The following story is fiction; although all of the individual incidents in the story are true… they all happened to me at times over the last couple of years, at various casinos. Some of the incidents happened during a single casino visit; thankfully all of the events didn’t occur on the same visit, which would spell “customer disaster.” This cobbled together story is meant to make a point: if you are in the casino business, these customer-unfriendly circumstances, policies and occurrences are happening right now and, at many casinos, too often.

A player walked into a local casino. It wasn’t a fancy one—he didn’t like “fancy”—it offered good gambling value at a fair price.

The player approached his favorite game—craps. The crap dealers recognized him, as they knew he was a player who played aggressively, could easily make a “score,” and would be “george” (generous) when he did.

The game was dead and the two crap dealers were chatting among themselves. Strangely, they seemed annoyed to have their conversation interrupted to have to start up the game. One would think they would have welcomed some dice business from the player, and the chance to make some tips.

The game started and the crap dealers continued their conversation that had begun on the dead game before the player arrived. It was like the player was not even there. At times it appeared to him that they even wanted him to lose, so they could go back to standing around doing nothing at a dead game.

And as sometimes happens, the player did lose, too quickly as well. He left the game. The dealers didn’t seem to care, although one feigned something like sympathy.

The player then went to a bank of video poker machines, his next favorite type of casino game. The casino was noted for having liberal video poker paytables, with a progressive bonus as well for a royal flush.

The ashtray at the video poker machine he selected hadn’t been emptied. He held his nose as he moved it to the vacant machine to his left—he noticed the ashtray there hadn’t been emptied either.

The player selected a 25-cent Bonus Poker game on the multi-game, multi-denominational machine. He was thrilled when three aces came up on his first dealt hand—drawing the fourth Ace would have meant a $100 payoff for him.

The player wasn’t lucky enough to draw the fourth ace. In fact, upon looking at the result, he only had two aces. Bummer, a sticky draw button was the culprit. The player hadn’t noticed it; so no $100 payoff, not even the $3.75 payoff for three aces, just a measly $1.25 for having two aces.

Well, the player lost $20 pretty quickly and reached for another bill. The bill validator at the machine wouldn’t accept it. Finally, he tried a second $20, then a third, finally a fourth. Thankfully, the machine at last accepted it.

But then, somehow, fortune shined on the player. He did hit the four aces for a $100 payoff. Although happy, he was still annoyed about his day at the casino. He hit the cash out button on the video poker machine to get his $100 (plus) slot ticket.

A message came up on the game monitor, “Paper jam, call attendant.” The player hit the service button on the game. It took 15 minutes for a slot attendant to fix the problem and get him his winning slot ticket.

The player took the ticket to the cashier. The cashier rep gave him five twenties instead of a hundred-dollar bill. “New policy,” she noted. “We only give hundreds upon request; I think the twenties are probably easier to spend.”

The player headed out the door. He stopped at the bar for a bottle of water to go, usually comped without question. “That’ll be two dollars,” the bartender said.

He passed the crap table on his way out. The dealers were still chatting among themselves, never even glancing at the player. Why should they? He might put them to work again…

The frustrated player drove home, asking himself why he endures it at all.

Then he thought, “Gambling is fun; trying to gamble is not.”