Las vegas mall

Game Theory: Play table games at the Las Vegas Mall to learn the ropes

The best way to attract new players to table games? Remove the game.

That’s the theory behind Casino Quest, a casino gaming education space set to open at the Fashion Show Mall this month. Managed by Casino Education Group, which operates the CEG Dealer School in Las Vegas, the space would allow customers to rent a table by the hour to compete against friends or learn how to gamble.

“There will be no money. You pay to access the space, ”said David Noll, CEO of Casino Quest. “It will be (for) people who are risk averse. It will be (for) people who want to learn the game.

Less intimidating environment

The founders of the establishment were able to test their idea this year during March Madness.

The fashion show contacted the School of Resellers, whose YouTube channel has nearly 12,000 subscribers, and invited them to host an event that would introduce buyers to tabletop games for free, with students acting as resellers. .

“We were excited,” Noll said. “Monday night the mall closed at 9 p.m. and we couldn’t close the tables.”

Casino Quest has obtained all the necessary licenses except for a county license, which is due to be voted on Tuesday. The facility is slated to open on Black Friday, the busiest day of the year at the mall.

“I’m very optimistic about (opening day),” Fashion Show general manager Brent Gardner said. “I am happy to welcome a tenant who will offer something so unique. “

The space is expected to have a mix of table games – craps, roulette, baccarat, and four blackjack – and will give students at the casino school Noll Manages a chance to practice dealing with players in a setting. real.

For players, Casino Quest provides a relaxed place where they can take their time to learn a game without being in front of pit managers or more experienced players. Student croupiers will be able to introduce new players to the game, teaching them the rules and helping them throughout their game.

While some casino properties offer sessions that teach the rules of table games, the team at Casino Quest has said hours are limited and instructors are not allowed to use real casino chips, which means that lessons are often based on verbal commands.

“In turn,” Noll said, “the level of engagement is low, the conversion rate is low.”

“We wanted to move this training experience out of the casino to places where people are less intimidated,” he said.

Gardner said the space is a great fit for the fashion show and helps the mall provide visitors with a diverse range of entertainment options.

“When people spend all day shopping, they are looking for things to keep them entertained,” he said. “I have never seen this offered in any shopping center that I have had the privilege of managing. … It will certainly fit a niche in this regard.

Experience-based offerings like Casino Quest are a growing trend in local malls, according to Bryan Wachter, senior vice president of government and public affairs for the Retail Association of Nevada.

He said that as the e-commerce market has exploded in recent years, shopping malls have had to adapt. Experiential offers are one way to get people in, and they might entice people to spend money at other outlets while they’re at the mall.

“These are now places of community gathering,” Wachter said. “You have to give consumers a reason to walk into your store. “

Social experience

Noll said the tables attracted players of all ages to the March Madness event, including a demographic that is highly sought after by casinos: Millennials.

Unlike most casinos, Casino Quest would allow players to record their games and share photos and videos on social media. This could be a big incentive for younger crowds – a 2014 report from Ipsos and CrowdDNA found that nearly half of millennials report attending events in order to have something to share on social media.

“Young people like social engagement. They don’t want to put their phones down, ”Noll said. “They want to be able to interact (online). They want to be able to interact with the tables. … Casinos, at the moment, are not designed for this.

Studies have shown that millennials, ages 23 to 38, are drawn to social offers. A 2016 Harris Group report found that 78% of millennials would rather spend more money on experiences than on material things. Alex Kim, president of Casino Quest, said table games fit in perfectly.

“It’s a very popular thing now to play casino table games with your friends without having to spend any money. You’re just playing a game, having fun, ”Kim said. “It’s more like a social thing.”

And while inexperienced young players could lose hundreds of dollars trying to learn craps or blackjack in a casino, Noll said Casino Quest presents an environment with no rush to make a move and no money in play.

Once players learn the ropes, Casino Quest will act as a pipeline to local casinos, Noll said. The site plans to come up with an app that would reward customers who visit casinos and offer discounts at certain properties.

“We’re going to create new touchpoints for them, new customers,” Noll said. “It’s not supposed to be take-out (from the casinos). It’s supposed to be leverage. “

Contact Bailey Schulz at [email protected] or 702-383-0233. To follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter

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