“At the M, a single player’s multi-million-dollar win at roulette…”
Jul 21 from http://www.dieiscast.com/tag/roulette/
David G Schwartz - 2009. "Interesting story on the M resort a few da
ys ago in the LV Sun. My eyes lit up when I saw this bit, because it a
nswered a crucial question: what’s been going on with the Boulder Stri
p’s roulette hold percentage since March?
Marnell says he doesn’t shy away from volatility because he knows the
casino will prevail in the long run. At the M, a single player’s mult
i-million-dollar win at roulette has been offset by millions lost at b
lackjack and craps in recent months, Marnell says.
via M Resort’s trial by fire - Las Vegas Sun.
In 2008, the annual average for roulette win percentage on the Boulde
r Strip was 21.21%. The statewide average was 20.13%, which is in line
with previous years. Across the various reporting areas, roulette hol
d percentage tends to bounce between 17 and 22%.
In February 2009, with 34 locations reporting, the Boulder Strip casi
nos had a combined hold percentage of 20.85. Again, that’s well within
the normal parameters. Together, the casinos lumped into the Boulder
Strip reporting area won about $431,000 at their 24 roulette tables.
But in March, with 27 tables in 35 locations (that’s the M opening),
Boulder Strip roulette had a mind-boggling win percentage of -63.19%.
That’s right-a beyond-double-digit negative win percentage. Instead of
winning about $400,000, Boulder Strip roulette tables lost nearly $1.
9 million. If we assume that the rest of the area won its usual amount
, that means that Marnell’s casino had a player win about $2.5 million
in roulette in a single month. How is this possible? High bets, with
lots of volatility.
But what about Marnell’s claim that the casino made up for the roulet
te loss with better-than-expected play at craps and BJ? We can take hi
s word for it, or we can see if the numbers back him up.
The opening of the M bumped the number of blackjack tables from 169 t
o 217, an approximately 28% increase. Year-to-year, BJ win nearly doub
led, from $2.92 million to $4.795 million. Month to month, with a 28%
increase in tables, the win increased by about 80%, with a slightly lo
wer win percentage. Everything else being equal, it seems likely that
someone had a very bad month playing blackjack somewhere on the Boulde
r Strip. It makes sense that this high-end play went down at the M.
Craps, on the other hand, saw a modest bump in overall win, February
to March (5%), with a 21% or so drop in win percentage (from 17.17% to
13.60%). This was a bit higher than the state’s average for the month
(13.23%), which lends credence to the assumption that someone lost he
avily, though not nearly as badly as in February.
Since March, the numbers for the Boulder Strip have bounced around qu
ite a bit. In April, the roulette tables had a 29.52 win percentage, i
ndicating heavy losses outside of the usual range, while craps tables
lost $271,000, for a negative win percentage of about 2.6%. In May, th
e win percentage on craps had soared back up to nearly 30%, with roule
tte tables again falling into the red: they lost more than a million d
ollars in that month, for a win percentage of about -21%.
If this is all attributable to the M (and word on the street backs up
Marnell’s claims of heavy action there), then it confirms that this i
s the “sky’s the limit” Horseshoe of Benny Binion’s day, redux. Of cou
rse, Benny didn’t pay so much attention to interior design, but these
are different times. At the high end, at least, Marnell is running an
honest-to-goodness gambling joint.
With his commitment to volatile high-end play, Marnell is at odds wit
h the mentality that’s sought profit certainty. In the past 25 years,
slots, which are much less volatile, have pushed out tables as the dom
inant piece of the gambling puzzle for most casinos. In the past 15 ye
ars, non-gaming parts of the resort, which are less susceptible to nig
htly swings, have outpaced the growth of gambling revenues.
It remains to be seen whether Marnell’s let the chips fall where they
may philosophy catches on. I don’t think it will become the industry
standard, simply because too many people on the admin and finance side
s will think that this is a lousy business model. They want good, soli
d cash flow that makes shareholders happy. On the whole, they’d rather
see $200/night rooms filled to 94% occupancy with less action on the
I have a pretty vivid mental image that I’m going to share. It won’t
make much sense if you haven’t seen the new Star Trek movie, but bear
with me. Jim Kirk and Leonard McCoy have this exchange:
McCoy: Space is disease and danger wrapped in darkness and silence.
Kirk: Well, I hate to break this to you, but Starfleet operates in sp
I’m imagining something like that an a casino executive committee mee
CFO: Gambling is disorder and volatility wrapped in panic and fear.
Casino ops: Well, I hate to break this to you, but casinos are in the
That may be something else that was funnier in my head than on your c
omputer screen. If you imagine Karl Urban as the CFO, it sounds a lot
Eight hundred words later, I’ve said most of what I wanted to say abo
ut casino volatility…for now. Seriously, the M will make a great case
study for someone’s thesis." -David G Schwartz
Wow, I wonder what happened at the M Casino?
Interesting story. [b]Clearly, this is a Steve, “Genuine Winner System” success story or the Martingale System really works!