Every now and then I like to head off and play a couple hours of blackjack. Besides the fact that I like the thrill of a good gamble and matching skills and statistical universes against each other casinos also have one very important thing. Free drinks. We all know the routine, sit at a table or machine and eventually you’ll be offered a free cocktail or beer. Lately though, I’ve also noticed that more casinos have added an option to pay a deeply discounted price for your drink in order to upgrade to a better spirit or microbrew.
It’s hard to beat free, but you know what, the longer I live and the longer I sell booze, I realise something. Life’s for enjoying, and if I can make my life more enjoyable for a pretty nominal fee, I’m going to be pretty tempted. Hell with tempted, seize the opportunity with both hands. Now you may ask why not just stay home and play in an online casino and drink my own considerable stash of booze? I like the interaction with other players. I like being able to smack the idiot next to me who can’t play and is screwing it up for the table. I also like the other temptations that casinos have added to their offerings to separate me from my money.
In the last few years, the addition of cigar and cocktail lounges with ambitious menus and programs have started to pop up. Not just in Las Vegas either where every form of excess is lit up and put on display. Regional and tribal casinos have realised that people like to enjoy themselves and once having made the decision to go to a casino why not make a night of it and go all out, especially if they’ve had good luck. After all, they may have won it at the tables, but that cash doesn’t actually have to leave the building.
Consider the Petrossian Bar at the Bellagio, probably the first bar in Vegas where I felt that things were starting to turn around. I can say that I have spent far more time at the Bellagio over the years because of that bar than I would otherwise have. I think that this is a trend to be encouraged and I think I’m going to have to start compiling a serious list of casinos where the drinking experience has been elevated. Time to ante up and order a drink.