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Although the hotel-casinos never have been able to show a profit on their entertainment, the other areas of hotel operation do show profits, because prices have been raised substantially in the restaurants, and the hotel rooms show an amazing average occupancy of over 90 percent the year round.

As these operations were streamlined, as more and more giant corporations bought into Nevada hotels and ran them, the casino's role in the whole system was put into perspective. The casino was an important money maker, but it wasn't the only aspect of the business that made money, and as its influence lessened, so did the role of the casino manager.

At one time, the moguls who ran the hotel-casinos left everything in the casino operation to the casino manager. He was the single most important employee, and his word on the casino floor was law. No one crossed a casino manager and stayed in the operation. Today the general manager or president of the hotel is a more important figure, and in many cases, the casino manager is subservient to the credit operation and its accountants. It is still his responsibility to run the casino, but now he does it in conjunction with others.

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But-and it bears repeating-do play at a level that is comfortable for you. If you find that the casino is friendly willing to give you some comps, you've done well. An easy way to find out just what a casino expects is to ask someone when you initially call about the availability of rooms. Ask to speak to someone in charge who can give you that information. If you find that the play expected is too much, try another place. You may eventually hit upon a casino that is just right for you; giving you comps at a level of play you can handle easily.

If you are a big bettor, and can play $100 hands for several hours without difficulty, you are in a bargaining position. Call up several hotels and find out what they'll offer you for your action. After all, you're a premium player and a valuable one for any casino. See what you'll get in terms of free food and rooms. Can you eat in any of the fine gourmet restaurants free of charge? Just what kind of accommodations will they give you? You can negotiate with a hotel with that kind of play. You can even try and get your air fare reimbursed. Just be sure to have your credit in order before you play.

As we said before, casinos are flexible, and will try to accommodate the high rollers. These are the gamblers they want. Be sure, once you've established credit and received the room and the meals, that you do give the kind of play you promised. Otherwise all the comps will rapidly evaporate and you'll have a huge bill to pay.
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