A locals casino is a casino designed primarily to attract residents of the area in which it was built rather than tourists or vacationers. The term is most commonly associated with casinos in Nevada, United States, to distinguish them from casinos that target mostly tourists in a central area. Locals casinos tend to operate under slightly different business models than those frequented by tourists, most notably having lower house advantages.
Locals casinos may also have amenities to appeal to tourists, such as lodging, truck parking, and expanded dining options. Many traditional tourist casinos have tried to appeal to locals, sometimes offering more generous comps for local residents, and providing community-oriented amenities such as shopping options and movie theaters that are the typical hallmarks of locals casinos.
Due to conventions related to calculating casino revenue, the term is sometimes used generally and casually to describe any casino outside of the Las Vegas Strip, whether or not its primary clientele are locals or tourists or both.
Locals casinos can range from locations with fewer than 15 machines such as supermarkets, convenience stores, gas stations, bars or lounges with no lodging, to resorts that have hundreds of machines and hotels with hundreds of rooms. Larger locals casinos in the Las Vegas Valley include the M Resort, South Point, Silverton and all of the various casinos owned and operated by Station Casinos.
In order to attract residents to gamble, locals casinos try to differentiate themselves from tourist-oriented casinos to benefit gamblers. For example, locals casinos usually have a different mix of games or offer games not typically found in tourist-oriented casinos in the area, such as bingo. Additionally, they offer table games with lower minimum bets, as well as lower denomination slot machines and video poker.
In addition, table games rules are frequently adjusted to decrease the house advantage and the payout percentage on slot and video poker machines is increased; locals casinos are well known for offering more full-pay video poker machines and even machines that pay more than 100%.
Locals casinos will typically offer comps, such as free meals at the casino's restaurants, at a higher rate than tourist-oriented casinos. Additionally, many locals casinos have promotions such as payroll check cashing, frequently accompanied by some type of free play bonus, to get patrons into the casino. In Nevada, this is usually expanded with special promotions to cash Internal Revenue Service tax refund checks.
Revenue of casinos
The revenue of locals casinos in Clark County, Nevada is normally calculated by taking the revenue of Clark County and subtracting the revenue of the four tourist areas (the Strip, Downtown, Laughlin and Mesquite). This is the only realistic calculation available since the Nevada Gaming Commission does not provide more detail. However, this calculation will include some properties like Gold Strike, Hoover Dam Lodge, Primm Valley Resorts and all of the various casinos in Laughlin and Mesquite as "locals casino" even though they have many guests who are visiting the area.
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- Jeff Burbank (February 9, 2001). "Locals casinos surpass downtown in winnings". Las Vegas Business Press. Retrieved December 31, 2012.