Look at any shot of the Las Vegas Strip and the first thing that hits home is the sheer size of the city’s casinos. Most of which are less casinos in the traditional sense, more full-scale resorts in their own right.
Of course, much of the appeal of a trip to Vegas lies in soaking up as much of its ostentatious charms as you can. It’s a city of excess and debauchery – basically the world’s unofficial Disneyland for adults.
Hence, to head home from Vegas and return to your own local casinos can be a bit of an anti-climax. After experiencing the heady thrill of the big city, the tiny and understated casinos of your home town might not seem quite as exciting.
But here’s the thing – bigger is not always better, where casinos are involved. In fact, there are several reasons why taking your business to a smaller casino can be even more rewarding than hitting the world’s biggest establishments.
Not to take anything away from the big-time casinos we all know and love, but here’s why smaller casinos are often superior:
1 – They’re Nowhere Near as Crowded
First up, a casino as crowded as the front row at a music festival quickly loses its charms. All the noise and chaos can be downright intoxicating at first – particularly as a newcomer to the whole thing. But after you’ve spent several hours being barged, bashed and battered all over the place due to the sheer congestion, you could find yourself craving something quieter.
Smaller casinos are great for more relaxing and casual outings, when you’d prefer not to brave the crowds. They can also be just as social as their larger counterparts, as you don’t have to scream at the top of your voice to be heard by whoever is sitting next to you.
2 – More Interaction with Dealers
Sit at a blackjack table with a bunch of other players and it’s all business for the dealer. Something that counts double if you’re betting £5 per hand and your fellow players are waxing £500+ at a time. Either way, you’re not personally going to get much conversation or input out of the dealer.
By contrast, take a seat at a quieter table in a more casual setting and it’s a different story entirely. You can ask the dealer questions, chat with them as the game plays out and enjoy a wholly more immersive experience. Not to mention, the added bonus of not having to feel intimidated by being the only newcomer at a table packed with noisy (and annoying) high-rollers.
3 – Better Service for Regulars
You could walk into the same Vegas casino at the same time on the same days for several weeks and still feel like a stranger. Understandable, given how the world’s biggest casinos often accommodate tens of thousands of gamblers per day. Fair enough, but not exactly the most personal of experiences.
Meanwhile, there’s something uniquely satisfying about walking into a local casino and being recognised. Or more specifically, being appreciated as the regular patron you are. Smaller casinos are able to offer the kind of personal service that goes way beyond any larger establishment. To be greeted by name and given the full personal treatment at a major casino in Vegas you’d need to be spending a small fortune with each visit. Locally, you’re appreciated and valued simply for turning up – a far more rewarding and satisfying experience.
4 – More Control and Self-Discipline
It’s the norm to walk into a huge casino resort with the intent of gambling for an hour or two, only to spend the entire day blowing your wad. Casinos in general are designed to distract and manipulate. Their goal is to bombard you with such a sensory overload that you lose sight of common sense and spend every penny you have. The bigger the casino, the more bright and shiny distractions there are to keep you well and truly within their confines.
Smaller casinos are different, in that they tend to have a much sparser selection of games. Perhaps just a handful of tables and a row of slots, with none of the usual million-dollar distractions from all angles. This can often make it easier to exercise self-discipline in a local casino, rather than taking things too far. It’s still an immersive experience, but not on quite the same overwhelming level as a bigger casino.
5 – Better Loyalty Programs
As you’d expect, most bigger casinos are mainly interested in appeasing big spenders. They pull in millions of punters each year, among which a sizeable proportion spend huge sums of money. And to make sure they spend as much as possible, they put together loyalty programs that prioritise wealthy gamblers.
Elsewhere, smaller casinos are the place to head for more realistic loyalty programs. That being, those that focus more on casual gamblers. Rewards programs with smaller casinos typically involve loyalty points being exchanged for gifts and services. Free meals, free drinks, birthday gifts, extra chips at the cashier’s desk – none of which you need to spend a small fortune to qualify for.
6 – No Queues at the Tables
Last up, playing locally also means never having to queue to play the games you’ve set your sights on. The bigger and busy the casino, the higher the likelihood of having to wait in line to get a seat. After which, you’re surrounded by people waiting for you to leave, buzzing around like flies and not giving you an inch of space.
Again, the chaos and congestion of a crowded casino can be hugely enjoyable for a while. But for those simply looking to enjoy their favourite games in peace and quiet, it can all quickly become tiresome. Particularly if you only have limited time available, which you would prefer not to waste queuing endlessly to get a seat.
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