Monday, October 28, 2013

Casinos and Restaurants

This piece may sound a bit strange, but it is about something my family and I experienced over the past week.  My wife was taking a class near Baltimore and as such, the whole family went.  While there we did a lot of things and of course, tried food.  In Hanover, near Baltimore, they have a good sized Mills mall, with a casino attached to it.  While this seems like a great idea, I guess in a sexist type of world it could work.  You know, send the mom off with the kids to go see a movie or do some shopping while the dad stays at the casino and gambles their life savings away.  At any rate, the casino is owned by a company called "Live" and their little tiny casino floor is about half of the size of River City's.  They have a lot of slot machines.  The entrance to the casino, faces the food court of the mall.  Not only that, but as you enter the doors, you are flanked by a Cheesecake Factory and a restaurant called Bobby's Burger Palace.  Then there is the entrance to the actual casino floor where on the map showed a number of additional restaurants.

However, you had to be 21 to access them.

The reason I say that this may seem strange, is that in Missouri, the casino designers were smart: they made parts of the casinos available to minors.  What I mean is this: the casinos in the city here, have restaurants that are separated from the actual gaming areas.  This allows families to enjoy a meal with children and others under 18 years of age.  This further allows the casino to become a restaurant or dining destination for those who cannot gamble, thus broadening their market and creating a greater financial potential.

The casinos in Las Vegas are the same way.  As children and anyone not of gambling age can even access the casino floor, provided that they stay on the walkways and keep moving.  So, fancy restaurants or eateries located in the very bowels of a fancy Las Vegas casino, can still be reached by young kids and thus, whole non-gambling families can access them.

This is not the case at this Live casino, so close to a shopping mall for all ages.  While this seems as simple as business is business, the idea of a casino not wanting to help greet greater amounts of cash flowing in, seems something a bit off and quite stupid.  I have written before about a local bar and grill that just recently decided to not allow minors in anymore.  Yes, they are getting money from their video poker machines, but they have just lost the attraction of families or people with kids.  What more with that, is that this particular establishment is where the company I work for has had their Christmas party, every year.  Imagine the loss in revenue that a restaurant could have from not having 50 people, including kids, eating their food, the adults drinking all they want, and just enjoying their space.  That is all gone and the way that they actually treated the children; yelling at them and yelling at the adults and parents as the kids got within a certain distance of the video poker machines as they were right next to the dance floor and bathrooms, was just wrong.

My verdict?  Be happy about St. Louis and Missouri and the casinos nearby.  If you are a casino owner, thank you for allowing ways to include families and children into your money making happiness.   

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