I have never been a big fan of the Riviera. I know that isn’t exactly a shocking statement, after all who is? But over the years every now and then I have gone back to the Riviera to see if maybe there was just something I was missing. So far, as it turns out, there hasn’t been. This past Vegas trip, I had more than just a “let’s see if something has changed” reason to visit the Riviera. I wanted to see their new emphasis on good gambling odds and I wanted to do the loss-rebate program at the players club.
After entering the riviera, the first thing I noticed was that the casino cage, box office, and players club counter were all in the same place. As you could imagine, that led to a long line of people who all needed a variety of different things. Once I finally got to the window to sign up for the players club, it took the lady 10 minutes to get me signed up. Hardly efficient.
After walking around, they definitely have 3/2 single-deck blackjack, single-zero roulette, and 1000x odds on craps, but I was disappointed to find out that their video poker odds were still lacking. They had 7/5 odds on the $0.25 Jacks or Better machines. I sat down at one of the machines, dropped in some money and began to play.
As luck would have it, I hit four-of-a-kind twice and decided to walk after that. I could have played more, aiming for that royal flush and knowing that I have the reimbursement, but I just didn’t want to. That’s because the Riviera is still the Riviera. I wasn’t enjoying myself. It still feels desolate, worn, and like any other Midwestern low-tier property. At the end of the day, I don’t play roulette and I don’t have enough money to play 1000x odds craps. If I want good blackjack odds, I’ll go downtown where there are more options.
I want the Riviera to succeed and I want it to matter. Not all of old Vegas deserves to be torn down and cast away. But right now it has nothing going for it, and while these gambling changes have created a small amount of marketing buzz, it hasn’t changed my feelings about the place. Once again I still have no reason to visit Riviera.