Football Season Is Back!

As we enter September, a long-held tradition that is deeply tied to many in America returns.

That’s right- football season is back!

With the NFL in pre-season games leading up to the Season Opener featuring the Chicago Bears at home against the Green Bay Packers, we know that football fans all over the world are looking forward to tuning in to see their favorite teams play. This made us think… what is it about the NFL that keeps people coming back year after year? How is the NFL harnessing that anticipation and banking on repeat customers to be drawn in for viewership, merchandising and attendance? Is it the pigskin? Perhaps the spirit of competition. People like to see big plays and lots of points scored. Maybe it is the star athletes or even an opportunity to cheer on the home team. Whatever “it” is…they are doing it right. The NFL is big business.

In the event industry, we are extremely intrigued by this question. After all, we share many of the same goals with our customers that the NFL does with theirs. We are looking for long-term customers that will want to repeat their party year after year. We want them to have successful parties that increase in attendance. We want action and we want our client’s to score! Whether it is a customer appreciation party, a launch party – or even a holiday reward party, we want to see smiling, happy faces in attendance and winning experiences delivered.

What can we learn from the NFL’s incredible business model? Let’s start with building a loyal fan base. The NFL has some of the most die-hard fans. Fans in Philadelphia are passionate about their Eagles – while those in Pittsburgh use the “terrible towels” to show fan support for their Steelers. The New England Patriots have an extensive base, thanks largely to the dynasty they have built around Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. The Houston Texans are a passionate team, strengthened by their community support
after the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey ravaged the community. Many will likewise remember the full crowds and outpouring shown for the New Orleans Saints after Hurricane Katrina. Through strength, outstanding performance and communal spirit, the NFL has done an incredible job of building an audience that follows its teams year after year.

In the event business, we do not have the benefit of some of the tools at the NFL’s disposal. We can, however, deliver incredible, memorable performances. In so doing, you will develop your own fans- and they will want to book your services year over year. Event companies can also create a spirit of community by reaching out to non-profits and offering casino style parties as a form of entertainment at their events. People coming together to rally for a cause is a fundamental principle of the NFL. Giving
back to the community is another one. An occasional donation to a non-profit goes a long way toward building relationships with your future fans.

Another way event professionals can learn from the NFL’s business model is to consider going “BIG”. Take our home team (and America’s Team), the Dallas Cowboys. Among the most storied and valuable franchises in the world, the Dallas Cowboys built a larger stadium to accommodate greater attendance. ATT Stadium is a sight to behold – it’s expansive and impressive. It features state-of-the art equipment, technology and communications. No detail was overlooked- there is art, viewing areas and concern for guest comfort throughout. The same approach was used in constructing the new U.S. Bank Stadium in Minnesota and Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Those in the event industry should consider the same. Increase your inventory in anticipation of future business. Consider new technology- and embrace it. Look at your inventory and ensure that your presentation is stellar. Consider guest comfort above all else- and look to implement simple solutions that will go a long way to please your guests. Something as basic as comfortable seats can make a world of difference. Providing coasters for drinks or integrating a welcoming ambassador can set the tone with your clients that is inviting. Consider your presentation to be your stadium- and build it to accommodate your audience.

One of the greatest successes of the NFL is their prolific ability to license and sell their merchandise. Go to Lambeau Field in Green Bay, and you will find a sea of green jerseys being worn by “Cheeseheads”. Go to Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium, and you will not only hear the crowd roar – you will see the Chief’s arrowhead on everything from gloves to beanies. In Miami, the Dolphins’ signature colors can never be mistaken- the teal and orange stand out against the crowd. Visit nfl.com and you can buy
shoes, shirts, jackets, hats, jerseys and more.

In our line of business, consider offering variances that will create mass appeal. Use different themes so each year the group experiences a different facet of your services. For example, we may host a traditional Las Vegas or Monte Carlo themed event one year, and then migrate to Harlem Nights,
Roaring 20s, Speakeasy, Gatsby, western, modern or a futuristic theme for the next casino party. Is that any different than the NFL offering a new style of jersey to its customers each year? After all, guests want the “latest and greatest”. Be sure you are supplying that and advertising that to your customers.

We are looking forward to an amazing NFL Season and thank the NFL for providing inspiration for our informative blog. The NFL is an organization that is synonymous with the best of the best. Find your team and build a winning guest experience for your clients! Be your best so you can stand out among the rest!

Promotion & Planning Your Event

For those that have been watching the resurgence of classic MTV programs…Jersey Shore Family Reunion and The Hills…you have undoubtedly seen the promos for the MTV Music Video Awards.  This is the biggest ceremony for MTV and this year’s performers feature some of the most dynamic music talents in the world.  From veteran performers like Taylor Swift and Missy Elliott to newcomers like Little Nas X and Billie Eilish, we expect this to be an incredible awards show.  This then made us think about planning and what an integral role proper event promotion plays in that process and the success of your casino event

In the case of MTV, they have put commercials and Breaking News lead ins on their network for the past month or so.  If you have watched an MTV program, you know the VMAs are coming.  MTV has also strategically included press releases and scheduled exclusive premiere performances to entice viewership.  They have also selected the effervescent Missy Elliott to receive their Video Vanguard Award, the equivalent of a Lifetime Achievement award.  

So how does this correlate to the party business?  Well, specifically for the casino party business, we can relate.  We encourage our clients to spread the word across multiple platforms to advertise their event.  Granted, most of them do not have their own television network.  But they do have other (here comes the pun), channels, that they can utilize to their benefit. This can include internet marketing, message boards, mailed invitations and group emails. 

Another way a party planner can use some of the tricks of the trade is to have an exclusive element that adds intrigue to the party.  This can be achieved in the theme, or by offering an award.  Perhaps this is an opportunity for a product launch or to make an exciting announcement.  Why not enhance that process by creating a veil of mystery?  People are much more likely to devote their attention to something if they are intrigued. MTV is advertising an exclusive World Premiere for Taylor Swift.  We know that Ms. Swift is an incredible performer (we are super-fans), we can’t wait to see this!  After all, she brings “it” every time.  Find your “it” and do the same.

One of the best ways to enhance attendance at an event is to bring in a special guest.  With the VMAs, bringing in Missy Elliott will undoubtedly lead to a different viewership than the people who are typically watching some of the regular programming like Catfished or the Rob Dyrdek-hosted Ridiculousness.  Now, MTV is more likely to attract a larger cross-section of the population.  Take Billie Eilish, the newest phenom and youngest nominee at 17.  Many of her fan base are considered Generation Z.  This generation was born while Missy Elliott was producing hits like “One Minute Man” and “Work It.”  By having the multi-generational viewership appeal, MTV is betting on a huge audience.  This strategy can also be used at events.  Select a speaker or guest that will appeal to a cross section of the population. 

One other observation we have made is that MTV has been relentless in their promotion.  Despite having seen their commercials multiple times, we continue to see ads being run.  If you consider the “Seven Times Rule”, which is a fundamental concept in marketing, then your target audience needs to see your advertisement/invitation seven times for it to be memorable.  Social media has changed a lot of our perception- so it is important to remember to include a social media strategy across different platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

We want you to experience success at your next event.  The most well-thought out event can end in disaster if no one attends.  Try some of these strategies when planning your next casino party, and let’s see if you can create a “winning” outcome by doing so!

Considering Price Over Value

Recently, in a dinner conversation, the following question was posed.  “If you could have a room at the Bellagio or a room at the Circus Circus, which would you choose and why?”  Interesting question, and perhaps even more insightful were the answers provided.  We thought we would share the conversation and how it applies to our industry.

The first dinner guest was quick to chime in.  “Well, Bellagio, of course.”  When prompted, he discussed the benefits of choosing Bellagio.  First, the name itself is comforting.  It is a brand, and it is well known.  The amenities are refined, and you are guaranteed to be well-treated.  You can situate yourself in luxury, it’s easy on the eyes.  The people are generally happier, and the setting is serene.  You can relax and enjoy the moment.

These refrains were echoed by additional dinner guests.  Some adding in that at the Bellagio, you could expect to be professionally greeted, that they had water waiting for guests upon check-in.  That there was thought given to their first impression, and that they placed an importance on service.  Another talked about the appointments of the casino and how no detail was overlooked- down to the branding and the logo.  “They are so proud of what they built that they stamped their name on it.  They are not afraid to tell you who they are.”  Another guest pointed out the fountains- and how with Bellagio, they don’t want you to just be entertained, they want you to “be dazzled”.

The conversation then moved on to the Circus Circus.  One dinner guest mentioned that they would consider this as a first option- because in their opinion, their money would be stretched farther.  With lower table minimums, they could play longer.  With less pricey meals, they had greater budget flexibility to buy desserts with their meals.  They were okay with a compromise of quality in exchange for a monetary savings.

It was at that point that a different dinner guest, a man of few words, opined the following sentence.  “What if your perception of these benefits at Circus Circus is wrong?”  Everyone turned to listen more intently.  “I’ll give you an example”, he said.  “Having been to Circus Circus, I’ve seen the crowds.  It is a misconception to believe that you can get on a $5.00 table that readily.  See, they may advertise a $5.00 table, but there are only a few available.  Often there is a wait for them.”  This brought up a great point and turned the entire direction of the conversation to this one point.  Is perception of lower price inhibiting you from experiencing greater value?

Consider this- the person choosing the Circus Circus experience will most likely spend less money.  But will they waste more time?  Will they experience longer lines, less entertainment, and perhaps even never have the chance to play as they wanted?  Do they really save money if they do not have the experience they planned to have?  Is it worth it to spend a little more to be guaranteed an ability to play, to know that you will not experience some of the frustrations you would otherwise encounter with a budget provider, and to relax and enjoy the experience?

We do not intend to disparage the Circus Circus, by any means.  In fact, having recently played there, we found their dealers to be exceptionally friendly, their gaming to be as expected, and their guests seemed genuinely happy.  We use them as an example of a lower cost provider by comparison only.  We have tremendous respect for their Veteran’s Program, and they are a very family-friendly establishment.  Check out their Splash Zone if you have not done so already!

The point of sharing this conversation was to share insight in to what we learned.  Sometimes saving money does not equate to saving time.  Often we place an importance on price without considering value.  Aesthetics play an important role to many – and can bring about a more favorable experience.  Service is crucial, and making sure you are treated as a treasured guest is the best way an establishment can thank you for your patronage.  Consider these aspects when making your next consumer spending decision.  If you are choosing for a group- that is a tremendous responsibility.  Make sure your selection reflects the core values of your participants, and is not decided upon solely by cost basis.

Poker Strategy Card

 

Party planning, game playing and strategy cards are available  on our App! Search Elite Casino Event on iTunes or Google Play and share in the fun!

 

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Casino Cheats…how they almost got away with it.

The House always wins- or so they say.  It’s true- all table games are skewed in favor of the house.  Players have long looked for the slightest advantage to gain over the “house” in casino play.  Most have chosen the path of studying odds and refining their skills, while others have chosen a more nefarious route, cheating the casino.  Popularized by the movie Ocean’s Eleven, and its follow-up Ocean’s Twelve, beating the house has become a full-on obsession for some.  Here are a few of the more infamous schemes that innovated the way technology has evolved to respond to the ever-changing methods of cheating.

Roulette is a straight-forward game.  The wheel spins, the ball is dropped by the dealer, and the ball randomly lands on a number between 00 and 36.  Seems simple enough, right?  Well, one Spaniard thought differently.  After spending hours upon hours studying the results of a particular roulette wheel, Gonzalo Garcia-Pelayo used the data he collected to determine ball-landing probabilities.  He developed an algorithm, and used this in Madrid to take the casinos for more than 600,000 euros in a single evening.  Confident in his results, he made his way to Las Vegas in the 1990’s and was able to successfully win more than $2,000,000.  After being barred from the casinos, Garcia-Pelayo appealed to the United States Supreme Court, which ruled in his favor.   He is the reason casinos test their wheels so frequently- and is known as a pioneer in roulette cheat technology.

 

number one at roulette wheel

Blackjack is fairly simple to learn- get as close to 21 as possible without going over.  Obtain a higher number than the dealer, and the player wins.  The odds favor the house by as little as .43% to as much as 1.80%, depending upon the house rules on splitting, number of decks used, and blackjack payouts.  Enter Edward Thorp, the father of card counting.  Mr. Thorp developed a method of card counting, the Thorp Count, which he later went on to publish in the book, “Beat the Dealer”.  The book explains his analysis of the probabilities of the game and was published in 1996.  Mr. Thorp is a member of the Blackjack Hall of Fame, and his science is what paved the way for other cheats- including the infamous MIT students that would follow many of his concepts.

 

poker 2013

Craps.  It’s the loud, crowded table in the middle of the action in any casino.  Usually it is manned by no less than 4 dealers- making it impossible to cheat.  Or does it?  Just ask Dominic “The Dominator” LoRiggio.  Perhaps the most prolific dice setter in history, Mr. LoRiggio developed a method of “setting the dice”. This involves starting the dice in a very specific manner, and then tossing them perfectly.  The dice remain together in the air and very gently land off of the diamond wall on the craps table.  If the arc of the dice, the toss, and of course, the starting position remain constant, then Mr. LoRiggio could accurately predict the numbers the dice would land on.  The Dominator practiced this principle for hours upon hours over the course of years to perfect his method. It’s a craft he now passes on to others in his “Golden Touch” DVDs and classes.

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We encourage all avid gamers to learn the odds of every game.  If you’d like to perfect your theory before trying it out in a genuine situation, consider attending a casino party.  This is a mock casino trial featuring real dealers and players without real stakes.  Elite Casino Events is a Texas-based casino entertainment service that offers parties with blackjack, roulette, craps, poker and many more options.  We welcome you, and your strategies any time.

 

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The Art of Card Counting

In this blog, we’ll provide you with the best information on dealing, playing, and simply just having fun with all the odds working with you.

A lot of people think that counting cards has to do with the memorization of the cards but on the contrary it is not the memorization but the math behind the strategy.

magic, performance, circus, gambling, casino, poker, show concept - close up of magician hand holding playing cards

Counting cards is a primary strategy for the game Blackjack. This is used for calculating cards to have the winnings in your favor.

This can be broken down into 4 simple steps:

  1.     Assign a value to every card within the deck.
  2.    Keep a “running count” of the cards that are being dealt.
  3.    Use this information to get a “true count”
  4.    Change your bets as the “true count” rises

There are different ways that you count cards such as “back counting” and “group counting.” These techniques were discovered by an American mathematician named Edward O. Thorp.

Thorp is considered the grandfather of card counting and has written literature on various betting and player strategies, for example, in 1962 he wrote a book for optimal blackjack playing called ​Beat The Dealer: A Winning Strategy for The Game Twenty One​. This has contributed to a lot of professional players and amateurs for 2 generations.

Did You Know?

Card counting is NOT illegal in the United States under federal, state, or local laws. As long as you do not have any person assisting you with card counting and if you do not have any external card counting devices. However, casinos have a lot of rules in place to try and prevent this from happening.

Dealer’s Tip

 You can lower the risk of a player counting cards by taking away a card at the beginning of the game, this is right after you shuffle the deck and place it into the shoe. A lot of people reference this as a “burn card.” This will lower the odds of card counting while you’re dealing and make the game fair to all parties who are participating in the game.

Remember as a dealer you are responsible for the mood and setting at your table and if you can prevent any cheating or upper hand advantage of any kind you need to do so!

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The Basics of Baccarat

Baccarat is a game that uses six to eight decks of cards with a hand dealt to the dealer and one dealt to the player. There is about a 50/50 chance of winning with this card game.

To win this game you must have received the highest hand. The number range is from 0 to 9. You can also bet on a tie which has a HUGE payout of 9 to 1. With that being said, this game gives you the best odds at the casino.

The history of baccarat derives from France, where it first appeared in the 19th century, this lead to other similar table games like Macao and Jagpi.

Minimum bets for this game can be quite high with high rollers placing huge bets on a single hand! Casinos can win or lose millions of dollars a night due to this game. Private rooms are also utilized due to the high stakes of the game.

Fun Fact

This is the game most favored by James Bond himself! He is seen playing this during the movie Casino Royale in 1953.  In the 2006 adaptation of the movie the game was replaced with Texas Hold ‘em due to the poker boom.

Dealers Tip

There are 3 different variables of baccarat the first one is commonly referred to as “Banco” which is known as the North American baccarat this is strictly a game of chance and doesn’t require any skill or strategy. There is also “Chemmy” and “Banque” variation of the game. If you have a chance to deal this game learn all three versions of this game!

Stay tuned for more tips and tricks to winning at the casino.

If you are looking for an amazing casino experience at your next holiday party or event contact us today!

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Casino Gambling Addiction

Did you know that approximately 80% of adults have gambled at some point in their lives?  Casino gambling can be a highly addictive hobby.  Of the 80% of adults that have gambled, 2-3% of this number have experienced compulsive gambling addiction.  While this number may seem minimal, considering the population of the United States alone exceeds 318,000,000 people, this equates to nearly 1.5 million Americans with serious gambling addiction issues.

 

gambling addiction

People rush to the casinos for the thrill of the victory.  On the craps table, a guest can bet on “snake eyes” (1,1) or “boxcars” (6,6) and be paid 30-1 odds on their bet.  Some casinos, like the Horseshoe in Louisiana, will permit up to 100x odds behind the pass line.  Roulette also offers high odds- with a 35-1 payout on a single number win.  3-Card Poker will reward a winning straight flush with a 40-1 payout.  These are the more traditional games.

New games introduced with even greater payouts have only further enticed gamblers to the casinos.  Galaxy Gaming introduced “High Card Flush”.  This game offers payouts of up to 8,000 times the bet.  Other games like “WPT Heads Up Hold Em” offer bad beat bonuses, for players with strong hands that are beat by an even stronger dealer hand.

blurred background of cashier cage at casino

Some of the older games have been revamped to include stronger payouts.  For example, now you can incorporate the “Fire Bet” in to craps. This bet pays out as the shooter progressively makes points, establishes new points, and then continues to make them without a “7 out”.  Not all tables have them, but you are sure to find them in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace, Harrah’s, Bally’s and the Hard Rock.  3-Card Poker has also seen some lucrative additions.  Some establishments have added in the 6-Card Bonus, which plays the dealers three card hand and their own three card hand to make a complete 5 card hand.  There are some astonishing payouts for this.  For example, a straight flush will offer a payout of 100x.  For a $5.00 bet, that’s $1,000.00! Other tables have progressive jackpots, which enable the player to earn huge returns on low wager bets.  There are specific conditions that apply to each game.  For example, 3-Card Poker will pay the progressive on qualifying hands.  Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em progressive requires that the player “flop” the qualifying hand in order to receive a payout.

Player rewards are other ways that casinos are appealing to consumers.  “Comps” as they are referred to in the industry include everything from free meals and lodging, to actual free play.  Invitation-only slot machine tournaments are tremendously attractive.  So are blackjack tournaments and free car giveaways.  Often, vouchers are mailed to the guests inviting them to the casino. that will include certain dollar offers in “free play” from the casino.  Other casinos offer specific free play options to their rewards club members.  For example, at Winstar World Casino, $25.00 in free play is given to players earning a Diamond Flush at any of the card gaming tables. This is a limited offer, and is only valid on certain days, but the mere attraction of this free play is enough to drive visitors to the casino to take part in the promotion.  In Bossier City, LA, BoomTown Casino offers a free play bonus if you are able to locate a specially-identified chip from playing within the casino. These are strategically placed in the dealer chip trays, which naturally, means that you must buy in to receive chips.

one hundred dollars banknote as a bait in mousetrap concept

All of these enticements are created to appeal to certain centers within the brain that trigger euphoria and addictive traits.  Many groups, such as Harvard Medical School, have studied this phenomenon.  One of the more powerful findings came from Massachusetts General Hospital, where the Division of Motivation and Emotion Neurosciences Center found that rewarding people with monetary gains, similar to a gambling environment, created a response within the brain not unlike that of a cocaine-addict receiving a dose of cocaine.   While some expert opinions vary, many believe that the addicted gambler will often have lower than normal levels of nor-epinephrine.  The condition is severe enough to be included in the DSM IV Manual, published by the American Psychiatric Association.

Having the “urge to gamble” is okay – as long as it is enjoyed responsibly.  Thankfully, there is help available!  For those with the hankering to play, consider a mock-casino environment provided by a local casino party planner.  This will satiate the appetite for gaming without actually wagering real money.  For others with more serious issues, toll-free numbers are prominently displayed in casinos that will offer assistance any time.  Gamblers Anonymous is an excellent resource for those affected as well.  Please wager responsibly – make certain that your casino experience is a positive one.

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Breath-Taking Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo at Night, Monaco

When you think of Monte Carlo, there are several iconic things that will undoubtedly come to mind.  For some, it’s the ocean, for others it is the grandeur setting- evocative of wealth.  Perhaps Princess Grace comes to mind- or the ever-popular Ian Fleming character James Bond.  Here are a few fun facts about Monte Carlo.

Monte Carlo is situated in the principality of Monaco.  This is a microstate, in the South of France, located along the French Riviera.  Monaco’s three land borders are surrounded by France.  At less than a mile in total land area, Monaco is the second smallest nation in the world, and the smallest nation with a coastline.  The official language is French, although Italian and English are frequently used.  Although small in population and size, Monaco is the highest ranked country in one astonishing category.  Despite having merely 3500 residents, Monaco’s GNP is superior per capita to any other country on Earth.  That’s right- Monaco is the richest country in the world, in terms of per-capita income.  This has earned the country the title of “Richest Place on Earth.”

Monaco, Monte Carlo: yachts in the sea

Because of its universally-recognized association with wealth, Monte Carlo has become a haven to the rich and famous.  Opulent “super” yachts are often found in the harbor.  The Monaco Grand Prix is world-famous for being one of the most prestigious races in motorsports.  Luxurious hotels and rare automobiles are commonplace.  The pageantry of having a ruling royal family further reinforces the extravagance associated with this tiny country.  The House of Grimaldi, and more specifically, Prince Albert, rule Monaco.  The son of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace (Grace Kelly), Prince Rainier is one of the wealthiest monarchs, his assets totaling more than one billion dollars, including interest in the Societe des bains de mer de Monaco, also known as the publicly-traded SBM.  This includes the Casino de Monte Carlo, the Opera de Monte Carlo, and the Hotel de Paris.

casino-de-monte-carlo-real-monte-carlo-casino_54_990x660_201405312116

The flagship of Monte Carlo is the Casino de Monte Carlo.  Construction on this casino started in 1858.  The casino was profitable the following year, although construction was not completed until 1863.  Started by Princess Caroline de Grimaldi, the casino was designed to save her family, and the principality of Monaco, from financial ruin.  Although expansions have occurred since that time, the casino largely remains true to form today.  Table games of roulette, craps, blackjack, baccarat, and more can be found inside on a daily basis.

Casino Monte Carlo

Did you know that Monte Carlo prohibits its residents from entering in to the casino for play?  Identification is required at each entry point, and citizens of Monaco are not permitted inside.  This was done to ensure that the citizens of Monaco are not exploited, and that wealth is attracted from tourists.

Ready to plan an event with the opulence of Monte Carlo? Give one of our event planning experts a call today, and discover the difference between ordinary and extraordinary!

 

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