an app developer.

Cardless Connect

Don’t make fun of our tier, it’s rude.

Once you’re connected to the slot machine, you accumulate points just as you would with your old-timey loyalty club card.

You can tell you’re connected because the card slot turns green.

Casino cardless loyalty club

You’re good, bro.

Your app will confirm you’re good, bro.

Casino cardless loyalty club

In Vegas, it’s all about being connected.

When your session is done, you can hit the “Disconnect” button on the app, or the system will disconnect automatically after 30-45 seconds of inactivity. The connection will also be terminated based upon your device’s distance from the machine, depending upon the device and Bluetooth strength, per Station Casinos.

This system, called Cardless Connect, has the potential to be huge. Not just for Station Casinos, but for casinos overall.

Having a convenient way for player to participate in loyalty clubs means more will do so. That means the system isn’t merely a perk for players, it’s also a boon for casinos.

Casino loyalty clubs have been around since the 1990s, inspired by (translation: lifted from) the frequent flyer model made popular by American Airlines. Loyalty programs are a way to keep customers coming back and are a critical part of casino marketing efforts.

Fun fact: The first casino loyalty club was Total Rewards. It’s the loyalty club of Caesars Entertainment, and its or original name was Total Gold.

Play with your card, you’re “rated.” Play without, you’re “unrated.” Unrated players are the bane of a casino’s existence, as players who use their loyalty club card can be enticed into returning.

Station Casinos app

Admit it, this isn’t the first time you’ve connected with a slot in Vegas.

Casinos know how important it is to reward loyal customers, so loyalty club use can lead to lots of deals, discounts and freebies.

Another fun fact: Members of some casino loyalty clubs receive more than 150 pieces of direct mail a year.

So, what’s next for the cardless system at Station Casinos?

It’s likely there are more kinks to be worked out. The company no doubt watching closely to see how the cardless system impacts play and usage.

We tried dozens of machines, and the results were impressive. Still, there were a couple of machines where the connection failed. The app prompts players to move the phone closer for a better connection.

There are life lessons being taught here, you know.

Cardless loyalty club

This is actually less sexy than it sounds.

Moving closer didn’t work, so we got the “Cannot Connect” message and were prompted to use a physical card, which sort of defeats the purpose of the system.

Cardless Connect slot machines


Still, failures happened on just a fraction of the slot machines we tried linking to (thanks a lot, Buffalo).

We expect the Cardless Connect system will be rolled out to the roughly 20 Las Vegas casinos operated by Station Casinos sometime in 2018, then you can try the system for yourself.

You’ll soon have a bunch of useless cards, so check out our 11 Alternate Uses for Your Casino Players Club Card.

You can find out more about how to use the Cardless Connect system at the Station Casinos blog. Yes, Station Casinos has a blog. And, yes, you can have a hall pass to check it out without feeling like you’re cheating on us. Go ahead, we’ll wait.

As billed, the cardless loyalty club connection system is a fun, fast way to avoid fumbling with cards and to get all the casino perks you deserve for your play.

This cardless system has another benefit in that it feels like you have a superpower along the lines of motion-activated doors at grocery stores and shopping malls.

You won’t just feel like you’re using a player’s card, you’ll feel like you’re using the Force.

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Resorts World Doubles Its Number of Cranes (To Two)

Resorts World has become the “molasses in wintertime” of Las Vegas resort construction projects.

While progress has been agonizingly slow, we have seen recent signs of activity. Specifically, Resorts World has doubled its number of construction cranes.

Now, there are precisely two. We’ve shown you the one in back of the building, now take a gander at the one in front.

Resorts World

Maybe it’s not about how many cranes there are, but how willing they are to work on weekends and eat lunch at their desk.

Have you noticed nobody ever leaves a gander? Always take, take, take.

Resorts World is being built on the bones of the abandoned Echelon Place.

Resorts World

Oh, look, the second crane, trying to look busy.

When Echelon Place was being built, it was not uncommon to see a dozen cranes looming over the site.

Now, not so much. Take a look.

Still, a closer peek reveals more materials at the site’s “laydown yard,” an area where construction materials are delivered and stored until needed for installation.

Other than that, any changes aren’t particularly visible.

Resorts World construction

Laydown yards are awesome because who doesn’t love yards and laying down?

In May 2017, it was announced “major construction” was “imminent.” Let’s just say there’s a reason certain words are in quotation marks.

The company behind Resorts World, Malaysia-based Genting Group, has said a lot of the work being done on its $4 billion resort involves things people can’t see, like “utility lines and working out easements.”

We’re pretty sure “working out easements” is a euphemism for something.

Resorts World

Resorts World is testing some mirrored windows. That’s new!

The fact remains the Asian-themed Resorts World is moving at a panda’s pace.

Presumably, delays have been related to the “devaluation of Malaysia’s currency and the unavailability of construction cranes.”

We have to wonder if Genting, in high school, blamed the dog when it forgot to do its homework.

Resorts World construction

There’s a chance this is fancy, imported Malaysian dirt! Don’t hate.

It’s time Resorts World got serious about itself. More cranes. More steel. More people in hard hats cat-calling passersby.

Because Vegas shines most brightly when it makes new things.

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Bigass Excavator Bites Into Las Vegas Club Casino Towers

The demolition of downtown’s Las Vegas Club casino continues, and we’ve got exclusive photos and video to keep you in the loop on all the glorious carnage.

Las Vegas Club demolition

The housekeeping staff is really falling behind at Las Vegas Club.

North American Dismantling Corp.’s high reach excavator, nicknamed Bronto, has been working is way up and down Las Vegas Club’s southern hotel tower.

Las Vegas Club demolition

“Before” and “after,” all in one photo.

Here’s  the exclusive video thingy.

The best part is you can watch that video over and over again and you won’t go blind or get hair on your palms.

If you’re like us and can’t get enough of demolition photos and video, you’ll want to slide your eyeballs into our Las Vegas Club demolition archive.

While the focus of the Las Vegas Club demolition has been on the hotel towers, additional work has been going on nearby as well.

A portion of the facade has been cut away, resulting in a photo op sure to win us some sort of blogging award.

Las Vegas Club demolition

Or course we blog for awards. And groupies. But mainly awards.

The baseball player statue’s days are winding down, and it’s expected the figure will be taken down with the rest of the facade.

The demolition of the Las Vegas Club is part of a larger project taking down a number of structures at 18 Fremont to make way for a new casino resort.

Stay tuned for more updates.

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Bronto Goes to Work on Las Vegas Club Tower, Golden Goose and Glitter Gulch Facades Go Away

The demolition of the Las Vegas Club continues with the country’s highest reach excavator taking on the casino’s southernmost hotel tower.

The excavator, nicknamed “Bronto,” can reach 182 feet, more than enough height to drop the Las Vegas Club’s tower, piece by piece.

Las Vegas Club demolition

That excavator is nearly as badass as our photo of that badass excavator.

Demolition crews from North American Dismantling Corp. have made quick work of a number of structures on the 18 Fremont block, formerly home to Mermaids and the Glitter Gulch strip club.

Las Vegas Club demolition

Bronto doesn’t take lunch breaks because to Bronto, everything is lunch.

Here’s an exclusive look at the demolition work being done on Sep. 19, 2017, including Bronto taking big bites out of the south tower.

It’s expected the south tower will take about three weeks to come down, then it’s on to the north tower, the newer of the two.

The north tower has been draped with a containment mesh to help control dust and debris.

Las Vegas Club demolition

Las Vegas Club’s north tower slips into something more comfortable.

Nearby, less flashy progress has been made, some of it bittersweet.

Two old-timey facades, that of Glitter Gulch and the Golden Goose have been removed.

Glitter Gulch Golden Goose

The empty space formerly known as Glitter Gulch and Golden Goose.

Here’s a “before” shot of crews working on the former perch of Vegas Vickie.

Golden Goose Glitter Gulch demolition

Not that we aren’t sentimental, but the demolition of the Glitter Gulch strip club has already improved the smell of downtown.

The Golden Goose is still at the demolition site, as there aren’t currently any plans to dispose of the old (and sort of disgusting) sign. The Golden Goose originally opened in 1974.

Golden Goose demolition

Goose down! We’ll wait.

Prior to it becoming the Golden Goose, it was the Las Vegas Coffee Shop and Bakery, State Cafe, Buckley’s, Starlite Sales and Mecca Slots.

Demolition of the 18 Fremont block is expected to be completed by Christmas 2017. A new resort will be built on the site and is expected to debut in 2020.

Enjoy more exclusive photos of just one of our Las Vegas obsessions, the demolition of the Las Vegas Club in downtown Las Vegas. Check out all our coverage.

Las Vegas Club Demolition: Sep. 19, 2017

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11 Casino Dice Security Measures to Keep Players From Cheating

About 20 minutes after dice were invented, fashioned from the ankle bones of hooved animals, somebody cheated using dice.

The tradition of trying to swindle casinos continues to this day, so casinos take extraordinary measures to prevent players from cheating, especially at the craps table.

Because players handle and shoot the dice, craps is the only casino game where patrons have complete control over the outcome of a wager. In other cases, it’s a machine or wheel or dealer. Dice, then, are an easy target for cheaters.

Here are 11 hastily slapped-together dice security measures casinos take to ensure players don’t cheat and every roll is random.

1. Serial Numbers

Swapping out legitimate dice with weighted or “loaded” dice is a time-honored tradition in Las Vegas casinos. To avoid “crooked” dice entering a game, casino dice have serial numbers. Typically, casino dice come in packs of five, wrapped in gold foil, each with matching serial numbers. If a casino staffer sees two dice in play with two different serial numbers, the cheater’s jig is up.

Dice serial number

Casino dice come in groups of five, much like Hugh Hefner.

2. Sharp Corners

The next time you use dice on a board game at home, take note of the corners. Most dice outside casinos have rounded corners, but in casinos, they’re sharp. Rounded corners cause rolls that aren’t truly random, and exaggerate any bias in the dice. Sharp corners “grab” the felt and assure rolls are random and keep the odds the way casinos like them, in their favor.

Dice square corners

Curved corner, amateur hour. Sharp corner, all business.

3. Glow Spots

Some casinos use dice that have spots, also called “pips,” filled with special epoxy that changes color under U.V. light. Floor managers can quickly tell if dice are legit using a simple black light.

Dice glow spot

Shout-out to Bruce Leroy.

4. Translucency

Before the advent of plastics, it was difficult to tell if dice were weighted, or “gaffed.” Since the 1950s, dice have been made of cellulose acetate, making them translucent. Being able to see inside a die makes it much easier to see if anyone’s mucked with it.

Dice key letter spot

We’ll get to the “K” in a minute. Always in such a rush.

5. Key Letter Spot

This is one of our favorite casino dice “secrets,” because while we’ve held hundreds of dice at craps tables in Las Vegas and around the world, we never noticed this security measure despite the fact it’s in plain sight. Each casino die has a letter or number “monogrammed” on a designated spot before the spot is painted. While scammers may be able to replicate the exterior of a die, it’s difficult to convincingly fake a letter under pip paint. Check it out the next time you’re shooting for “boxcars” or “puppy paws.” Yes, there are a lot of nicknames for dice combinations.

Dice key letter spot

You’re totally going to win a bar bet with this one someday.

6. Casino Logos

Yes, imprinting a casino’s logo on dice is actually a security measure. On its own, putting a logo on dice is fairly easy to do, but this “unique identifier” is another element a cheater has to take into account, and another way they can get tripped up trying to use counterfeit dice.

Dice logos

Logos are typically printed on the side of the dice with one or two spots, because there’s more room. This isn’t rocket science.

7. Diamond Rubber Bumpers

This security measure is more about the table than the dice, but we’re including it, anyway. They have lots of names, but along the sides of a craps table are textured bumps, sometimes called “diamond rubber bumpers” or “pyramid bumpers” or even “alligator bumpers.” These textured bumpers make it much more difficult to manipulate how the dice will land.

Craps pyramids

It’s all fun and games until somebody puts an eye out.

8. Change-Outs

Casinos foil cheaters through a variety of means, including frequently changing out dice, just as they do with cards at the blackjack table. As mentioned, the randomness of rolls can be impacted by things like edges and corners becoming less sharp through use. Fresh dice are brought into a craps game every four to eight hours, often during a shift change. Casinos have the right to change out dice at any time, however. This sometimes happens during hot rolls, as casinos want to ensure a player’s good luck isn’t the result of dice tampering.


Casinos are paranoid about dice cheats, so always keep dice over the table and only use one hand to shake them before you shoot.

9. Perfect Cubes

There’s a reason casino dice are also called “precision dice.” That’s because casino dice are made to exacting specifications. Most casinos use 3/4-inch dice, and each of the die’s dimensions must be true to within 0.0005 of an inch, or approximately the length of this blog’s sexual organ. Just making sure you’re still paying attention.

Precision dice

Perfect cubes, of course, aren’t “perfect.” For example, some mistakenly believe Chicago-style pizza is actual pizza.

10. Pip Drilling and Backfilling

Even tiny variations in a die can cause it to roll in a less random way. Pips aren’t just painted in casino dice, they’re drilled. To make sure the side of the die with six pips doesn’t weigh more than the side with just one, the drilled holes are filled with a special paint that’s the same density as the rest of the die. Oh, all right, maybe there’s a little rocket science involved.

Dice pips drilling filling

Drilled Pips and The Backfillers were a terrific folk group in the 1970s.

11. Cancellation

When dice are removed from a table, casinos use a hand-operated press (or “punch”) to “cancel” the dice before they’re destroyed or sold in the casino’s gift shop. Cancellation markings, commonly in the shape of circle, make it easy for casino security, dealers and managers to see if a “retired” die has been put into play by an unscrupulous player.

Dice canceled

While Las Vegas casinos get away with this cancellation mark, Atlantic City casinos must drill a hole in canceled dice. Typically, it’s done by a guy nicknamed “Knuckles.” All due respect.

Craps is one of the most exciting games in a Las Vegas casino. Now, the next time you play, you’ll know all the dice security measures casinos take to keep players from cheating.

By the way, cheating in a Las Vegas casino is a felony. You have better things to do during your Las Vegas visit than going to the big house and being passed around like a social security number at a hacker convention.

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Palace Station Has a Brand New Erection

There’s been a flurry of activity at Palace Station in recent months, including the demolition of the crime scene that sent multiple murderer O.J. Simpson to the slammer.

While demolition is fun to watch, it’s even more fun to see new things rise from the rubble. Palace Station now boasts a new structure, and we’ve got the pics.

Palace Station construction

We are a big fan of new.

The new structure is adjacent to Palace Station’s new porte cochere. We asked what the new structure is, but got no official response.

Chatting up Palace Station staff, we hear blueprints refer to the building as a “fight arena,” but a more likely use will be for convention space.

Palace Station construction

No photos of the construction site are permitted, so unfortunately we can’t show you this.

Upgrades at Palace Station are being done in phases. The first phase included remodeling the casino’s facade (and removing the train theming), adding a new bingo room and other enhancements.

Next, guests will see a new buffet, additional work on the casino and potentially a new 27-story, 606 room hotel tower. There will also be a new movie theater, bowling alley, two restaurants and upgraded pool area.

Red Rock Resorts (Station Casinos) says it will spend about $70 million on all the upgrades.

Palace Station construction

Palace Station demolished its rundown motel buildings, about 447 rooms, to make room for less suck.

Palace Station is located just off the Las Vegas Strip, on Sahara Ave. Or, as we like to describe it, “mere feet from Chick-fil-A.”

Palace Station’s main clientele is Las Vegas locals, especially Asian players. Lucky Dragon has tried to cannibalize Palace Station’s customer base (ditto Gold Coast), with little success.

Red Rock Resorts is no doubt aware of its competition in the marketplace, and is making the financial investment needed to give customers new offerings to keep them coming back for more.

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