HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY BLACKJACK FROM A CARD COUNTER'S PERSPECTIVE - Part 3
JPB has been playing blackjack and counting cards part-time since 1996. He plays throughout the country but primarily in Missouri. He has been a Green Chip member ofBJ21.com for five years and one-time winner of the Post-of-the-Month. JPB is a professional engineer with three engineering degrees and works as a consulting engineer. This article is a first in a series of articles on the history of blackjack games in Kansas City from JPBs playing experience.
Around 2008, two new factors came into play in the Kansas City blackjack market: fear and competition. The neighboring state of Kansas decided it was tired of seeing gambling revenue go across the state-line to Missouri. (I know it seems odd if you are not familiar with the geography in this area, but all four of the existing Kansas City casinos back then were located in Missouri not Kansas.) Plans were made for an enormous new casino and hotel that would be located near the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas. Hollywood Casino was the winning bidder in a joint venture with the International Speedway.
Meanwhile, the state of Missouri had become addicted to the casino tax revenue. When the Missouri casinos complained about the buy-in limit and warned of shutting the doors, the state of Missouri voters listened out of fear of losing the "golden goose".
In November 2008, an amendment to repeal the $500 buy-in limit was put on the Missouri ballot. The state of Missouri had become dependent on the casino tax revenue and they could not afford to potentially lose it; therefore, the amendment passed. The casinos were threatening that if the loss-limit was not repealed, casino dollars would go to other markets, including Kansas, and more of the casinos could go under. Shortly thereafter, the bizarre loss-limit was repealed and Missouri gambling became a little more normal.
Meanwhile, the Great recession hit and the plans to build the Hollywood Casino in Kansas were scaled back and delayed several years. Eventually, the Hollywood Casino was built and opened in Kansas City, Kansas in February 2012. Although it did not include a hotel and was more modest than the original plan, it was located in a growing area adjacent to the Kansas Speedway, outdoor soccer team, and minor league baseball team stadiums, as well as the outdoor (Schlitterban) and indoor waterpark/hotel (Great Wolf Lodge).
Beginning around 2009, the Missouri casinos started looking more normal. All of the Missouri casinos segregate the gambling zones from non-gambling zones so they may appear a little different than the open casinos in Nevada. But if you look well over 21 like me, you can enter without showing identification or a player's card. Drinks are not free to gamblers (in fact, they are fairly expensive) but I have found many casinos outside Nevada charge for drinks, so Missouri does not stick out on this issue. Since 2009, the Kansas City, Missouri casinos have continued the road to normalcy. Summarized below are most my most recent observations of the casinos.
Although I am not a big fan of auto racing, I must admit it is cool looking out on the racetrack from the restaurant on the second level of the casino. I can only imagine the casino being hopping on the handful of racing weekends. The buffet is the typical fare and price. The sports bar restaurant on the second level has decent food and nice big- screen televisions in addition to overlooking the racetrack.
Unfortunately, the blackjack is not very good. The rules are the same as on the Missouri side:
Although the penetration has varied during my visits, 50% penetration at DD appears to be the norm. The lowest DD table minimum is $25 on the main floor, and $50 or $100 in the high-limit area. I believe the table max is $1000 in the high limit. I have occasionally found slightly better penetration at the DD, but rarely do I recall seeing much better than 55%, and less than 50% is not that uncommon. The six-deck penetration I have observed has been in the range of 4.0 to 4.5. I have never seen anything that would qualify as good penetration for six-deck game.
This has been my favorite casino in the area. Inside the casino area, they have a deli called Leo's Deli. Overall, the sandwiches are mediocre, but the pastrami and Swiss that I recently got was excellent. The buffet is better than average with a few noteworthy dishes, such as the fried shrimp with garlic mashed potatoes. The bar and grill, 99 Hops, has good food and a nice selection of beers. The buffalo chicken sandwich I had on a recent visit was excellent. There is also a Mexican restaurant, the Lucky Taco, and steakhouse, Journey.
The Argosy is generous with...
...enter your member login information below to read this article/newsletter...
Paid Members-Only Article
You have clicked on a link to a Blackjack Insider web page or article for paid subscribers. You must have a paid membership to the Blackjack Insider newsletter to view this content. About 1/2 of the articles in each issue of the Blackjack Insider are for paid members only, while the rest are viewable by everyone. Your purchased membership will allow you to read all Blackjack Insider articles for 12 months.
Enter your user name and password below (they were listed and e-mailed to you after you purchased your Blackjack Insider membership):
Forgot your membership id or password? Click here.
How do I get a membership?
A membership can be purchased online at our secure store with your credit card for only $19.95 per year. You will receive a user name and password immediately by e-mail which you can use to read the all past and future members-only articles for 12 months, as well as the regular free articles.
Do I have to buy a membership?
No. Blackjack Insider will continue to be published as a free monthly e-newsletter. But about 1/2 of the articles each month will be for paid members only. Subscribers without a membership can still view and read the non-members articles for free.
What happens after I buy a membership?
Immediately after you complete your purchase, you will receive a unique login user name and password. These are displayed on the final purchase page, and are e-mailed to you. When you click on a members-only article in our web site, you will be prompted for this user name and password (as shown above). Simply enter them, and enjoy the article! Note: make sure you turn on the checkbox above when you login, to save the user name and password so that you don't have to re-enter them every time you view members-only articles.
Why did you switch to paid memberships?
Blackjack Insider is a professional monthly publication with top-notch articles by world-reknown gaming experts. In addition, we have regular reporters that monitor game conditions and tournament schedules throughout North America. We use a partially paid subscriber model to enable us to continue getting the best content for our readers from leading authors on blackjack and gaming.
©2015, DeepNet Technologies. No material to be copied without express permission of DeepNet Technologies.