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The Most (and Least) Customer-Focused Hotel/Casinos in Las Vegas

Last update:  November 6, 2021

Vegas hotel/casinos have been tightening the screws on customers for the last several years with things like resort fees, paid parking, high table limits, and horrible odds on the games.  That strategy might backfire, as the Internet is filled with comments by disgruntled customers swearing never to return to Vegas, or at least visit a lot less frequently.  As such, we felt it was a good time to begin an annual ranking of the most- and least- customer-focused casino/hotels in Vegas.  Below are our inaugural rankings.


Awards for 2022

Most Customer-Focused Hotel/Casinos
Category Hotel/Casino Score
Most Customer-Focused Hotel/Casino on the Strip Casino Royale
60
Most Customer-Focused Hotel/Casino Near the Strip (coming soon)

Most Customer-Focused Hotel/Casino Downtown (coming soon)

Most Customer-Focused Locals Casino (coming soon)

Least Customer-Focused Locals Casino (coming soon)

Least Customer-Focused Hotel/Casino Downtown (coming soon)

Least Customer-Focused Hotel/Casino Near the Strip (coming soon)

Least Customer-Focused Hotel/Casino on the Strip Venetian -98


Of note is that the top four spots went to independent casinos.  Of the 30 hotel/casinos on the Strip, a whopping 18 of them are owned by just two companies, Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts.  This lack of competition isn't bad for customers just theoretically, that's exactly what we see in the rankings above.


All Rankings for 2022

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CategoryAttributeScore
Area
Non-smoking casino
Resort Fee
Free Parking
Kiosks dispense change
Blackjack hourly loss
Craps min. bet, odds
Roulette hourly loss
Hall of Shame
Website Problems
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Methodology

Who's included and who's not

  1. All Vegas casinos with an attached hotel are included.  To be considered a casino, it must have table games, or be on the Strip, or have at least 20,000 square feet of gambling area.
  2. Casinos without an attached hotel are not included.  Sorry, Slots-A-Fun.
  3. Hotels without an attached casino are not included.  Sorry, Vdara.
  4. Casinos outside of Vegas are not included.  That's why M Resort (and others) aren't listed.  We go by postal address for determining whether a casino is in Vegas or not.

Linq gets credit for the quality of the games at its associated casino, O'Sheas.  The best game across both casinos is the representative game for the property in our scoring model.  Likewise, Flamingo gets credit for the games at Margaritaville.


Scoring Summary


Scoring Points
Category Points
Non-smoking casino
+30
No resort fee
+25
Resort fee amount
-1 for every $5 over $36.28
(the lowest resort fee on the Strip
among hotels that have one)
Free parking for guests
+20
Free parking for everyone
+10
Kiosks dispense change
+15
Blackjack
-1 for every $2 of hourly expected loss over $3
Craps
-2 for every $5 of minimum bet over $5
+1 for every 10x odds
Roulette
-1 for every $5 of hourly expected loss over $19
-5 if the game with the lowest hourly loss is triple-zero
Hall of Shame
-100 for being in the Hall of Shame
+10 points for every year since they entered
Website problems
-5 each

Each of these categories is explained in detail below.

We don't rate on hotel room rates, because rates aren't a good indicator of how customer-focused a property is.  For example, Bellagio costs more than Circus Circus, but Bellagio gives you a luxury experience, so it's normal and appropriate for Bellagio to charge more.  However, we still ding properties for having higher resort fees than their competitors, since properties shouldn't have resort fees in the first place.  (That cost should be included in the room rate.)


Best and Worst Possible Scores

Our ideal hotel/casino would have 100 points.  A property this customer-focused would likely be saturated with happy customers lured away from the stingier properties.

The most horrible possible hotel/casino would be about -150, but we wouldn't expect such a property to remain in business very long.

This is how a truly customer-focused hotel/casino would fare under our scoring system:

Ideal Hotel/Casino
Category Characteristic Points
Non-smoking casino
yes
30
Resort fee
none
25
Parking for guests
free
20
Parking for everyone
free
10
Kiosks dispense change
Yes
15
Blackjack
$5, 3:2
0 (no penalty)
Craps
$5, 3-4-5x
0 (no penalty)
Roulette
$5 (00), or $15 (0)
0 (no penalty)
Hall of Shame
not inducted
0 (no penalty)
Website
no problems
0 (no penalty)
Total

100

It's possible for a property to exceed 100 by having exceptional gaming (e.g., 10x odds in Craps), or getting bonus points for being an outlier in a category.  (See below.)

There are no hard upper and lower boundaries to the scores.  On the positive side, casinos get points for increasing craps odds, so a casino offering 500x odds would rack up serious points, but no casino has ever done so and almost certainly never will.  A casino can also get bonus points for being an positive outlier in a certain category.  On the negative side, a casino gets dinged for increasing table minimums, so a casino whose cheapest table was $500 would get a serious penalty, but no casino would ever make its lowest minimum that high. (back to the table)


Bonus and penalty points

Casinos get or lose five points for being outliers in each category in their geographic area.  For example, among Strip casinos:

  1. Park MGM is the only non-smoking casino in Vegas, so they get an extra five points (in addition to the 30 points for being non-smoking in the first place).
  2. Strat gets five points for having the best blackjack, and Circus Circus and Resorts World los five points for having the worst.
  3. No casino gets a penalty for resort fees, because there are no outliers:  Eleven different casinos are tied for the highest resort fee.  However, Casino Royale, as the only strip property without a resort fee, gets the five bonus points (in addition to the 25 points for having no resort fee in the first place).

(back to the table)


Smoking

Las Vegas is behind most other states for banning smoking in casinos.  Among states that have casinos, a whopping twenty of them have banned smoking.  In Vegas, without regulation, only one casino has opted to go non-smoking: Park MGM, in 2020.  So, Park MGM is the only property to pick up the 30 points for this category (the highest number of points for any category we cover).  Park MGM also gets the five bonus points for being an outlier in this category.  However, even with this boost, Park MGM winds up with a total score of only 6, because of a high resort fee, poor blackjack, poor craps, poor roulette, and numerous website problems.  Then again, that's enough to put it in the top seven casinos on the Strip.  (back to the table)


Resort Fee

There is probably nothing more reviled by visitors than the Resort Fee, a nonsense charge that hotels impose simply because they can.  The hotels pretend that the fee gets customers things like access like WiFi and access to the fitness center, but the truth is that those amenities can't be tied to the resort fee since everyone has to pay the fee.

Casino Royale is the only property on the Strip with no resort fee, and thus is the only property to pick up all 25 points here, plus five bonus points for being an outlier in this category.

The penalty is -2 for every $5 of resort fee (including taxes) over $36.28 (the lowest resort fee on the Strip, at Circus Circus).  So lots of properties which charge $51.02 get a penalty of -6 points here.  (back to the table)


Free Parking

Properties get 20 points for offering free parking for guests, and another 10 points (30 points total) if they let anyone park for free.

There are many reasons why people not staying at a property might still want to patronize it.  Even if they're staying elsewhere, they might want to see a show, shop, eat at one of the restaurants, or gamble.  And if they do, most Strip hotels are going to charge them to park.  Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

Even worse, many Vegas hotels now charge for parking even for their own guestsAll of the MGM Resorts properties charge for parking, the rest don't.  Ouch.  (back to the table)


Slot redemption kiosks

When you're done playing a slot or video poker machine, the machine prints out a ticket which you can redeem for cash at an electronic kiosk.  But recently, the kiosks at some casinos (notably Caesars properties) give only bills and spit out a receipt for the change, which you're supposed to walk over to the casino cage and stand in line to redeem.  Players are furious about this change.  (No pun intended.)  (Okay, maybe a little.)  Many players just trash their receipts rather than going through the hassle of waiting in line to redeem small change, and casinos get to keep 1/3 of uncashed tickets (the other 2/3 goes to the State of Nevada), and that amounted to a whopping $3 million windfall for the casinos in fiscal 2021.

Casinos which generally dispense change right at the kiosks get 15 points.  They get credit even if the machine runs out of change occasionally, as long as it usually has change.  Casinos get five points if their kiosks don't dispense change but at least spit out a TITO ticket that you can either cash at the cage or put back into a slot machine.  Note, at some casinos you also have the option of donating the change to charity.  (back to the table)


Gaming in general

Because one of the Strip casinos doesn't have table games (Casino Royale), the score for gaming is mostly figured as deductions for bad games rather than rewards for good games.  That way Casino Royale still has a shot at getting a perfect score.  The gaming scoring is detailed below.

Casinos get credit for a game as long as it's dealt at least five days a week on at least one shift per day.  For example, the Strat's $5 blackjack isn't actually available most of the time (most of the time that table is $10 or $15), but it still meets our criteria for inclusion.

Our source for table conditions is Vegas Advantage, which we find to be the most reliable of all the sites that track Vegas table games.

We don't count stadium games in our rankings, we count only traditional games played on a single table with a few players.


Blackjack

First, we figure the average hourly loss on the casino's best blackjack game, at its lowest table minimum, at 105 rounds per hour (about three people per table).  From there, we assess a -1 point penalty for every $2 in average hourly loss over $3.  The $3 is because that's the lowest hourly loss on the Strip, courtesy of the Strat's $5, 3:2 game.  The only casinos to not get a deduction here are Strat (for having a $3 average hourly loss) and Casino Royale, since it doesn't have table games.  Strat also gets a five-point bonus for having the best blackjack game.

The blackjack games with the best odds for the player are 3:2 and Spanish 21.  We figure a 0.5% house edge for those games.  Worse games are 6:5 blackjack (figured as 2% house edge) and Free Bet 6:5 (figured at 2.4% edge).  We don't include Double Exposure in our ranking, because we feel that's too far from traditional blackjack.

We don't normally figure the house edge down to the hundredths decimal place to account for minor rule variations such is whether the dealer hits or stands on Soft 17, since that will almost never affect the Easy Vegas score, and if it does the maximum effect will probably be only one point.  However, any casino which believes it should get a higher score based on the rules of its particular game is welcome to make its case to us.

The two worst casinos for blackjack on the Strip are Resorts World and Circus Circus (surprisingly in the latter's case, as traditionally Circus Circus has had decent gambling offerings).  At those casinos the minimum is $15 and gets you only the inferior 6:5 game.  Each of these casinos also gets the five-point penalty for being outliers for Strip blackjack (no relation to strip poker).  (back to the table)


Craps

We assess a -2 point penalty for every $5 over $5 of the required minimum bet.  For example, if the minimum bet is $20, then that's $15 over $5.  So the penalty is ($15 ÷ 5) x -2 = -6 points.  Several casinos have $10 tables and get only a -2 penalty.  Six casinos have the highest minimum at $25.

Casinos also get a one-point bonus for every 10x of odds they offer.  The only Strip casino to offer better than 3-4-5x odds is, once again, Strat, offering 10x odds, and getting the one-point bonus.  (All other Strip casinos offer 3-4-5X odds.)  Strat also picks up the five-point outlier bonus for having the best craps game on the Strip.  (back to the table)


Roulette

First, we figure the average hourly loss on the casino's best roulette game, at its lowest table minimum, at 50 rounds per hour (about four players).  From there, we assess a -1 point penalty for over $5 in average hourly loss over $19.  The $19 is because that's the lowest hourly loss on the Strip, courtesy of, once again, The Strat.

However, hourly loss doesn't tell the whole story.  The worst game for players is Triple Zero, so if the game in a casino with the lowest hourly loss is a Triple Zero game (which makes it harder for players to win), then we assess a five-point penalty.  (The reason why a bad game can have a lower average loss than other games is because the better games require higher minimum bets.)  Three Strip casinos got this penalty:  Luxor, New York New York, and Strat.

Strat, with the lowest hourly loss, gets no penalty for average loss, and gets a five-point bonus for having the lowest average loss on the Strip, but gets a -5 penalty for its best game being triple zero, resulting in no overall penalty.  (Same as Casino Royale, which can't get a penalty since it doesn't have roulette, or any other table games for that mater.)

Cromwell and Venetian have the worst scores for roulette, which is not surprising in the latter's case because Venetian has historically had the poorest games.  (It ranked dead last among all Vegas casinos for slot returns in the Wizard of Odds' slot survey, for example.)  Both casinos get the -5 penalty for being outliers on their roulette offerings.  We're tempted to add an additional -5 penalty for Venetian being the casino that introduced the horrible Triple Zero game to the world, but we'll skip that for now.  And this is as good a place as any to mention that Venetian is the only casino/hotel in Vegas that doesn't reward its players with free meals.  (back to the table)


Hall of Shame

Easy Vegas started a Casino Hall of Shame in 2020 to call out egregious behavior on the part of certain casinos.  The inductees so far are:

  1. Sahara, for baselessly suing Scott Roeben of the Vital Vegas blog because they didn't like his reporting.  (Predictably, Sahara lost its suit.)
  2. Fremont, for baselessly manhandling, detaining, and extorting a player who had done nothing wrong.  (Fremont was fined by the Nevada Gaming Commission for its outrageous actions.)
  3. Venetian, for trying to spin its lousy triple-zero roulette game as being good for the player.

Casinos in the Hall of Shame get a -100 penalty, less 10 points for each year that's passed since they were inducted, because recent bad behavior should lose more points than distant bad behavior.  So, for example, Sahara's penalty is only 90 points, because it's been over a year since they entered the Hall of Shame.

Being in the Hall of Shame doesn't have to be permanent.  As the Hall of Shame page explains, all casinos have to do to get out of the Hall of Shame is to issue a public apology and explain what steps they'll take to make sure that the problem doesn't happen again.  But no casino in the Hall of Shame has done so, which is not surprising, because any casino willing to commit outrageous behavior is unlikely to apologize for it.  (back to the table)


Website problems

Most casino websites features at least one annoyance, often several.  Casinos get a -5 penalty for each of these problems, and sometimes an additional -5 penalty if they're one of the only ones to have that particular problem.

Only five casino websites had no problems,  which is too many to award an outlier bonus, but for the record, they're Sahara, Strat Treasure Island, and Wynn/Encore.

We do note that all properties' websites are mobile-friendly.

We don't deduct points for opening booking pages in a new tab or window, even though doing so is against best practices for links within a website.

(1) Misinformation

Websites are supposed to provide information, so when the information on them is wrong, the website has failed its primary purpose.  Here's misinformation we found:

  • Caesars lists the wrong resort fee for three of its properties.
  • Cromwell advertises 100X odds for its craps game, when actually it now has only 3-4-5 odds.
  • Casino Royale talks up its table games, although it removed them in June 2020.

The wrong resort fees on Caesars site is especially distressing: not only do we have nonsense resort fees, but we now we have nonsense about resort fees!

Caesars shows wrong resort fees

Cromwell craps are now actually only 3-4-5X.

Craps at Cromwell falsely listed as 100x odds.

Casino Royale removed its table games but still advertises them as available, on two different pages of its website.  We note that on one part of Casino Royale's site, they mention that the casino pit is "temporarily" closed.  That doesn't cut it, for three reasons:

  1. The reader might not see that part, only the parts that say that table games are available.
  2. When a website has a mix of factual and wrong information, the reader is left wondering which is the factual info and which is the wrong info.
  3. Casino staff tells me that there are no plans for the table games to return—i.e., that the removal isn't "temporary"...though the website says the opposite.

Casino Royale advertises table games it doesn't actually have.

Casino Royale advertises table games it doesn't actually have.

(2) Overlay blocks the content

The website of Tropicana (and only Tropicana) immediately pops up an annoying overlay over the web page, forcing the visitor to dismiss it before they can browse the website.  This ridiculous kind of intrusion is universally reviled.  So Tropicana gets -5, and because Tropicana is the only website that annoys its visitors this way, they also earn the -5 outlier penalty.

(3) Improper location request

Some websites bizarrely, annoyingly, and rudely request the user's location when viewing the website.  That includes Venetian/Palazzo, and most of the MGM Resorts properties (except Park MGM, for some reason).  These sites don't need to know where the user is located, and shouldn't ask.  Best practices for web development is "Don’t ask for location...unless it’s truly necessary and desirable for users.".  The MGM sites ask only when viewing from a mobile device, but it's still wrong.

Rude/annoying location request from Venetian.

(4) Speed

The MGM Resorts website was especially slow when we tried to walk through the booking pages.  From the page with the thumbnails in the previous item, it took a full ten seconds for the following page to load after clicking "Next".  As with the Javascripted links on MGM's site, this is almost certainly because of poor programming.

(5) Poor navigation and Javascripted links

The navigation on MGM Resort's booking page is bizarre and annoying.  Take this screenshot:

You'd think that you could click any image to select it and go to the next page.  But you'd be wrong.  Oh, you have to click the "Open Now!" below the image, right?  Wrong again.  Clicking either the image or the text merely puts a blue border around the image, and makes a "Next" button appear at the bottom of the window.  This is a ridiculous, gratuitous extra step.

Compounding this, the link on the Next button is Javascripted.  When links are Javascripted, users are unable to open them in new tabs or windows, preserving their place in the original window.  The only reason that some casinos foist this annoyance on their visitors is that their web programmers are incompetent.

It's true that most properties' sites have Javascripted links or buttons that can't be opened in new tabs, but there's a big difference with MGM Resort's site:  MGM shows you thumbnals of all their properties on one page, so on that site you have a strong reason for wanting to preserve your place: after you check out one property, if you don't like the price, you might want to go back to check out another property.  For that matter, MGM could (and should) show you the best prices across all properties on a single page.

(6) Forces you to choose an option without enough information to know what to choose

When trying to book a room on Resorts World's site, it seemingly demands that you make a choice to continue, without giving you enough information to make that choice.  When you click the "Stay" menu, you're prompted to choose which of their three hotels you want.  How the heck are you supposed to know that?  How can you know the differences between the hotels when you've likely never even visited the property?  Where is the "View all rooms" link?!

Well, in fact, there's a way to do it, but it's camouflaged:  Under the picture, click "Book Now".  That will give you the prices for the various rooms across all their three hotels.  However, the pain doesn't end there:  There are absolutely no options for sorting.  You can't sort by price, you can't sort by size, you can't sort by anything else.  Also, Resorts Worlds deigns to show only a measly three rooms per page, even though there are 36 results.  That means you get to have fun clicking around twelve different pages.  Inexcusable.

Since this is really three different problems, and since Resorts World is an outlier here, they get the -5 outlier penalty.

(7) Suggests no tax on resort fees

Resort fees are taxable, but many casinos' websites falsely lead you to believe that they're not.  First let's take all the Caesars properties, such as Bally's.  There's a line for taxes, and below that there's a line for the Resort Fee, suggesting that the Resort Fee isn't taxable, because it's below the taxes line.  In fact, the Resort Fee is taxable, and the Taxes line includes the tax on the Resort Fee, but Caesars doesn't tell you that.  (And no, if you click the little "i" cicle next to Resort Fees, there's no mention of the resort fee being taxable.)  The solution here is simple:  Put the Resort Fee line above the taxes line.

Caesars misleads about the taxability of the resort fee.


At Circus Circus and Cosmopolitan, there's a line for Occupancy Tax, but that's the tax for only the room.  Since the amount of the tax is so low, you're led to believe that the Resort Fee isn't taxable.  The Resort Fee is in fact taxable, and Circus Circus includes the tax on the Resort Fee line, but they don't tell you that, so you'd never know.  The solution here is also simple:  add the words "(includes tax)" after the words "Resort Fee".

Circus Circus deception about taxes on resort fees

  (back to the table)


Future criteria

We expect to add additional data points for future years' rankings.  Here are candidates to add for 2023:

  • In-room coffeemaker
  • In-room microwave oven
  • In-room refrigerator that you can actually use
  • Player's Club desk separate from the casino cage
  • Air quality as measured with an expensive particle counter

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