As reported in the June issue of Current Blackjack News, Siena has lowered its table max to only $300. A pit employee recently told an inquiring patron, “Management doesn’t want anything but small action anymore.” There is now a laughable $3 minimum, $200 max double deck where on a recent visit, most patrons were indeed playing coins. Such a table is unlikely to be able to make more than a few dollars an hour, if even that. On a recent weeknight swing shift, a total of just three blackjack tables were open, including the $3 table. Siena management should be embarrassed and ashamed. When Siena began business, it was a classy place. However, it had few customers. But at least it targeted upper echelon customers that could be exploited for profit. Unfortunately, the awful neighborhood it’s in, with the drug and gang-infested flop houses across from it, bums hassling patrons for money, and the murders within a stone’s throw of the valet entrance probably didn’t help. So now it is a grind joint with few customers. I seriously doubt that it has positive cash flow. The stupid decision to run off all but the low-rollers will likely preclude Siena from ever being reasonably profitable.
It’s a shame that Siena and Fitzgeralds have so quickly deteriorated within a few months of each other. Soon after opening up the new “better” games, Fitzgeralds suffered a self-inflicted, probably-terminal case of shuffling disease. Fitz’s now-horrible games are tied with Circus Circus as Reno’s worst — except for Harrah’s, of course. The new Fitzgeralds owners who bought it out of bankruptcy will probably soon be putting it back into bankruptcy.
It appears that the current business plan for some Reno casinos is for present ownership to loot as much from them as quickly as they can, then let them go under. As a staunch Reno supporter for a decade, and as one who makes at least fifteen trips a year to Reno, I am truly sorry to see these casinos rotting from within and beginning their death spirals.
Reno casino failures within the last few years:
Baldini’s (downgraded from a casino to a slot house)
I predict none of the following will survive another five years under their present ownership and incompetent management, if they survive at all. The current Reno-area Casino Death Watch List:
Grand Sierra (though it has recently mounted a comeback, and has the best chance of survival)
A “bonus” — the South Tahoe Casino Death Watch List: