Las Vegas Sun

July 29, 2014

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Looking in on: Gaming:

Deluge expected for jobs at new Station casino

Aliante in North Las Vegas will have 1,000 openings and likely scads of applicants

Station Casinos will begin taking applications Sunday for more than 1,000 jobs at Aliante Station, the company’s 10th major property in town, which is scheduled to open in North Las Vegas Nov. 11.

Applicants can line up in their pajamas.

The first step in the hiring drill can be accomplished from home: Call a toll free number (800-720-2127) or go online (“Careers” at www.stationcasinos.com).

Station expects to be swamped with applicants, considering that it received more than 100,000 for jobs at its Red Rock Resort in 2005, when the economy was booming and people weren’t as desperate for work.

With Nevada unemployment hitting a 14-year high, Station executives say they will have the luxury of being choosy with applicants, who will compete for jobs after the company places an undetermined number of transfers from other Station properties and reinstates some employees who were laid off.For some who live in North Las Vegas, Aliante Station will provide a new place to work that’s closer to home.

(Aliante Station is being developed in a partnership with the Greenspun family, which owns the Las Vegas Sun.)

Aliante’s casino is slightly larger than Red Rock’s but the property has three fewer restaurants, less than half the number of rooms and 16 percent of the meeting and convention space of its sister casino in Summerlin. The 202-room Aliante Station also lacks a spa and a nightclub, though the 40-acre site is master planned to allow the resort to more than double in size.

• • •

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage’s Nevada office has stopped taking on new mortgages for condo-hotel units. But don’t think the lending giant has soured on Las Vegas or that the condo-hotel model isn’t viable.

Because of the credit crunch, the mortgage lender isn’t able to resell big, or “jumbo,” loans to other lenders, who lack the capital to purchase them. Now that it must keep these loans on its books, Wells Fargo has to be pickier about the loans it chooses to fund.

Condos involve more risk than single-family homes because they are less likely to be an owner’s primary residence. Condo-hotels are even riskier because they are rarely used by owners, said Jonathan Taylor, regional sales manager in Nevada and Oregon for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

• • •

Gamblers are spending less money in Nevada casinos, and now we learn that Nevada’s slot machines are paying out a smaller percentage of money wagered by gamblers than they did in years past.

Take that, tourists!

Although players might suspect casinos of tightening machines to squeeze extra profits, they have penny slots — and therefore, their own preferences — to blame. Nevada casinos have replaced many of their dollar and quarter slots with “penny” machines, which allow players to gamble longer by wagering as little as a penny per spin. But penny slots pay back a smaller percentage of money wagered over time than larger-denomination slots.

(The payback percentage is a theoretical calculation that indicates, on average, how much a slot machine will give back to players over millions of spins and generally won’t affect a player’s probability of winning on any given spin or in any given playing session.)

During the 1990s, payback percentages rose with the spread of video poker machines, which have higher paybacks than regular slots. Those percentages began to fall again in 1997, with incremental declines over the next decade. (Slots, including video poker, paid back about 95 percent of bets in 1997 compared with 93.9 percent in 2007.)

In 2000, Nevada had 710 penny machines, compared with 32,234 penny machines last year. Those machines paid back, on average, 89.9 percent of bets last year. The number of dollar machines fell from 32,993 to 15,938 during that period. Those paid back an average of 94.5 percent of bets last year, according to the Gaming Control Board.

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