2022 Las Vegas skill gaming guide

by Randy Gingeleski

3 minutes to read

Las Vegas electronic skill games seem much rarer in 2022 than in 2020.

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I started this blog in 2014 while developing a Bitcoin casino, set to be the most dominant offering of its kind ever to be witnessed on the Internet.

Well … *ahem*

That didn’t happen. Here I am in 2022, not running all of Las Vegas and/or any casino.

Does it count that I have some narrow “day job” responsibilities over a cryptocurrency exchange? Is that like a casino? You decide.

At least doing my computer work from here is still feasible. And writing about skill-based wager games is still within reach.

Today we’ll talk real-life gambling machines as I take a break from what I actually get paid to do.

What are Class II gaming machines? Any sort of video terminal without an overtly fixed rate of return. Where your skills influence the outcome — or more accurately, the rate of return, expected value (EV).

Back in February 2020, I had brought my girlfriend-of-the-time here to Las Vegas for Valentine’s Day. We found some of these GameCo skill games, first at the Park MGM then also the MGM Grand. She had zero casino experience but found these enjoyable, to the point where we sought them out.

I remember distinctly a Scrabble Boggle-like game and a basketball one, “Nothin’ But Net” as shown below. Either GameCo or Gamblit.

These games were hailed as the future, just a couple years ago.

Fast-forward to 2022, walking both of the same casinos’ gaming floors with my sister, we didn’t see any such games.

I decided to further walk the Vegas strip in a quest to find some and came up with the following table of negatives.

Casino / Venue Has electronic skill games?
Aria NO
Bally’s NO
Caesar’s Palace NO
Cosmopolitan NO
Flamingo NO
Golden Nugget NO \^
Harrah’s NO
Linq NO
Luxor NO
MGM Grand NO * °
Paris NO
Planet Hollywood NO
Resorts World NO °

\^ They do have a claw/crane game. Not skill-based, but is a relatively unique offering.

* Level Up was closed, though from outside inspection it didn’t seem to have any wager-accepting titles, just arcade.

° They do have virtual horse-racing machines. Those aren’t skilled-based but are relatively unique electronic offerings.

The author playing electronic blackjack.
Real-time image of getting rich $6.00

What happened to all the skill games?!?

Articles suggest COVID-19 necessitated casino belt-tightening, which killed relatively unpopular skill-based games, and/or internal issues at the biggest entities developing them.

That makes sense to me. I have no reason to think — or even guess — otherwise.

For this would-be casino czar, however, the proliferation of skill-based games is missed. 😪