In an attempt to re-write history and continue growing, Las Vegas casinos have decided to implement skill based games. You can now bet on your own skills in Frogger. Applications are also underway for full fledged licenses & games of skill.
I understand WHY Las Vegas is doing this – millenials are NOT flocking to casinos and find slots boring – who wouldn’t?!
BUT, this attempt is trouble. When Phil Ivey ‘outsmarted’ the casinos with Edge Sorting, they withheld the funds, sued, and won as the judge ruled casinos are for losers to lose their money. How does that work in a world with skill games? If your skill is THE BEST, you WIN THE MONEY and the casino is expected TO PAY.
The casinos think they’ve run the numbers, and because they can beat 99.99% of people that’s ‘good enough’. The problem is, its the .01% that will FLOCK TO THESE GAMES, turning them into cash machines for the freakishly gifted – think the equivalent of Joey Chestnut to Hot Dog eating. No ‘normal’ person can eat 10 hotdogs in 10 mins, so the computers (GLI*) that ‘assess’ game result distribution could ‘maybe’ contemplate 20 hotdogs, 30 max…. Joey can eat 70! The Joey Chestnut equivalent of Frogger, or any other skill based game, will CRUSH the casinos.
When Las Vegas casinos inevitably lose on this endeavour and try to ban ‘experts’ for ‘outskilling’ them on GAMES OF SKILL, then what? More withholding of funds? Excuses? Its just bad math and logic and Las Vegas casinos will pay the price for it.
*GLI is a company game designers pay to ‘verify’ that the math assumed is correct and that the casinos will make profit on the game. IF, the assumptions are incorrect, or the distribution is off**, there is the potential the game will lose money.
**By distribution being off, I’m referring to the existence of a Joey Chestnut equivalent for a skill based game and how often they play it. IF Joey Chestnut exists for a skill based game like Frogger and IF they played it 10 hrs per day, or half of the time, its tough to see how the machine could turn a profit for the casino.
Also published on Medium.