With the arrival of cheap fuel prices and the low-cost airfare that goes with it, there are so many vacation options for those living in the United States that choosing one can be overwhelming. In fact, just within the borders of the lower 48, you could spend every week of the year for the rest of your life vacationing at different spots and still never run out of fun and exciting new locales to visit.
But, in truth, none of us have even close to 52 weeks a year to take vacations. Most of us don’t even have one. In such a vast country with so many amazing places to visit, why would anyone actually recommend vacationing at a casino, over all others? As it turns out, there are some very compelling reasons.
1- It’s cheap.
Casinos, all things being equal, have the cheapest rooms you’ll find anywhere, according to Twin Pine Casino & Hotel. Even in the era of Expedia, the quality of room you can get at an average Las Vegas Strip casino for $100 per night is shockingly nice. With a little digging, you can usually find a multi-room suite with a king size bed for around $100. And we’re talking nice. A similar room in Chicago or New York might cost ten times that.
But there are all kinds of other discounts that are hidden a little under the surface but of which the knowledgeable can fully avail themselves. One way a clever traveler can sail through an entire casino vacation while barely paying for anything is through comps, or complimentary amenities for gamblers. Something as simple as playing a penny slot machine for a total of a half hour may allow a gambler to obtain free drinks for an entire evening. Likewise, even limited play at low-house-edge games, such as Blackjack, may be enough to ensure a steady offering of free meals for the duration of the trip.
With slightly higher volume of play, sharp players may be able to get hotel rooms and even airfare covered while exposing themselves to little or no expected loss. In fact, there’s an entire group of players who never pay a cent for their casino junkets. They’re called comp hustlers. While some of the more advanced plays may be more effort than the average vacationer wants to spend, comp hustling basics can earn just about anyone a very cheap vacation.
2- Casinos are the most beautiful resorts in the world.
Architectural purists may cringe at that statement. But Las Vegas and some of the larger Indian casinos throughout the country have come a long way since the days of Circus Circus. Fun as some of the gaudier, old-style casinos are, such as those found on Fremont St. in Las Vegas, the newer additions to the Strip really are something to behold.
Just one example is the timelessly magnificent Venetian. Some say they prefer the hotel-casino version to Venice itself. Much more than just a cheesy replica, the gilded masterpiece features such over-the-top touches as singing gondoliers who row through the casino on an artificial canal and opera singers who periodically appear in the clock tower of the St. Mark’s Square scale replica, singing Puccini themes that might make you well up if you’re not careful. View it as adult Disneyland, world-class kitsch or just American capitalism run amok, the one thing the Venetian and the other Strip properties are not is forgettable. Like the Hoover Dam a few miles up the road, these are sights that require seeing by every American at least once.
3- You can make money.
Shhh, don’t tell them you know this. Really, don’t, or they’ll kick you out, or at least cut you off. Astute readers may have picked up that the logical end-game of the comp hustling described above is that a vacationer could actually make money if they were sufficiently dedicated.
While the techniques that could actually make you thousands in expected value on every trip to the casino are far beyond the scope of this article, there are many fine books available online that describe them. Suffice it to say, there have been players like Ken Uston, Stanford Wong and James Grosjean, among thousands of other, who went on their first casino vacation and forgot to come home.