Property Reviews

What Makes a Great Slot Floor?

Gold Strike High LimitsThe popularity of slots is at an all-time high, and so is the demand for places to play. Of course, every casino has slot machines. But not every casino has a great slot floor. So, what are the defining characteristics of a great slots floor? I spoke with renowned gaming expert Linda Boyd, who has been to every casino on the Vegas Strip, among others. She knows exactly what to look for in a slot floor and with her assistance we’ve put together a list of a few things you might consider before spending your hard earned money.

 

 

 

The Latest and Greatest Games
A casino with a great slots floor will have the most popular games and up-to-date technology. Players should be able to come and play the newest games being advertised and their favorite classic games in one location. This is also a big factor for non-smokers to consider. If you prefer to play in a non-smoking area, be sure to check that it has the games you’re looking for. According to Boyd, many casinos don’t have the same popular games in the nonsmoking area as they do in the smoking area. A truly great slot floor has the same gaming options available in both areas.

 

Well Maintained Machines
Broken buttons are entirely too common. “For some reason, the eye in the sky doesn’t say anything when people are pounding on these buttons,” said Boyd. “Management should really go over and say something because it’s annoying to other people, but more importantly it damages the buttons.” Often it’s the button for a certain denomination, usually the most popular, that gets damaged. Until it gets fixed, players are forced to bet an amount they’re uncomfortable with or pick another machine. Casinos typically keep mechanics on the property and players can ask to have the buttons replaced. A process which might take a while. Long enough for gamers consider playing elsewhere.

 

Ticket Redemption Devices that Work
If a property uses ticket redemption devices, it’s important to check that they are in good working order. Boyd has seen these machines with a wide range of issues. Some of these machines have been known to dispense money in chunks, without notifying the player they haven’t received all of their money yet. If players don’t make it a point to count their money, they risk walking away, leaving a chunk of money for the lucky someone behind them in line. And that’s not even the worst of it. “Some of the machines, I don’t know how they get away with it, but they’ll give you the dollars and not the change,” Boyd said. You might not miss a few cents here and there but it becomes a problem when that change starts to add up. It is not uncommon to find these machines out of order so it’s worth checking out before you sit down to play.

 

Hand-pay Threshold
This one might require a little research but is definitely worth looking into. Boyd suggests finding out what the hand pay threshold is at a casino before you start to play. The U.S. Government requires a W-2G for winnings of $1,200 or more, which definitely requires an attendant to pay you and get you the necessary forms. Some casinos however, have a hand pay threshold that is much lower than the $1,200 set by the government. “I know many people saying they will never go back to a casino because when they hit a $500 jackpot they have to wait for an attendant and they feel obligated to tip,” said Boyd.

 

Location, Location, Location
The location of the slot floor in the casino as a whole can have a huge effect on a slot player’s experience. The proximity of the slot machines to the table games is something to consider. “I’ve actually seen people come close to fisticuffs because the [slot] machines will be really loud and the players at the table don’t like it,” said Boyd. “Or the players, especially at a craps table, are screaming and yelling if they’re on a hot roll and the people that are playing the slots get mad.” A great slots floor is set far enough away from other table games to avoid fisticuffs of any kind.

 

Room to Relax
This may be obvious, but a truly great slot floor gives gamers some space to spread out. This means wide aisles with plenty of room to peruse machines until you find the one you like. It means space between machines for coats and purses. It means when you hit the jackpot you can cheer and if you feel compelled, wave your arms around without fear of punching the person playing next to you. I would also include comfortable chairs, you should be able to sit and play for as long as you’d like.

 

Comped Drinks
It’s not unusual to work up a thirst on the slot floor. A great slot floor will provide free drinks while you’re playing. You’re already giving the casino your hard earned money. So try to get some drinks on the house.

 

Polite and Knowledgeable Staff
Customer service is an integral part of a great slot floor. The staff working on the floor should know where machines are and be able to answer any questions a customer may have. If the employee doesn’t have an answer they should at least be able to refer you to someone who can help. But having the answers is only part of it. It’s helping customers with a smile on that is most important. Attitude is everything.

 

Cleanliness
Slot machines look much less fun to play when they’re covered with smudges. No one wants to press a button with all sorts of sticky on it. A great slot floor will make it a point to clean the machines, similar to how servers wipe down tables between meals. Not only will this help stop the spread of germs, but it will keep the machines sparkling.

 

Interesting promotions
A great slot floor will host tournaments and fun promotions. Whether it be 2X points, tournaments, drawings or free play, a great slot floor will mix it up and keep guests coming back for more.

 

 

 

GREAT SLOT FLOORS OF THE SOUTH

The South is scattered with properties that possess the qualities of a great slots floor. Here is a list of some worth checking out.

nGold Strike Casino Resort
888-245-7829
goldstrike.com

Number of slot machines: 1,372
Number of table games: 59
Casino square footage: 50,000 square feet
High limit gaming area? Yes.

 

 

 

 

Hollywood Casino Tunica
800-871-0711
hollywoodcasinotunica.com

Number of slot machines: 1,100
Number of table games: 20
Casino square footage: 54,000 square feet
High limit gaming area? Yes, with a slot area and a tables room.

 

Paragon Slots 2Paragon Casino Resort
800-946-1946
paragoncasinoresort.com

Number of slot machines: 1,600
Number of table games: 44 (8 tables in poker room)
Casino square footage: 64,000 square feet
High limit gaming area? Yes, with 71 slot machines.

 

 

 

 

Horseshoe Tunica Hotel & Casino
800-303-7463
horseshoetunica.com

Number of slot machines: 1700
Number of table games: 70
Casino square footage: 63,000 square feet
High limit gaming area? Yes.

 

Slots_02Beau Rivage Resort & Casino
888-750-7111
beaurivage.com

Number of slot machines: 1,945
Number of table games: 83 (16 tables in poker room)
Casino square footage: 85,000 square feet
High limit gaming area? Yes, with 95 slot machines.

 

 

 

 

IP Casino Resort Spa
888-946-2847
ipbiloxi.com

Number of slot machines: 1,700
Number of table games: 60 (13 table games in anon-smoking area)
Casino square footage: 70,000 square feet
High limit gaming area? Yes.

 

casino interiorPalace Casino Resort
800-725-2239
PalaceCasinoResort.com

Number of slot machines: Over 850
Number of table games: 26
Casino square footage: 38,000 square feet
High limit gaming area? Yes, with 26 slot machines and 6 table games.

 

 

 

 

Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg
601-638-1000
ameristar.com/vicksburg

Number of slot machines: 1,500
Number of table games: 27 (plus a 10 table poker room)
Casino square footage: 70,000 square foot riverboat casino
High limit gaming area? Yes, there is a high limit slot area oncasino floor.

 

Slot_1Pearl River Resort
866-447-3275
pearlriverresort.com

Number of slot machines: 1,265 at Silver Star and 1,148 at Golden Moon
Number of table games: 65
Casino square footage: 90,000 square feet at Silver Star and 70,000 at Golden Moon.
High limit gaming area? Yes, 73 slot machines and 6 table games at Sliver Star. The Golden Moon’s high limit area has 54 slot machines and 6 table games.

 

 

Rising Star Casino Resort
800-472-6311
risingstarcasino.com

Number of slot machines: 1,200
Number of table games: 33
Casino square footage: 40,000 square feet
High limit gaming area? Yes.

 

 

 

by Lauren Reisdorf

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2014 Casino Dining Guide

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Power Players

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Power Players

In 1941, Sam Boyd and his family arrived in Las Vegas with not much more than determination to succeed and fulfill a dream.

 

 

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