Sin City just got a little saucier with the advent of new wave of casino "party pits" boasting scantily-clad dealers who are giving Vegas strippers a run for their money.
The dishy dealers at Vegas hotspots The D, Binion's Gambling Hall and the Golden Gate are the main draw at the so-called party pits, where the deejay's tunes are cranked to 11 and showing skin is definitely in.
Unsurprisingly, these decadent hot spots aren't meant for deadly serious high-rollers who sweat every turn of a card, or for the craft cocktail aficionados who've been flocking to the upscale "ultra lounges" cropping up in Vegas casinos.
Party Pits have a sexier, rock n' roll vibe aimed at gamblers lured in by fetching lady dealers who flirt up a storm while divvying out cards and advising you to double down with your 11.
Though the concept seems like a no-brainer – a glorious marriage of strip-clubs and casinos – the party pit concept has been evolving for decades, but only recently has become a full-blown trend. The downtown casino magnate Derek Stevens (he owns the D and Golden Gate) has amped things up by hiring bikini-wearing dancers to shimmy on stages alongside the tables.
An early pioneer of the party pit is Dennis Conrad, who helped create the concept for a string of Vegas casinos back in the late 1980s. “The idea was to establish a place that it would be fun and we could draw a crowd of people who are casual gamblers,” says Conrad, now the CEO of the casino consulting company Raven Gaming. “We did a rock ‘n’ roll party and things took off from there. Now you see some real foxes working these places.”
Don't just take Conrad's word for it. Anthony Curtis, publisher of the Las Vegas Advisor and a veteran Sin City nightlife regular, says his current late-night den of choice is the newly-opened party pit at The Plaza downtown.
“They converted a crummy little retail store into a party room with blackjack and roulette,” Curtis says. “You’ve got these provocatively dressed dealers, wearing shorts and bustiers, and there’s a big window looking out onto the Fremont Street Experience [a no-vehicles strip of entertainers, vendors, and zip lines]. That’s the newest one in town. It’s a great place to hang out.”
Though in terms of the actual gambling, it can be a mixed bag. As Curtis puts it, “you won’t be getting the best rules in the house – and they may be bad rules.” By that he means that blackjacks might pay 6-5 instead of 3-2, which is a bigger deal than it sounds like if you value your bankroll.
But the limits are low, the dealers rely on their looks rather than their shuffling chops (which leaves them more apt to make mistakes--hopefully in your favor), and they will be friendlier than your typical 50-year-old sad sack with a bowtie, rheumy eyes, and decades of bad attitude toward his customers.
Considering that a good chunk of a party pit dealer’s job description is to charm customers (again, another commonality they share with Vegas strippers), a question does get begged: What are the chances of actually hitting it off with one of these beautiful dealers?
“Probably about the same as taking home a stripper or a regular dealer,” says Curtis, who’s had some experience in this realm. “Chat her up, let her see that you have some big bucks, and ask what she does when she gets off of her shift.”
And even if that goes nowhere, says Curtis: “You’re going to lose your money anyway. You might as well lose it to a good looking girl with Zeppelin playing in the background.”