Now You Have To Earn Free Drinks In Las Vegas

The next time you head off to Las Vegas, don't expect to receive a complimentary drink just because you're gambling.  

Casinos on the Las Vegas Strip are starting to implement a new system that tracks how much money you are gambling and how fast you are doing so in order to determine when you have earned yourself a free drink.  The system only applies to machines at the casino bars, which will have a red light that will turn green once you have satisfied the system's requirements for a beer or cocktail.

Wesley Angell is a bartender at Sully’s inside Bally’s.  He explained the system.  The red light turns blue once gambler has put at least $20 into the machine.  It then turns green once the money has been gambled.  Following that, it will only remain green if the gambler continues to feed the machine money and continues to gamble.

Casinos say they are simply trying to protect themselves from freeloaders.  Richard Broome is the executive vice president of public affairs at Caesars.  He said, "The only one who doesn’t like it is the person who wants to milk the system, get free drinks and not spend any money.”

Bartender James Tanner echoed the sentiment.  He enjoys the new system because he does not have to argue with customers over whether or not they have actually been gambling or just hanging around looking like they have been.

Gamblers are not happy about the new system.

Brad Johnson has been travelling from North Carolina nearly every year for the past 45 years.  He said, “The number-crunchers, the bean-counters have ruined Las Vegas.  There’s no value to it; there’s no benefit.”

Jamie Balazs and her father, Jim Fletcher, said that they understood the system but found it "insulting."

What?! Seriously?! It takes $20 to get a glass of bottom shelf chardonnay or a Bud Light?! 


Read the full story at The Wall Street Journal

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