Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Best of John Grochowski
The Casino Answer Man23 November 1999
You answer your own first question when you note that many of the $5 tables at Ho-Chunk were empty. Ho-Chunk offers $3 tables because it has seats to fill. Closer to Chicago, on the casino boats in Illinois and Indiana, space is at a premium. It's often difficult to get a seat at a $5 table. Given that there is no shortage of $5 players, there's little incentive for local casinos to open tables with lower minimum bets.
Another factor is the state gaming tax. Illinois casinos that pay the state up to 35 percent of revenue, with no expenses deducted, must make more money per game to make it profitable than does a Native American casino in Wisconsin. Table limits aside, players in Illinois and Indiana often face games with higher house edges than they'll find in Nevada, with its 6 percent gaming tax, or Mississippi, with an 8 percent tax. Whether through higher betting minimums or higher house edges, casinos here try to make each game profitable enough to overcome the nation's highest gaming tax without making the games so tough they chase away customers.
There have occasionally been $3 tables in Illinois. Empress Joliet has offered $3 blackjack on some early morning cruises. Drive three hours to East Peoria and you'll find $3 tables at Par-A-Dice.
As for Native American casinos that don't offer craps or roulette, that is all spelled out in tribal compacts with the governor of the host state. By federal law, any game of chance that is legal in state-regulated casinos is also legal on Native American lands. If a Native American tribe were to open a casino in Illinois, where craps and roulette are legal on the riverboats, the tribe would be allowed to offer craps and roulette.
However, in states with no state-regulated casinos, games that are permitted are spelled out in compacts. Typically, state goverments have tried to limit the scale of gaming in the tribal casinos, while the Native Americans have tried to negotiate as many games as possible into the compact. What you actually see on the casino floors is what both sides were willing to accept at the end of negotiations.
For more information about casinos and casino management:The Casino Answer Book by John Grochowski
Casino Operations Management by Jim Kilby and Jim Fox
Las Vegas: Behind the Tables by Barney Vinson
Las Vegas Behind the Tables Part II by Barney Vinson
Casino Secrets by Barney Vinson
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at email@example.com.
Best of John Grochowski