ROCKFORD – Bad news for lovers of Texas Hold'em, seven-card stud and Omaha Hi-Lo: Hard Rock Casino Rockford does not plan to offer live poker.
Poker is still a popular game and can rake in the millions, but unfortunately for poker players it doesn't make as much money as slot machines or other table games, said Professor Anthony Lucas of the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
In recent years, Lucas said, Las Vegas casinos have reduced and even eliminated poker rooms that executives increasingly view as gaming facilities – a casino game that provides marginal operating results compared to other games that make up the critical profit centers of a gaming floor.
"A casino floor is a war for space," Lucas said. "There's a finite amount of it, and it's an ongoing turf war. All the jockeys for more space. And they do that by saying, 'This is the profit per square foot I can produce.' weigh all these possible uses against each other, and the poker room is one of the things that doesn't do so well in the conversation. "
Hard Rock International, in partnership with a group of investors under the banner of Delaware-registered Rockford Casino Development LLC., has been approved by Rockford City Council to advance the casino approval process. Hard Rock plans to apply for the only available Rockford license from the Illinois Gaming Board before the end of October.
If approved, Hard Rock is planning a $ 31
Most casino games hit the player against the house, and the house always has at least some advantage. Poker is unusual among casino games because it is a competition of skill and luck that provides players against each other and not against the casino. The casino makes money from taking a "rake", a fee that is imposed on players for the bets they make on each other.
In a 2014 paper published in the UNLV Gaming Research & Review Journal, Lucas concluded that "poker players seemed to lack interest in slot machines and table games." And he claimed that although poker draws players into the casino, they do not see out to generate a lot of business for other areas of the casino.
A typical 20-table Las Vegas casino poker room generates $ 3 million in operating revenue per year. , Said Lucas. Replacing these poker tables with 200 slots is expected to generate nearly $ 15 million a year.
"I love the game, and I wish they had a poker room because it's fun," Lucas said. "But in many places, poker is not."
A poker lover who is not sad that Hard Rock will open without a live poker room is the president of the Kimford Charity Games Association, Jim Kasputis.
Charities throughout Northern Illinois are hiring their company to host poker nights. Kasputis said the company, which was founded in 1984, originally offered casino nights with games like blackjack and roulette. However, the problem with these matches was that if the players won big, the charity could be left with little to show for the evening. Poker guarantees that the charity will benefit from each event because it takes a percentage of tournament purchases and pots.
Every Friday, the company organizes a poker room somewhere in Rockford.
Although Hard Rock will open without a poker room, Kasputis said, he believes it will add one if and when it expands. He points out that Hard Rock is hosting large poker tournaments on its Florida properties.
"Right now, an Illinois casino can only have 2,000 gaming positions, and a poker table is 10 positions," Kasputis said. "You have to give up 10 slots to have one poker table. The math is not good. A casino is going to make more money with 10 slots."
Jeff Kolkey: 815-987-1374; email@example.com; @jeffkolkey