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It could get easier to claim free drinks at casinos

"In Las Vegas, Drinks Flow a Little Less Freely: Casinos are introducing technology to signal when a person has played enough poker to get a complimentary pour; 'Is my light green?'" — Wall Street journal A-Hed, by Chris Kirkham:

As Las Vegas has transformed into one of the world's most-visited tourist destinations, casino operators are re-examining the perks that historically lured gamblers. Over the past year, casinos have started charging for parking at resorts on the Strip, eliciting criticism from locals and longtime visitors who view free casino parking as a sacred tradition. Now operators have started scrutinizing complimentary drinks, introducing new technology at bars that track how much someone has gambled—and rewards them accordingly ...
It's a shift from decades of more-informal interplay between bartenders and gamblers. ... Casinos on the Strip now derive a smaller share of revenue from gambling. In 1996, more than half of annual casino revenue on the Strip came from gambling. Last year, the share was down to about a third, according to the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. More of the revenue comes from hotels, restaurants and bars....
So far the system applies only to machines at casino bars. Players at slot machines on the floor can still wave down cocktail servers for free drinks.
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