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Top casino complaints: Tight machines, bad service

Players hate long lines, bad service and losing. But which do they dislike the most?

Staff at the 2013 American Casino Guide, published here in Hollywood by Steve Bourie, compiled thousands of casino reviews that players have posted on the book's companion website at

Here are the top five complaints:

5: Too Smoky. Casinos need better ventilation to help players avoid smelling like an ashtray after leaving the casino, Bourie says.

4: Long lines. There's nothing worse than standing in a long, slow-moving line, whether at the players' club or the buffet. 

3: Lack of slot attendants. Now that payoffs are made by tickets instead of coins, there are fewer attendants roaming the aisles. If there's a machine malfunction, the wait for an attendant can be endless, readers complain.

2: Poor Direct-Mail Offers. If a casino wants a player to fly in, or drive hours to get to them, do they really think $5 in free play is going to do it?

1. Tight Machines. Players know slot machines are going to beat them in the long run, but they want to at least have some fun for a while, rather than being drained quickly. 

Bourie notes that some problems can be alleviated with a little savvy by players. Many casinos have no-smoking areas, or no-smoking tables to accommodate both players and dealers bothered by cigarettes and cigars.

Buffet-goers often can avoid long lines by timing their dining for off-hours. The problem of waits for slot attendants have largely been offset by use of bar-coded tickets which means they never have to wait for the machines to be filled with coins or for a jam-up to be cleared.

The state of direct mail offers and game paybacks are on the casinos, though players can benefit by knowing more about the games.

The guide has information on more than 750 casino/resorts, riverboats and Indian casinos in 41 states. There also are more than $1,000 in casino coupons and tips on how to get the most for your money when visiting a casino by taking advantage of casino promotions.

Augmenting the Guide is its website,, with features that include casino reviews by visitors, plus a forum where readers trade their views.

The Guide also has its own YouTube channel at, where the book's author, Steve Bourie, hosts free instructional "how-to-gamble" videos that have been viewed more than 2.2 million times.

Bourie also has apps for iPhone and iPad to find any U.S. casino by name, city, state or zip code, a GPS locator for casinos within a 50-mile radius, turn-by-turn directions, and discount offers. For more information, go to or, go to the App store and search "American Casino Guide."  

The 2013 edition of the 496-page American Casino Guide sells for $18.95 at bookstores and participating AAA offices. The book can also be ordered online for  $11.75 at Other major online retailers, such as Amazon also sell the book.


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