Remember the first thing Marty McFly noticed when he travelled back to 1955 in the movie Back to the Future? He was the gas station attendant because his job seemed so outdated. If Marty had visited a Las Vegas casino in 1955, he might have noticed the following casino jobs that no longer exist on the Strip.
The automatically updating digital whiteboard eliminates what was once a stressful full-time job. An odds expert was required to update the dry-erase boards (before them, the boards) with frequently changing betting lines depending on bet volume on either side of the bets. And do it legibly. The term “Eye in the Sky” was not initially used for video surveillance cameras but for the actual eyes on the roof of a casino. Thin catwalks above the casino floor.
These guys, because they were boys most of the time, watched the action at the table through binoculars and tried to catch cheaters by counting blackjack cards, touching roulette chips after the “no more bets” call or the roulette wheels operated • craps dice with more than one hand. And they did it through the one-way glass that concealed their exact whereabouts.
Shill Poker Player
The casino paid a complicit poker player an hourly rate to start games, keep dying games alive and make it appear like a win was more likely than it was. They played with casino money they had to hand in at the end of their shift. Although tourists usually didn’t notice, regular players could usually sniff out the fakes. And using shills wasn’t the kind of word of mouth a casino wanted to spread about them. To the offering player.
In a more subtle lure tone, prop players used their own money, kept their wins, and absorbed their losses. They were paid to sit where they were told and not leave until unconscious. In 1979, Nevada passed Regulation 23, which required all gambling decoys to be identified by casino managers when questioned. It also needed all casinos using shills or prop players to post a sign alerting guests to the policy. That ruined the business.
The use of decoy poker players is still legal in Nevada but not considered suitable. While some smaller off-Strip casinos may still use them, strip poker rooms are not expected to do so.
The Las Vegas showgirl officially died out in 2016 when the last showgirl show, “Jubilee!” at Bally, closed after 35 years. But from the 1950s to the 1980s, almost every major casino had a play with dancers per year in maintenance. And they didn’t require shows to rebound at the box office because they were seen as loss leaders: their purpose was to lure players into the casinos and keep them there.
Back then, gambling accounted for about 75% of the average casino’s revenue. Today, that revenue stream has reversed, with 75% coming from non-gaming sources. In the ’80s, instead of paying to run their shows, company owners began getting independent producers to pay them to rent their showrooms. And no producer has since volunteered to host a showgirl show. Using decoy poker players is still legal in Nevada but is not considered cool.
Although some smaller off-Strip casinos may still use them, strip poker rooms are not expected to do so.