No more free drinks at Westgate

The Westgate Vegas Casino and Resort has always been regarded as a top Vegas venue for gambling entertainment and other forms of gaming activity. Westgate is known as a trendsetter in Vegas. The latest innovation, a drink monitoring system, is being touted as an amenity that will help casino-goers enjoy an easier drinking experience. Other casinos are bound to follow suit which isn't the best news for casino-goers. 

The newest innovation at Westgate involves a drink monitoring system that, from the casino's point of view, makes it easier and more convenient for guests to enjoy their complimentary drinks. The system, which is expected to be copied by other Vegas casinos, monitors the guests' drink orders so that guests don't need to place new orders every time that they want to freshen their drink.

Drink Orders

While the drink monitoring system suits the casino's needs by cutting down on paperwork and staff memory, many players are appalled. The new technology doesn't only track the players' drinks but also tracks payments. Meaning that once-complimentary drinks will now be sold.

Players are, as can be expected, not very keen on the new option. Casinos traditionally offer their players complimentary drinks so that they can enjoy some alcoholic-enhanced relaxation while they play their games.  

The vision of eager waitresses, bringing new drinks to gamers on the gaming floor, is a traditional site at casinos around the world. The Westgate's attempt to get their players to drop more money at the casinos isn't popular among the casino's long-time patrons.

Watch and Wait

Other casinos are watching Westgate's move to see how it "plays" with the players. Will gamers continue to go to the Westgate and just shrug their shoulders at the new expense? Or will Westgate lose players which will make the entire venture extremely unprofitable. 

Westgate's idea strikes a chord among other Vegas casinos. Supplying players with free drinks is a huge expense and the casinos would love to drop it. But, not at the expense of losing large numbers of their customers. The Westgate introduction of monitored drinks will allow the casinos to cater to those who are within higher loyalty club tiers by making drinks available only to that select group. 

Tiers

The system works by offering players drinks based on their loyalty club tier. Meaning that the more money that you drop on your gambling activities, the more likely you will be to continue to receive free drinks. The free drinks will be eliminated, however for the lowest-tier players.

From the casino's point of view, that makes perfect sense. If a gamer doesn't pay for his/her drinks directly, s/he will pay for them through the loses that will inevitably occur from the gambling actions. Scott Roeben, a casino observer who blogs at VitalVegas.com, says that in the near future, casinos both on and off the strip will be monitoring drinks with this new technology.

Monitoring

There's already a drink monitoring system at Caesar's Entertainment Casino and at the Golden Nugget Casino. Caesar's uses the system to monitor gameplay to ensure that players spend enough to compensate for free drinks.  

The Ardent Progressive Systems and Games is making it easier and more efficient to monitor such information. The Las-Vegas based company tracks a wide range of casino-related data. It is responsible for creating the points validations system which notifies bartenders of comps to streamline the complimentary drinks process.

How does it Work?

The drink monitoring system works by signaling a bartender if a player has qualified for a drink. If the player meets the requirements for continued complimentary beverages/premium beverages, etc, the information is passed to the bartender electronically.

Other gamers are welcome to order drinks but they'll be obligated to pay for their drinks. The turn-around in the casino drink system is questionable but the casinos feel that it will help them achieve their ultimate goals – bringing in (and keeping) more money.

The drink monitoring system is, many note, a bit similar to the minimum betting tables in which only those players who are prepared to wager a minimum amount are allowed to play at the tables. Everyone else is encouraged to play the slot and other gaming machines which cost the casino much less to run.

The casinos have come to the conclusion that by catering to the VIP crowd, they make more money than they would if they opened the tables up to low-level bettors, regardless of the fact that there are fewer VIP gamers and many more low-betting casino visitors.

Fleas

If the drink monitoring system doesn't convince casual players that the casinos don't value their patronage, the website of the firm that created and markets the monitoring technology should.

The company, marketing to the casinos, writes that the system will ‘completely eliminate bar fleas that don’t deserve beverage comps 24×7’.

In 2017 Caesars Entertainment saw a savings of around 35% on comped drink costs since implementing the technology. The question is, if more casual gamers begin to understand that, by serving them complimentary drinks, the casinos viewed them as "bar fleas," how many would be willing to continue to patronize the casino?   

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