Impulse Marketing

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					Impulse Marketing

               Table of Contents

               Foreword: How I Discovered Impulse Marketing

               The 49 Principles of Impulse Marketing
                       1. How to Put People into a Buying Mood

                       2. Sell the Dream - Not the Process

                       3. Scoop Customers Right Off the Street

                       4. Trap Customers So They Buy More

                       5. Get them to Stay Longer

                       6. Make Money Easily Leave Your Customers Hands

                       7. Chips Make Spending Less Painful

                       8. You Can Make Payments on Your Gambling

                       9. A Secret to Encourage Spending

                       10. Cashier Cage Is at the Back of the Casino

                       11. Strategic Use of Colors

                       12. The “Near-Miss” Slots

                       13. Small, Frequent Payoffs

                       14. Adding Twists to Familiar Games

                       15. Fatigue Factors Identified and Eliminated

                       16. Special Scent Developed that Increases Gambling

                       17. Creating Anxiety by Design

                       18. Casinos Designed to Be Congested

                       19. Hiring Shills

                       20. The Use of Wandering Pathways

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                       21. Creating Intrigue By Blocking the View of the Entire Casino

                       22. Purposely Minimalist Casino Décor

                       23. Brightly Lit Gaming Equipment and Dim Casinos

                       24. Use of Low Ceilings

                       25. Creating Segmented Areas Within the Casino

                       26. Carpet Pathways that Lead to Gaming Areas

                       27. Strategic Use of Signs

                       28. How to “Drive” Customers Right To You

                       29. Association with Recognized Brands

                       30. Slot Clubs Acquire Data for Targeted Mailing Lists

                       31. Slot Clubs Stimulate Play

                       32. Pay People to Lose

                       33. Steal and Grow Rich

                       34. Lights! Camera! Action! Create a “Must-See” Spectacle

                       35. People will spend their last dime on this

                       36. The Party Pits - Making Gambling Social

                       37. The $1 Bet in Caribbean Stud Poker

                       38. Commemorative Casino Chips

                       39. Power of Mystery - White Tiger Exhibit

                       40. How to Earn an Extra Million Dollars in One Hour

                       41. Non-gaming Revenue

                       42. The Sound of Winning

                       43. Use of Personalized Letters to Casino Customers

                       44. Slot Tournaments and Events

                       45. Back up Wild Claims

                       46. “Bind” with Your Customers

                       47. Find an Acceptable “Link”

                       48. Attract People with Food

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                       49. What Else?

               BONUS#1: A Tycoon Learns the Power of Positioning

               BONUS #2: Where you eat can make you rich!

               BONUS #3: How to Seduce Your Customers into Giving You More Money

               BONUS #4: The Shocking Story of Downtown Las Vegas

               BONUS #5: Sleazy Casino Tricks

               BONUS #6: Las Vegas’s Four Most Influential Casinos & The Men Behind Them:
               Flamingo, Caesars, Circus Circus, Mirage

               BONUS #7: Razzle Dazzle Them - Bob Stupak & the Story of Vegas World

               About the Authors

               Introduction by Dan Kennedy
               People see yet they are blind. They see but they do not perceive.

               I have been going to Las Vegas several time a year, ever year since the 1970s. To have dun,
               certainly. But also to steal moneymaking strategies. After all, there is no other city anywhere
               in the world entirely engineered and operated with one central, simple objective; to separate
               each visitor from as much of his money as possible and make him like it.

               For a marketer, entrepreneur, business owner, putting this organism under the microscope
               and studying it should be endlessly fascinating. When I visit Vegas, I keep a notepad and pen
               in pocket at all times, to jot down my observations that offer opportunity for my businesses of
               my clients'.

               When I first heard about Bob Stupak (profiled in this book), I sought him out, interviewed him
               for a magazine article, later included him my books The Ultimate Sales Letter and Ultimate
               Marketing Plan, and wound up acquiring three different, gold-plated, super-powerful strategies
               from him that have been immensely valuable.

               Yet I am always surprised at the entrepreneurs I know who visit Vegas and come away with
               nothing but a hangover, T-shirt and lighter wallet. Weren't they paying attention, I wonder?

               Do you remember the "X-Ray Glasses" that used to be advertised and sold in the back of
               comic books? As a marketing pro, I try to put on "X-Ray Glasses" when I visit Las Vegas, to
               see behind the obvious, to sneak a peek at what is behind the scenes, fueling the "money
               extraction machine."

               Now my friend, Dr. Scott Lewis, has compiled the ultimate entrepreneur's guidebook to the
               unseen Las Vegas, the strategy side of Vegas. Scott is a publicity generating wizard, a savvy
               marketer, a very serious student of marketing, a Las Vegas performer and insider. Now you
               get to inspect Las Vegas through Scott's awesomely powerful "X-Ray Glasses."

               This is a million-dollar opportunity. Do not underestimate its value or take it casually. Do not
               just ed and enjoy this book---give careful, thorough thought to each of the 49 "Las Vegas
               Secrets" revealed here, looking for every opportunity to transfer them to your business,
               questioning your present business practices against them.

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               Oh, and please, please, please do not make the number-one mistake made by all dumb, set
               in their ways "plodders"---the Instant Reaction: "that doesn't apply to me because I'm in the
               _________________ business."

               -- Dan Kennedy, Renowned Marketing Expert, Author, The Ultimate Sales Letter, The
               Ultimate Marketing Plan, and numerous other legendary marketing books.
               << Top

               How I Discovered Impulse Marketing
               Wow! How did a kid from Orange County, California ever wind up living in the city of
               entertainment teaching others about the power of impulse marketing?

               I have to tell you, this town is like a magnet. Not only do millions of tourists visit here every
               year, more people move to Las Vegas than any other city in the nation. I’m one of them!

               The place is simply magical. Just mention the name Las Vegas and people have an instant
               visual image of the lights, the casinos, the magnificent hotels and everything else that has
               made Las Vegas so famous. How many other U.S. cities can conjure up as powerful an
               image? Perhaps New York City can, but I’m hard-pressed to think of anywhere else. The town
               is constantly marketing itself and building on it’s highly recognizable image that it’s enjoyed for

               I first moved to Las Vegas in 1988. I graduated chiropractic college in 1987 and was working
               in a practice near my hometown of Anaheim Hills. One of my earliest influences was Anthony
               Robbins. In 1988 I attended one of his four day Unlimited Power seminars. Through his
               seminar, I became very clear on the fact that I wanted to pursue my dream of performing
               magic in Las Vegas. Even though I was a chiropractor, my true love was entertainment. I
               decided that if I was ever going to “make it”, I had to be in Las Vegas.

               Since moving here, the town has been wonderful to me. I’m surrounded by some of the most
               brilliant marketing principles in use today and am constantly amazed at the cleverness and
               thought that goes behind each ad, billboard, direct mail letter, etc.

               Several years ago, I discovered a very powerful Impulse Marketing principle (which you’ll
               soon learn) that led to the creation of an audio product that in a very short period of time
               generated sales of over 150,000 units! What’s most amazing about this is that it was my first
               attempt at creating an audio product. Within only a few months of producing it, I was receiving
               orders for 10,000, 20,000 even 30,000 units at a time!

               I soon followed up with a second audio program which was another instant success. At the
               time, one of the largest direct response companies in the world placed an immediate order for
               25,000 copies. It’s been over 10 years ago that I created this program and it’s still being sold
               throughout the world.

               One of the most fundamental principles to Impulse Marketing (and any other forms of
               successful marketing) is having the availability of great minds you can turn to for advice and
               guidance. I have been blessed with knowing some of the most brilliant marketing minds in the
               world. And…if I may be a bit impulsive for a moment, I have a secret I’d like to share with you
               that’s certainly worth several times the amount you paid to purchase this book.

               Are you ready?

               Here it is:

               You can have access to these mentors too!

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               Obviously, some of you know this. In fact, it’s probably through some of these same very
               people that you’ve learned about this book. However, I’m constantly amazed at the number of
               people studying marketing who have heard of a brilliant marketing mind such as Dan Kennedy
               and have still not invested the small amount he charges for his monthly newsletter (which
               includes an invaluable bonus of personal telephone time with him throughout the year). If you
               haven’t signed up for his Inner Circle, be a

               little impulsive now and call this number 602-997-7707 and join. (By the way, you’ll have to
               trust me when I say that this endorsement comes completely unsolicited by Dan. I’m what Ken
               Blanchard calls a “raving fan” and if I feel something can be worthwhile to you, I’m going to tell
               you about it).

               As you’ll also learn, the ability to maximize the principles of Impulse Marketing is to be a little
               impulsive yourself and be ready to take action on your ideas.

               Many of the Impulse Marketing principles take very little money to implement. In fact, I’ve
               received several thousands of dollars worth of free publicity on National television and in
               magazines from a single secret (which you’ll learn as well) taught to me by my amazing
               co-author, Joe Vitale.

               For those of you who do not know Joe, among his many extraordinary marketing talents, this
               man has the ability to draw publicity to his clients like a magnet. In a rapid amount of time,
               he’s able to get his clients on top rated National television shows such as Oprah and The
               View, and a whole slew of other programs and magazines that people would give their right
               arm to obtain.

               Since learning his remarkable hypnotic writing system, I’ve been able to parlay my publicity
               into appearances on Extra!, Inside Edition, E!, The Fox News Channel and numerous articles
               in major magazines and newspapers around the world.

               Many of the other techniques you’ll be learning are based on time tested

               methods the casinos depend on. Everything has been analyzed, scrutinized

               and carefully examined so that the casinos have every advantage to capture the clientele
               they’re after. The casino business doesn’t want to talk about the “fish that got away” because
               some of these fish are worth millions of dollars.

               These techniques have to work, because there’s too much at stake. Nothing is left to chance.
               All of your senses are completely bombarded with the sole intent of placing you into that
               “buying mood” where the rewards of impulse marketing can take their effect.

               Learn from these secrets. Savor them. Think about how they can apply to

               your business. After all, the ability to get your customer to make an impulse

               purchase is one of the most powerful forms of marketing there is. Las Vegas has been built on
               the principles of Impulse Marketing and I don’t think I need to point out to you how well it’s

               Joe Vitale once told me he thinks Vegas is a living miracle.

               “After all,” he explains, “it’s in the desert. Who wants to go THERE? But Vegas has used the
               wisest marketing principles of all time to get people to fly there, lose most of their money,
               leave happy, and even plan to go back. Now THAT’S a miracle!”

               Joe and I filmed a set of videos in Vegas. We both marveled at how Vegas uses every trick in
               the book to get you to part with your money. The key is in Impulse Marketing. Vegas makes it

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               easy for you to SPEND MONEY NOW.

               Both Joe and I have used the principles you are about to learn to promote our own goods, as
               well as those of clients and friends. In short, these ideas work. They work off line. And you
               can even make them work online.

               You’re about to find out just how easy making money can be.

               By the way, I did get my own show in Vegas. I’m proud to say that I’m appearing regularly at
               the Riviera Hotel on the Strip. And yes, I use the principles you are about to read to pack the
               house every time I perform. If you’re ever in town, please drop by and say “hello.”

               To your good luck and fortune,

               Dr. Scott Lewis

               Las Vegas
               << Top

               The 49 Principles of Impulse Marketing
               1. How to Put People Into a Buying Mood

               Ever wonder why so many loud, blinking, giant machines are right inside the door in most
               casinos? It’s not an accident. Gambling is often an impulsive decision. Casinos will do
               everything they can to get you caught up in the excitement. They want you in the mood to
               “buy.” The most popular slot machines and video games are usually placed right in front of the
               casinos, beckoning you to venture inside. Often times a casino will use what is called the “Big
               Bertha” machines (the really big slot machines) to grab your attention.

               One of my favorite attention grabbers is the placement of a craps table at the entrance of
               Slots-A-Fun---one of the Strip’s most successful casinos. This craps table is nearly adjacent to
               the sidewalk and commands the attention of those who walk by. The players are only inches
               away from the sidewalk. It’s a highly effective strategy since it immediately gets passersby
               immersed in the excitement of gaming. Casinos want to get you caught up in this excitement
               and know that the faster they can do this, the more apt you’ll be to gamble.
               It’s also interesting to note that years ago the casinos were spread out from one another so
               there were very few people walking the Strip. If you wanted to visit a particular property, you’d
               usually drive or take a taxi. Today’s Strip has become a busy walkway. Each casino is vying
               to capture this steady stream of passerby’s with its own enticing entryways.

               This first principle applies to any business, of course. If you own a retail store, think about
               putting something really unique and interest-grabbing at your entrance. If you own a
               home-based business or Internet company, your grabber needs to be your headline. You
               don’t need flashy slot machines to do it, but the faster you can capture your customer’s
               attention and immerse them in the excitement of your product, the more receptive they’ll be to
               << Top

               2. Sell the Dream - Not the Process

               All casino marketing is based on the dream of achieving instant wealth---just pull the handle
               and you might get rich! Impulse Marketing is based on emotion not logic. Let me explain. I’ve

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               been involved with the infomercial industry for years. One of my favorite axioms has been that
               the “slam dunks” in selling have been anything that can make the purchaser “rich, thin and/or

               People aren’t sold on the mechanics of losing weight, they’re sold on the image of the
               wonderful benefits they’ll have by being lighter - wearing the clothes they want to, feeling
               sexier, hearing compliments about how great they look. Casinos sell the dream of a life filled
               with riches and luxury. They use advertising showing smiling people holding stacks of
               cash---rather than images of people sitting at slot machines, smoking and reaching into a
               bucket of quarters.

               You can apply this same principle to your own business, of course. Simply focus on the end
               result. If your business is putting up fences for people, always show pictures of smiling, happy
               customers showing off their new fences. If you’re online, focus on the end result of what
               people get when they use your services. In short, sell the dream, not the process. Sell the
               steak, not how it’s cooked.

               << Top

               3. Scoop Customers Right Off the Street

               Casinos make it as easy as possible for you to enter. As I mentioned, years ago visitors would
               have to drive to see each casino while today’s Strip is lined with adjacent properties---many
               with moving walkways and escalators which virtually scoop you up and deliver you directly
               into the casino.

               One of my favorite “people pluckers” is Caesar’s Palace’s Forum Shops mall. A long moving
               walkway is located on the sidewalk in front with enticing signs for the mall (“The Shopping
               Wonder of the World”). Once you’re on the walkway, you’re dropped off in the mall. Of course
               this walkway goes only one way. When your shopping is done, the only way you can exit is by
               going right through the casino.

               Casinos geared to locals (those establishments which are “off the Strip”) boast about having
               adjacent parking garages. With increased competition in the locals market, having a
               convenient parking garage is a major feature. If you’re asking people to visit your casino on a
               repeat basis, you must make it as convenient for them as possible.
               The principle of easy entrance certainly applies to the retail market and to any Internet
               business as well. Many Web sites for large companies have modest home pages (in
               comparison to the high-tech visual images they could have) because they know that their
               consumer wants the information quickly. Many people will not wait long periods of time for
               your site to download. It’s imperative that they can “enter” your Internet business easily and
               quickly, otherwise they may take their business someplace else. Same goes for your direct
               mail. If you don’t make it easy for people to grasp your offer and order it, you’ll lose them fast.

               << Top

               4. Trap Customers So They Buy More

               Why is it that the exit signs never are as flashy as all the other signs inside the casino?
               Certainly this is another ploy used by the casino to keep you walking around longer in the
               hopes that you’ll see something that catches your eye and entices you to gamble. I remember
               my first visit to the Forum Shops at Caesars where I took the moving walkway to the mall
               entrance. After I was done shopping and wanted to leave, I remember having great difficulty
               finding the exit. As I mentioned, those clever folks at Caesars had designed the moving

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               walkways to be one way, so I was forced to walk through the casino in search of my exit. After
               wandering through banks of slot machines and video poker, I finally found it---a few darkly
               tinted doors against a far wall with dim lighting.

               So while casino entrances are well lit with all sorts of flashy lights that beckon you to enter,
               the exits are under-emphasized, difficult to find and only exist because casinos are required to
               allow you to leave (you know they’d lock the doors and keep you inside if they could).

               While most retail business can’t hide their exits as effectively as darkened casinos, you can
               utilize this secret by making sure your exits don’t draw unnecessary attention once your
               customer is inside. Certainly the exterior of your door can be used to capture interest and lure
               people inside, but once they’re in your establishment you don’t want your door to become a
               focal point of interest. I’ve seen beautiful and elaborately decorated doors that compete with
               attention for the product being sold. You don’t want your customers looking at your door
               because doors represent entering and exiting and you don’t want your customers thinking
               about exiting.

               This secret is also used by many Internet businesses (especially adult sites) where it’s easy to
               enter the site yet when you want to leave, it’s much more difficult. Smart web designers never
               highlight the exit button, it’s usually at the bottom of the page and in a small, unexciting font.
               Often times, pop up windows will appear trying to tempt you with another offer or related site
               in the hopes that you will still remain in the “store.” Many times you’ll click on what you think is
               an exit button and be directed to another page in the site. “Once you’ve got ‘em, make it
               difficult for them to leave” is an unspoken motto for the casino industry.

               << Top

               5. Get Them to Stay Longer

               This is a basic secret that is vital to the success of any casino. The longer a person gambles,
               the higher probability they will lose money. As it’s often said in the casino industry, “Even if a
               player wins, if he plays long enough, the casino will eventually get back all of its money plus a
               good amount more.” This is why big winners in the casino are immediately offered extra
               night’s stay in the hotel with all the luxuries. The casinos don’t want you to leave. The games
               are all set up in the casino’s favor. If you play long enough, chances are you’ll give back any
               money you’ve won. As Bob Rennesien, President and CEO of a major casino once stated,
               “Our goal is not to get more out of a customer in there hours, but to get him to stay for four
               hours.” The impact of this secret is so critical to a casino’s profit that even being able to keep
               players gambling for a few extra minutes a night can translate into millions of dollars. This is
               why several of the secrets that you’ll learn are designed to get people to stay longer in the
               casinos once they’ve entered.

               This same premise holds true in retail and Internet businesses. The longer a person stays in
               your establishment, the greater chance they have of spending money or stumbling upon
               something that grabs them and impulsively moves them to spend money. There are many
               Web sites, for example, that do their best to keep you at their site. They know if you stay
               there, you will most likely do business there.

               << Top

               6. Make Money Easily Leave Your Customers Hands

               The last thing a casino wants you to do when you are playing at a slot machine is to get up
               from the chair. If they could legally glue you in once you’ve sat down, I’m sure they’d do it.

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               You may have noticed that almost all slots and video poker machines have bill acceptors
               along side of them. Actually, it’s surprising to me that this is a relatively new feature. In the
               past, you’d have to wait for a change attendant to come by or even get up out of your chair
               and find a change booth. This of course runs the risk of you becoming distracted and never
               returning to your machine.

               This represents a crucial point in any business. When your customer is ready to pay, make it
               as easy as possible for them to do so. Accept as many major credit cards as you can, debit
               cards, personal checks, whatever. Impulse buying depends upon the ability to immediately
               accept payments. Delays could lead to buyer hesitation and missed sales. Obviously, this
               principle is true online as well as off.

               << Top

               7. Chips Make Spending Less Painful

               Ah, the power of casino chips. One of the greatest psychological factors the casinos enjoy is
               the “demonetization” (my own word) of money. Wagering with chips takes some of the
               emotional impact away than if actual money is being used. The sole purpose of chips is to use
               them for betting. Money has an emotional impact with most people, so betting with chips
               makes it seem less real that you’re losing $100 each hand of blackjack. Chips don’t have the
               same emotional attachment and value that money does.

               Also, here’s an interesting note about the bill acceptors I mentioned in the previous secret.
               Notice I said “bill acceptors” not “bill changers.” When the player puts a bill into the acceptor
               he is immediately given credits for his money, not actual change. Again, his money is now in
               the form of credits to be used for betting. There’s a greater chance he’ll spend more money
               playing the credits than if he was given change and had to manually deposit the money for
               each bet. Impulse buying can be heightened when exchange of actual money doesn’t take
               place. Spending seems less real and the casinos enjoy the psychological benefit of gamblers
               not feeling the total impact of how much they’re losing.

               The obvious application of this in other businesses has been the use of gift certificates. Often
               times, the recipient will spend more using the gift certificate for their favorite clothing store
               than if they were given a $50 bill and told to buy themselves a new shirt. While the creation of
               gift certificates has worked great for retailers, a large amount of potential revenue has been
               given back by customers not spending the entire amount of the gift certificate and pocketing
               the unused amount which is returned to them in change.

               Heck, I’ve been guilty of this myself. I’d use the $50 gift certificate I received for the holidays
               to buy a $3.99 pair of socks and pocket the remaining $46. In recent years, retailers have
               found a way to recoup this lost revenue with the brilliant idea of computerizing their gift
               certificates so that any unused portion is used as credit. Often times, the gift certificate is in
               the form of a credit card that is simply swiped each time a purchase is made.

               << Top

               8. You Can Make Payments on Your Gambling Losses

               Casinos also allow markers to be taken. A marker is a line of credit extended by the casino
               which can be paid back within a certain period of time. Payments are permissible, so you are
               literally making payments on your gambling “purchases.” The use of markers employs two
               very powerful principles that encourage impulse spending:

               The first utilizes the demonetization secret I just mentioned. Once a marker is taken, the

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               casino will issue the amount in chips (unless a cash amount is specifically requested by the

               The second is the power of being able to make payments. The gambler knows that even if he
               loses, he will have time to come up with the money lost with much easier payments than
               having to pay the full amount at once.

               Obviously, retail selling has long taken advantage of payment schedules with the use of credit
               cards. It makes the total purchase amount more manageable and less painful. It also leads to
               impulse buying. A typical example is found in the infomercial industry (which is highly
               dependent upon impulse buying) where commonly products are offered for “3 easy payments
               of $19.95.” Again, virtually any business can do this, too.

               << Top

               9. A Secret to Encourage Spending

               Here’s something few business people ever think about: Many dealers are told that they must
               make change for larger denomination bills by giving chips in lower denominations. In other
               words, if you hand a dealer a $100 bill, he won’t give you four 20s. He’s more likely to give
               you 20 fives. Why? People are more inclined to keep a $25 chip than five $5 chips. If given
               two $25 chips and 10 $5 chips in change, they’ll likely spend the 10 $5 chips before
               considering breaking up the $25 chips.

               There’s usually less thought process involved (and less emotional attachment) with spending
               20 $5 chips because they all have the same lower value. Psychologically, many people don’t
               like breaking up larger chips because they represent a larger cumulative value that they can
               put a tangible value on. A $100 bill has much more emotional impact than 20 $5 bills. Many
               people are hard-pressed to visualize something of great value they can buy for $5. However
               you can buy a lot of meaningful things for $100.

               Again, this ties into the concept of making spending less painful. You can easily apply this
               idea to the retail environment by giving back change in small denominations. You can more
               easily facilitate an impulse buy if your customer has a pocket full of change and small
               denomination bills than if he’s walking around with a $50 bill in his pocket. It’s going to be
               psychologically more difficult for him to break that $50 bill for another purchase than to use
               one of the five $10’s he’s carrying.

               << Top

               10. Cashier Cage Is at the Back of the Casino

               Why do casinos make you walk so far? Casinos will usually position the cashier cage at the
               very back of the casino. This is done with the purpose of facilitating impulse gaming. To reach
               the cage, you’re going to have to go through aisles and aisles (and more aisles) of slot
               machines, on past the blackjack and craps tables. Your long trek will expose you to a variety
               of other gaming temptations that are crying out for you to spend just a few of the quarters you
               have in your bucket.

               A similar application of this principle is seen in grocery markets with staples such as milk and
               eggs placed against the far back wall. Most people go in for milk and eggs. But to get out of
               the store, you have to walk through temptation hell. Obviously, you’re very likely to pick up a
               few more “necessary” items as you head back through the store and on to check-out.

               Casinos know this principle well. Once you’ve received your winnings in greenbacks, you now
               have to go past all the same temptations on your way out of the casino. All it takes is one

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               impulsive moment to get you hooked again and leave more money for the casino. And, as
               you’ve learned, the advent of bill acceptors makes it even easier for you to do this. Before,
               people would be leaving the casino with currency that could easily be used as a bet on the
               table games, but would have to be changed back again into coins to play the slots and video
               machines. Now that the machines have bill acceptors, the extra step of having to think about
               getting change then seeking it out, is eliminated.

               Anything that eliminates extra decision steps helps facilitate impulse buying. This principle can
               be applied in retail stores by having the checkout registers at the back of the store if there is
               no exit there or in the center of the store. Once a purchase is made, the consumer is still open
               to other purchases if they are so moved. These afterthought purchases though are based
               more on impulsive factors so you want to tempt your customer as much as you can on the
               way out by having them exposed again to your product(s) and irresistible offers. If they
               purchase something at a register near an exit, you have less chance of creating an impulse
               purchase. They’ll buy and go. You want them to buy and stay in the store just a little longer.

               You can use this principle on Web sites, too. When people have selected their item to
               purchase, have them have to go through a few clicks to get to the checkout---and at every
               click offer them another product. You’ll be surprised at the number of extra purchases---all
               done by impulse.

               << Top

               11. Strategic Use of Colors

               Will red make you spend more money? Yes. Research has shown that certain colors tend to
               be more alluring and create more excitement. This is why you’ll see many slot machines in
               colors of red, purple, orange and black. In table games such as blackjack and craps, green is
               often used because bright colors can become uncomfortable to look at for periods of time and
               casinos don’t want any of their gamblers leaving a table due to external factors such as eye
               strain. Green has long been the industry standard because it’s a soothing color. Gamblers can
               play for long periods of time without it bothering them. Perhaps there’s something subliminal
               about green also being the color of money---I wouldn’t doubt it. Blue is also a soothing color
               and is used on some table games.

               The applications of this principle are obvious. Strategically use colors to excite your potential
               customers in displays, advertising etc., while also being mindful of colors that can become
               unpleasant (straining) to look at for extended periods. This is especially pertinent to Web sites
               where your customer’s attention is focused on a computer screen for potentially long periods
               of time.

               << Top

               12. The “Near-Miss” Slots

               A tease can be very profitable. In the 1980s a special type of slot machine was produced
               where the reels were programmed to stop so that large jackpots were displayed above or
               below the center line---the only one that mattered as far as getting paid. The psychological
               thrill of seeing three 7’s lined up in a row and being so close to hitting the jackpot encouraged
               gamblers to continue playing. Why? They saw that it was possible for the 7’s to line up and
               felt that they had just barely missed the huge payout. These machines were extremely
               popular but were later outlawed. Still, this principle is valid.

               Some direct mail contests utilize a similar principle by telling you that you’ve definitely won
               something and that several winners of top prizes live within your ZIP code. This makes you

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               feel that you, too, have a chance to win. This is a very persuasive concept. Once you feel like
               you are close to winning, it’s hard to stop playing or buying. The next move you make could
               be the winner! In fact, the next concept in this book could be the jackpot for you!

               << Top

               13. Small, Frequent Payoffs

               Today’s slots are set to pay off frequently in small amounts. This random and consistent
               reinforcement is highly addicting. Players continue to hope they’re on track to hit the big one.
               Years ago, slots did not pay out frequently and didn’t enjoy the popularity they have today.

               Incorporating consistent random reinforcement into your business is one of the most powerful
               ways of strengthening the bond you have with your customers. They’ll be more apt to spend
               money with you if they know they’ll be rewarded in the future. There’s also a certain
               excitement inherent of not knowing when they’ll be rewarded (just don’t wait TOO long
               otherwise it loses its impact).

               Joe Vitale, co-author for this book, says he gets people to participate in his talks and seminars
               by giving anyone who asks or answers a question a surprise gift. Usually the gifts are books
               or tapes by Joe. It doesn’t matter. People feel they are being rewarded and will eagerly
               participate to see what they will “win.” Of course, Joe is getting loads of free publicity, and
               generating good will, by giving out his own books and tapes.

               << Top

               14. Adding Twists to Familiar Games

               As beloved as blackjack has become, many recreational players are easily enticed by new
               variations of the game which, on the surface, appear to benefit them. Bob Stupak was one of
               the first to develop and promote Double Exposure blackjack where both of the dealer’s cards
               were dealt face up. Players flocked to this new variation and it still enjoys popularity today.

               You won’t catch any of the professionals playing it, though. A single rule has been changed
               (the casino wins all ties) which shifts the odds in favor of the house by a very significant 8
               percent. The game demonstrates the power of impulse marketing by appealing to emotions
               and not logic. And even though some players are aware of the highly increased odds for the
               house, they still play because they enjoy the apparent “advantage” of seeing the dealer’s

               How can you apply this secret to your own business? Change the rules. If someone buys one
               shirt from your clothing store, offer them a belt as a freebie. At first this may appear that they
               are getting something for nothing. Are they? First, they bought a shirt at full price. Second,
               they’ll need pants to go with that belt!

               << Top

               15. Fatigue Factors Identified and Eliminated

               Casinos want players to stay as long as possible so they are very cognizant of any factors
               that would cause a player to feel fatigued or uncomfortable and end their gambling
               prematurely. I’ve already mentioned how certain colors used on table games could create eye
               strain which leads to fatigue. Everything is analyzed from the comfort of the chairs, the
               temperature inside the casino to even how the blackjack tables are lit. If a light is shining on

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               the forehead of a gambler for an extended period of time, he might experience fatigue and
               limit his playing time. Exceptionally loud music can create fatigue as well.

               Any owner of a retail business should look for any “energy drainers” in their establishment that
               may be driving customers away. The same goes for your Web sites. If they are confusing,
               “busy,” loud, too colorful, or too distracting, they may wear out your browsers and cause them
               to leave.

               << Top

               16. Special Scent Developed that Increases Gambling

               Quiz: Which sense can most greatly influence impulse marketing? Of all of our 5 senses
               (vision, taste, touch, smell, hearing), smell can have one of the strongest effects on our
               emotions which can lead to impulse decisions. Certainly casinos are full of visual, auditory,
               tactile and gustatory stimulation (especially if you throw in those free buffets), but olfactory
               stimulation? Well, if it can increase gambling behavior, the casinos are interested.

               A few years back U.S. News and World Report ran a story about a neurologist who created a
               pleasant smelling scent called Odorant 1. He placed it in a special pumping device near some
               slot machines. Over the next two days it was determined that the slot machines had increased
               their play by over 45 percent. Not all casinos use special smells to incite gambling behavior,
               but it is an interesting and apparently effective technique.

               Casino design and marketing techniques are often compared to the wonderful model Walt
               Disney established with his amusement parks. I know from personal experience of working at
               Disneyland that the candy shop on Main Street used to pump out a sweet vanilla scent that
               lured passersby into the shop and stimulated purchases. And of course, movie theatres are
               notorious for sending the smell of popcorn throughout the theatre to encourage you to buy
               more food.

               Joe says that the best booths in trade shows are the ones that offer food.

               He was at one event where the booth with the most traffic also had the greatest smell coming
               from it---of free popcorn!

               << Top

               17. Creating Anxiety by Design

               A very interesting hypothesis I read by a leader in casino management was that casinos
               utilize narrow aisles and congestion in effort to “infringe on a gambler’s territorial space.” The
               most effective casinos, he states, has gamblers crammed together, bumping into one another
               in close quarters. He believes this heightens anxiety, stimulates the production of adrenalin
               and creates excitement. The adrenalin rush, increase of anxiety and feeling of excitement are
               main reasons he believes why people gamble. So, even before you spend your first quarter,
               your impulse to gamble is theoretically intensified by being in a cramped environment.

               Sound too strange to work for you? This principle can be found in direct mail, too. Marketing
               legends from Dan Kennedy to Joe Vitale all claim and prove that sales letters that look “busy”
               often create an urge to buy.
               Handwritten comments, scribbled notes in margins, wall to wall type may at first glance seem
               disorienting. But as long as the headline is strong and the offer is great, those “anxiety
               producing” sales letters tend to pull like crazy.

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               << Top

               18. Casinos Designed to Be Congested

               A busy place is a prosperous place. Continuing with the concept of cramped casinos,
               obviously some casinos are more successful than others. Casinos that are designed to
               encourage a feeling of congestion typically do better than larger casinos with the same
               number of people. Why? People like to gamble in places that seem busy. Busy casinos are
               exciting casinos and have an infectious energy. Crowds draw crowds. People will infer that if a
               casino is crowded, it’s got to be busy for a reason. A casino with few players has little energy
               and is not very effective.

               Casinos also utilize tricks to make them look busier than they are. By arranging the machines
               in a winding pattern where you can only see small sections at a time creates an impression of
               being more crowded than long rows of empty aisles. Aisles between machines are narrow,
               there are short pathways between machines, slots and video poker machines seem to be
               crammed everywhere.

               I was surprised to find out that some of the most successful casinos in Las Vegas are also
               some of the smallest. Places like Slots-A-Fun, Westward Ho and the Golden Gate (which is
               downtown) do gangbusters partly because they create the ambiance of being crowded.
               Busyness creates an energy and excitement which draws people in and encourages impulse

               How would this method work online? Easy. Put a counter on your site and let it show how
               many visitors are hitting your site. If you’re new, you might out a counter that has the numbers
               2,000,000 on it, but in small letters say, “That’s our goal for this month!” Just an idea!
               << Top

               19. Hiring Shills

               Another practice used to create an atmosphere of busyness and excitement is the hiring of
               shills. Business creates business and the casino environment thrives off activity. People are
               more apt to gamble in crowded casinos because there’s lots of energy and because there
               must be a good reason why so many people are gambling here. The practice is less used
               today, but for many years shills would be hired to gamble the casino’s money in effort to
               generate excitement and make the casino look busier. Another common practice was to have
               pit bosses playing craps at empty tables when the showroom let out and people were passing

               This is similar to retail stores that advise their employees to park right in front of the store.
               That creates the illusion that the store is popular. Joe knows of one store that encourages city
               parking in the store’s lot, just to make passerby’s feel the store is THE place to shop.

               And Joe told me about a friend of his who sold her townhouse when a doctor strolled into the
               realtor’s office and placed a bid on the house. He came back an hour later and removed his
               offer. But during the time he had placed his bid, another couple who had bid on the house,
               learned of the new bid, and hiked their own bid up on the same house. The new couple got
               the townhouse at the higher price, of course. The realtor said, “I don’t know who that doctor
               was, but I’d like to hire him to place bids all the time.” Well, maybe she should.
               << Top

               20. The Use of Wandering Pathways

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               If you took an aerial view of a casino floor, you would probably be amazed to see how few
               people are actually in it. Many casinos use wandering pathways throughout their casino for a
               number of reasons, including disorienting the head count. A main benefit is that it adds to the
               feeling of being congested, which I’ve already mentioned is being important to the success of
               a casino. Wandering pathways have also been called “maze patterns,” referring to the fact
               that the casino is not laid out in a perpendicular fashion. This design allows the casino to look
               busier because it doesn’t allow for you to have a complete perspective on the entire layout.
               Pathways are short and winding as opposed to long rows of machines which can be easily
               surveyed to determine how many players are in the casino at a given time.

               Another benefit of the wandering pathway is that it creates more focus on the gambling
               equipment as you tend to be in closer proximity with it as you navigate your way through the
               casino. It’s similar to the experience of being in a Halloween haunted house. Aisles are
               narrow and objects that you encounter tend to be more “in your face.”

               Many retail stores have now adopted a more winding layout to their displays in effort to get
               their potential customers exposed to their products in a more focused manner. A third benefit
               of the winding layout is that it also helps hide the casino’s contents. You’ll learn more about
               the importance of this with my next secret.
               << Top

               21. Creating Intrigue By Blocking the View of the Entire Casino

               Many of the most successful casinos implement a design that doesn’t reveal the entire
               contents with one glance. These casinos are specifically designed to benefit from our
               psychological need to explore in the hopes of finding something really fantastic. Obviously, as
               we explore the contents of a casino, we have many opportunities to become tempted with all
               the gaming equipment we come into contact with. An “open” casino doesn’t create the same
               sense of mystery. We can quickly get an idea of where everything’s at.

               This principle is used in the direct mail industry. Direct mail pieces are designed specifically to
               peak your interest and get you to open them to find out more. If you knew exactly what the
               offer was just by reading the envelope, often times the letter would not get opened. It’s the
               mystery that something great is waiting to be discovered inside.

               Smart web designers are also using this principle. Many home pages tease you into clicking
               through to see what else is on the site. If they laid out everything on the front page, you would
               be overwhelmed and just click away.
               << Top

               22. Purposely Minimalist Casino Décor

               While many of the new casinos have elaborate internal décor, some of the most successful
               casinos have relatively minimalist décor by comparison. A classic example is the Golden Gate
               casino downtown which has had the same white walls ever since it opened in 1956. The
               psychology behind this is that the product (gaming) should be the star and not overshadowed
               by the casino’s décor. Impulse buying takes place by generating as much excitement around
               the product as possible. Without competing with the surrounding décor, the gaming equipment
               is highlighted.

               With the exception of some of the themed retail outlets, most retail stores have adopted this
               principle as well. The product is the star and it’s what should be emphasized. Same goes
               online. Mark Joyner, CEO of Aesop Marketing Corporation, has found that he’ll have more

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               sales if he has a specific Web site per product, rather than having one Web site listing multiple
               products. The one-web-site-product approach focuses all attention on the product. Examples
               are and

               << Top

               23. Brightly Lit Gaming Equipment and Dim Casinos

               Again, the intention is to generate excitement for gaming by emphasizing the product. The
               combination of having brightly lit equipment contrasted with darker surroundings draws
               attention to the gaming equipment. Flashing lights and vibrant colors create an excitement
               which is even more striking against a darker environment. While many of the newer properties
               have lightened up their casinos, many traditional darkened casinos still exist and prosper

               You can easily imagine how this could work in other businesses. Simply turn the lights down
               every but what shines on the product. A Web site with a dark background but a colorful
               product image would bring all the focus on the product, which is where you want it.
               << Top

               24. Use of Low Ceilings

               Which makes you feel more comfortable: low ceilings or high ones? It’s been hypothesized
               that low ceilings give a casino a cozier environment that’s very appealing to gamblers. In
               detailed studies, it’s been found that a consistent characteristic of many of the world’s most
               successful casinos is the design element of having low ceilings. Although not the fanciest
               casinos in Las Vegas---Slots-A-Fun, Westward Ho and the Golden Gate---have been
               consistently profitable, and they all have low ceilings.

               Low ceilings also help to better focus attention on the gaming equipment, the “product,” which
               adds to the excitement and stimulates play. Certain design elements can be utilized to give
               the visual perception of a lower ceiling. Hoods extend down from the ceiling over pit areas,
               large beams have been added to casino ceilings, even by having the ceilings darkened adds
               to the perception of having a low ceiling. Several key people within the industry also feel that
               lower ceilings create more energy and that excess space above the machines contributes to
               “draining energy” in the casino.

               Look at the design on your own store. Joe and I have gone to Italian restaurants, for example,
               that have art pieces hanging from the ceiling, thereby creating ambiance and a sense of
               comfort. Web sites can create sites that don’t have a lot of white space. As in traditional direct
               response marketing, white space is dead space. Fill it with solid copy. In a sense, it’s a way to
               lower your ceiling and encourage impulse spending.
               << Top

               25. Creating Segmented Areas Within the Casino

               Another interesting hypothesis has been suggested that people prefer to gamble in smaller
               sections within the casino as opposed to being out in the “open” in large casino areas. Small
               aisles as opposed to long rows of machines help to foster a more intimate environment. Many
               cases of successful casinos utilizing this layout have been cited (i.e. Slots-A-Fun, Westward
               Ho, Circus Circus) and contrasted with disappointing slot profits from several of the large
               “open” casinos (Ballys, Hilton, Riviera).

               Retail stores usually have “corners” where buyers after, say, make-up can find what they
               want. Book stores, Joe’s favorite place to shop, always have segmented areas divided by

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               subject. Your Web site can do the same thing, of course. Just create sections for your
               different subjects or products.
               << Top

               26. Carpet Pathways that Lead to Gaming Areas

               Where does the “yellow brick road” lead to? Yes, the wizard! Where do the carpeted areas
               lead to in casinos? You never know. It could lead you right to a cashier. Or to a hot new
               game. The point is, carpets can lead customers right where you want them.

               Many casinos have carpeted pathways that wind throughout the casino and are different in
               color from the rest of the carpeting. Since many people will stay on a designated pathway
               (especially if they don’t know where they’re going), certain casinos have utilized this human
               behavior by having their carpet pathways end up at a main pit area, the cashier cage, the
               baccarat pit, etc. The pathways deliver potential gaming customers into key areas within the

               Obviously, any store can do this. Internet businesses might create a color scheme that leads
               people to continue clicking on it. The end result, as always, should be a sale.
               << Top

               27. Strategic Use of Signs

               Signs are used within casinos for a number of purposes. The most obvious use is to add
               excitement and draw attention to the various games. Of course, signs also serve the practical
               purpose of helping players navigate throughout the casino. But there are other uses of signs
               you may not have been aware of. One common use is to place signs on top of banks of slots
               or video poker machines to help block the view within the casino. Again, it’s more intriguing to
               explore a casino and discover it’s contents than it is to gain an immediate perspective of it’s
               entire layout. Signs are also used to help break up the casino into multiple segmented areas
               that players enjoy gambling in. They also help foster a feeling of coziness by extending
               downward from the ceiling and help bring about a perception of lower ceiling height.

               Obviously, retail stores (the good ones) know about the power of signs. They direct you to
               where you need to go to spend your money. The better the sign, the easier your impulse
               spending. The same holds true for your Internet store. Banners, clearly marked buttons, etc.,
               are all signs pointing the way to how your prospects can part with their money.
               << Top

               28. How to “Drive” Customers Right to You

               How do you herd sheep, or cows, or anything else? With a driver. Casino drivers are any
               non-gaming features that attract people. Such drivers are restaurants, showrooms, even
               bathrooms. The placement of these draws is not haphazard. They are strategically placed in
               areas throughout the casino with the purpose of creating high traffic areas where visitors must
               pass by gaming equipment. Along the route to these drivers, the casino has placed the most
               popular and tempting machines in the attempt to lure you to gamble. They also will place
               numerous slots, video poker machines, etc. around the entryway to these areas. Some of a
               casino’s most profitable slot machines are those next the buffet, along the entrance to the
               showroom, directly in front of a bathroom, etc.

               This principle is often seen in department stores with their strategic placement of men’s

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               restrooms in the back of the men’s clothing department and ladies restrooms in the women’s
               clothing department. Rarely, will two drivers be placed side by side (with the possible
               exception of bathrooms). The casinos know that the more you wander around, the better
               chances you have of being enticed to gamble.

               You could do this online, as well. Contests, free offers, free newsletters,

               pictures, book excerpts---all can be used to drive people to and through your Web site.
               << Top

               29. Association with Recognized Brands

               Joe calls this one “cross-promotion.” With increased competition, many of today’s casinos
               have partnered with recognized names in the food, nightclub and retail industries. Restaurants
               such as Planet Hollywood (in Caesars), the Rainforest Café (in MGM), any of Wolfgang
               Puck’s establishments, and nightclubs such as the House of Blues (Mandalay Bay) and
               Studio 54 (MGM) have become destination points within themselves. Instead of being in
               freestanding buildings, patrons must pass through the casino to get to these “premium”

               Online this time of partnering is best described with affiliate programs. Joe says affiliates have
               made him rich and famous online. In essence, an affiliate is a salesperson who agrees to sell
               your product or service for a large piece of the revenue. The key to sales online is with
               affiliates. Aesop Marketing Corporation is a giant success online, started by the genius Mark
               Joyner, because of their affiliate program. If you want to make money selling this very e-book
               for example, you can become an affiliate and do so right here:

               << Top

               30. Slot Clubs Acquire Data for Targeted Mailing Lists

               Thanks to computers, casinos have very sophisticated ways of tracking their gamblers.
               Almost all casinos have a “slot club” which they entice their customers to join. Upon filling out
               the requested information, the customer is issued a card which is inserted into a special slot in
               the gaming machines. The purpose of the card to the gambler is to keep track of their points
               which they can redeem for prizes. The purpose of the card for the casino is to track every
               gambling decision the player makes.

               Comprehensive data is collected on how long the player stayed at the machine, the amount of
               each bet, the amount of time between each bet, how many other machines and which specific
               machines were played. All of this information is used to rate a player’s worth to the casino. Is
               that brilliant, or what? The casino knows how often they can expect this player to gamble at
               their establishment, how much they will typically wager, and based on statistics, about how
               much they can expect to win from this player. In short, the casino has a very good idea of the
               actual value of this player. By knowing this, they can target this player for special events,
               tournaments, etc.

               This principle is utilized in retail and Internet businesses by collecting information about your
               customer and knowing as much about them as possible. When you know who your customers
               are you can effectively target your marketing to what interests them.
               << Top

               31. Slot Clubs Stimulate Play

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               The success of slot clubs are not hard to figure out. Gamblers are rewarded for their loyalty
               and casino play with points they can redeem for free meals, show tickets, rooms, etc. Casinos
               who have instituted slot clubs have seen their slot profits double, triple or even more. People
               like to be appreciated for their business and can justify losses in their minds if they feel they
               are at least getting something back in return.

               Many casinos also feature special logo jackets which are not for sale and can only be won by
               hitting a jackpot or through the redemption of slot club points. Many local players consider the
               jackets to represent a certain prestige and feeling of belonging to a special club so they’ll
               continue to play in an attempt to accumulate enough points to get one---even if that $19.95
               value jacket costs them well over $500 to win! Pins given by the Hard Rock Casino for slot
               club members have already become collector’s items with people willing to pay money for

               Joe and his business partner, copywriter David Garfinkel, used this principle online when they
               began Forbidden Secrets University (FSU). FSU is for select people who have to apply to join.
               This “club” costs $95 a month. As a member they get to hear Joe or David interview an expert
               on some aspect of marketing or metaphysics once a month. Along the way they are sent a
               bonus e-book or some other surprise gift. The point is, FSU members belong to a group who
               spend more money than non-FSU members. Why do they spend more? Because they are a
               << Top

               32. Pay People to Lose

               This secret surprised me when I first discovered it. Many casinos offer rebates on gambling
               losses for their high rollers. A player spending $100,000 at a certain casino knows that he’s
               entitled to a 10 to 20 percent rebate on any gambling losses incurred. Obviously, this can
               influence his decision on where he chooses to gamble.

               This practice is also used in the retail environment. Several major credit cards give “cash” (in
               the form of monetary credit) reimbursements on purchases made and is an effective way of
               competing with companies offering virtually the same product and services.

               I’m not aware of this principle being used online yet. But since there is online gambling, it’s
               probably being done. It might be a profitable exercise for you to browse the net and look for
               examples of being paid to lose. I wonder how you can apply it to your business?
               << Top

               33. Steal and Grow Rich

               If you can do a better job than your competitors who are attracting your desired clientele, it
               can be a good business decision to be located near them and attempt to lure their customers
               away. This happens all the time in Las Vegas with much smaller casinos competing with the
               large resorts by stealing away their hotel guests. In the past (when the casinos were spread
               apart) it was a given that most of your hotel guests would gamble in your casino. Expansions
               that added more hotel rooms would instantly create a significant increase in casino winnings
               because the more rooms a hotel had, the more successful it’s casino would be. For years,
               hotels lost money on the rooms because they knew they could make it up in the casino. Only
               fairly recently, have hotels began to make money on their room rates. And for many of them,
               they’ve had to. It’s no longer a given that the majority of a hotel’s guests will end up gambling
               in the hotel’s casino. With so much to competition on the Strip and numerous things to see
               and do, few guests stay confined in their hotel’s casino.

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               One of the king of the parasite casinos (smaller establishments near large casinos which steal
               away hotel guests) is Slots-A-Fun which has no rooms of its own. It’s one of the busiest
               casinos on the Strip---stealing away (or “pirating”) guests from the Riviera, Circus Circus and
               the Stardust. The Westward Ho is another very successful parasite casino that pirates from
               the same hotels as Slots-A-Fun. Other examples of parasite casinos are the Barbary Coast
               (steals from Ballys, Caesars and the Flamingo Hilton). How do these casinos do it? It’s
               hypothesized that they simply provide a better gaming experience that players are looking for
               (i.e. cozier environment created by the design elements already mentioned---low ceilings,
               segmented areas, etc.).

               I personally know a chiropractor who opened his own practice right down the sidewalk from
               the busiest chiropractor in town. Why? He knew he would get spill-over business from the
               busy doctor. Many people who didn’t want to stand in line, wait in the office, or get impersonal
               treatment, would simply go to the new chiropractor instead. In short, the new chiropractor
               barely had to advertise!

               This concept of opening your business near a competitor to get their business can be seen
               online, too. Just go to any search engine---and type in something you are
               searching for. Besides the results you’ll get back, you’ll also see paid ads by several
               competitors. They are all trying to “steal and grow rich.”
               << Top

               34. Lights! Camera! Action! Create a “Must-See” Spectacle

               Establishing must-see attractions is another way casinos lure people to their property. Several
               of the spectacular mega resorts demand visitation otherwise, you really haven’t seen Las
               Vegas. Steve Wynn’s brilliant use of entertainment attractions to lure people into his casinos
               has worked fabulously. From the erupting volcano at the Mirage, the pirate battle in front of
               Treasure Island to the magnificent Dancing Waters at the Bellagio, Wynn has created
               numerous must-see attractions which bring masses of visitors to his former properties (he has
               since been bought out by a major casino corporation).

               But Must-See’s don’t have to always be spectacular. The Golden Gate hotel downtown has
               been running it’s successful 99 cents shrimp cocktail promotion for years (it used to be 50
               cents). You’d be surprised how many tourists take the trip downtown to experience the
               Golden Gate’s famous shrimp cocktail. Another downtown must-see is Binion’s Horseshoe’s
               display of 1 million dollars. Tourists can get their picture taken in front of it and return the
               following day to pick it up (the casino gets two visits out of them).
               Restaurants use this principle all the time. Tony Roma’s has long bragged of having the “best
               ribs in America”. Local restaurants boast of critics proclaiming their chili as the best in Denver.
               An ice cream parlor’s macadamia nut crunch was rated the best in all of Hawaii. If you can
               establish some unique “must see/must experience” aspect associated with your business,
               you’ll attract people looking for an experience they can tell others about.
               << Top

               35. People Will Spend Their Last Dime On This

               Recent years have seen the tremendous popularity of new slot machines based on TV game
               shows, such as Wheel of Fortune and Who Wants to Be A Millionaire. Numerous slots now
               have much more to do than just pulling a handle or pressing a button. The popularity of these
               games is perhaps based on a few main factors:

               First, there’s more to do (additional chances to win, more bells and whistles), so they’re
               inherently more exciting.

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               Second, most players are already familiar with these shows and the chance to play the slot
               machine offers a vicarious experience of playing the game.

               Lastly, they’re the “new thing.” A certain element of players are attracted to what’s new
               instead of what the best bets in the casino are.

               Razzle dazzle them with flashy lights, excitement, the chance to vicariously experience their
               favorite game show and who cares what the odds are. Part of the gambling experience is
               being entertained. People will pay for that. In fact, in one of Joe’s earlier books, There’s A
               customer Born Every Minute: P.T. Barnum’s Secrets to Business Success, he explained that
               people will spend their last dime on one thing: Entertainment.

               Another example are dinner theatres. These are simply restaurants who added entertainment.
               One of Joe’s favorite places in Houston is Magic Island, a restaurant which provides magic,
               psychic readings, and more.

               You can find this principle at work online, too, with sites that offer quizzes, games, surveys,
               and other interactive entertainment. They all know that they more they entertain you, the more
               you will be inclined to spend impulsively.
               << Top

               36. The Party Pits - Making Gambling Social

               “Party pits” have been used by several casinos in an attempt to liven up their gaming areas
               and have people interacting more with each other. Often times an area of blackjack tables is
               designated as the “party pit.” Colorful decorations abound, hip music played, the dealers are
               dressed casually and have outgoing personalities. Players are encouraged to be boisterous
               (some party pits even allow the dealer to be ousted by vote from the players!), bells are rung
               when blackjacks are made by the players and a feeling of informality and fun is encouraged.

               The principle behind party pits is that the combination of gambling and socialization can be
               very alluring. Even if a player is losing, he’ll be more inclined to play a few more rounds if he is
               having fun and socializing.

               Obviously, you can make on and off-line stores more fun by using this principle. For example,
               Mike Dooley created an “Adventurer’s Club” that his online visitors could join for free. When
               they do, his mailing list grows. When he offers them a new tape set, the club members are
               excited to be the first in the select group to own it. See more at

               << Top

               37. The $1 Bet In Caribbean Stud Poker

               Caribbean Stud Poker is one of the newest “staples” in table games and is quite
               popular---despite the fact that it has one of the worst odds for any of the table games in the
               casino. Players can also make a side bet of $1 each time a hand is played to have the chance
               of hitting a very large progressive jackpot if a royal flush is obtained by the dealer. Because
               the odds are so high of ever hitting it, this is recognized as one of the worst bets in the entire
               casino. However, a great majority of players will make this bet, for fear of missing out on a ton
               of money, in the highly unlikely event that a royal flush is obtained by the dealer. This proves
               that people will bet on something ridiculously hard to win for one reason: It’s a new thrill.

               Any business-off line or on---who can add a new thrill to their offering, even if a sure loser for
               the customer, could create more impulse spending. For example, Joe once commissioned

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               Nerissa, his girl friend, to create an odd image of a mermaid with black hair. They called it the
               “Elvis Mermaid.”

               They put it online at Ebay. Because of the key word “Elvis,” hundreds of people went to see
               the weird art. The “art” was a sure loser. Yet people bid on it at ebay. And a radio show called
               Joe three times to interview him. And Joe used his Elvis Mermaid to bring attention to one of
               his e-books, Hypnotic Marketing, as an example of publicity. While the mermaid was as real
               as Caribbean Stud Poker, the result was impulse bidding at ebay and free publicity for Joe.
               (And the radio station that interviewed him bid on and won the Elvis Mermaid.)
               << Top

               38. Commemorative Casino Chips

               Virtually everyone enjoys collecting things. Joe discovered that back in the early 1900s a
               famous psychologist declared that collecting is in our human nature. Whether it be baseball
               cards, ceramic figurines, miniature dolls, etc, an opportunity exists to create a collectible
               series that generates income. A huge money-making idea was created with the production of
               specially designed commemorative casino chips. This was almost a no-brainer because
               people had been collecting casino chips for years. All the casino had to do was design the
               special chips and let people know that they were available. To increase demand, the chips
               were produced in limited editions.

               The commemorative chips had huge “mark-ups” because the cost to produce a chip is quite
               minimal. It’s almost as good as the casino winning the money outright from the person since it
               was going into a collection and likely never to be spent. And since the chips represented
               actual money values, collectors would purchase $100, $500 and even $1000 chips without
               questioning it. Will these special chips ever have any value? Who knows. Is there a possibility
               that they’ll be cashed in one day? Sure, but in the meantime the casinos have another form of
               immediate income simply by producing chips with a special design, limiting the run and saying
               that they’re commemorative.

               Disney has done the same. Obviously there are many Disney collectors. Years back, Disney
               introduced Disney Dollars which are commemorative denominations of money that can be
               spent inside the theme park. There was a huge profit for Disneyland as tourists would convert
               $1, $5, $10 and $20 bills into Disney Dollars that they would keep as souvenirs instead of
               spending in the park. Of course, people like to collect items in sets, so often they would
               purchase Disney Dollars in all of the available denominations.

               And what’s the cost to Disneyland of printing Disney Dollars? Very minimal. There are
               currently millions of stamp collectors and the post office has done the same thing. While it
               can’t justify printing stamps of values of $25, $100, etc. like the casinos can do with their
               chips, the shear amount of volume of stamp collectors alone, make the special
               commemorative stamp sets a significant source of additional income for the postal office.

               This principle can be applied to any business that has a collectible aspect to it. But even if one
               isn’t readily apparent, you can always invent one. You can create a coin for people who visit
               your Web site, for example. It may become the first “Internet Collectible.” Browse ebay for
               ideas on things people collect. You’ll be stunned by what you find.
               << Top

               39. Power of Mystery - White Tiger Exhibit

               The purpose of the movie posters outside the theatre is to create excitement and an interest
               in going inside to see the movie. Obviously you can’t view the movie from the outside since

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               the physical structure of the theatre blocks your view of the attraction inside. Walt Disney
               employed this principle in his theme parks. Surrounding the entrance are posters of the many
               different attractions inside the theme park. From the entrance little can be seen of the
               excitement that awaits inside. The large train station and grassy hill effectively block the inner
               contents of the park. Only two tunnels---one on either side offer the tiniest glimpse of what’s
               inside. Disney has created a sense of mystery and excitement that something special lies
               within the park. Throughout the tunnels, more posters of attractions are on the walls.

               Steve Wynn has utilized this principle with his Mirage property. From the Strip a moving
               walkway leads into one of the casino’s entrances. Above the walkway is a colorful marquee
               announcing, “See the White Tigers.” Wynn has used his grabber of the free white tiger exhibit
               to pluck passersby from the Strip and deposit them into his casino. Since the tigers can’t be
               viewed from the outside, he’s employed this same principle of mystery to peak curiosity to
               draw people in.

               This principle goes as far back as the mid-1800s, when P.T. Barnum hung drawings of
               mermaids and animals outside of his American Museum in downtown New York. In Joe’s
               book on Barnum, There’s A Customer Born Every Minute, he proves that Barnum knew that a
               photo or drawing would be a way to create mystery. While Vegas has its white tigers, Barnum
               had a mermaid. When he put it on display, his ticket sales tripled!

               In the 1950s a circus advertised they had a unicorn on display. They didn’t, of course. But
               their ticket sales doubled. Obviously, you can add a “white tiger” to your Web site. Just think
               big and act bold.
               << Top

               40. How to Earn an Extra Million Dollars In One Hour

               Time is money in the casino business and because so many factors can influence the
               casino’s win, every aspect is analyzed in detail. Casinos know that the more blackjack hands
               they can deal in an hour, the more money that will be won by the casino. I’ve read about a
               study that hypothesized a casino could earn an extra million dollars if the dealers never had to
               shuffle. Some games employ the use of a shuffling machine to speed along the process.

               This might not have any direct application to your business, but it’s an interesting point you
               may not have thought about. You now know why the dealers may get impatient with you if
               you’re taking a lot of time in making decisions. Time is money.
               << Top

               41. Non-gaming Revenue

               Here’s something that may surprise you. It’s only been within the last decade or so that
               casinos have really made substantial money from non-gaming sources. In fact, if some of
               today’s casino’s had to rely solely on their gaming wins, they’d go bankrupt. For years, money
               was lost on room rates, food and entertainment because the casinos knew that they could
               make up the revenue on house wins in the casino. Steve Wynn’s Mirage has been recognized
               by many as the first property to show substantial profits on non-gaming revenue.

               The most obvious example of this for your business would be to begin to offer products or
               services that are tangent to your business. If you operate a deli, consider selling shirts. If you
               operate a clothing store, consider selling food. The idea is to build added streams of
               revenue---just like Vegas!
               << Top

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               42. The Sound of Winning

               As with every aspect in a casino, the sounds made by coins dropping into

               the slots, video poker and other machines have been carefully analyzed for maximum
               emotional impact. The casino needs to continually create a feeling of excitement and certainly
               the sounds of people winning adds to the environment. Live lounge music is often used to add
               excitement and to keep people playing longer. Numerous slots and video games are often
               located near lounges so players can hear the music and hopefully continuing playing.

               Restaurants usually offer music. It’s not always appropriate. Joe and Nerissa just had lunch at
               a Chinese restaurant. The background music was '50s pop. It didn’t seem appropriate. Retail
               stores often have soothing music to get you to slow down and savor their goods. Web sites
               can have music. Joe and I love magic. One site has some upbeat circus music as it’s home
               page loads. It adds to your excitement and encourages impulse spending.
               << Top

               43. Use of Personalized Letters to Casino Customers

               One of the advantages casinos have when sending out direct mail to known customers is that
               they can sign the letter with the name of somebody the customer has probably met before and
               might even know. Any time a letter can be personalized and written by somebody the
               customer is familiar with, it increases its effectiveness.

               Obviously, you can use this in your business. Even Internet stores can do this. A great
               example is at

               When you go there, you’re asked to enter your name. After you do, the next web page has a
               headline that is stunning---because it uses your name in it!
               << Top

               44. Slot Tournaments and Events

               Everybody knows the stories about all the incredible luxuries that high rollers receive. Slot
               tournaments give casinos the chance to reward their low to mid range players and make them
               feel special for a few days. The feeling of being appreciated is a basic human need and the
               casinos are able to do this rather inexpensively with special slot tournaments

               If you appreciate your customers, they’ll return to you (all other things being equal, of course).
               Many studies have shown that what people want more than anything else is to be
               appreciated. Joe uses the phrase, “Love them and they’ll stay loyal.”

               Joe and I are planning to offer a “Vegas Marketing Tour” to our best customers. We will
               appreciate our big spenders by showing them the ins and out of casino marketing---and
               impulse marketing---first hand in Vegas. You can imagine how it makes a customer feel to be
               taken on such a priceless tour!
               << Top

               45. Back Up Wild Claims

               Most casinos learned long ago that claiming their customers “win more” doesn’t fly. It isn’t
               believable. The most successful casinos back up their claims with solid facts. One casino

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               might hire an accounting firm to verify their machines are 97% accurate. Another might list the
               exact number of jackpots paid out in a given month or year.

               Joe often advises his clients to saturate their marketing documents with testimonials. Why?
               Endorsements back up your claims. Joe once sent out a direct mail letter that contained
               nothing but endorsements. That letter pulled 33% in orders. Any business can and should use
               this basic principle: Make your claims---and back them up with evidence.
               << Top

               46. “Bind” with Your Customers

               Casinos in the 1990s began to practice something called “binding.” This was something
               practiced by early casinos, way back in the 1950s, but then lost as casinos got bigger and lost
               touch with their customers. As casinos began to lose money as they lost customers, they
               began to resurrect the lost art of “binding.”

               What is it? Binding is staying in contact with your customers in a close, personal way. Sending
               out direct mail letters isn’t binding. Sending out personal letters is. Throwing a party for your
               best customers isn’t binding; appearing at that party and personally meeting every one there
               is. Giving winners gifts isn’t binding; giving winners and losers gifts is.

               Any business can do this, of course. It’s all about creating personal relationships. You don’t
               just bond with your clients, you bind with them. When you do, they may stay with you forever.
               The secret is in consistently and sincerely caring about them.
               << Top

               47. Find an Acceptable “Link”

               Casinos make 80 percent of their revenue from slot machines. But it wasn’t always that way.
               During the Great Depression of the early 1930s, and during the time of prohibition, slot
               machines were seen as negative. That’s when they became known as the “one arm bandits.”
               People were starving. They didn’t want to see a machine take anyone’s hard earned money.
               Slots took it hard.

               How did slot machines manufacturers get around this negative image? By “linking” their bad
               boy to something good. One of the first slots to be created with a “link” was one which had a
               selection of gum you could buy attached to it. In other words, the slot machine was now a
               vending machine. Stores could stock them without being harassed by the public. People could
               use them when they bought gum. Better yet, they could just keep buying gum from the side of
               the slot machine and never ever use the slot itself---until temptation gave in.

               Obviously, slot machines are accepted today. But maybe your business needs to “link” itself
               with another, already accepted product in order to increase your sales. For example, if the
               latest rage is Harry Potter, if you wrote a column about magic for kids and put it on your Web
               site, you would draw new traffic with your new link. People who visited your site would
               associate your business with the good Potter and automatically---unconsciously even---be
               more inclined to do business with you.

               Joe has a friend who teaches people how to find the love of their life. One bit of advice from
               him is to take your date to a comedy show (such as a good Vegas act). When your date has a
               great time, she (or he) will associate good feelings with you. You don’t have to do much at all.
               Sit there. Smile. Look happy. Enjoy the show. And you’ll find you have sold your date on you
               being a real catch. Why? You’ll be “linked” to the good feelings generated in the show.

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               << Top

               48. Attract People with Food

               Casinos that offer terrific buffets for a very low price tend to do better than those who don’t
               offer such a deal. Why? Because people love to eat. There’s no way around it. Cook books
               and diet books sell neck to neck because people have a built-in genetic desire to eat.
               Whenever you supply food, you’ll attract customers.

               Some of the more famous Vegas hot spots are known for their enormous shrimp
               cocktails---for only 99 cents. You can imagine how word-of-mouth will fuel that casino’s
               marketing. You might also imagine how that casino does more revenue because they have
               more customers. The people may go to consume a great meal at a low price, but most of
               them stay to gamble away more of their money while they’re there. Food is simply the bait.

               How can you do this online? You might try coupons that are good off-line. Joe has heard of
               one store that lets you print coupons off a Web site. The store gets added business. The Web
               site gets added traffic. The customers leave buying something and feeling good about it.
               << Top

               49. What Else?

               This principle simply means to look for more ways to market your business. Casinos don’t
               stop with what already works. They test. They create. They think. They do. You can do this,
               too. Just keep asking, “What else?”
               << Top

               BONUS #1: A Tycoon Learns the Power of Positioning
               Here’s something few business people today seem to know:

               The ability to effectively position your product for maximum appeal can have a huge impact on
               your success. One of Vegas’s most skilled practitioners of the craft is Steve Wynn. His
               casinos have consistently enjoyed phenomenal results due to his masterful use of

               When Wynn acquired the Golden Nugget downtown (his first casino) and began remodeling it,
               skeptics were ho-hum about his chances for success. Why? Because of the property’s
               less-than-desirable location. At the time, downtown Vegas was a place where tourists would
               visit only to get better gaming odds than they would on the Strip. It certainly wasn’t the place
               you’d want to walk around at any time, let alone spend the night in a hotel room there.

               Wynn dreamed of creating a luxurious hotel on par with some of the finest in the world. He
               immediately transformed the Golden Nugget into not only the finest hotel downtown but one of
               the finest properties in all of Las Vegas. He positioned the hotel as THE high-class of
               downtown. He capitalized off of it’s “unfavorable” location by positioning it as a place where
               you could enjoy all the lavishness and luxury of a top Strip casino without the hassles of
               staying on the Strip. People flocked to the Golden Nugget. He was soon adding more rooms --
               and making hefty profits.

               Wynn also knew how to cleverly position his entertainment. He had a rather small showroom
               by Strip standards and wanted to bring in top headliners. Since he was going after the high
               roller market he wanted to offer more than just the experience of a two hour concert. Wynn

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               decided to position his entertainment as an incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience that only a
               privileged few would be invited to attend. As John Smith writes in his (what book?) book:

               “Suppose I could sell discriminating people on the idea of being involved in an atmosphere
               almost like a concert in the East Room of the White House. Like a private show with Frank
               Sinatra. Wouldn’t that be fetching? And suppose as part of the weekend they could meet him
               and we had special parties and we did the whole weekend. And suppose the service in this
               hotel was so elegant we could build a special event around our entertainer and I could take
               Frank Sinatra and Diana Ross and Kenny and Willie and they could be a gift for the weekend.
               Come for a special weekend - a theme party at the Nugget. That’s not the same as star policy.
               That’s another dimension altogether.”

               Wynn’s creative use of positioning his property with (or even as) entertainment continued to
               blossom with his Mirage property. A huge fan of Walt Disney, Wynn designed and positioned
               the Mirage as a place for entertainment first and a casino second. He had observed that the
               casinos in Las Vegas were all basically offering the same “gambling” experience. None of
               them had anything unique that would draw tourists in. By positioning the Mirage as a complete
               entertainment experience with it’s 54 foot fire spewing volcano, the shark aquarium, the
               dolphin exhibit, Wynn knew that the gambling aspect would take care of itself.

               As one popular author wrote: “His singular contribution to gambling isn’t the creation of a
               casino that targets low rollers or a casino that targets high rollers. It’s the creation of casinos
               that seduce both groups and suck them in off the street by offering incomparable spectacle.
               Wrap a casino in a fantasy, put in those slots and open the doors. As Wynn himself says the
               Mirage at its core is simply a better mousetrap than its predecessors on the Strip.”

               Wynn was also able to effectively position himself.

               Through skillful crafting in a series of commercials he did in the 1980’s, Wynn has been
               credited with doing more to change the public’s image of gambling than anybody before him.
               In the spots, Wynn positions himself as the clean cut “boy next door” casino owner who is
               talking with Frank Sinatra who he just hired to perform in his casino. One version shows Wynn
               and Sinatra in a hotel suite where Wynn comes up to the legend and says, “Hi, Mr. Sinatra,
               I’m Steve Wynn. I run this place.” Sinatra looks at him, then hands him a tip and says, “You
               see I get enough towels.”

               The commercials were effective because many people had never seen an actual casino
               owner before and had only the stereotypical images of shady mobsters stuffing hundred dollar
               bills into suitcases. Steve Wynn was a good looking young man, articulate and likeable -
               someone you could trust. He made the whole business of gambling seem less sinful and dirty.

               As John Smith writes in “Running Scared”:

               “In those thirty second commercials, Wynn did much to change the face of the American

               casino industry. And he accomplished the feat without an attorney, accountant or gaming
               regulator. In one half minute, he successfully melded a name and an image that had
               everything to do with entertainment and nothing to do with that mobbed-up biblical vice,
               gambling. As an upscale marketing tool, the commercials were flawless.”

               And when Las Vegas went through it’s “Vegas is for kids, too” phase in the early 90’s, Steve
               Wynn was there too with his Treasure Island resort. Once again, he used the power of
               television to help with his positioning. This time he produced an hour long television special
               called “Treasure Island: The Adventure Begins” which showed the resort as a “Pirates of the
               Caribbean” adventure, built for kids -- but just happening to have a few slot machines and
               table games mom and dad could play. In keeping with his past emphasis on entertainment
               first, the casino was never shown throughout the entire show.

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               The power of positioning is a tool that has made Steve Wynn a very wealthy man. It’s been
               proposed that Wynn has contributed more than any other individual in repositioning the term
               “gambling” and all it’s sordid images into the widely accepted non-threatening term of
               “gaming” - undoubtedly representing millions upon millions of extra revenue for casinos all
               over the world.
               << Top

               BONUS #2: Where You Eat can Make You Rich!
               Are you overlooking a market that could make you rich? Maybe what you need to do is eat
               lunch at a different place!

               A key to Bill Bennett’s amazing success has always been his ability to match the needs of his
               desired target market. He was one of the first on the Strip to recognize the enormous profit
               potential of targeting the middle class, “low rollers”, when all of the other casinos were chasing
               after the high rollers. After acquiring the failing Circus Circus in 1974, Bennett implemented
               specific changes that pleased his customers and quickly built Circus Circus into one of the
               most successful casinos on the Strip.
               Bennett’s knack at knowing what his customers want is actually a skill he has worked hard at.
               Even from his earliest days as a casino manager, he was always studying the types of people
               who came to his casino. Before purchasing Circus Circus, he spent a few months just
               spending time in the casino, talking to the people that played there, finding out about what
               they liked and didn’t.

               Bennett’s secrets was always trying to see things from the point of his customer. Even though
               he was a rather wealthy man after Circus Circus really started to succeed, he still would eat
               lunch everyday at the casino’s very humble Pink Pony Café. Whenever he was on the road,
               instead of eating at a fancy restaurant, he would eat at various truck stops taking note of the
               types of foods they were serving. Whereas most casino owners would be tucked away
               somewhere in their executive offices, Bennett would spend much of his time walking around
               the casino floor and talking to his customers.

               He was constantly trying to think like the people who patronized his casino. He was obsessive
               over value and wanted to make sure his customers were getting the very best value for their

               Another of Bennett’s secrets was using the power of networking. In fact, one of his most
               successful campaigns came out of his desire to provide the lowest room rates on the Strip
               with his utilization of networking. When Bennett decided to start advertising that Circus Circus
               had the lowest priced rooms on the Strip for $18 night, his rooms immediately sold out and he
               had to start turning people away. Not wanting to miss an opportunity to get more people
               playing in his casino, Bennett approached local hotels which didn’t have their own casinos
               and made a deal with them. He would refer people to their hotels if they agreed to accept the
               $18 price for their rooms and allow him to provide a free shuttle service to his casino. The
               campaign worked wonderfully for the hotels because they were now filling their rooms and
               Bennett was happy because he had even more people gambling in his casino.

               And once he knew his target crowd, he kept looking for ways to bring in more middle class
               gamblers by thinking like them.

               Things Bennett Did:

                        When he traveled, he ate in truck stops and diners so he could see what sort of
                        food was popular there.

                        He ate lunch every day in the Pink Pony Café, a coffee shop in the casino.

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               $1.95 club sandwiches, 69 cent slices of apple pie

               3) If a candy bar in the gift shop cost more than it did across the street at the Riviera, he
               wanted to know why.

               4) And even before he opened the place he studied it for months, walking through it at
               different hours, talking to its customers, watching its employees.

               5) Always walking around the casino talking to customers.

               Obviously, you can model what Bennett did. You can spend more time with your customers,
               you can eat where they do, watch what they watch on TV, communicate with them, and learn
               more about how they think and live.

               In addition, you can work out deals with businesses that serve your customers. Just ask
               yourself, who else sells to my customers? Then create cross-promotions for win-win benefits.
               << Top

               BONUS #3: How to Seduce Your Customers into Giving You More
               Money-and Loving You for Taking It!
               What is the goal of every casino?

               Deep down every casino is trying to establish a long and meaningful relationship with you.
               The most successful casino marketing executives recognize the incredible value of creating
               customer loyalty.

               Rather than go for the quick hit---the one night stand, if you will, where you’re rapidly bilked of
               all your money, casino operators would rather seduce you into a relationship where your
               money is more slowly and consistently taken from you over a period of years. They want you
               to enjoy coming to their casino, almost as if it were a homecoming every time you returned.
               They want to create a place where you feel special---a place where you’re comfortable and
               enjoy gaming.

               And in a business where a customer can be worth anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars
               to several million, attracting and maintaining customers is a very serious business.

               Competition is fierce among the casinos and the effects of losing only a few key customers
               can have staggering effects on a casino’s profits.

               Let’s take a look at the tactics casinos use to get you in the door. For many years, headliner
               and revue show entertainment was one of the most prominent ways casinos could
               differentiate themselves from one another and draw people to their property. Once inside their
               doors, the casino environment was essentially the same with blackjack tables, craps, roulette
               and slot machines. But everything changed in 1986 with the opening of the Mirage.

               In what’s been termed the birth of the “New Las Vegas”, the casino itself became a must-see
               attraction. Instead of a building filled with slots and table games, the Mirage was a fantasy
               tropical environment with an indoor rainforest, a 50,000 gallon shark aquarium and a huge 54
               foot fire spewing volcano that erupted every hour. Taking a nod from Walt Disney, Steve
               Wynn had successfully created brought to Las Vegas a hybrid of Disneyland and gaming that
               drew people in just for the experience of walking around the casino. The Mirage was so
               successful that within a few months it became the most visited tourist attraction on the Strip.

               Since this time, the Strip has been a battleground of who can build the most extravagantly
               themed property that tourists will have to visit, otherwise they haven’t seen Las Vegas. Since

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               the Mirage, Las Vegas has seen the creation of such spectacular resorts such as New York
               New York, Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, the Venetian, Bellagio, Paris, and many others.
               The lure to get customers into the casino is based on the promise of a unique entertainment

               Bill Bennett was known for referring to his casinos as “stores” and he referred to gambling as
               the product he was selling. With today’s casino storefronts becoming more elaborate and
               entertainment driven, the marketing of gambling has become a more indirect process. If you
               wow them with entertainment and get ‘em in the door, the gaming will sell itself was the
               message Steve Wynn brought to the Strip. People enjoy being entertained and will pay for the
               experience of doing so. If you want the best odds for your money, you’re better off going
               downtown where the casinos are still basically casinos and not faux European adventures.

               Several casinos have also added special attractions in an attempt to add further “must-see”
               appeal to their property . Of course, the Mirage pioneered the concept with the erupting
               fire-spewing 54 foot volcano and his dolphin exhibit. Steve Wynn went on to incorporate his
               outdoor theatre on the Strip with the Battle at Buccaneer Bay - a free pirate show in front of
               Treasure Island as well as the dancing waters in front of Bellagio. The Las Vegas Hilton has
               Star Trek-the Experience, the Venetian has a Madame Troussands Wax Museum and the
               recently opened Guggenheim Museum, Mandalay Bay has Shark Reef. New York New York
               has the Manhattan Express a roller coaster circling the property.

               In this category of special attractions, many casinos have also added elaborate themed
               shopping experiences. Caesars has the world’s most successful (and expensive) shopping
               mall in which guests are transported from the Strip by moving walkways and deposited into
               the Forum Shops mall complete with talking statues, a constantly changing indoor sky and
               cobblestone streets (and coincidentally, the only way for the guests to exit is through the
               casino). The Venetian has the Canal Street shops complete with a waterway and gondolas
               throughout the property. The Aladdin has the Desert Passages mall.

               To further enhance the appeal of their storefronts, several of the casinos have partnered with
               branded names in the restaurant business to provide a recognizable lure which people are
               familiar with. Steve Wynn was one of the first to do this by placing the popular eatery, the
               California Pizza Kitchen in his Mirage and Golden Nugget properties. Themed restaurants
               (which, like the post-Mirage casinos, are selling entertainment with their product) are also
               popular. New York New York has the ESPN sports zone, the MGM has the Rainforest Café,
               the Sahara has the Nascar Café and Caesars has Planet Hollywood. And in true Las Vegas
               style, most of these restaurants have their own neon marquee in front of the property
               announcing them.

               Las Vegas casinos have also embraced culinary world superstars as another lure to draw
               people to their property. Association with celebrity had formerly been limited to the
               entertainers hired to perform in the showrooms, but with the arrival of Wolfgang Puck’s
               ultra-trendy Spago at Caesars, Vegas had a new drawing card in its pocket. The casinos
               heartily embraced this concept for two reasons. Not only did they have a unique draw to their
               property but also they that businessmen on conventions had generous expense accounts for
               wining and dining clients and would seek out these gourmet restaurants. Today, restaurants
               such as Emerils, Mark Millers Coyote Grill, can be found in the various casinos up and down
               the Strip.

               Several properties also have trendy Vegas versions of famous New York nightclubs (i.e.
               Studio 54 at MGM, V Bar at the Venetian,). Mandalay Bay has a House of Blues and the
               Bellagio recently opened Light.

               Of course showroom entertainment still plays an important role in drawing people to the
               casinos. But this has changed remarkably over the years. Originally, the hotels lost money on
               most of the shows and offset any losses by the extra money that guests lost in the casino.

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               But, again Steve Wynn revolutionized Vegas entertainment with his showroom at the Mirage.
               Having signed illusionists Siegfried and Roy to a 10 year contract, Wynn built the city’s most
               sophisticated showroom. He hired Broadway veterans to design the set and lighting and when
               the show first opened it was hailed as the first Broadway caliber show on the Strip. Wynn
               proved again that people would pay for quality. He implemented the first ticket seating policy
               on the Strip, charged the highest price for a production show in Las Vegas (at that time $70,
               today $100) and has sold out every show ever since. Wynn proved that a substantial profit
               could be made on entertainment on its own whereas in the past it had always been a loss
               leader to lure people into the casino.

               Since the Mirage, Vegas casinos have also incorporated the branding of several Broadway
               caliber shows such as the elaborate Cirque Du’ Solei productions Mystere at Treasure Island
               and O at the Bellagio. The off-Broadway sensation, Blue Man Group is a huge hit at Luxor.

               So what can be learned from this?

               Basically, that people love to be entertained. Las Vegas, more than any city in the world, has
               successfully infused entertainment with gaming, dining, shopping. Today’s casinos on the
               Strip are using entertainment- not gaming - to lure customers to their properties.
               << Top

               BONUS #4: The Shocking Story of Downtown Las Vegas
               Downtown Las Vegas has always been the ugly sister to the glitzy resorts on the Strip.

               With the exception of the Golden Nugget, none of the properties have the poshness found
               throughout the Strip casinos.

               There are no European themed properties, elaborate shopping malls or celebrity chef cafes.
               Headliner entertainment is rare (again with the exception of the Golden Nugget) and without
               being adjacent to the Strip, it would seem that survival of these casinos would be difficult.

               But, as Bill Bennett found out, if you can’t be Bloomingdales, you can certainly be Wall-Mart.
               Value is a quality people will always be drawn to. Sure, the extravagant hotels and
               entertainment thrills are exciting, but there’s a large number of the population who will always
               be drawn to where they can get the best deals.

               And downtown has learned to survive by doing what today’s Strip casinos are not doing -
               emphasizing the value of their gaming. Perhaps the most famous of all is Binions Horseshoe
               which is continually voted by locals and news writers as the best place in town to gamble. The
               Horseshoe is also famous for it’s annual World Series of Poker in which the top poker players
               compete for a $1 million dollar prize and the prestige of being able to say they’re the best.

               But, even with the lure of value, the downtown area has still had it’s marketing difficulties. A
               few years ago, the owners of the downtown casinos got together and brainstormed for an idea
               to help vitalize the area. Several ideas were considered - among the most prominent, Steve
               Wynn’s idea of turning the area into a series of canals and waterways in which gondolas
               would float up to the various casinos.

               But it was decided to transform Fremont Street into a large pedestrian mall with a distinctive
               canopy onto which an elaborate free light show would take place hourly. Downtown would
               now have the Fremont Street Experience to lure visitors to its casinos. Again, the concept of
               using entertainment to drive visitors into the casinos worked, but not quite as well as the
               casino operators had hoped for.

               Downtown is still viewed as being old and a bit seedy and even with this new entertainment
               experience, it still doesn’t have the ambiance and glitziness that the Strip offers. Currently,

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               downtown is adding more entertainment with the construction of a large
               shopping/entertainment complex called Neonopolis which it hopes will help draw more people
               to the area.

               In short, downtown Vegas will survive---as long as they learn from the casinos and practice
               Impulse Marketing!

               With local’s casinos, it’s a different story.

               Local’s casinos are defined as casinos off the Strip whose customer base is made up
               primarily of locals. There are casinos throughout Las Vegas valley, among the most
               successful of which are operated by Station Casinos.

               One of the first locals casino, the Gold Coast (which actually is not a true locals casino
               because it draws a lot of tourists as well due to its close proximity to the Strip), had a luxury
               two screen movie theatre that many locals enjoyed due to it’s well-known inexpensive snack
               bar. You could get a large soda for 50 cents, popcorn was $1.00, snack candies ranged from
               50 cents to $1.00.

               Today’s local casinos boast elaborate 14 screen multiplexes. They have bowling centers and
               ice skating rinks. Many have special Kidzones, which are play areas with counselors to watch
               the kids while mom and dad gamble. Many contain food courts with well known tenants such
               as Burger King, Pizza Hut, and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. One casino even has an ice rink.
               These locals casinos have essentially evolved into a strange form of community centers.
               << Top

               BONUS #5: Sleazy Casino Tricks
               You may not want to use theses tricks in your own business, but knowing them may help you
               brainstorm legitimate spin-offs ideas.
               1. Keep them unknowingly locked inside.

               There are few clocks or windows inside casinos.. Keeping players from knowing what time of
               day it is, or whether it’s day or night, is an effective way to keep customers much longer than
               they intended.
               2. Keep them unknowingly tipsy.

               Nevada had a gaming law that says in effect that it’s illegal to take unfair advantage or allow
               an obviously intoxicated individual to gamble. There’s little enforcement of this law. It’s a
               common practice for a pit boss to instruct a cocktail waitress to freshen a winning player’s
               drink. Not only is the drink fresh, it usually contains more alcohol than previous drinks.
               Naturally, with distorted senses and impaired thinking, the player is most likely going to keep
               playing---and eventually lose his “winnings.”
               3. Keep them unknowingly in hope.

               Stupak’s “Virtually Free Vacation” offered gaming tokens that can be used to win large
               amounts of money. You allegedly can win cars, vacations, and other valuable prizes. Casinos
               want you to assume the tokens can be used throughout the casino. But that’s rarely the case.
               Special “free” tokens are usually used exclusively in one or two specially designated slot
               machines. These machines are operated free and not required to comply with gaming
               regulations for jackpot payoffs. It’s perfectly legal to rig these machines to pay off once in
               every 10 million pulls.

               BONUS #6: Las Vegas’s Four Most Influential Casinos & The Men Behind

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               Them: Flamingo, Caesars, Circus Circus, Mirage
               Quick, can you name the first casino to be built on the Strip?

               If you ask 10 people to name the first casino built on the Strip, I’d wager to say at least 8
               would say the Flamingo (did you?). Actually, the Flamingo was the third casino to be built on
               the Strip after the El Rancho Vegas and Last Frontier. In fact, the El Rancho Vegas preceded
               the Flamingo by over 5 years.

               Next question: Who owned the Flamingo?

               I bet you got this one - Bugsy Segal. However, if I were to ask you the names of 3 other Las
               Vegas casino owners, could you give me an answer? Most people wouldn’t be able to come
               up with a single name (with the exception perhaps of Steve Wynn. And, no, Donald Trump
               doesn’t own any casinos in Las Vegas).

               So what’s my point? To be honest, I wasn’t going to include the Flamingo on the list.

               In fact, if pains me to place it aside what I consider to be the three truly groundbreaking
               casinos of Las Vegas. But in rethinking the history of the casino, I realized that it’s story is
               legendary and represents all the glamour and glitz that Las Vegas is famous for. For these
               reasons alone, I felt I had to include it on my Fabulous Four list (and Fabulous Four does
               sound a lot better than Fabulous Three).

               The fact is, almost everybody knows Bugsy. Benjamin Siegal (as he preferred to be called -
               he hated the name Bugsy) has been attributed by many to be both the genius behind the
               Flamingo and the inventor of the Las Vegas Strip. Well, actually neither is true. As you’ve
               learned (or perhaps already knew), the Strip was well underway with the El Rancho and the
               New Frontier years before the Flamingo even broke ground. And perhaps more surprisingly
               (especially if you saw the slightly embellished movie Bugsy), the Flamingo was not the original
               idea of Bugsy Siegal.

               The Flamingo was the idea and creation of Billy Wilkerson, a well-connected man in the
               entertainment industry and the founder of the Hollywood Reporter. Wilkerson saw an
               opportunity to bring glamour and class to Las Vegas by building what would later be called the
               first “carpet joint” on the Strip (the term refers to the fact that the downtown casinos had
               sawdust floors). And while the El Rancho and New Frontier had carpeting, neither of these
               western-motif properties possessed the elegance or luxury this term has come to represent.
               With his strong connections in Hollywood, Wilkerson felt confident he could bring a new
               excitement to Las Vegas. He broke ground on the Flamingo in 1945, but in less than one year
               had ran out of money. Siegal, who had been in Las Vegas at the time looking for a casino to
               invest in, approached Wilkerson and offered him the money to complete the project . The two
               became partners, but Wilkerson was later forced out of the deal when Bugsy threatened to kill
               him if he didn’t turn over all of his interest in the casino.

               To his credit, Bugsy did have Hollywood connections of his own and by hosting many of the
               entertainment industry’s biggest stars, the Flamingo became the first truly glamorous casino
               on the Las Vegas Strip.

               The fact that most people know of Bugsy Siegal (and not Billy Wilkerson) and attribute him
               with creating the Flamingo and the Las Vegas Strip, demonstrates a very important principle
               of human nature: people will remember a good story, even if it isn’t entirely true. The story of
               Bugsy Siegal has all the elements of a compelling tale - good looking gangster who owns the
               swankest casino in town, dates beautiful actress, meets untimely and gruesome death when
               the mob finds out he’s been skimming profits. Heck they even made a movie about it. It must
               be true. .

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               Today’s Flamingo (actually, it’s known as the Flamingo Hilton), still profits from the instant
               name recognition. It’s a marketing benefit that came with the property. The Flamingo is one of
               Vegas’s legendary hotels and people enjoy the feeling that they’re part of history. They want
               to stay at the place Bugsy once owned. They want to walk where Bugsy once did. And the
               Flamingo has touches throughout the casino to remind you of its heritage. There’s a Bugsy’s
               theatre inside the hotel and up until a few years ago, the original tower that Bugsy had his
               penthouse suite still stood.

               Las Vegas certainly has a colorful history and the Flamingo has benefited even today by
               having a colorful character associated with it. This certainly helped build name recognition and
               draw people to the property.

               Interesting Tidbits:

                       The El Rancho Vegas once stood on the corner of Las Vegas Blvd and Sahara.
                       The land it was on was purchased for just over $5000 (just think how much
                       would it be worth today).

                       Elvis and Liberace both bombed during their early Strip appearances at the Last
                       Frontier. (Elvis was fired after only one week.)

                       Ronald Regan appeared during the early days of the Strip doing an act with

                       The movie Bugsy distorted reality: The scene where Bugsy goes into the desert
                       and envisions the Flamingo was inaccurate. The Flamingo was already being
                       built at the

               time by Billy Wilkerson. Also, the movie shows Bugsy (Warren Beatty) telling his girlfriend
               actress Virginia Hill (Annette Bening) that he named the hotel after her because her nickname
               was “flamingo”. Again, the hotel was named by Wilkerson because he liked Flamingos.

               - The hotel when completed was four stories. Siegals suite was on the 4th floor and had a trap
               door leading to the basement where he had a get away car waiting.

               - The Flamingo opened on Dec 26, 1946. Opening night entertainment: Jimmy Durante and
               Xavier Cugart

               Jay Sarno’s Caesars Palace- Build The Best and They Will Come, Always a Market For
               Being the Best

               Ask anybody today to name the three most elegant casinos in Las Vegas and inevitably they
               will include Caesars Palace. Even today, 30 years after it was first built, Caesars Palace
               enjoys the reputation of being associated with the luxury and lavishness that is Las Vegas.

               With Caesars Palace, everything was done right. So right, in fact, that it was a huge success
               from the minute they opened the doors. So much money was pouring in, that

               they didn’t even have time to count it individually. They would weigh the money in

               stacks of different demonations (i.e. 100 pounds of $20.00 = 1 million dollars).

               Why was Caesars such a hit? To understand how this legendary Las Vegas casino came to
               be, it’s necessary to introduce you to the man many people consider to be the creator of the
               Las Vegas themed resort, Mr. Jay Sarno.

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               In 1962, Jay Sarno was just another weekend gambler. He would come to Las Vegas from his
               home of Atlanta and gamble. As the story goes, he was shooting dice one day at the
               Flamingo when it dawned him that the only person making money in
               the casino was the person who owned it (a revelation repeated throughout time by other
               casino owners).

               From that moment on, he immediately began visualizing his plans for building his own casino.

               Sarno came from a background in the hotel industry. In fact, he was making good money with
               a small string of motor hotels which had been highly praised for their uniqueness and
               extensive use of plants and statuary. He felt confident he could succeed by building a truly
               memorable casino in Las Vegas.

               It’s interesting to note that Jay Sarno was a man of excess - food, women and gambling. As
               his daughter once said he was a man who “loathed plain vanilla”.

               In 1962, there were only 13 major hotels on the Strip and Sarno was not impressed. He saw
               them as being rather unimaginative and of a certain sameness. Many had adopted a western
               theme or desert theme (El Rancho, Frontier, Desert Inn, Sahara).

               He wanted to be different. He wanted to build the most lavish hotel in Las Vegas - something
               people would talk about and the first real “must-see” attraction in Vegas

               And here is what really is the secret behind the phenomenal success of Caesars Palace.

               Sarno analyzed the present hotel environment in Las Vegas in 1962 and decided simply that
               he would build the very best - a hotel/casino that if you didn’t visit and gamble in

               while you were in Las Vegas, you hadn’t seen Las Vegas. Sarno knew that there is always a
               market for product or services that are perceived as being the best and was confident he
               could achieve it. His decision to build the best hotel in Vegas also complimented perfectly the
               target audience he was trying to attract - high rollers. At the time, all the hotels on the Strip
               were chasing high rollers. Low stakes gambling was left to the hotels downtown.

               Sarno’s Caesars Palace went far beyond what most people would have done. He could have
               created simply the most elegant hotel using a style similar to a Four Seasons or Ritz Carlton.
               Instead he decided that he wanted his hotel to not only be luxurious but to have a strong (and
               unique!) thematic element as well. And as anybody who’s heard of Las Vegas knows, Sarno
               came up with the idea of patterning his hotel after ancient Rome and he created the first
               themed resort on the Strip.

               Sarno was the first to have his employees wear themed costumes. Of course, today you’ll see
               lots of themed costumes throughout the various casinos (pirates at Treasure Island, Lords
               and Ladies at Excalibur, the French at Paris, etc.). Throughout the casino he incorporated his
               Roman theme with architecture, shops, and the popular “Cleopatra’s Barge (for dancing)”.

               One of his most famous creations was his Bacchanal room restaurant. The Bacchanal was an
               elegant restaurant where guests would sit down and be served by Roman gods and
               goddesses. He even had the goddesses giving neck massages to the men diners.

               People talked about the experience of the lavish Bacchanal room and the uniqueness of
               getting a massage at dinner. With Caesars, Sarno was selling an entertainment experience
               combined with gambling (a concept that Steve Wynn would later utilize to make his fortune)
               rather than just selling gambling.

               The story of Caesars grand opening demonstrates another important principle - commitment
               to and consistency in your marketing message. By the time Caesars was ready to open to the
               public Sarno had gone over his 15 million dollar budget by over 10 million dollars. Money was

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               not plentiful and he had been advised to limit the table betting as he wouldn’t have enough
               money to cover player’s wins if some players had a good streak. Sarno insisted that if
               Caesars was to be perceived the place for high rollers it had to act like the place for high
               rollers. Limiting the table bets would not be congruent with the image he wanted for Caesars.
               In order to cut costs he also could have had a modest grand opening ceremony. But, again
               Caesars represented lavishness and excess and his Grand Opening ceremony was no
               exception. It lasted 3 days, had celebrities and VIPs from all over the world. He had served
               the worlds largest order of lobster and cavier. Andy Williams headlined in the Circus Maximus
               showroom (Rome Swings). All in all, it was an amazing spectacle and generated glowing
               reviews around the world.

               The lesson with CP can be summed up by saying “Built the Best and they will come” Sarno
               had succeeded in building the most lavish, opulent and extravagant resort on the Strip. It was
               a huge success and virtually synomonous with the name Las Vegas/

               Jay Sarno Part 2 - Circus Circus

               Sadly, the Jay Sarno story doesn’t end with the phenomenal success of Caesars. Confident of
               his success with Caesars, rumor has it that Sarno was already planning his next casino during
               the grand opening festivities for Caesars. It’s said that originally he had planned on adding the
               pink and white big top that was to become Circus Circus as an extension of Caesars but
               thought it was such a great idea that it should become another property.

               Encouraged by the success he enjoyed with Caesars, Sarno thought another heavily themed
               property was a sure bet for another winner. He would bring to the Strip the experience of
               being at a circus and build another “must-see” property that high rollers would flock to and
               gamble their bankroll on.

               So Sarno began construction on his new casino and in only 2 years Circus Circus was ready
               to open to the public. In his traditional flamboyant fashion, Sarno proceeded over the
               festivities dressed as a ringmaster with numerous clowns and circus acts at his side. With his
               second Vegas experience built, Circus Circus seemed to be another preordained winner. How
               could it miss? But, from the moment it opened, Circus Circus was a spectacular flop.

               The story of Jay Sarno’s rise to riches with Caesars Palace then plummet to near financial
               ruin with Circus Circus demonstrates the power of target marketing.

               When Sarno created Caesars Palace he did everything right. He wanted to attract high rollers
               and he did so very successfully by designing Caesars as extravagantly and lavishly as
               possible. He appealed to the needs of his target market and he succeeded brilliantly.

               Sarno’s major mistake was thinking he could capture this same market, simply by building
               another creatively themed hotel. He neglected to realize the fundamental element crucial to
               Caesar’s success was that the property was lavish and everything was first class. Gamblers
               may have appreciated the uniqueness of the Roman theme, but it’s doubtful it would have
               enjoyed the same success had it been a themed property replicating the living quarters of the
               Roman slaves.

               With Circus Circus, Sarno had attempted to duplicate Caesars success by creating another
               must-see Vegas property. The problem was that, while Circus Circus was certainly unique,
               many of the high rollers he was trying to attract did not find the place appealing. He had not
               met the needs of his target market and his casino and reputation suffered for it. Where he had
               essentially done everything right with Caesars, Sarno did everything wrong with Circus Circus
               and much can be learned from it.
               Here’s 4 ways to turn off high rollers (or your customers):

               #1 - Make it difficult for them to enter your establishment: When Circus Circus first opened,

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               the only way to enter the casino was either by sliding down a flagpole or slide. There were
               reports of people injuring themselves and I’d imagine quite a few of the women in beautiful
               dresses would have preferred being able to walk into the casino rather than having to take the
               flagpole or slide.

               #2 - Create distractions and annoyances: Sarno’s Circus Circus was a much different CC than
               that of the present. Instead of having the circus performers on a separate floor as it is today,
               trapeze artists and tightrope acts were literally only a few feet above the gaming tables.
               Gamblers would be distracted by men in glittery spandex outfits swooping over them. There
               was a loud 16 piece band blaring circus tunes nonstop and clowns and mimes would come
               over to the blackjack tables to show gamblers tricks while they were trying to concentrate.
               Sarno also had a baby elephant, Tanya, who would roam the casino floor pulling slot machine
               handles and rolling the dice with her trunk. Tanya wasn’t potty-trained however, and
               sometimes would leave her own “chips” on the casino floor.

               #3 Present a mixed marketing message with your business: As one person put it, “It was
               neither a sophisticated den of sin nor a wholesome big top.” Was Circus Circus a place to
               bring the family or was it a joint for men to oogle nearly nude women? Sarno created a cross
               between a midway carnival and a men’s strip club. He had traditional dart toss games
               intermixed with his own carnival creations were customers successfully knocking over targets
               would be treated to a 60 second peep show of a topless woman gyrating from a lounge chair.
               He also had a caveman exhibit where a nude woman was supposedly encased in a block of

               #4 - Ignore basic principles of what has worked for others. It was certainly well known in the
               casino industry that having a hotel with your casino increased casino traffic and profits.
               Obviously many people who stayed at your hotel would play in your casino. Sarno originally
               wanted to add a hotel but thought he could draw people to the casino based on its
               uniqueness. He was even initially charging people to enter the casino - a practice soon
               terminated after people were deciding to go elsewhere. He eventually added a hotel but by
               then it was too late.

               It was losing almost $400,000 a month so he had to sell it in 1974.

               Bill Bennett- The Power of the Wall-Mart Principle & The Resurrection of Circus Circus

               When Bill Bennett and his partner purchased Circus Circus in 1974, most people thought they
               would never succeed. The casino was losing over $400,000 a month and had never made a
               profit since opening in 1968.

               What Bennett did was to make a key decision that took the property from being on the verge
               of bankruptcy to becoming one of the Strip’s most profitable casinos. He decided that he
               needed a new target market. Clearly Circus Circus wasn’t the type of place that high rollers
               wanted to stay at and gamble their money. But what about targeting the casino to the middle
               class family market, the so-called “low rollers”, the Wall-Mart crowd? Instead of wagering
               $5,000 blackjack bets, these were the type of players who would place $2.00 bets and play
               quarter and nickel slots. And although the casino’s take on these players was significantly
               smaller, Bennett knew he could make huge profits based on volume. Certainly there were a
               lot more middle class gamblers visiting Vegas than the coveted high rollers that all of the other
               casinos on the Strip were courting. And Bennett had the market completely to himself.

               The phenomenal success of Circus Circus demonstrates the power of target marketing.

               But, knowledge alone is not enough. Bennett could have said “OK, we’re now going to go
               after the middle class”, but then have kept the casino running the way it had been for the past
               6 years. But Bennett was smarter than that and had a clear understanding of the principles of
               successful target marketing. He knew that to succeed he needed to tailor his casino to the

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               needs of his clientele which meant that he would have to implement many changes.

               To his credit, Jay Sarno had many good elements already in place, it’s just that he wasn’t able
               to capture his coveted high rollers because the casino he created didn’t appeal to his target
               market. Perhaps if Circus Circus had been built as an elegant circus experience more in the
               flavor of a Cirque Du’ Soleil production it would have appealed to the high roller market he
               was trying to attract.

               In recreating Circus Circus to attract low rollers, Bennett realized that one of his customers
               most important needs was to feel comfortable (whereas high rollers need to feel special and
               catered to). Casinos can be intimidating places and many of his customers had never even
               been to a casino before.

               Bennett immediately changed the mix of table games and slots in his casino. Many low rollers
               were not experienced gamblers so he loaded his casino floor with a high number of slot
               machines because they were easy to play and players wouldn’t have to worry about looking
               foolish sitting at a table with other people. He kept some blackjack tables, craps and roulette
               but got rid of the Baccarat tables, easily the most pretentious of all casino games.

               In an effort to make his table players more comfortable, Bennett repeatedly told his dealers
               that he wanted his casino to be a friendly place. At the time, many casinos had discouraged
               their dealers from talking with the customers. Not at Circus Circus. Bennett wanted his dealers
               to make his gamblers as comfortable as possible so they were encouraged to ask the
               customers their names, where they were from and could even offer advice if a player had

               Bennett also carried this “down home” approach throughout all areas of his casino.

               Whereas the other Strip casinos were constantly pampering their high rollers with show
               comps and line passes to get preferential treatment at restaurants, Bennett wanted everybody
               at Circus Circus to be treated the same. His customers would wait their turn in line to eat like
               everybody else. Nobody would be escorted to the front of the line simply because they had
               gambled away more money in the casino.

               He also set about to make his casino kid friendly. The midway theme worked great for
               families, but the x-rated attractions had to go. No longer would topless women be roaming
               around the floors of Circus Circus. Bennett wanted his casino to be a place that parents would
               feel comfortable bringing their kids to.

               Another need Bennett addressed in courting his low roller market was their need for value.
               One of his role models had been Ray Kroc and he was keenly aware that a major reason
               behind McDonald’s phenomenal success was in providing customers with tremendous value.
               Since Bennett’s target market was more the McDonalds crowd than the gourmet restaurant
               goers, Bennett wisely decided to model the McDonalds principle. In addition to making his
               customers feel comfortable in his casino he would also provide them with exceptional value -
               the very best value for their money on the Strip. Certainly this approach has proven
               successful with mega retailers such as Wal-Mart. And he carried this over into all areas of his
               casino. He set his slot machines to be the loosest on the Strip (meaning they paid out more
               frequently than other slots). Instead of having lots of fine, over-priced dining, he created the
               Strip’s cheapest and best value buffet (which was a HUGE hit). He lowered the prices on his
               rooms so that he had the lowest prices on the Strip. In fact, he advertised this as the lowest
               room prices on the Strip - guaranteed. And he certainly had the best deal on entertainment -
               continuous circus acts absolutely free.

               Make no mistake about it, Bennett’s Circus Circus wasn’t set up to lure high rollers, but
               Bennett didn’t care. He was making his money in volume by attracting a much larger base of
               low-roller players than the very limited high roller base.

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               Steve Wynn’s Mirage: The All-In-One Principle and the Power of Environment

               The Mirage, in my opinion, is the last truly influential property to be built in Las Vegas. Sure
               the Bellagio and Venetian are nice, but chances are they wouldn’t be around if the Mirage had

               Steve Wynn’s Mirage has been widely hailed as the resort that gave birth to the New Las
               Vegas. At the time of it’s inception, it had been 15 years since the last hotel/casino had been
               built on the Strip and Las Vegas was going through some very difficult times.

               The general economy was down, gambling had just been legalized in Atlantic City and many
               states were instituting lotteries. Critics thought Wynn’s project was far too ambitious and that
               he’d never be able to fill his 3000 rooms on a nightly basis. Additionally, for Wynn to make a
               profit the Mirage would have to take in a million dollars a day - a figure unheard of at the time.

               But Wynn was confident that the Mirage would be a success. He had analyzed his
               competition and found that nobody was offering everything of first class quality under one roof
               (what I call the “all-in-one” concept).

               He would have an inviting casino, fine and casual dining, a shopping promenade, a
               spectacular showroom starring illusionists Siegfried and Roy, outstanding convention facilities,
               lavish accommodations for his high rollers and everything else you could possibly imagine in
               one resort. And he succeeded brilliantly.

               The Mirage has been called by some as Las Vegas’s first Super casino and has so much to
               offer that you could spend your entire vacation without ever stepping outside. And this was
               exactly what Steve Wynn intended. As with any business, the more services you can offer, the
               more chances you have for additional sales from your existing customer base. People
               appreciate convenience and will pay extra for it. Also, anytime your customer needs to search
               elsewhere for a service you cannot provide, not only do you lose that potential business but
               run the risk of losing future business if they have a better experience elsewhere.

               In the casino industry, its crucial to keep your customers on your property and in your casino.
               As any casino owner will tell you, the more time your guests stay on your property, the more
               opportunities they have to leave money in your casino (which is, after all, the real reason Las
               Vegas exists).

               For years, the main draw that casinos used to get people to their property was the
               entertainment presented in their showroom. Whether it was a top headliner or a lavish revue
               show from Paris, casinos would often lose money on entertainment on the bet that the money
               the show goers lost in the casino would far exceed the entertainment losses.

               What Steve Wynn did with the Mirage was to take this basic principle of entertainment as a
               drawing card to his casino and expand upon it.

               First, he would have simply the most magnificent show on the Strip. He poured millions of
               dollars into constructing an elegant theatre and the first Broadway style show on the Strip. He
               hired top choreographers, lighting designers, scenic designers and produced a show
               reviewers hailed as being Broadway quality.

               He also revolutionized showroom entertainment by instituting the Strip’s first assigned
               ticketing policy. No longer would patrons feel obliged to tip the maiterde for decent seats, they
               could get assigned seats.
               Whereas with most casinos the showroom would be their only entertainment offering, Wynn
               made his whole resort entertaining. He has often said in interviews how much he was
               influenced by Walt Disney and that he enjoys creating environments. Certainly to sum up the
               reason for the Mirage’s success in a single word, it would be environment. If Disney could

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               revolutionize the amusement park industry by creating an entirely new environment for a
               theme park instead of some carnival rides on an empty lot, Wynn could do the same for

               Wynn would dress his casino up in the cloaks of entertainment. He would have a 40 story
               volcano in front of the hotel which erupted every hour spewing fire. Behind his registration
               desk he would have a giant aquarium with sharks and other exotic fish. There would be a
               living atrium inside the casino and several elaborately themed restaurants. Outside he would
               have Nevada’s only dolphin pool.

               Prior to the Mirage, Las Vegas casinos were just casinos. If you weren’t gambling, there
               wasn’t much else to do and if you weren’t interested in gambling, you probably avoided them.
               But, at Wynn’s property you could watch the volcano erupt, see the magnificent sharks,
               witness the dolphin pool and just enjoy the feeling of a relaxed tropical environment.

               And, hey if you happen to pull out a quarter or two and drop it in a slot machine, that’s just fine
               with Mr. Wynn.

               For gamblers, the Mirage is a highly inviting environment. The casino is colorful, relaxed yet
               elegant. Sure the odds may be better downtown, but why sit in an older downtown casino
               when you can enjoy the experience of gaming at the Mirage.

               Which again reinforces the point that people will pay extra for environment and entertainment.
               At the Mirage, they’re not only getting a beautiful ambiance to lose their money in, they’re also
               enjoying an entertainment experience.
               << Top

               BONUS #7: Razzle Dazzle Them - Bob Stupak & the Story of Vegas World
               Much can be learned about the story of Bob Stupak and his Vegas World Hotel & Casino. The
               young man, once referred to as the “hedonistic twin of P.T. Barnum”,

               was able to take one of the worst locations on Las Vegas Boulevard and turn it into

               an enormously profitable casino grossing more than $100 million annually.

               Vegas World’s huge success demonstrates the power of publicity and that people will travel
               into even less-than-desirable locations for a bargain. Vegas World (which is now the
               Stratosphere) was located in one of the roughest parts of the city yet people flocked to the
               casino as a result of Stupak’s brilliant knack for advertising and promotion.

               One of Stupak’s first innovations was to take popular games such as blackjack, craps and

               roulette and change the rules. His Double Exposure 21 (where both the dealer’s cards

               were dealt face up) was an instant hit. Stupak knew how to write compelling copy and

               used it to promote his casino games in a way nobody in the casino industry had done before
               him. And it worked fabulously. He penned such compelling headlines as

               “Blackjack as you’ve never played it before! See the Dealer’s Hole card. Play double exposure
               21. Both Dealers cards dealt face up!”

               “Introducing Polish Roulette! We lose money on every spin. But we hope to make it up in
               volume. No zeros.”

               I love the copy he used for his Double Exposure 21. Here’s an ad that appeared in the local

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               “How often have you wished you knew the dealer’s hole card. How often have you ad a 13,
               14, or 15 and hit and busted when the dealer had a 10-count card turned up? Then the dealer
               turned over a 5 or 6, hit it, and busted too. You could have won if you had known his hole
               card. Now for the first time you can play 21 and see both of the dealer’s cards. Both dealer’s
               cards are dealt face up. You know exactly what the dealer has before you decide what to do
               yourself. Stand, hit, double, split, etc. Its all new. Its fun and its only at Vegas World.”

               Another innovation Stupak introduced to casino marketing was by making himself a
               recognizable figure. He was known for his outlandish publicity stunts and he loved for people
               to associate him with outrageousness. He also played off of the fact that he was Polish and
               was dubbed the Polish Maverick. In many of his ads, he incorporated a

               graffiti-style scrawling of the words “He’s Polish” with the “s” backwards in the word “polish”

               Some of his most famous publicity stunts included:

                       Playing no-limit poker for $500,000 against a computer (called the ORAC

               on national television.

               - Offering somebody $1 million to jump from the top of his hotel then charging them a
               $975,000 landing fee.

                       Making a $1 million bet on Super bowl 23 which he won and was shown
                       collecting in

                       A brown paper bag.

               Stupak knew the value of publicity and he was constantly brainstorming his newest

               stunt that would get him on television and in the papers. Love him or hate him, people

               knew about Bob Stupak and his Vegas World casino. He regularly appeared in the tabloids,
               on television, and even did bit parts in movies.

               When Donald Trump came out with a board game called, Trump-the Game, Stupak
               immediately challenged him to a competition because as he stated, he wanted to beat Trump
               “at his own game”. Trump declined the Polish Maverick’s numerous requests, but Stupak
               used each challenge as an opportunity for more publicity.
               One of the most successful, direct marketing casino campaigns of all time, was Stupak’s

               Free Vegas Vacation which he ran for years and generated millions of dollars of revenue.

               The name was later changed to Virtually Free Vegas Vacation due to numerous complaints
               that his offer was misleading. However, even the most skeptical of people,

               agreed that while the offer wasn’t as phenomenal as Stupak built it up to be, it still was

               a reasonable value for the money - just nothing extraordinary and certainly not providing the
               luxurious accommodations of a Caesars Palace.

               Unfortunately for Bob Stupak, his latest publicity stunt was also his downfall.

               He set out building the highly ambitious Stratosphere Tower which was marred with
               difficulties. The Tower eventually got built but Stupak had to bring in a large corporation as a
               partner, who eventually bought him out with cash and stock options. Stupak made a good

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               chunk of change but nowhere near the amount he could have, had the stock not

               plummeted during the casino’s first year of operation.

               Stupak’s post Vegas World endeavors included plans for a hotel/casino to be built as a replica
               of the Titanic but he was unable to get the financing he needed.

               Although he’s not been in the news as he was during his heyday, Bob Stupak is still an active
               part of the Las Vegas community and certainly has the capability of re-emerging in this
               remarkable city where truly anything can happen.
               << Top

               About the Authors
               Scott Lewis --- Dr. Scott Lewis has been a chiropractor, practicing clinical hypnotist and
               entrepreneur for over 15 years. His innovative methods have been featured on Extra!, Inside
               Edition, The View, The Fox News Channel, National Equirer TV, E! and many other popular
               programs throughout the world. He's also been featured in many top magazines and
               newspapers such as Jane, First for Women, Fit, Walking, Globe, The Sun, Bottom Line
               Personal, and Natural Living Today.

               Dr. Lewis's best-selling audio programs have sold over 200,000 copies worldwide and he's
               worked with some of the largest health and fitness companies on the planet. He's a published
               author and has produced numerous audios and videos on subjects ranging from hypnotic
               weight loss to mental training for sports enhancement. He regularly conducts large public
               seminars and is a popular guest on TV and radio.

               Dr. Lewis is an expert in Las Vegas marketing and is affectionately known as the "Doctor to
               the Showgirls". He's received extensive publicity for the work he's done helping showgirls
               around the world to lose weight, quit smoking and break other unwanted habits. The television
               show Extra! recently devoted a feature segment to Lewis and his Hypno-diet.
               Currently, Dr. Lewis can be seen performing his smash comedy hypnosis show at the Riviera
               Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

               Joe Vitale -- Joe Vitale is the world's first Hypnotic Marketer. He is President of Hypnotic
               Marketing, Inc., and author of way too many books to list here, including the #1 best-selling
               book "Spiritual Marketing," the best-selling e-book "Hypnotic Writing," and the best-selling
               Nightingale-Conant audioprogram, "The Power of Outrageous Marketing."

               Joe currently lives in the Texas Hill Country outside of Austin. When he isn’t writing hypnotic
               copy, he’s at the pool or driving his BMW Z3.

               You can have Joe's proven marketing e-course---"Recession-Proof Marketing"---delivered to
               your e-mailbox every day for a week---for FREE---by sending a blank e-mail to
      You can now get Joe's new email marketing course, "Easy Marketing
               Secrets for Coaches," free, by sending blank email to
               Joe’s websites include:

               NEW! -
               NEW! -

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               NEW! -

                << Top

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