About Easy Vegas (FAQ)
Last update: March 2021
Who's behind Easy Vegas?
Easy Vegas is run completely by one person, me, Michael Bluejay. I'm better-known for my sites on topics such as how to buy a house, saving electricity, and bicycle safety (which have been covered in Newsweek, Forbes, NPR, the Christian Science Monitor, etc). Vegas and gambling might seem a far stretch for those topics, but my greatest passion is sharing information that's truly useful, so in that sense this site is no different from the others that I run. Here's my main website and my about me page.
What's the mission of Easy Vegas?
My goals are:
- To provide great stuff you can't get anywhere else.
For example, my Average Loss
Calculator and my Sortable
List of Vegas Casinos are are one-of-a-kind. I've also
got lots of things about slot machines
never published before anywhere.
- To cover stuff better than it's covered elsewhere.
For most of my topics, I aim to make them both comprehensive
and easy to understand. Based on what others say,
I seem to be succeeding:
“I was checking out some of the articles on [his] site and they are excellent. You don't see the usual garbage reiterated on multiple gambling sites but [rather] well thought out and researched articles. A couple articles that I thought were pretty awesome and a great read...” —Casino Regular
“As far as I’m concerned, [Bluejay] is the best gambling writer on the internet.” —Randy Ray of Chip Cage
- To save my readers money. The site is packed with money-saving tips, both gambling and non-gambling related.
What's different about Easy Vegas vs. other gambling sites?
- Superior content. (See above.)
- No f**king animated advertising!
- No f**king overlays popping up and covering the content, trying to get you to sign up for a newsletter or some other such B.S. It's ridiculous how other websites go out of their way to annoy their visitors. I will never pop up a stupid box that covers the article you're trying to read. At Easy Vegas, the readers come first.
- I don't push readers to gamble at the online casino I advertise. I primarily promote the casino's free-play games.
- I know what I'm talking about. Many other webmasters just copy what they find on other sites, or worse, pull stuff out of thin air and report it as fact. At Easy Vegas, the articles are authoritative. I'm not infallible (nobody is), but the accuracy here is way above average.
One of my critics said, "Too bad you do not want to stand out from the rest of the gaming writers....I thought you were different, but not." So to make it clear how dramatically different (and better) this site is vs. the typical Vegas/gambling site, I made a list of stuff on Easy Vegas that's either exclusively unique or better than what's available elsewhere.
Easy Vegas is approved as a Webmeister at Casinomeister. As I write this in May 2020, there are only seven sites on the whole planet which have been awarded that honor. (We were #7.)
How can I trust your information about gambling?
That's a fair question, because there are so many sites out
there literally making $#!† up, especially about slot machines.
So here are my credentials:
- I worked with Michael Shackleford (aka the Wizard of Odds) for ten years. He's probably the best-known gambling mathematician in the world. (And since one reader alleged that I was just making up this connection, on the Wiz's own site he variously refers to me as business partner, webmaster, ad man, and friend here, here, here, here, and in 89 other instances.)
- I'm a former professional gambler. I used to make my living from counting cards at blackjack. My skill is good enough that there are six casinos where I'm not allowed to play blackjack in Nevada (two I'm not allowed to set foot in).
- On slot machines, I've done the math design of actual slot machines, professionally, for hire. These were for the Internet, and those machines work exactly the same way as Internet casinos. I also walk readers through the slot machine math on this site, and I cite the very best sources in my slots articles. And the first time I met the Wizard was to help him with his original research into slot machine odds, way back in 2000.
- I've spent plenty of time in Vegas. Though I no longer live in Vegas, I make extended trips back there on occasion to make sure the content on this site is up-to-date. I'm in Vegas now as I write this.
- Those in the gambling community seem to think I'm credible. I was invited to write a cover story for Casino Player magazine on money management (which I did), and I was a guest on the radio show Gambling with an Edge, hosted by luminaries Bob Dancer (in the Video Poker Hall of Fame) and Richard Munchkin (in the Blackjack Hall of Fame). Other guests on that show have included Stanford Wong, John Chang (subject of the movie "21") blackjack legend Arnold Snyder, Las Vegas publishing magnate Anthony Curtis, and gambling law expert I. Nelson Rose. My name was also floated by GamblingOnline.com as a possible candidate for the Video Poker Hall of Fame. (I'll be the first to admit that I'm not deserving of such an honor, but the point is, if others are considering me for that, then you can certainly trust the information on this site.)
Would you sell the site?
I get this question often enough that I'm answering it publicly here. I would possibly sell for $1.2 million. That's probably more than most buyers would want to pay, but that's what it's worth to me, and if I were actively trying to sell the site it's not unthinkable that I could get my target price for it.
What's the history of the site?
I launched the site on Dec. 20, 2000, making it one of the oldest gambling-info sites on the web. The site began as Vegas Reference, and in Fall 2006 I changed it to Vegas Click after I bought the domain VegasClick.com for $500. On 8/13/19, I moved the site to easy.vegas, finally getting a domain I was truly happy with, almost 20 years after I started the site.
Here's an interview I did with GAFFG about the site and how it got started.
Although I started the site two months after meeting the Wizard of Odds, my real inspiration was a pair of sites, Big Empire and CheapoVegas (both by the same writers) filled with the hilarious escapades and reviews of "Matt & Stinky". It's quite possible that Easy Vegas would never have been born without their influence on me. I didn't really go the comedy route with this site, partially because I'm not nearly as funny as those guys, but I made a couple of stabs at it with my Craps Instructions Parody and the Bodog Table Drawing, as homage to the masters. Sadly, "Stinky" (Mark Sinclair) passed away of a brain aneurysm at only 34. CheapoVegas was subsequently sold and the new owner removed the humor and the critical reviews.
How does Easy Vegas make money?
Like other gambling webmasters, I make money by advertising an online casino (Bovada), but the similarity ends there. For starters, most other sites get paid on a percentage of player losses, but I get paid a flat monthly rate. Also, I don't push my readers to go gamble and lose money; I primarily promote Bovada's free-play (fake money) games. And of course, a primary goal of my site is to help gamblers play smart to lose less money.
That's a far cry from the attitude of many other gambling
webmasters. As one of them publicly opined, "If
the webmaster is not an idiot, he wants the rich, stupid and
desperate gamblers to register and squeeze all the money out of
In another example of how sleazy some other webmasters are, some of them actually target gambling addicts. In the U.K., problem gamblers can self-exclude by getting on the GamStop list, which means they can't be served by any casino licensed in the U.K. But there are shady unlicensed casinos that'll take any player, and some webmasters promote those casinos with articles titled, "Casinos not on GamStop", trying specifically to funnel problem gamblers to a casino that will accept their play. Gross.
I think these examples go a long way in explaining why the content on many other sites is crap. It's also why I don't rub elbows with other gambling webmasters except for a select few like the Wizard of Odds.
I do have access to the reports on the players I refer to the casino, and interestingly, only 0.03% of my visitors gamble online (actual figure), or at least at the casino I advertise. 99.97% don't. The tiny percentage who do are enough to earn my monthly check. And the median monthly loss of the players I've sent to the advertiser is around $26.
This site is not a blog
Easy Vegas is sometimes referred to incorrectly as a “blog”. It's not. Blogs are run by blogging software which require no technical expertise on the part of the blogger. By contrast, I code Easy Vegas from scratch. That's certainly not the only difference. Here's a rundown.
|Powered by blog software||Coded from scratch|
|Content is news||Content is reference|
|Content presented as posts||Content presented as articles|
|Posts are generally not updated as information changes||Articles are generally updated|
|Content presented in reverse-chronological order||Content organized by topic|
|Difficult to see at a glance what content is available on the site||Menus show the bulk of what's available|
|Lots of clicking/scrolling required to find anything besides the most recent posts||Access to over 100 articles with no more than two clicks|
|Topic tags, trackbacks, user commenting, RSS||None of these|
|No special content tools, usually||Tons of unique calculators and tools
such as the Average Loss Calculator
and the Interactive List of Vegas Casinos
Background photo credit
The background photo is courtesy of randy andy / Shutterstock (see original). (I paid for it.)
If you're so good at counting cards, why don't you still do it?
- I can make more money by
working. A big misconception about card-counting is
that players make tons of money. For the most part, they
don't. While I made a decent amount of money, I can actually
make more by doing what I do now, publishing websites (or what I
used to do, developing sites for others).
- Counting cards isn't rewarding. By publishing my sites, helping people by sharing useful information, and making them happy, I have some satisfaction. Counting cards is a fun novelty (which is why I tried my hand at it), but it gets boring really quick, and doesn't add any value to the world.
- Smoky casinos. Cough, cough.
- Card-counting is stressful. It's mentally draining to do it constantly, especially while constantly pretending you're not the skilled player you actually are so that you don't get caught.
- I'd have to live in Vegas (or travel a lot). Been there, done that. I make my home in Austin, which I greatly prefer. And I get to work from home, which is everybody's dream.